Microsoft YouthSpark Challenge for Change Contest
- Microsoft Citizenship partnered with Windows and Office to lead an online contest campaign for international students ages 18-25 to consider how they could use Microsoft technology and citizenship resources to create positive social change in their communities.
- The contest was designed as an essay/photo contest, with the call to action being to describe what cause the entrant was passionate about, what they were doing or would do for the cause, and how Microsoft technologies and winning the prize could help. Twenty finalists were selected to make videos to further define their cause and how Microsoft could solve the problem, and the public voted to determine 5 Grand Prize Winners.
- All contest entrants received a $10 Give for Youth gift card to incentivize entry and support their cause with a donation to their project of choice on GiveforYouth.org. Twenty Finalists received a Surface 2 Pro with Office 365, and 5 Grand Prize Winners received $2,500 cash prize, a once-in a lifetime volunteer experience in the Amazon, an Xbox One, a Windows Phone and the opportunity to act as a Microsoft YouthSpark ambassador.
- The entry site was set up as a responsive web site to take full advantage of all the devices international students might be using – so it worked on mobile devices, tablets and desktops.
- Social sharing to Twitter and Facebook was put into place on every page and on every entry on the gallery page.
- Entry moderation happened throughout the submission phase and entries were posted within 72 hours.
- Finalists Videos were put into a cloud server, distributed content network for faster downloads on a global scale during the voting phase.
- Voting fraud prevention measures were put into place and monitored throughout the voting process. Microsoft was alerted when warranted.
- Social traffic accounted for 60.68% of traffic to the site and came from social sites all over the world: Facebook, Twitter, Sina Weibo, Renren, LinkedIn, Naver, G+ and 13 others.
- Entries more than doubled from the previous year.
- 42% of entrants redeemed their $10 Give for Youth Voucher – up from 31% the previous year.
- The 20 Finalists were from 7 countries, and the 5 winners represented 4 countries.
- Voting engagement outperformed year one results, with most traffic to the site occurring during the voting period.
- The project was approved to go into a third year.