The Pixel Project is three years old today.
THREE. YEARS. OLD.
It feels like just yesterday when I was rushing out of the shower, shampoo suds dripping down me, to write the original 15-page proposal (for what would become our flagship fundraiser – the Celebrity Male Role Model Pixel Reveal campaign raising US$1 million in aid of Malaysia’s Women’s Aid Organisation and the USA’s National Coalition Against Domestic Violence) that would mark the birth of The Pixel Project.
The Pixel Project was born in the middle of the 2008 – 2009 global recession. We had no funds, no sponsors, no endorsements. Nothing but an idea, a plan of action and the somewhat nutty belief that it will all work out somehow.
Three years later, as part of our ongoing quest to complete the Pixel Reveal campaign, we have become an independent 501(c)3 nonprofit social enterprise with with 40 dedicated volunteer team members – women and men from four continents collaborating on our various ongoing social media programmes and annual hybrid online-offline campaigns to raise awareness, funds and volunteer power for the cause to end violence against women.
We have been selected for awards including being semi-finalists for Echoing Green‘s Class of 2010; worked with major celebrity male role models for our Pixel Reveal campaign; been featured by major media such as The Guardian UK, Forbes, Associated Press and The Hindu; and partnered with major organisations such as UN Women’s Say NO – UNiTE campaign, the White Ribbon campaign and the Thomson Reuters Foundation.
Above it all, we are still defiantly and stubbornly alive, kicking and thriving in spite of all the naysayers, attacks and critics… and we have proved that it is possible to build an active international virtual nonprofit on a near-cashless model.
Not bad for a young nonprofit social enterprise which, according to conventional wisdom, should have failed and folded within six months of its inception. This is testament to the strength, dedication and support of our close-knit team of volunteers, partners and supporters – many of whom have been with us for over two years and who put in time in the evenings, weekends and holidays to get things done – that we have survived and thrived.
2011 was a year of steep learning curves and step-by-step progress for The Pixel Project:
- We introduced the pilot run of a few new campaigns and programmes including Portraits for Pixels (for photographers), the Purple Pamper Package programme, and Global Walk a Mile in Her Shoes Day. Of these three campaigns, the ones that survived to move forward are Portraits for Pixels and the Purple Pamper Package.
- The Celebrity Male Role Model Pixel Reveal campaign was finally launched in beta format on International Women’s Day 2011. We sold 2408 pixels even without a major publicity campaign as we collected feedback and worked on refining the system.
- We were finalists in the Gender Equality category for the Katerva Awards 2011 alongside huge names such as the UN’s Girl Up campaign and the Demi & Ashton Foundation.
- We have forged new partnerships with organisations as diverse as Stirring the Fire, Spa Fundraiser, Pouring Pounds, the Thomson Reuters Foundation, Centre for Social Research India and Ganga Shakti.
- We launched a number of fantastic animated PSAs and our first ever set of free holiday e-cards.
So what does 2012 hold for The Pixel Project? Here are of some of the highlights that you can look forward to in 2012:
- A Purple Panic Button: As part of our commitment to the safety of all who use our website, we have installed a virtual purple panic button which you can see floating on the right hand side of all pages of this website. This button is created for victims who may need to log out quickly to avoid being caught seeking help by the abuser. Just click on the panic button to be automatically taken to the Google homepage.
- The Power of Music: The Pixel Project is currently working on a pilot of a brand new campaign called Music For Pixels through which we will work with up-and-coming YouTube artistes such as Peter Hollens as well as independent singers/songwriters/musicians from various countries to raise awareness and funds through positive songs and digital music sales. Watch this space for upcoming announcements!
- Smile! You’re on (Online) TV!: If all goes well, The Pixel Project will be launching our first season of web-isodes with The Giving Network in the second quarter of the year to introduce you to our people, partners and programmes. As with Music For Pixels, watch this space for upcoming announcements!
- Do Good While Getting Pampered: Our Purple Pamper Package programme in conjunction with Spa Fundraiser to offer home spa sessions worth US$150 for just $25 got off to a very promising start with the 2011 holiday season so we decided to hold the offer TWICE a year from now on with the next offer period starting in May in honour of Mother’s Day!
- Blogging and Bloggers Galore!: Aside from our annual – and very popular – 16 for 16 Blogging campaign, we will also be hosting a special Father’s Day blogging campaign in June and building our Paint It Purple blog carnival this year. We are also launching our Tumblr blog today!
- Cupcakes, Cupcakes, Cupcakes!: Our third annual Paint It Purple campaign is scheduled to kick off in early October and once again, cupcakeries and home bakers are invited to contribute cupcake recipes to our online Cupcake Gallery and hold bake sales to raise funds for the Pixel Reveal campaign and their local anti-violence against women nonprofits. We are opening registration extra early this year so you’ll have more time to prepare too!
- Get Snapping: Photographers worldwide – here’s one for you: we’re now holding Portraits for Pixels TWICE a year – once in Spring and once in the Fall. Registration for the Spring session will open in February once our custom online registration form is ready to go, so watch this space for the announcement!
We hope you are as excited as we are about 2012 and if you want to get involved with any of these campaigns, we certainly welcome more volunteers and pro bono professionals joining us on our journey towards ending violence against women. Just fill in the volunteer application form and we’ll get back to you!
Here’s to The Pixel Project surviving and thriving to continue fighting for the cause for as many years as it takes to eradicate violence against women. May we live to see the day when our work is no longer needed – the day when violence against women is no longer the norm in communities and cultures worldwide.
It’s time to stop violence against women. Together.
– Regina Yau, Founder and President, The Pixel Project