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Jon Pincus

Jan 2, 2009, 11:43:16 AM1/2/09
I'll get something out later today with thoughts about next steps ... congratulations all!  We were #2 in Criminal Justice and #10 overall. 


-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Congratulations on qualifying for the Final Round!
Date: Fri, 2 Jan 2009 03:56:12 -0800
From: Ben Rattray <>
To: Ben Rattray <>

To the Final Round Qualifiers:


This is Ben Rattray, founder of  I wanted to personally congratulate you on making the final round of the "Ideas for Change in America" competition.  More than 250,000 votes were cast for over 7,000 ideas from across the country, and each of your ideas were judged to be among the top 3 in your respective categories.  This is a testament to the deep interest in your idea and the potential power of the grassroots energy that can be mobilized behind it.


I've outlined key information about the final round of voting below.  If you have any questions that aren't answered here, please email me directly.  The team and I will be available throughout the weekend to ensure we answer any of your questions and address any last-minute needs before the beginning of the final round of voting on Monday.


Voting details:

  1. Voting on the final round begins at 8am ET on Monday, January 5th and ends at 5pm ET on Thursday, January 15th.
  2. Voting totals for each idea will restart at zero for the final round to ensure each idea is on equal footing.  However, we will send an email to each person who voted for your idea in the first round encouraging them to vote for your idea again and to forward the link to your idea to friends.
  3. We will be removing the issue-based categories for the final round.  The 10 ideas that receive the most votes, regardless of the issue each addresses, will win and be named the "Top 10 Ideas for America."


To increase your chance of winning:

  1. You may edit the text of your idea anytime before the beginning of voting on Monday, January 5th.  We encourage you to make sure your idea states in compelling language: (1) the problem you're addressing and why it's important, and (2) your solution for what the government should do to address the problem.
  2. We strongly encourage you to consider adding a short video (30– 90 seconds) describing your idea and its potential impact.  This is not required, but posting a video will help personalize your idea, and we will highlight which ideas have video on the site.  You cannot directly upload videos to, but rather must first upload them on another service such as YouTube and then embed them on using an embed tag.
  3. We also encourage you to recruit bloggers and nonprofits to indicate their support for your idea.  These "sponsors" will be listed on the right column alongside your idea and can be used to help raise awareness about your idea and to provide additional credibility.  (I will send a separate email that provides more detail about this process soon.)


If your idea is among the Top 10:

  1. Your idea will be presented at an event we are co-hosting with The Case Foundation at the National Press Club in Washington, DC the day after the conclusion of the competition, on January 16th.  Your idea will be named one of the "Top 10 Ideas for America" and also be profiled in a press release following the announcement.
  2. Following the competition, we will work with you to select an official nonprofit sponsor to help build a national advocacy campaign around your idea (if you do not have a nonprofit sponsor already).
  3. To help build momentum around the advocacy campaign for your idea, we will email the entire list of's more than 200,000 members to encourage them to sign up to join your campaign.  We will also regularly profile the progress of the campaign behind your idea on to continually raise awareness and increase its chances of successfully achieving the change it seeks.


Thanks, and congratulations again on qualifying for the final round.  I look forward to working with you all soon.



Ben Rattray
Founder and CEO,
709 Douglass Street
San Francisco, CA 94114
202-253-1288 (mobile)

liminal states, my blog
Tales from the Net, a work in progress

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