“Bronies for Good is committed to fostering the growth of a global community of caring, socially conscious individuals through the organization of service events worldwide and encouraging individual, group and social involvement.” —Our mission statement
How we got started
Bronies for Good as an idea and an organization originated on the /collab/ Ponychan board. We had a thread discussing the idea of transforming the altruistic values of the show and making a positive impact in the world. Idea after idea had been thrown around about in this 300+-comments-long thread, starting a charity, working on fundraising projects of various sorts, or contacting nonprofits with the intention of direct collaboration.
Although there were a lot of good ideas among them, there was no set plan that everyone would go with. Seeing this stagnation, I decided to ask everyone on the thread if they would be willing to come to an online meeting on Tinychat so that we try and hash it some sort of refined concept that everyone could agree upon. The idea was well-received, and we determined the date and time for the meeting. We made some introductions, nominated a facilitator and scribe, and began.
During the meeting, we hashed out some basic principles that we could agree upon and figured how our organization could be structured. Initially, there was a lot of pressure to go through with and apply for the 501(c)(3) status to become an officially recognized group and use tax-exceptions as a fundraising mechanism. But in the end, we chose to remain unofficial and autonomous since the cost for applying was rather prohibitive and not worth the upkeep that we would have to put into it. We also felt that the 501(c)(3) title would divert time away from the progressive projects that we wanted to pursue on our time. So in the end, we chose against it and began to work on figuring out name.
We eventually settled on Bronies for Good and by the end of meeting, we already had a project in mind. It was to be a month-long community wide blood drive in September of 2010 entitled Nurse Redheart’s Roundup. (The title alludes to one of the background ponies in the show.) Shortly thereafter, we set up a website, email address, and Facebook account, and began organizing with whatever individuals or community groups we could. We posted on threads through Ponychan, spoke to our brony friends, and even emailed pony news sites about the project. We did end up receiving some coverage and support and the blood drive garnered 17 liters which was respectable to start with.
Moving from our initial success, we organized the Bronies Doing Good campaign to encourage our fellow bronies to go out and perform good acts in the world for buttons, pins, and good karma. We then later took on a collaboration with the holiday toy drive Operation Winter Wrap Up to spur toy donations to toy distribution groups. After our initial holiday efforts, however, we were at a loss on how to proceed into the winter months.
It wasn’t until a fellow staff member brought up the idea of a charity album collaboration with the musician community site called My Little Remix. Although some of us were initially reluctant, we went with the project for lack of any other better ideas and began putting everything together for it. We entitled the album Smile! and decided to support the Children’s Cancer Association with the accompanying fundraiser. We gathered prizes to giveaway to top donor’s, organized media coverage and project exposure, contacted the CCA, and set up a fundraising platform. After everything was said and done, we braced ourselves and launched in late November to see what would happen.
What happened was beyond our most wildest expectations. Podcasts and artists emailed us asking how they could help, charity livestreams were organized to help spur donations, and people spread the word far and wide. All these efforts combined helped us raise about $30,000 for the Children’s Cancer Association which not only demonstrated to us how successful this model was, but what we as a community could do when we pulled together for a good cause.
Since then, we’ve involved ourselves in multiple brony charity drives either as supporting staff or as co-organizers. We pursued several reiterations of our charity album project (then called Seeds of Kindness) with a start-up nonprofit in Germany, Your Siblings, and went on to raise more than $100,000 in 2012. We’ve organized a follow up blood drive and we’ve been actively involved in charity projects at brony conventions.