November 27, 2016

Startup Spotlight: The Wynwood Coloring Book

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The Wynwood Coloring Book is a coloring book for adults inspired by the world famous street art of Wynwood. A second edition is planned, as well as a broader book featuring street artists from throughout the U.S.

Company name: The Wynwood Coloring Book, by AimfulMedia

Headquarters: MADE at the Citadel, 8325 NE Second Ave., Miami

Concept: The Wynwood Coloring Book is a coloring book for adults inspired by the world famous street art of Wynwood.

Story: As an entrepreneur, Diego Orlandini (pictured above) has always been passionate about ideas that are socially responsible and community-oriented and that deepen the human experience. He admires TOMS Shoes and similar companies that bring tangible positive social impact to their business models.

“Last year, when I was stressed trying to build AimfulMedia and writing a novel, my girlfriend at the time introduced me to a coloring book for adults. We imagined how cool it could be to color the murals of the city, and I saw that as the opportunity to put all my passions into one single project,” Orlandini said. Orlandini, a yoga enthusiast who traveled to India this summer, also discovered firsthand what research has shown to be true: Coloring can be a “mindful” way of relaxing and focusing.

Orlandini partnered with a number of Wynwood artists, and with the help of that community, the first edition of the $25 coloring book published in April. The 64-page book, made with high-quality environmentally friendly wood-free paper, features the work of 43 street artists, including Alex Senna, Mijares and Patch Whisky and includes a directory with information about each artist and work of art.

“The Wynwood Coloring Book is a lot of things. It’s a tool for mindfulness, to help people take a break from the hustle and remember a simpler time. It’s a souvenir for visitors who want to bring home a part of this place. And it’s a time capsule, capturing Wynwood at a pivotal moment in its young life, preserving today’s art long after it is painted over to make way for a new mural,” The New Tropic wrote earlier this year about the book.

The first printing of the Wynwood Coloring Book sold out in June and a second printing is nearly sold out. There will be one more printing before the next edition of Wynwood Coloring Book comes out featuring a new set of street artists. About 5,000 copies have been sold so far.

Orlandini also has plans to expand beyond Wynwood: “We are now embarking on the next bigger, larger project: A coloring book featuring over 100 artists around the country and a buy-one, give-one initiative that will come with it. For every book sold, we will place a textbook in the hands of schoolchildren in the developing world.”

Orlandini said he is working on a prototype for the national book now and will put out a call to artists in January.

Founded: 2015 (first book in 2016)

Management team: Diego Orlandini

Website: wynwoodcoloringbook.com

Financing: $5,000 via a successfully funded Kickstarter campaign. Hoping to raise $50,000 for a national project.

Recent milestones reached: The Wynwood Coloring Book is now available at Miami International Airport, Books & Books, several museum gift shops including PAMM, and top retailers in Wynwood, including The Wynwood Walls Shop, Glotman, Frangipani and Wynwood Letterpress. Faber-Castell approached the company and together they launched a Wynwood Coloring Book colored pencil set to accompany the book. The startup organized a coloring party at the Miami Book Fair that entertained hundreds of attendees, adults and children alike.

Biggest startup challenge: “Not having a mentor to guide me through the process was the biggest challenge,” Orlandini said. “I’m still looking for one!”

Next step: A coloring book with 100-plus artists and their street art from around the country and a buy one, give one program (for every book sold, the company will give a textbook to schoolchildren in the developing world). “Doing something like this has been a dream of mine since my college years,” he said.

Strategy for next step: With the rapid experience, important connections and growing audience as a result of The Wynwood Coloring Book, the company will implement the same lean process used to create this book, but at a much larger scale.

Follow Nancy Dahlberg on Twitter @ndahlberg.

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November 26, 2016

Cubans wake to global Castro news via free internet from Miami-based nonprofit Apretaste

ApretastelocoWithin hours of the death of Fidel Castro, Miami-based nonprofit Apretaste distributed within Cuba links to international news media about the world’s reaction.

Cubans awoke to learn the news through their phones, via Pizarra, a social network built specifically for the Cuban people that overcomes the connectivity issues on the island, said Apretaste founder Salvi Pascual.

Apretaste runs a platform out of Miami where any Cuban with a cell phone and email service can have access to any information on the internet. Shortcuts to international news sites such as cnnespanol and EFE were made available through Pizarra and Cubans immediately reacted by posting their feelings from within the island.

Posts came  with mixed feelings.  Some Cubans on the island posted hopeful messages such as "Esto es trascendental,se abre una nueva etapa quizas podremos empezar al fin a ver la luz" [translation: This is transcendental, a new era opens, maybe finally we will see the light] posted Apretaste user @yulie14. While others were honoring Castro's memory with words such as "Hoy Cuba esta de luto, el mundo tendra que inclinar su cabeza para ver el paso a la inmortalidad de Fidel." [translation: Today Cuba is in mourning, and the world will have to bow its head to view as Fidel steps into immortality] posted by Apretaste user @ynapn.

Salvi-pascual-HD“Giving a voice to the Cuban people and sharing it with the world is important to us at Apretaste, especially at a time like today when the world’s eyes are on Cuba,” said Pascual, a software developer and professor in Miami.  To learn more about what the Cuban people have to say about Fidel Castro and life in Cuba, and for a live feed of posts by Cubans via Pizarra, follow the @HeyCuba twitter page at https://twitter.com/HeyCuba.

Apretaste connects more than 40,000 people in Cuba to the web, via email, through technology designed and implemented in Miami by a community of open source software developers. Features include access to international news sites, Wikipedia, weather forecasts, Google maps and 30 more sites, all by email.

 

March 01, 2016

Got a great idea for transit & mobility? We need it! Here's your chance

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Traffic: It has to be one of Miami's top challenges, and an economic one too. I know that I spent almost an hour more of my workday than I needed to getting to and from an assignment yesterday in the middle of the day and my 12-mile commute home took 45 minutes. So here's an opportunity to have your ideas heard.
 
All are invited to contribute ideas to improve transit and mobility in Miami as part of a weeklong 100 Great Ideas campaign. It's easy to join in on Facebook here, or on Twitter with the hashtag #100greatideas. The ideas will be synthesized into a report and shared with public officials and community leaders.  Ten idea-sharers will be invited to a conversation with local decision makers.
 
Previous social media campaigns started by Rebecca Fishman-Lipsey of Radical Partners, a social innovation accelerator, looked for ideas to improve libraries and the airport and netted hundreds of ideas. In just a couple of days, this one has already gained considerable steam out of the gate and already looks like it will be the most fruitful one yet. Ideas include ways to improve the city's walkability and accessibility, incentivizing the use of public transit with perks from your workplace and prevalent wifi en-route and improving GPS tracking of buses and trolleys through apps.    
 
The New Tropic rounded up some of its favorites thus far: See them here.

January 17, 2016

What can you expect at WordCamp Feb. 19-21? Get the lowdown

Wordcamp

 

WordCamp Miami is back for another year on Feb. 19-21, with an expanded lineup of content, a Kids’ Workshop and more. Organizer David Bisset gives us the lowdown:

What WordCamps Are: WordCamps (wordcamp.org) are conferences that focuses on everything WordPress, which is open-source software that currently makes up 25% of the top million website of the web. Most weeks out of the year a WordCamp is happening somewhere in the world. From the United States to Europe, to places throughout Asia and Australia.

WordCamp Miami: WordCamp Miami has been an annual event in South Florida for the past 8 years. It’s grown from a 150 person event from its first year to over 770 attendees in 2015. The scope of the event has also grown in that time to not only include talks specifically on WordPress but also blogging, content creation, SEO, designing, marketing, and developer related topics. It’s been on of the longest running non-profit tech conferences in South Florida.

The 8th annual WordCamp Miami is happening next month - February 19-21 - at Florida International University. It has a full schedule lined up for everyone from those wanting to learn WordPress for the first time to those who are already skilled at developing with it.

 Here are some of the highlights:

* If you’ve never used WordPress and want to learn, a full-day workshop is available on Friday February 19th. The class is limited to 100 individuals so that the instructors can take you step by step from learning hosting basics to being able to customize a basic WordPress site of your own.

* If you are a freelancer (whether you use WordPress or not), there’s a full-day freelancer’s workshop on Friday February 19th.

Saturday and Sunday (February 20th and 21st) are full of talks ranging from how to improve your website’s SEO, security, and how to build an commerce site with WordPress. Sunday has a full track dedicated to business owners and agencies, along with a brand new “Learn JavaScript deeply” for developers.

* The conference is especially family-friendly this year with a Kid’s Workshop Sunday morning (where parents and kids ages 8-13 can learn to create their first blog), an arts/crafts/STEM class in the afternoon, and then a kid’s panel to end the day (in which the invite is still open if you want to nominate your child who blogs to come and speak). Kids are welcome to attend both days on the weekend, and are free to attend.

Outside of the knowledge provided by over 70 speakers from across South Florida and the rest of the world, WordCamp Miami has many knowledgable sponsors on hand if you want to talk to anyone face to face about website hosting and security. There is also “Happiness Bar” staffed over the weekend by knowledgable WordPress users if you have a question about your WordPress site or need advice about your next website.

Because this is a non-profit event, ticket prices are a low $35 for the weekend (plus a little more if you want to attend a workshop on Friday). Discounts for students and teachers available. The event usually sells out so you might want to pick up your tickets as soon as possible. Weekend tickets include food, swag, t-shirts and access to the after-party.

Tickets: 2016.miami.wordcamp.org/tickets

 

July 09, 2015

#Twitter opens #office in #Miami

Twitter is the latest Silicon Valley tech powerhouse to announce it is opening an office in Miami.

Twitter’s office, at 1395 Brickell Ave., opens with six employees but is expected to grow, said a spokswoman Thursday after the company announced the news on #DáleTwitterMiami. The local team will support large and mid-market sales, media partnerships, marketing Communications and brand strategy.

The Miami office will be lead by Guilherme Ribenboim, vice president of Twitter Latin America, with the help of Marco Botero, head of sales for Twitter Miami and Matt Drinkwater, head of agency relations. Ribenboim leads Twitter’s sales operation in Latin America as well as relations with sales partners that serve the needs of agencies and businesses in the region. Twitter, operating in Latin America since 2012, now has more than 100 employees distributed in offices in Brazil, Colombia, Mexico and now Miami.

Twitter, with $1.4 billion in revenue in 2014, joins Facebook, Google, Uber, Lyft, Square, Instacart, Postmates, Shyp and other Silicon Valley tech companies with offices in the Miami area.

June 20, 2015

Beyond selfies: Social Media Day South Florida returning June 28

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Did you know Miami is No. 3 in the world for selfies? Alex de Carvalho shared this Magic City claim to fame and other facts, figures and advice about social media -- in which a third of the world is now participating in -- at a recent talk he gave to the Miami Herald Media Company earlier this week.

Want more about the present and future of social media and how better to use it in your business? You’ll  have to go to Social Media Day South Florida on Sunday, June 28, with a full afternoon of talks planned, ending with a sunset cocktail hour. The event takes place from noon to 9 p.m. at the Hyatt Pier 66 in Fort Lauderdale.

Here’s more about the event from de Carvalho’s press release:

Popularized by Mashable, Social Media Day is an international celebration of digital media that attracts thousands to events around the world. Social Media Day South Florida was one of the first of these global meet-ups to take a conference-style approach. Attendees will learn from expert speakers on digital media trends, discover career opportunities and network with the region’s brightest digital media minds. 

Noted as one of the top Social Media Day events, the South Florida gathering is celebrating its fifth year.  “There is a groundswell of digital media activity and expertise in South Florida. This is not just a celebration of social media in South Florida; it is a valuable opportunity for learning, networking and recruitment,” said de Carvalho, Knight Innovator in Residence at FIU School of Journalism and Mass Communication and President of Social Media Club South Florida.

This year’s keynote address will be provided by Adam Boalt, CEO of LiveAnswer. Based out of Pipeline Brickell, LiveAnswer is one of South Florida’s fastest growing startups and a shining example of the region’s prowess in digital innovation.  While Boalt will be discussing the future of the digital media landscape, his company LiveAnswer also sees Social Media Day South Florida as a valuable opportunity for talent recruitment. “As South Florida grows its identity as a home for experts in social and digital technology and trends, Social Media Day South Florida is a platform to share our individual expertise while building our collective knowledge base,” said Boalt.

 For instance, LiveAnswer has partnered with Enrique Iglesias’ Atlantico Rum to develop a VIP experience centered on talent recruitment. Those who apply to become LiveAnswer’s newest “Marketing Rockstar” will gain two access passes to the Atlantico Rum VIP Suite during Social Media Day.

Other topics include branding (personal and company), SEO trends, tweeting responsibly, building a blogging network and getting the most from the various platforms. Presentations and panel discussion topics can be viewed here: www.smdaysf.com/agenda.

Social Media Day South Florida is co-organized by local social media leaders and influencers Blanca Stella Mejia and Karl Nybergh. The event is being sponsored by LiveAnswer, Lift Digital Media and Ford en Español.

Those looking to join the online conversation can do so here:

Twitter: @SMDAYSFL

Instagram: @SMDAYSFL 

Facebook: SMDAYSFL

For more information on Social Media Day South Florida and tickets, which cost $33 in advance or $48 at the door, visit www.smdaysf.com.

 

March 14, 2015

Q&A with Manny Ruiz, the man behind Hispanicize

Manny Ruiz founded Hispanicize in 2010, and has grown it into the largest gathering for U.S. Hispanics of its kind. The weeklong conference opens Monday in downtown Miami.

HispanicizeBy Nancy Dahlberg / ndahlberg@miamiherald.com


As Hispanicize opens Monday for its sixth annual weeklong event packed with workshops, speakers, awards and concerts all featuring U.S. Latinos, a lot of people may not know the unusual entrepreneurial journey of the man behind it all.

Hispanicize is the largest U.S. Hispanic social media and entertainment event of its kind, specializing in marketing, media, film and music, said its founder, Manny Ruiz. “What people really love about Hispanicize is that we are the one event that is laser-focused on the aspirations, opportunities and challenges of the U.S. Hispanic.”

Ruiz’s father was an early Cuban exile and his mother is a second-generation Cuban American: “I was born and raised in Little Havana and Hialeah, as blue collar as you can get. … My family didn’t have much in Cuba and they didn’t have anything in Miami either, [but] their work ethic has stayed with me … and kept me grounded.”

Today, Ruiz, 45, is the chairman and founder of the Hispanicize brand of platforms that include the annual Hispanicize event, the Latina Mom Bloggers network, Being Latino, Hispanicize Wire and the Hispanic PR Blog.

Before building his current grouping of media properties, Ruiz founded, led and sold Hispanic PR Wire for $5.5 million in 2008. In thinking about what his next project would be, he was inspired by South by Southwest, the big annual music, film and entrepreneurship event in Austin, Texas. The first Hispanicize was in 2010.

But here are some things you may not know about Ruiz. He almost flunked his senior year at Miami Southwest Senior High — twice.

“The shocking part of my second senior year was that despite a horrible academic record — I was 10 spots away from graduating last of my second senior year class — my high school principal believed in my investigative journalism work on the school newspaper so much she nominated me to be our high school’s [Miami Herald] Silver Knight representative for journalism,” Ruiz said.

Ruiz said he was moved to pursue journalism — he was affectionately known as “Geraldo“ in high school — after his middle school experience attending a corrupt and drug-ridden private school, Miami Aerospace Academy. It was ultimately the power of the press that got the place shut down, he said.

He then stoked that journalistic passion at Miami Southwest and later at Miami Dade College, which will install him next month in the MDC Alumni Hall of Fame, and at the Miami Herald before transitioning into marketing, online media and entrepreneurship.

The Miami Herald talked with Ruiz about his unusual entrepreneurial journey and plans for the 2015 Hispanicize, which opens Monday at the InterContinental Miami with an expected record attendance of more than 2,000. Here are excerpts of the conversation:

Continue reading "Q&A with Manny Ruiz, the man behind Hispanicize" »

November 26, 2014

3 reasons to invest in Latin American mobile content

By Joe Kutchera

It is no surprise that media experts forecast that mobile will overtake web traffic, because, well, it already has in the developed world. To get an overview of that trend, take a look at Benedict Evans’ excellent presentation from the WSJD conference: Mobile is Eating the World. As a partner at Andreessen Horowitz, his research led him to discover that we will have two to three times more smartphones than PC’s globally by the year 2020 and that Facebook already earns more in advertising from visitors to its mobile platform that to its website.

The implications from this sea change in media consumption are, of course, enormous, but probably even more so for emerging markets like those in Latin America. That’s why I’m excited to attend and present at the 2014 M2Content & Apps LATAM Conference in Miami on December 2 and discuss “Monetizing Social Media” as well as share the story of how Flipboard launched its U.S. Latino content guide.

Here are three reasons to invest in Latin American mobile content:

One, Latin America will “leapfrog” the U.S. and other “developed” markets in adopting mobile technologies and content.

“Last year [in 2013] at this time, El Nuevo Día in Puerto Rico was getting 30 percent of its digital traffic from mobile devices, with the remaining 70 percent coming from the desktop. This year [in 2014] according to deputy general director Benjamín Morales Melendez, those numbers have reversed. They get 70 percent of their traffic from mobile devices. It switched in less than 12 months.”

Craig Silverman, an award-winning journalist and Adjunct Faculty at The Poynter Institute, recently shared this story in his article “3 lessons in mobile, social and viral from Latin American newspapers,” about attending and presenting at GDA’s (Grupo de Diarios América) annual conference for journalists. Read his full article here.

Two, LatAm is currently the world’s fastest growing mobile ad market.

LatAm is uniquely placed to ‘leapfrog’ the US and Europe in not only innovation but also in total advertising spending. In addition, smartphone population will surpass Internet population in 2017, with around 240 million users across the region. Yet, in 2012, the region only accounted for 0.6% of global mobile adspend. So, in the years ahead, advertisers will need to start thinking “mobile first” and create “made for mobile” content and advertising formats.

For more details, take a look at this presentation from Telefónica:

Mobile Advertising in LatAm; The Myths, The Facts and the Future from Telefónica's digital services.

 Three, LatAm leads the world in time spent on social media.

“5 of the top 10 most engaged markets with social content worldwide are located in Latin America,” according to digital market research firm comScore. In addition, its recent report shows that “consumers in Latin America spent 10 hours online per month on Social Networking sites, doubling the global average time spent.”

The Wall Street Journal concurs, reporting that Brazil is “The Social Media Capital of the Universe,” reporting that, “By the end of 2012, Brazil was also the biggest market outside the U.S. by number of unique visitors for YouTube, and one of YouTube’s top five markets by revenue.”

More recently, eMarketer reported that Latin American countries are among the fastest-growing Twitter markets worldwide, showing that “Emerging markets around the world are driving growth for Twitter, according to eMarketer’s forecast of worldwide usage of the microblogging service. And while the two fastest-growing markets worldwide this year—Indonesia and India—are in Asia-Pacific, the rest of the top five are in Latin America.”

Joe Kutchera is the head of Latin American and US Latino partnerships for Flipboard and helped launch both its US Latino and Latam content guides for the mobile application, which has over 100 million active users. Joe is the author of two books and writes for Fox News Latino, The Huffington Post and MediaPost. He will be speaking at 2014 M2Content & Apps LATAM Conference, Dec. 2-4, 2014 in Wynwood, at The Light Box at Goldman Warehouse.

November 23, 2014

Digital marketing firm Nobox flexes ‘social muscle,’ goes all-in on Latin America

 

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By Nancy Dahlberg / ndahlberg@miamiherald.com / Photos by Charles Trainor Jr.

NOBOX1100FOUNDERS CTJ (2)In the rapidly changing world of social media marketing, simply collecting “likes” on a company Facebook page is so yesterday.

Today social marketing is about combining social science, technology and media in creative ways to create messaging on multiple platforms that resonates with consumers so deeply they are moved to share.

Nobox, a Miami-based technology company and digital marketing agency, calls it “social muscle,” a strategy the company embraced about three years when Nobox pivoted its entire focus to human-to-human marketing through social media.

“It was a big move because back then social marketing was in its infancy, but we knew the future of marketing was in social,” said Jayson Fittipaldi, president and chief creative officer of Nobox, who co-founded the company with Carlos García. “Social is the center is of everything we do.”

Nobox was founded nearly 14 years ago in Puerto Rico and moved to Miami in 2004. Since its transformation into a social-media-focused marketing company by early 2012, Nobox has grown to 37 employees, has operations in Sao Paulo, San Francisco and New York as well as its Miami Midtown base and has grown its annual revenue fivefold to about $10 million. With a focus on consumer technology, travel and Latin America, Nobox has attracted marquee clients such as Sony PlayStation, Netflix, Samsung and Marriott.

“The way we have been able to fivefold revenue is we have focused on what we know best,” said Carlos García, Nobox’s CEO. “We consider ourselves to be marketing hackers. Our client base is looking to execute their marketing in Latin America. “

Continue reading "Digital marketing firm Nobox flexes ‘social muscle,’ goes all-in on Latin America" »

November 20, 2014

Give Miami Day's goal: $5 million to make the community better

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The Miami Foundation staff cheers after reaching a milestone last year.

We interrupt our regularly scheduled programming for this important message: Give to your favorite nonprofit today.

By Carli Teproff / cteproff@maimiherald.com

Nearly 16 years ago, Keri Brooke Heiken lost her life in a horrific car accident as she and four friends headed back to the University of Florida after spending a weekend in South Florida.

Since her death in 1998, her family has worked to keep Keri’s memory alive by giving $2,500 scholarships to high school seniors who have helped the community and want to make a difference in the world.

This year, the Keri Brooke Heiken Foundation, which in the past has held dinner and raffle fundraisers, is reaching out for donations in a new way.

It has joined The Miami Foundation’s Give Miami Day — a 24-hour period in which donations can be made online to more than 500 charities. The blitz begins 12:01 a.m. Thursday and runs for 24 hours.

“It’s an opportunity to reach a lot more people,” said Keri’s mother, Lori Heiken. “We have been working hard to spread the word.”

Give Miami Day, now in its third year, has gained popularity with each campaign, with more and more charities coming on board. This year, Give Miami will include 115 new charities — among them Goodwill Industries, the South Beach Chamber Ensemble, the South Florida SPCA Horse Rescue and Honor Flight South Florida.

Miami Foundation CEO Javier Alberto Soto said the momentum has been incredible. This year the foundation, a philanthropy incubator that helps charities with their fundraising, has even planned a block party from 6 to 9 p.m. in the West Plaza of the Miami Marlins’ stadium in Little Havana to give people a chance to mingle.

“I think we have created an event people look forward to each year to make our community better,” Soto said. “It’s about civic pride.”

And the pride has been contagious.

Returning charities including Miami Lighthouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired Inc., Miami Herald Charities — which benefits the Wish Book project — and Shake-A-Leg Miami have been blasting the message through Facebook and through other social media platforms.

The Arsht Center, which is raising money for its Arts Education programs, has planned Dance Party on the Plaza to spotlight Give Miami Day and has encouraged the staff effort to raise money. Others including Heiken will hold an open house to thank supporters.

The way it works is simple: People can visit givemiamiday.org, look at the profiles of each charity and make a donation. Donations between $25 and $10,000 will qualify for a bonus for the recipient, distributed based on how much is raised and how much is collected in the bonus pool. The Miami Foundation, Knight Foundation and other sponsors have contributed as an “incentive” for giving, Soto said.

There are also about 20 prizes throughout the giving period to boost donations. The gifts include the $1,500 Early Bird Gets the Worm prize for the organization that receives the most individual gifts from midnight to 1:30 a.m., the $500 Good Morning, Sunshine prize for the organization that receives the gift made closest to the official sunrise at 6:43 a.m., and the $500 Giancarlo Stanton Home Run prize for the organization that receives the gift made closest to 1:54 p.m. celebrating the Miami Marlins all-time career home run leader.

Last year, Give Miami Day received more than 10,000 individual gifts and raised $3.2 million to support 407 local nonprofit organizations. The Greater Miami Jewish Federation topped the leader board with $207,362.

Soto said the goal is to continue to have an “impact on South Florida.”

“There are a lot of charities doing a lot of great things and we want to recognize that.”

To Donate

What: The Miami Foundation’s Give Miami Day

When: Thursday through Friday

How: Visit givemiamiday.org and either click on the charity of your choice or search through the database. Donations between $25 and $10,000 qualify for a percentage of the bonus pool.

Social media: @MiamiFoundation on Twitter and Instagram and #givemiamiday.

For more information: givemiamiday.org.