Pepsi Refresh Project

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The Pepsi Refresh Project (PRP) was a 2010 initiative by PepsiCo to award $20 million in grants to individuals, businesses and non-profits that promote a new idea that has a positive impact on their community, state, or the nation. The project is completely separate from the Pepsi Corporate Foundation and uses money budgeted for marketing.[1]

In early 2012, Pepsi abandoned the Refresh Project. One opinion is due to declining market share and falling to third place behind Coke and Diet Coke. [2]


The PRP began on January 13, 2010 when the website, began accepting ideas online. In contrast to the extensive requirements of Federal and Philanthropic organizations, the application process did not require skill in grant writing. The rules of the project state that the first 1,000 ideas proposed online each month will be considered for a share of $1.3 million available[3] It took less than a week for one thousand "January" ideas to be submitted and the site stopped accepting ideas.

Voting started February 1, 2010 for the group of ideas proposed during January. On March 1, the first grants were announced[4] in six categories: Health, Arts & Culture, Food & Shelter, the Planet, Neighborhoods and Education.[4]

Up to 32 ideas may be selected every month in each of the following grant segments: $5K; $25K; $50K; and $250k. Individuals, non-profits, and socially beneficial businesses are eligible to compete in all categories.

In September 2010, the Pepsi Refresh Project was criticized for allowing a coalition of progressive, nonprofit organizations called the 'Progressive Slate' to participate in the project, accusing the company of violating its own terms. [5]

Power votes[edit]

Codes printed on Pepsi sodas can be redeemed for "power votes",[6] in a way a hybrid of a loyalty program and crowd funding.


Prior to Super Bowl XLIV, the National Football League website hosted a one-week Pepsi Refresh Project contest for ideas suggested by NFL players. Drew Brees was the winner of the "Super Bowl Refresh Project" with more than half a million votes. A $100,000 grant was given to the Hope Lodge in New Orleans for no-cost housing of cancer patients and families.[7]

Gulf disaster[edit]

In response to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, on July 12, 2010 a special competition was announced within the PRP: Do Good for the Gulf. An additional $1.3 million was committed to projects for communities in Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas which were adversely affected by the disaster.[8] The application period was a full month, the response was overwhelming, and 32 projects were funded with grants,[9] which ranged from providing mental health services for oil disaster victims, to building seafood farms to help employ displaced workers, to creating shelters for animals that lost their homes.[10]


External links[edit]