The IT Beards initiative is an online photo contest with voting, which helps raise funds for and support the fight against prostate cancer as well as provoke a dialogue for men's health. IT Beards is inspired by the concept of the international campaign No Shave November and was first launched in 2018 at the suggestion of Scalefocus employees, at first inviting only the professionals inside the company to stop shaving for a month and thus financially support a cause of a foundation. In 2020, IT Beards opened the initiative beyond Scalefocus and welcomed specialists from other IT companies to the bearded competition, contributing to the wider popularization of the initiative and the cause of the “Win Over Cancer” Foundation Cancercare.bg.
Project Target Group
The IT Beards campaign is focused on people of all ages and genders when it comes to benefactors and men from the IT community when it comes to participants. The initiative brings together the people in one of the youngest industries, where it is crucial to provoke a dialogue among young men regarding health issues as well as to address the issue of prevention early on. This increases the popularity of the topic of men's health among the most important target group.
In 2020, the IT Beards initiative was conducted for the third consecutive year. Each year, the campaign continues during the whole month of November. Every participant registers on the IT Beards platform and uploads their first photo, which is updated each following week with a new selfie, to show the progress of the beard.
The mission of IT Beards is to support the fight against prostate cancer and to provoke dialogue to protect men's health. Participants upload their photos to the special platform, where they can choose between 2 categories - Fresh Start, for men who now start growing their beard, or Already Stylish, for those who already have one. In the final race of the campaign, a "battle" for points is formed, and voting is done by purchasing points on the platform. Each vote is a donation - a direct amount of funds going to the cause. Other IT companies joined as partners in 2020 and specialists from the teams of Bosch.IO, Dynamo Software, IBS, Bulpros, TSD Services, Infragistics Bulgaria LLC and more, entered the competition. The unification of the IT industry in this project also gives a clear signal to the NGO sector that the people in the field are deeply committed to providing both financial assistance and technical support and to the continuous pursuit of digital transformation.
As a result of the campaign, 5,000 BGN were raised in donations. Тhe funding will be used for an information and prevention campaign for prostate cancer in some of the major cities in the country in 2021. Through IT Beards, the IT community was able to promote the charity cause of the “Win Over Cancer” Foundation (Cancercare.bg) and unite various IT companies around a common goal of social responsibility.