New i’m Initiative campaign to begin: 30 days of non-stop email and IM

Microsoft has been having some good success with the (US only) i’m Initiative, having raised $1.5 million for charities, and at the same time pushing new downloads of Windows Live Messenger (and more recently, Hotmail sign-ups):

New customer acquisition: More than 20 million downloads of Windows Live Messenger have been attributed to the i’m campaign itself.  The i’m Initiative’s expansion to Windows Live Hotmail happened in May 2008; therefore, Hotmail download figures are not yet available.

In this new, and 3rd, campaign for the initiative, which makes donations to charities if users include a marker in their Windows Live Messenger user name, plans to follow the fictional attempt by one Parker Whittle as he tries to stay awake for 30 days.


“Parker”s Hotmail/Msgr address is [email protected], and he’s apparently quite a Web 2.0 guy, with a Flickr account, a LinkedIn account, and he’s even on Twitter (so are we, by the way)

I talked to Tara Kriese, Senior Product Marketing Manager for Windows Live this morning, about the new campaign  and the i’m Initiative, which has been a success for both Windows Live and for the charities it supports.  The charities are getting a nice steady source of revenue for a demographic that is difficult for them to reach via their normal channels, according to Kriese, and Microsoft gains by having the charities actively encourage the use of Messenger and now Hotmail. 

You can check out the Parker Whittle promotion at

Here’s a list of the charities involved, with links to their promotional pages for the i’m Initiative:

More information on the i’m Initiative is at