October 14, 2009

Blogworld Expo’s Cause/Activism track

Blogworld

JD LasicaI‘m flying to Las Vegas early Thursday to moderate a panel on social media tools for nonprofits at Blogworld Expo. I know a lot of the keynoters: Laura Fitton, Chris Brogan, Jeremiah Owyang, Brian Solis, Kara Swisher, Scott Monty, Jay Rosen, Leo Laporte, Guy Kawasaki — the list goes on.

This is the first year the Expo has added a Cause/Activism track geared toward nonprofits, and it’s a welcome addition. The track, organized by Casemedia Group and funded by eBay, aims to provide a forum for nonprofits and bloggers to learn more about how to use social media to spread awareness and raise funds.

eBay and PayPal are sponsoring a Charity Smackdown Arcade at the show, allowing 10 charities to attend the show for free and be featured in the Arcade. The top 10 voter getters were Alex’s Lemonade (2,817 votes), Best Friends Animal Society (2,652), Surfrider Foundation (2,189), Mothers Fighting For Others (2,063), Spirit Jump (1,658), LA’s Best (1,475), 3for5 Foundation (1,466), Stepwise (1,303 votes), Heifer International Portland (1,152) and Canine Companions for Independence (1,143).

Blogworld still hasn’t updated its (badly designed) schedule — even though the Expo starts tomorrow — so here are the latest details on the nonprofit track:

All cause sessions are on Thursday, Oct. 15, in the Las Vegas Convention Center’s eBay PayPal Pavilion, Room 219

Tools for Nonprofit Organizations

When: 11am to 12:15pm (time change)

Topic: What social tools are out there to help organizations raise awareness about social causes? How can we use those tools to generate support and raise money? What strategies should nonprofits use to recruit members, evangelize causes and advance their missions?

Panelists:

Judy Chang, Paypal
Justin Perkins, Care2
David Levy, SocialVibe
James Sutandyo, Causecast
Scott Henderson, Media Sauce
JD Lasica, Socialbrite.org, moderator Continue reading

October 13, 2009

Cause marketing with celebrities, social media

Marketing for charitable causes from JD Lasica on Vimeo.

JD LasicaThe smartest guy I know in the cause marketing space is Chris Noble, CEO of 8-year-old Kompolt. With the help of a grant from eBay, Chris’s team at Kompolt is organizing the nonprofit track Thursday at BlogWorld Expo in Las Vegas.

Some $6 billion was raised online in 2008 for charity and nonprofits — less than 5 percent of total US charitable giving. Chris thinks we’ll see that trend follow the same growth curve as ecommerce over the next 10 years, and as it does, cause marketing and cause campaigns will play an increasingly important role.

In this 13-minute video interview, Chris talks about the rapidly evolving field of cause marketing — working with companies to promote a social good. Major brands have begun backing charitable causes, and celebrities have as well. Now social media, and participation by online communities, is throwing an extra dimension into the mix.

Watch, embed or download the video on Vimeo. Some highlights:

• The first cause marketing campaign was by American Express in 1980s. A penny of each transaction was donated to renovating the Statue of Liberty.

• Social media is the latest wrinkle in cause marketing, enabling users to have a higher level of direct engagement with a brand. Continue reading

October 12, 2009

An inventive cause campaign to fight malaria

A cause campaign to fight malaria from JD Lasica on Vimeo.

Causeitsmybirthday.com raises $16,000, effort continues through Saturday

JD LasicaSocialbrite’s own Sloane Berrent has been a bit busy of late. Fresh off a three-month stay in the rural Philippines doing field work as a Kiva fellow, she and her friend Doug Campbell of Mindshare launched Causeitsmybirthday, a cause campaign with a wild premise: parties in seven major cities on seven consecutive nights to raise money for malaria nets for orphanages and refugee camps in northern Ghana.

Malaria kills 3,000 children a day. It has killed more people than all the wars in human history combined, causing 1 to 3 million deaths per year. And the tragedy is that the majority of those deaths could be prevented with simple actions such as putting up mosquito nets to ward off the malaria-carrying mosquitoes. (This YouTube video explains why nets are so effective in the battle against malaria.)

I’ve never seen an effort quite like this, but Sloane, who blogs at TheCausemopolitan, and Doug pulled it off, working with the small nonprofit Netting Nations to make sure that 100 percent of the charitable donations go toward malaria nets. As of today, they’ve raised more than $16,000 and, even though the seven-city tour is over, you can donate to the cause online through Saturday. (Use the PayPal widget at the left.)

Watch, embed or download the video on Vimeo
Watch the video in QuickTime H.264 on Ourmedia Continue reading

October 8, 2009

Giving Challenge: Tap your networks to support a cause

Challenge

Competition lets you win up to $50,000 for your favorite charity

JD LasicaYesterday the Case Foundation, Causes and Parade Publications kicked off the 2009 America’s Giving Challenge. It’s a 30-day nationwide online competition that encourages people to use their personal networks and social media to build cause communities that raise funds and recruit supporters for a nonprofit.

Nonprofits and individuals can get involved in two ways:

1. Champion a cause. Individuals who are passionate about a specific cause can become “cause champions” and will compete to obtain the most donations for their cause through the Causes application on Facebook.

2. Promote, donate or join a cause. All individuals are encouraged to take part in the Giving Challenge by joining, promoting and donating to the causes they care about. Facebook membership is not required to donate to a cause. Just go to Causes.com between now and Nov. 6 to win up to $50,000 for your favorite cause.

Today, for example, causes receiving the most votes so far include the National Inclusion Project, Angel Covers, FACE AIDS, Compassion International and Facilitating Leadership in Youth. I just donated to Think Autism. If you already support a cause on Facebook, opt in your existing cause.

The Case Foundation will award a total of $170,000 to the nonprofit beneficiaries of the causes. $50,000 goes to the cause with the most daily donations over the 30 days (you can donate as often as you’d like — say, as little as $10 — and each donation counts as a vote); second prize is $25,000. To keep people engaged, the sponsors are also awarding $1,000 each day to the cause with the most donations (not the most money raised); second prize is $500. Continue reading

September 29, 2009

YouthNoise: Helping young people network a cause

YouthNoise: Helping youths collaborate on causes from JD Lasica on Vimeo.

JD LasicaI‘ve long admired the folks behind YouthNoise, the global social network for social good developed for and by young people around the world. Based in San Francisco, YouthNoise offers a community dedicated to creating lasting positive change around the world, with the resources to build campaigns, amplify projects and kick off grassroots movements. The site offers a wide variety of tools, Web and mobile technologies and peer support that let members turn ideas into action in areas ranging from health to human rights, from education and the environment to poverty.

Think of it as a Change.org for young people, but with a somewhat deeper set of collaboration tools.

Above is an 8-minute interview with Ginger Thomson, who recently stepped down as CEO to take on an advisory role to cement a partnership between LinkTV and YouthNoise, among other things. Ginger has long been a leading figure in empowering Generation Y with the Web 2.0 and social media tools to advance social causes.

With traditional volunteer organizations constrained these days, Thomson says, the tendency of young people to take a do-it-yourself approach to volunteerism may prove especially fruitful, with youths diving in and raising money for the causes they believe in. “This is the DIY Generation,” she says, and young people today have become more entrepreneuria. While traditional volunteerism among Gen Y may have declined, many young people are creating projects around causes that they feel passionate about — with the help of YouthNoise and other sites.

“Alongside the DIY element they also want to bring their friends in, so that everybody’s doing things together,” Ginger says. The YouthNoise site contains social networking capabilities, fundraising tools and access to resources. See the site’s Toolkit Hall of Fame and its Raise It and Donate It Toolkit. Continue reading

August 6, 2009

How the National Wildlife Federation uses social media

National Wildlife Federation from JD Lasica on Vimeo.

JD LasicaRecently I had the chance to sit down with Danielle Brigida, social media outreach coordinator for the National Wildlife Federation, the enormously important nonprofit organization that inspires Americans to protect wildlife for our children’s future. They do that by combating global warming, protecting wildlife and wildlife habitats and connecting people with nature.

NWF (which is not a government agency, as some think) has been a leader in the use of social media over the past year, and a major reason for that has been Danielle’s work within the organization as well as outside, interacting with supporters and putting a human face on the institution.

“We have a new wave of members and donors coming in — people who want to get their hands dirty,” Danielle says in this 6-minute video interview conducted along a busy street in Berkeley, Calif. “Social media is a great way to start the conversation — and then you have to take it offline. You’re not having a big giant brand tell you what to do anymore. All of our members have a say in what we do.” Many of NWF’s program managers are using Twitter to connect with people and to use it as a sort of instant focus group.

Continue reading