Thanks to everyone for your support this year! (Don’t forget to follow @Socialbrite on Twitter!) We’re now working with a number of nonprofits and educational outfits — TechSoup Global and Scholastic, to name two — and looking forward to helping others with their social media needs in the months ahead. Continue reading →
Lately I’ve been noticing a social media spin on making charitable donations in your community, region or state.
Here are three recent examples.
I Live Here, I Give Here
The site I Live Here, I Give Here is designed to draw attention to giving to local nonprofits in Austin, Texas. According to the site:
“Austin is no doubt a caring community. But we don’t act on our values by giving more to charitable organizations. National studies consistently find that Austinites give far less to charitable causes than people in other cities. In fact, Austin is ranked 48th out of the 50 largest cities in the nation in per capita giving.”
The mission of the I Live Here, I Give Here campaign is to change that. The partners are a mix of local foundations and corporations. The site lists local nonprofits and links to a donation page.
GiveMN is a new online resource that hopes to encourage more Minnesotans to give and help create a stronger nonprofit community for Minnesota. It is designed for both individuals and organizations. Individuals can browse the site and find local nonprofits and make a donation online. Or, if they want, they can launch their own fundraiser for an organization. For nonprofits, GiveMN offers simple, secure tools to achieve their goals. The site is powered by Razoo, a giving platform. Continue reading →
Causeitsmybirthday.com raises $16,000, effort continues through Saturday
Socialbrite’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.)
Note from Beth Kanter: Last week, I wrote a reflection on a CNET article called “Crowded Roads Ahead for Charity 2.0,” musing about the solution. A number folks offers some insights in the comments or on Twitter, including Amanda. I invited her to share her thoughts about cause fatigue and scaling as she launches Twestival Local.
Cause fatigue is something I think about daily; particularly going into our second Twestival in September. I’ve felt a huge mix of pressure and enthusiasm to launch another one from previous organizers and cities who missed it the first time around. I didn’t feel like the Twitter community could handle another cause infused global campaign on the scale of Twestival so soon. My gut told me to think locally and use this international momentum and inspire people to shine a spotlight on a local cause, or a cause that a community would get behind. Where Twestival Global focused all of its energy on one cause, on one day; Twestival Local, taking place the weekend of 10-13 September 2009, has the potential to impact hundreds of causes.
Volunteers around the world feel empowered when asked to use their skills, not only to bring people together at an event, but contribute to something positive. Continue reading →
CNET’s Caroline McCarthy published an article called “Crowded Roads Ahead for Charity 2.0” based on an interview with Toby Daniels of Think Social and Scott Harrison of charity:water reflecting on how the landscape has changed for fundraising on social networks. (Disclaimer: I am on an advisory group for Think Social and I’m a huge fan of Scott Harrison, Twestival, and charity:water)
There’s great fodder for discussion from the ideas in the article.
Toby Daniels and Scott Harrison raised important questions about whether the approach used for Twestival back in Feburary 2009 — described as part fundraiser, party publicity blitz — is sustainable given the dramatic growth of Twitter and other social media outlets like Facebook. The article points out that many, many more organizations and individuals are using social networks to spread the word about their fundraising efforts and solicit donations from friends and this could lead to cause fatigue (as was discussed a few months ago on Social Edge).
As the Web is flooded with more and more charity initiatives, both large, well-established ones and new nonprofits created specifically with harnessing social media in mind, problems can arise. At best, donations could be spread too thin, rendering many organizations less effective.
Of more concern is the fact that the influx of charities and nonprofits to platforms like Facebook and Twitter could result in noise, congestion, and outright apathy. Spreading awareness of a good cause grows difficult when that good cause starts to seem like spam. If one tweet after another is seeking donations, people might just get fed up.
Did you know that this is the first Global Geek Week (Aug. 2-8)? It’s a way to promote the use of social media for the social good — which also happens to be identical to the mission of Socialbrite.org.
On Twitter, go to the hashtag #geeks4good to see conversations around the topic. The new GlobalGeekWeek site showcases “an entire week dedicated to all that is Geek & giving back!” One cool feature: a Twittervision interactive map that tracks posts about geeks4good from around the world (new version of Flash required, I think).
I caught up with Shira Lazar, the TV/Web personality/journalist and founder of the Society for Geek Advancement, in LA to talk about Global Geek Week and how it fits into the Summer of Social Good (also at sosg.org), which runs through Aug. 28. (And here’s Adam Hirsch of Mashable’s post on Global Geek Week.) Shira has been working with Mashable in raising awareness about charitable causes and how social media can be used for the social good.
“We’re encouraging the geek community around the globe to come together for social good,” she says.
Specifically, you can donate $20 (or more or less) to four worthy charities: Oxfam America to fight hunger, WWF to protect the environment, the Humane Society to protect animals and Livestrong to fight cancer.
And don’t forget about the weeklong YouTube video competition. Just talk about what you’re doing to support a social cause (or how you’d like to help) by submitting your geek-inspired video to the Global Geek Week YouTube Group by midnight PT Thursday. The winner will get two round-trip tickets to anywhere Virgin America flies, with free wi-fi. The judges — Guy Kawasaki, Shira Lazar, Hank Green of Vlogbrothers, Marina Orlova of TooHotForWords, puzzle champion Wei-Hwa Huang and Lisa Donovan aka LisaNova — will pick and announce the winners at noon Friday.