Anyone Can Change the World: In the Spirit of Thanksgiving, let’s discuss Socially Conscious Social Networking

 

In the spirit of the holidays, I want to shed some light on how people are “giving” and “receiving” in non-traditional ways.

 

For example, Facebook Causes “was founded on the belief that in a healthy society, anyone can participate in change by informing and inspiring others.” Facebook Causes offers multiple causes to support, including animals, arts and culture, education, environment, health and human services, international issues, public advocacy and religion. Within these, there are a vast number of charities and organizations that are eager to raise awareness or funds (or both).

 

As a teenager, Dr. Eric L. Ding overcame a personal battle with a baseball-sized tumor. He not only survived, but dedicated his life to the study of preventive medicine and public health. Now using Facebook Causes to fight cancer, he founded the Campaign for Cancer Prevention, which has raised more than $240,000 in public donations and has grown into a global movement of more than 5 million members. This cause has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, The New York Times and on 40 million bags of Doritos chips.

 

Also using Facebook Causes, Ben & Jerry’s launched the “Yes Pecan Campaign,” on behalf of the nonpartisan, nonprofit advocacy organizationCommon Cause. The campaign delivered solid results for both parties. Common Cause gained 22,000 members who generated 2 million news feed stories and sent 150,000 personal invitations. Ben & Jerry’s gained 33,000 new fans to its Facebook Page, which saw 15 million impressions.

 

Aflac has raised more than $1.16 million for the Aflac Cancer Center and Blood Disorders Service of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta through a matching grant campaign with Facebook Causes. This also resulted in more than 1.2 million members joining the Aflac Cancer Center Cause to help generate awareness and financial support.

 

These examples show how businesses can partner with existing applications to raise funds on behalf of causes, while at the same time promoting their brands.

 

Beyond Facebook Causes, there are other alternatives when it comes to social activism and fundraising:

 

Razoo – With almost $24 million raised, Razoo offers a powerful platform for non-profits. Fundraising fees are paid for by Razoo, so 100% of donations are passed through.

 

Firstgiving – FirstGiving helps 501c3 nonprofit organizations plan, execute and measure online fundraising campaigns and empowers individuals to raise money online for thousands of causes.

 

Change.org – Change.org provides daily coverage of breaking social action campaigns, connecting people to opportunities to get involved. It also provides free tools that allow anyone to run their own campaigns.

 

Twitpay – Twitpay is a Twitter-based solution for nonprofits. It does charge a percentage of the donations actually paid, including a small per transaction fee. However, it focuses on the viral nature of Twitter, creating donations based on re-tweets – and of course, re-tweets equate to more visibility.

 

Crowdrise – This platform works for both charities and fundraisers. Crowdrise aims to make raising money for a cause not just easy, but also fun. Setting up a page takes just a few minutes. Then, friends and family can be invited to be sponsors by donating any amount of money, large or small.

 

ChipIn – ChipIn’s mission is to make it easy to collect money. It allows a non-profit to have complete control of funding via PayPal.

 

Ammado – Based in Ireland, Ammado’s big differentiator is its international reach, with more than 30 currencies accepted. Non-profits have to become an Ammado member to receive donations, and Ammado generally charges a fee from donations received.

 

Whether you want to save the whales or support a nonprofit addressing human rights, there are many options. Anyone can change the world. How will you?