Monday, March 23, 2009

What does "Social Media For Social Good" Mean?

Photo copyright 2009 Brian Powell

Interesting dialogue about the difference between use of social media for charity fundraising vs. social media for deeper engagement and social change started by Beth Kanter on her blog "How Non-Profits Can Use Social Media" after her panel discussion at SXSW (South by Southwest) last week in Austin.

Here's my take that I posted in response:

Yes there probably is a distinction between fundraising and engagement that should be articulated whenever the term "social media for social good" is used. As for which one is better or more appropriate, I instead subscribe to the use of many tactics holistically woven together to tell an impactful story in a integrated marketing approach. However what I find most interesting in all this is the fervor of debate about this and similar topics within the cause marketing/non-profit marketing/social justice camps. If more NPOs, NGOs and other like minded organizations and individuals would start collaborating more instead of fighting over the same donors, corporate partners, and yes, terminology, we all could accomplish a lot more.

Sadly it seems at times we're more passionate about arguing abut the authenticity of a cause campaign, the legitimacy of a "new" proprietary methodology, the publishing of research, or the ownership of ideas – than actually using our gifts and talents to make a difference.

And to me that is the ultimate promise of social media in the social space. Enabling “bonds without borders” for impactful connections and sharing of ideals AND ideas.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

One click can feed 140 Hungry Kids

Most of us have used the Internet to make a donation. And many have responded to a run/walk/ride type fundraiser invitation for support by a friend or family-member. Now Social Media applications such as Facebook and twitter for cause marketing have begun to take off. Though well intentioned, sometimes cause related websites can be heavy on the emotions and heavy on the content. Feeding you statistic after statistic and picture after picture but not providing a quick and easy way to take action. Or at least not a quick and easy way to take action other than donate money.

Enter Pledge To End Hunger in support of Share Our Strength a nonprofit focused on children's hunger. Sponsored by Tyson Foods and Kimball Office and produced by MediaSauce and powered by Kompolt, the beauty lies in it's clarity, simplicity, and achievable goal.

1 in 6 children in America are hungry. By simply visiting the site right now and pledging to either spread the news, volunteer, or give money, you help reach the goal of at least 1,000 pledges. Once the 1,000th pledge is made, Tyson will donate enough food to feed 140 children to a food bank in Austin, TX for EVERY pledge.