28 November 2008

Redefine Christmas – Social Media Meets Charitable Giving

Charitable giving is no doubt a natural target for social media. I've blogged about this before with regards to the Obama campaign, the American Express Members Project, and the San Diego Zoo.

As budgets tighten this season, why not experiment with philanthropic presents? Of course, I can't imagine parents foregoing toys for charity, but for those people who exchange presents with close friends, colleagues and extended family, giving the gift of good is certainly easier than before.

For example, The Point allows anyone to start or join a campaign that asks for people to donate money or take action as a group. The Point focuses on enabling people to act, influence and accomplish. Success stories include raising money to help someone rebuild her house after a fire. Campaigns don't have to be large.

By contrast, Network for Good is an online resource for people looking to donate to a good cause or volunteer. In addition, Network for Good provides services for registered non-profits, such as processing online donations, marketing email blasts, donor databases (through Salesforce.com) and "Nonprofit 911" fundraising training calls.

Last for this post, but not least, is Redefine Christmas, a site dedicated to funneling online charitable donations to JustGive.org and Changing the Present. It also allows users to request charitable gifts via e-cards. From Redefine Christmas:

It's about changing the way we look at gift giving and receiving. It's taking money we usually spend on obligatory gifts with little meaning, and creating gifts of charity that give in multiple ways, to the receiver, the giver, and people who truly need.

Obviously, giving gifts to charity isn't new. Enabling donations through technology and online is just the most convenient iteration of philanthropic campaigns building online communities. Will you join in this holiday season?

1 comment:

Cheryl said...

Hello, Jenna-

What a great post on a socially-conscious way to look at the holiday season! Thanks for the links to good resources.

I wanted to offer another resource to share with your readers. I work for UniversalGiving™ (UG), a San Francisco-based website designed to connect individuals to reputable charities they can donate to or volunteer with, all over the world. We have a rigorous Quality Model™, which all of our partner nonprofits must pass through to appear on the site, and we don't take any cut on donations. UG allows people to do something real to help the causes they're interested in, by allowing those who want to give a multitude of good choices for how to give.

As the holiday season approaches, we're offering gift packages for people who want to do good as a gift to others. Individuals are invited to select an issue they care about, choose a gift package, and UniversalGiving™ will notify their friend or family member of the gift made in their name.

If you'd like to find out more about us, our website is www.universalgiving.org, or you can visit our blog at www.philanthrobuzz.wordpress.com.

Thank you so much for your time and thank you again for an article with a great message for the holiday season.

Cheryl Mahoney