The dynamic shift of power and availability of information is one of the greatest impacts the Internet and social media have had on society. In many cases this information has created unprecedented transparency into otherwise opaque situations and topics. An unexpected result of this transparency is something that is inherent in human nature – sympathy.
When coupled with passion, sympathy has created an entirely new and massive space for viral philanthropy which represents enormous potential for causes.
Viral philanthropy in action
Take for example the recent story of the bullied bus monitor Karen Klein. A video of the abuse she took from four youngsters was posted to YouTube and shortly thereafter a wave of compassion and online fury popped up everywhere. One of her supporters from Canada set up a $5,000 vacation fund for her on IndieGoGo, a global funding platform for creative projects. That fund went on to raise $682,476 as of this post.
Another recent story circulated on Facebook about a theft of high priced bicycles from a triathlon coach’s garage in Texas. The original post by Todd Codish and his wife on Facebook was shared with their community and a group on Facebook. It activated support from all over the country and a sharp netizen who noticed suspicious listings on Craigslist lead them to retrieve the stolen items shortly thereafter.
It’s not just bottom-up action
It is a fact that some of the most successful campaigns launched on social media have been cause related including campaigns by industry titans such as Starbucks, Ford, and Jack-in-the-Box.
Getting behind a cause on social media is a compelling reason to share posts and updates with your entire friend list or all your connections. The process is magnified when repeated by your connections to their own lists and so on. The numbers are staggering.
The same reach has also created a variety of crowdfunding sites such as KickStarter, Kiva, and IndieGoGo. Cause marketing on the internet and social media is the easiest way to get huge and highly targeted exposure to a gigantic audience.
Activating wide support for your cause using social media is a powerful way for your organization to realize its true potential. Whether a nationally recognized non-profit or a local grass-roots campaign, knowing how to leverage the power of the crowd is a critical requirement.
Aericon is a leading digital marketing and communications firm. We have helped a number of causes develop highly successful online strategies and social media plans. We are offering a complimentary social media assessment to qualified organizations to help you activate support for your cause. Sign-up today to make Q4 of 2012 your most successful fundraising period to date!
“Did you know that the Pinterest style design is more addictive than sex?” – last weeks blog