According to this msnbc.com article of Jan. 21, over $30 million has been raised for Haitian relief efforts from text donations alone. The article links to "Technology easing the path to charity," a video segment from the Rachel Maddow Show featuring the founder of Mobile Accord's mGive, a for-profit company that processes most of the text donations. Text giving was novel to me, but obviously not to everyone, as this donation method has been around since the 2004 Tsunami—that's a long time in tech years!
One could argue that mobile texting doesn’t really fall under the realm of social media. However, nonprofits who were paying attention could see that the success of the text donation campaigns could not have been possible without the social networking element. People don’t just donate; they also want to tell everyone they donated and to solicit more donations from their friends and families.
Social networks are the newest trend in nonprofit fundraising. Causes, Facebook's largest application, reaches over 30 million active users and boasts donations of over $20 million to 35,000 causes since its launch in May of 2007. My recent search for causes including the word “
In 2007, and again in 2009, Causes took part in
I have a new appreciation for social networking tools, after reading so many heartwarming stories of individuals and small groups who are trying--and succeeding--in making a difference. For the record, I still think updates and tweets are ridiculously self-serving; but, it’s nice to connect with kindred souls who are all trying to make this world just a little bit better.