Welcome to Charity Event 2.0, the Social Media Smackdown for Charity brings together worthy nonprofits, celebrities, and social media influences to have some fun raising money for nine nonprofits, including Share Our Strength, Stand Up To Cancer, and Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Each of the nine teams which includes a sponsor, celebrity or social media influencer and a nonprofit organization, is tasked with leveraging social media tools to raise money for their designated charity between March 16 and March 26th.
I'm on the Share Our Strength team. Share Our Strength is the leading national nonprofit organization working to make sure no kid in America grows up hungry. They weave together a net of community groups, activists and food programs to catch children at risk of hunger and ensure they have nutritious food where they live, learn and play. More than 12.4 million children in America—that’s one in six—are at risk of hunger, and that number is growing. With a record 31.8 million Americans on food stamps and more American families with children facing hunger for the first time, Share Our Strength’s work is more important than ever.
One thing you should note about this event is that it is being described as a charity event, not one that is attempting to make systemic social change. I recently came back from SXSW where I spoke on a panel called "Social Media for Social Good." There was a firestorm of a debate amongst people who are passionate about and work in this field asking, "What is distinction between social media for charity and social change?" Social change activists and nonprofit social media strategists are discussing ways to clearly define these types of activities.
This social media smackdown for charity event is the latest in the social media for charity genre launched in 2009. Christine Adoff, who writes on the Social Media Club of South Florida blog, describes those raised since the beginning of year:
Vancouver’s TweetupHeatup launched back in December, a few Twitter users in Vancouver, Canada decided to have a tweetup with a cause and with each bringing a few sweaters to hand out to their local homeless community, they spent a snowy Sunday afternoon getting to know their online friends while handing out warm clothing to people in need.Launched on
January 1st of this year, the 12for12k Challenge is using social media to support a different charity by raising $12,000 dollars each month for the entire year. Their website sums up the campaign nicely: The 12 for 12,000 Challenge is the combination of social media and fund-raising that aims to change the lives of millions worldwide.
On February 12, 2009 over 200 cities around the world, including Miami, participated in the Twestival event for charity: water. The Twestival (Twitter + Festival) used the micro-blogging platform Twitter to spread the word, set up city teams, get sponsors and partners and raise money. This global event started by a team in London, UK and organized in just a few short weeks, raised $250,000 for charity: water to bring clean, safe drinking water to developing nations.
March began with this month’s Pledge to End Hunger campaign, collaboratively launched by Tyson Foods, Share Our Strength, Hum. Minds at Work., Kompolt, and MediaSauce. This campaign is using social media to help end childhood hunger in the United States by offering people three ways to participate: give money, volunteer time or share the cause online. So far, 4114 people have pledged to participate, 140,000 lbs of food has been donated and 560,000 meals have been delivered.
Beth Kanter, BlogHer CE for Nonprofits, writes Beth's Blog
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