This excellent summary of 24 different fundraising tools to help non-profits (and artists alike) raise support for their initiatives highlights a different use for social media than we usually discuss: giving.
Charities, community organizations and other non-profits usually rely on the generosity of their supporters to stay operational. And, traditionally, those supporters have been directly connected to an organization by geography, history or community.
This meant the web of potential donors to a cause was limited to those who knew about it, had worked with it before, or knew someone who was involved with it. Growing beyond that initial scope meant increasing awareness of the initiative, and few organizations reliant on donations have had the budget for non-operational expenses like advertising and public relations.
But social media changes that paradigm.
Today, complete strangers can find your charity on Facebook.
Today, people half a world away can be informed about your community endeavors on YouTube.
Today, people you’ll never meet face-to-face can choose to invest $5 or $5,000 in your idea, if they believe you can accomplish your stated goals.
Suddenly, charity is a story that travels beyond borders. It finds commonality among people with shared interests, mutual concerns, or similar experiences. A project that’s intended to benefit a single community, or even a single family, can be brought to the attention of millions, if the story travels well.
Are you using social media to find supporters who believe in your cause?
Are you transmitting your passion to the people who can help you succeed?
Is the problem you’re solving in your community setting an example that would help people on the other side of the globe?
Congratulations: it’s never been easier to share your story — and to find the people who can help you achieve your dreams.