Mar 15, 2009

New philanthropy: the rise of the $104/year donor

Posted by: Marian Salzman In: connectivity| philanthropy

Bob and Lee Woodruff for

Bob and Lee Woodruff for

We’re seeing the rise of the $104 giver. It’s the new philanthropy, put in the hands of you and me. It’s the power to make real moves via laptop or Blackberry or iPhone—and via small donations of a couple of dollars per week that gain strength from the momentum of massive virtual networks. These givers are involved 52 weeks a year, blogging and tweeting about the causes they care about. They delight in daily debates with those who share their passion (or don’t). They relish the satisfaction of constantly connecting with their community, of seeing instant results of their efforts, whether it’s organizing a rally via Twitter, spreading awareness by recruiting new members on Facebook, or watching their donation tote up the tally another notch.


Social media is a real spark here. Witness last month’s twestival: Live events in 202 cities around the world in a single day raised $250,000 for charity:water, which translates to the funding of clean water for more than 17,000 people in Ethiopia, India and Uganda. And the entire event was organized via Twitter, a free, fast, totally simple way to connect with like-minded people across the globe.


This week Porter Novelli hosts a panel called Social Media for Social Good at the South by Southwest Interactive Festival in Austin, brainstorming and debating where we can go next and how to keep innovating for our communities. There we’ll also join in launching Tweet to ReMIND. ReMIND, founded by ABC News journalist Bob Woodruff and his wife, Lee, funds localized resources and support for injured U.S. service members who are returning from Afghanistan and Iraq and reintegrating into their families and towns. The Tweet to ReMIND project aims to mobilize 400,000 Twitter users to raise $1.65 million over Memorial Day Weekend. That number represents the 1.65 million service members who have been deployed since 9/11. With just $5 per donor, ReMIND can meet its goal. What a small but powerful individual gesture that, when combined with the strength and momentum of social networking, can breed a giant change in people’s lives. Also at SXSW we’ll see change agent Stacey Monk launch TweetLuck, a St. Patrick’s Day–themed Twitter project raising money and awareness for a children’s school in Tanzania.

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