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Using Social Media to Make a Difference

Big brands and political candidates have benefited from using social media. This summer,  non-profits will join the league of social media success stories.  Blame Drew’s Cancer and Summer of Social Good, both launched recently,  rely solely on social media to raise funds and make a difference.

Spilled Coffee? Blame Drew’s Cancer!
Drew Olanoff, the founder and former host of the “Best Damn Tech Show, Period” podcast, was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in late May. “Ever since that day, Drew has blamed everything on his cancer. Losing his keys, misplacing his wallet, Twitter being slow, the Phillies losing, etc,” and he invites everyone else to do the same. Tweeters vent about whatever it is they need to get off their chest, such as this morning’s rainy weather (which I blamed on Drew’s Cancer).

How does this help non-profits? Every tweet with #BlameDrewsCancer hashtag will be tallied, and sponsors will donate one dollar to the American Cancer Society and the Make-A-Wish Foundation. It felt good to blow of steam, especially knowing it helps others!

Social Good Gets Social
Summer of Social Good started June 1 and lasts through Aug. 28. The large-scale campaign will raise funds using only social media. Each week, Mashable, the Social Media Guide, will host week-long activities that engage, encourage interaction and promote the Summer of Social Good. Week one has the goal of raising 100K. The task is to donate $20, and tweet about the campaign to all your followers. All campaign proceeds will go to four major charities.  Mashable wants to make it “social as possible,” and they have high hopes of raising “an unprecedented amount.”

What This Means for Non-Profits
Not all non-profits are strangers to social media. It’s an affordable and interactive  means of communicating, so it’s smart for them to use it. Blame Drew’s Cancer and Summer of Social Good go above and beyond tweeting for donations or simply starting a “cause” page on Facebook–only for it to be idle weeks later. The key to success is engaging the audience, and enable them to participate in the conversation. Go ahead, tweet for something good today!

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