In today's Washington Post there is an article about two HUGE online giving efforts that are being launched today.
The Case Foundation (started by AOL Founder Steve Case) is launching America's Giving Challenge, which will challenge everyday Americans to go online, find causes that resonate with them, and give as little as $10. There is a sister effort launching today with Facebook, where users can donate to online through Facebook's "causes" application and can encourage other people in their networks to do the same.
Here's what really excited me:
The Case Foundation is giving away a total of $750,000 in the two online efforts, which start today and end Jan. 31. The people who attract the most friends from their social networks to donate to their cause will get $50,000 to give to charity. The top 100 charities attracting the most online donations will each receive $1,000.
I love this for several reasons:
1. It's good for charities - it will really spread the word about the work they are doing
2. It's good for donors - you can feel a huge sense of empowerment by giving as little as $10.
3. It's good for business - Facebook obviously benefits from this, because people who are publicizing a cause and trying to get their friends to give are going to increase users of, and traffic on, Facebook.
There's a great quote in the Washington Post article from GlobalGiving's Dennis Whittle: "It used to be that if you wanted to give and have an impact, people thought you had to be Bill Gates or Oprah Winfrey. But because of the way the technology works, you can be an 'ordinary Oprah.' If you've got $10 or $100 or $1,000, you can come and find a school in Africa to support, and you can get updates from the field to get responses to your support."
It's a win-win-win! You can find more info at http://giving.casefoundation.org/givingchallenge/home