Today, more than 2,000 bloggers from over 200 countries are collectively writing about The Power of We for Blog Action Day, “a celebration of people working together to make a positive difference in the world, either for their own communities or for people they will never meet halfway around the world.” One of the reasons that I participate in Blog Action Day is because I believe strongly that blogs have a role in social change: by creating interest and motivating stakeholders, through offering resources and news, inspiring people to share and act, and as a marketplace for ideas and conversation. As a special “thank you’ to organizations engaging in The Power of We through social media, I’m giving away a copy of Beth Kanter and K.D. Paine’s new book, Measuring the Networked Nonprofit (donated by Hubspot). Read through to the end of this blog post to find out how to win your copy of the book.
I’ve often talked about the role of social media in social change. Simply put, I believe that social media is a tool to help organizations connect to the people who could and do care about their causes, engage meaningfully, and create change together. From an organizational standpoint, it’s about utilizing the Social Media Funnel, a concept I first coined in 2008. From an individual standpoint, it’s about finding the organizations and causes that really speak to what you care about, engage in real conversation and transparency with you, listen thoughtfully to your opinions, and respect your contribution to the conversations and cause.
Over the past three years of blogging, I’ve featured many organizations and changemakers using social media’s “Power of We” to make a positive difference in the world. Here are just a few:
Leveraging the Power of We on Facebook to Make a Difference
The case study about how the North American Bear Center’s Lilly the Black Bear Facebook Page created an incredibly devoted fan community. In all my years of blogging, I have never received so many comments on a single blog post, especially by fans of the organization. Through The Power of We, the NABC is educating people about the role of black bears in North America, their value to society, and creating a devoted community dedicated to preserving these bears.
The Israeli organization NATAL effectively utilized of Facebook Groups to create a highly successful blood donor type awareness and registration campaign.
Fundraising With The Power of We
I’ve written a number of case study blog posts about how organizations can leverage social media communities to raise money. Some of them are testing social media, some are “born digital”and entirely raise money through social media, and some focus on those “free agent” fundraisers raising money for causes they believe in…and rallying their social media friends. Below are some of the organizations and fundraisers that I’ve featured, who are all leveraging social networks and channels to raise money through The Power of We.
For Japan With Love, free agent fundraising for Japan
To Mama with Love, an Epic Thanks fundraising event
The Diabetes Hands Foundation runs a yearly online campaign called the Big Blue Test. For the past two years, they have motivated their 40,000+ online community to take the Big Blue Test, view a video, and leverage donations for people living with diabetes. I wrote about their highly successful 2011 campaign here. This year, the Diabetes Hands Foundation’s goal is for 20,000 people to take the Big Blue Test by November 14, 2012.
The Friends of Multnomah County Libraries hired a consulting firm to create and run a campaign for “Yes on 26-125,” a bill to support reapproval of a ballot measure that would continue the financial support of the county’s libraries. They leveraged the Power of We by encouraging place-based local library check-ins and reviews, in one of the most unique social media advocacy campaigns I’ve run across.
The USA for UNHCR launched its Blue Key Campaign in 2011 to raise money for the organization and awareness about the issue of refugees in the USA. In this blog post, I interview Lauren Melling, the Online Marketing Manager at USA for UNHCR, about how the organization has used social media for its Blue Key Campaign and what it has learned about using social media. I also wanted to highlight how a traditional organization like USA for UNHCR might use social media to create community change.
Win a copy of Measuring the Networked Nonprofit
Hubspot’s nonprofit marketing division has generously donated a copy of Measuring the Networked Nonprofit to give away. In the comment section below, leave a comment about how your organization is using social media to make a positive difference in the world. I am particularly interested in reading about social media campaigns that your organization has run (or will be running), or a social media campaign that you know about and want to share with others. Please include the URL of the organization mentioned within the comments. Within the next five days, I will randomly select a winner from among the commentators.