How Social Media is Changing Charity

The Same Ways it is Changing Marketing

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[ Social Media]

Social media provides a great deal of tools and opportunities for reaching the masses, which makes for some ideal ways of marketing a business. The marketing potential of social media also means great things for charitable causes.

The emergence of social media has opened up a lot of doors for getting messages out there and spread wider than was ever possible before. What better way is there to find people who care about a specific cause and call upon them to take action? You’ve got Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, MySpace, blogs, and countless other platforms.

You don’t have to be a huge star to spread the word, but it certainly helps if you have friends and followers that can help you spread the word. Actor Anthony Edwards, who is probably best known as Dr. Greene from ER (or perhaps Gilbert in Revenge of the Nerds) is working to help get a Children’s hospital built in Kenya, and he is using social media to promote this cause.

"When you need to raise awareness for an issue, which people are ultimately going to get involved in, you need to be able to communicate it," he says. "As you get to know how new media, the web, and Twitter and the Blogosphere are working, you’re realizing that there’s a transparency here that if your message is real and good, people are going to get it. And that’s a great tool for charities."

Back in July, Mashable’s Josh Catone wrote a post, which was simultaneously published across over 100 blogs (illustrating a good example of social media’s reach in itself), which highlighted 10 ways to support charity through social media. These included:

1. Writing a blog post
2. Sharing stories with friends
3. Following charities on social networks
4. Supporting causes on awareness hubs
5. Finding volunteer opportunities
6. Embedding widgets on your site,
7. Organizing tweetups
8. Expressing yourself with video
9. Signing or starting a petition
10. Organizing an online event

These are really just a few, as Catone says, you should think outside the box. The amount of tools out there (ie. networks and countless apps) provide for a lot creative potential and ultimately a great means of spreading awareness about issues and raising funds.

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How Social Media is Changing Charity
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