I’m just back from our last weekend get-away for the season, in our family camper. What a difference since our visit from more than a month ago, at the height of summer’s ease. Now, the days are crisp, the colors vivid even as the mood turns somber, and the shadows, of course, continue to lengthen. In this reflective spirit, I’m recalling one of the summer’s most buzzed about social media events—Summer of Social Good, presented by Mashable ~ The Social Media Guide, and Social Media for Social Good. Here, I’m hoping to preserve and carry on the energy and commitment from that worthwhile initiative.
To me, summer’s lasting gift is the sense of renewal that invigorates and sustains our efforts throughout the rest of the year. Though one commentator points out that the $55,000 raised for the four chosen causes may not have matched the expectations of the fundraiser’s ambitious announcement, or possibly the stature of its sponsors, we would do well to remember that the seeds planted from this milestone event are still bearing fruit, and that any awareness or funds raised during these hard times is that much more significant. As presenter Beth Kanter noted at the Social Good Conference in New York, “Small actions online and offline add up to make a difference.”
One Fund—Four Charities
According to Mashable’s announcement, the Summer of Social Good (which ran from June 1st till August 28th 2009) represents “the first large scale online charitable campaign to raise funds strictly online through the power of Social Media and the Internet over an extended period.”
The goal is to use the power of “Social Influence” via Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, blogs and other online media to raise an unprecedented amount for our fund, benefiting The Humane Society, LIVESTRONG, Oxfam America, and WWF. We are very excited to engage and encourage online communities to truly do something remarkable.
The Social Good Conference
The Social Good Conference, a one-day educational event celebrating the finale of the Summer of Social Good charitable campaign, was held at the prestigious 92nd Street Y in New York City, on August 28th. Mashable’s sponsors, Zappos and MailChimp, donated 100% of all ticket sales to the Summer of Social Good non-profit fund.
The conference featured presentations from well known and respected organizations and professionals within the space focused on “Social Media for Social Good,” including keynotes from Facebook’s Randi Zuckerberg and All For Good’s Jonathan Greenblatt. Thanks to Livestream, if you couldn’t make it to New York City, you can still view the conference videos.
How Nonprofits Can Use Social Media
According to the conference bio, presenter Beth Kanter, is “the author of Beth’s Blog, one of the longest running and most popular blogs for nonprofits. In 2009, she was named by Fast Company Magazine as one of the most influential women in technology and one of Business Week’s ‘Voices of Innovation for Social Media.’ She is the 2009 Scholar in Residence for Social Media and Nonprofits for the Packard Foundation.”
Kanter describes the Social Good Conference, in her excellent post, Reflections from the Mashable Conference. Especially helpful is Kanter’s summary of keypoints from Randi Zuckerberg’s opening keynote, on how people are using Facebook for online activism, as well as how nonprofits are using it for fundraising.
In her own presentation on how nonprofits can use social media, Kanter describes how she uses her passion for blogging and teaching to raise money online to help children in Cambodia. Specifically, she describes how her blog, a related wiki, the ChipIn Widget, and Twitter help her to fundraise. “Twitter is amazing fertilizer, and our tweets are seeds,” she explains.
Kanter’s inspiring presentation. “Be a generous geek–who uses social media for good” describes that “the 3 Rs remain the same: Relationship-building, Rewards, and Reciprocity.” She also refers to leveraging your social graph, according to the Archimedes Principle, described in New York Times bestseller, Trust Agents (see Kanter’s related post, Using Chris Brogan’s Archimedes Principle To Leverage Nonprofits on Twitter Suggested User List).