Social Generosity

image courtesy of www.aolcdn.com

image courtesy of http://www.aolcdn.com

As the popularity of Social Media has risen over the last couple of years, so has the assertion from some  “experts” looking to sell their “expertise” that organizations must start using these tools or be left in the dust.  Of course, real value of Social Media has been much more difficult to demonstrate using traditional ROI approaches and, as with most emerging technologies, once touted concepts as Corporate Blogs, Public Virtual Worlds and the universal catch-all term “Web2.0″ find themselves smack dab in the Trough of Disillusionment.  Newer technological innovations like Microblogging Platforms (eg. Twitter) can also be found in Gartner’s 2008 Hype Cycle.  As they are newer on the scene, they appear to be around the “Peak of Inflated Expectations”.  If you’ve spent any time listening to the Social Media “guru’s” on Twitter, you’ll probably agree with that assessment which means the Trough of Disillusionment can’t be far behind.

Companies are flocking to Twitter to “engage with their customers”, often with the same mixed or difficult to demonstrate results as with earlier attempts.  A Social Media strategy is not going to be effective for every organization and many simply don’t understand how to approach it.  One area that seems to be a natural fit for these communities is Social Causes.

Perhaps it’s a perfect storm of changing attitudes and technology adoption, but it seems to me that there have been some very newsworthy examples of people helping people through Social Media in the last few months.

  • Domestic Diva pleaded for help in finding a kidney doner for her daughter and received an enormous response from her community.
  • Tweetsgiving raised $11,000 for a classroom in Tanzania.
  • David Armano leveraged his network and his reputation to help a family in need.
  • Facebook’s Causes is the third largest app on the platform with 14 million users.   It raised $2.5 million for 20,ooo charities in it’s first year.
  • The wide-ranging response to Marcus Brown’s “I Care” request to show support for a dying mom in Germany.
  • Social Media 4 Social Change raised $20,000 for victims of domestic violence.
  • This week, over 180 cities around the world will host Twestival events to raise money for charity:water

Some of these have been focused on a single individual or family while others are much broader in scope. Either way, they have succeeded by leveraging relationships between real people and that seem like the biggest takeaway for other organizations.  Just as these communities are coming together to help others, the degree to which you show your “Social Generosity” will be the biggest factor in how your organization is is embraced by these social communities.

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3 comments so far

  1. Matt Scoble on

    Doug:

    Good post and appropriate timing given the increased use of social media tools as possible avenues of fundraising. In traditional fundraising, higher and higher levels of accountability and reporting have been required to verify funds are going to causes cited, that causes are real and justified, etc. Given the by-definition “virtual” nature of social media, these same requirements or regulations cannot be imposed or even probably met. It will be interesting to see how this plays out over time.

    Like your stuff. Thanks.

    –MS

  2. MightyCasey on

    Trough of Disillusionment, indeed. Both enterprise and the individual on Twitter have to have something compelling to say – a good story – to attract any kind of attention.

    I think that ad hoc fundraising, where the Twitterverse crowd-sources a cause deemed “worthy” is a good example – human element drives the story, the appeal feels more immediate when it unfolds 140 characters at a time, and if the need can be tied to a specific person, giving it a face, that drives the ‘OMG, that could be me’ response that has people reaching for their wallets.

    Harder to get people to buy a product or service as a direct result of social media. It’s a brand broadcaster, but you still have to have something with real value to sell.

    It’s all about the relationship, isn’t it?

  3. www on

    My spouse and i got now excited Michael managed to carry out his web research while using the precious recommendations he acquired from your very own web page. It is now and again perplexing just to continually be giving for free tips and tricks that people today have been selling. And we keep in mind we’ve got the blog owner to give thanks to because of that. Those illustrations you’ve made, the easy blog menu, the friendships you help to engender – it’s all terrific, and it’s really making our son in addition to the family reckon that this issue is satisfying, and that is extraordinarily vital. Thanks for the whole lot!


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