Social media fundraising is not just a joke or a gimmick, it is a way for people to easily learn about and to
contribute to a cause. Social media fundraising is the most effective because so many people have switched into a more digital life. The fundraising technique is the most used out of all of the fundraising techniques. One example of great fundraising is the recent Ice Bucket Challenge which was a global media fundraising fad. Do you know what the Ice bucket challenge is really about? Well if you didn’t it was a social media fundraising technique set up by the Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis association. The point of pouring freezing cold water over yourself was to have the sensation of having Lou Gehrig's disease, which is losing all body functions except your brain is still active. The challenge where you either dump water on your head or donate money. The challenge is very large with many celebrities and also other day to day people. Up to 1.2 million videos uploaded. The association raised up to 4 million dollars for the cause. That may be seen negatively except the organization still gained a lot of money then if they were not to use Social Media fundraising in the first place. Many celebrities, athletes and other famous people took part in the challenge which was a big attention grabber to many people. If you were to see your favorite actor or actress do the challenge it’s likely you too would want to be a part of it. This is just one of the many examples of how social media is able to create support for a cause. In general social media fundraising is a great way to gain support for your cause.
Though social media is an absolutely great way to raise money people do see it has flaws. Going back to the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, many people also used social media to bring attention to problems with the campaign. Most people that took part in the challenge did not even know what the purpose there was to it. Those people never found out the true meaning of ALS. In social media the meaning of the fundraising gets lost through all the commotion. So, though the organization is gaining awareness, it doesn’t always show the true meaning of the cause. In the 2000’s there were many organizations that used a type of social media were unsuccessful at gaining awareness. The attention the cause gets depends on how viral it becomes. Sometimes social media fundraising is used for the wrong reasons like for promoting someone's personal needs or pages. Did you know that malaria is 5 thousands times more deadly than Lou Gehrig's disease, so why isn’t there a huge campaign to raise money to fight malaria? My point here is that there are flaws in social media fundraising but it still is a great way to support a cause.
Social media has changed the way organizations are able to interact with their consumers. They are really able to make the consumer interactive and implied with the cause. The consumer will feel a sense of “I should do something” when approached with social media fundraising. An example of this is a British charity called Refuge who used YouTube to get a powerful point across about women being abused. It made the consumer aware of what the victims had gone through and what they challenge with. Another example of how social media is a great way to fundraise is the use of social media in Education. Students at Columbia University used social media and gained 6.8 million dollars in a day for their school Social media also allows charities to receive donations directly through phones, computers, and other electronic devices. That is because people are able to donate with a click of a button on their phone. Charities with small budgets are able to use social media fundraising because it is affordable and easy to use. Fundraising price in marketing through broadcasting is actually much higher than social media fundraising. Charities have the ability to gain donations regardless of the charity’s size.
All in all social media is a great way to gain support for a cause that truly matters. Though it may have some flaws, it still gives the one using social media fundraising a unique way to interact with the consumer. And reacting with the consumer this way helps create attention for the cause they are trying to promote.
Conclusion: updated November 14, 2014
After doing extensive researching and thinking about social media fundraising, I have come to the conclusion that social media fundraising is a great way to support and help a cause. Social media relates to being a digital citizen because taking part in social media fundraising has a lot to do with how you can be influential and helpful in your digital life. Everybody has a responsibility when accessing one’s digital life, and social media fundraising is a way to make your voice heard about a cause you care about. From the great comments left on my blog I was able rethink things on social media fundraising that I haven’t thought about. One comment talked about how this person (that I will keep anonymous) did not know how participating in the ALS ice bucket challenge helped support the cause and what it did for the ALS organization. This made me realize that many people do not know that fun challenges where someone is challenged to perform a task or other activities help support a cause. The comment clarified my thinking on how many people do not know what they are supporting when participating in social media fundraising. When I answered the person about my thought on the issue, I stated how that is why social media fundraising can be lost in translation over time, but even if the content of the fundraising may be lost, the idea of spreading the fundraising technique stays intact. My experience as a blogger has been very interesting, of course. I learned how my voice is able to affect many people and how I can use my own participation as a digital citizenship to get my thoughts and ideas out in social media. I also found that the comments and the extra insight on a topic that I’m expressing, can change my view on the topic and gives new meaning to it. Granted, I have found that some parts of being a digital citizen can be very hard because you need to be very thoughtful and wise when sharing your opinion with such a broad audience. I have also learned that when I was blogging, it was very empowering because I was able to share my feelings on a subject which I feel strongly about and a life changing task. I am very glad to have taken part in this journey of blogging because it taught me how social media fundraising is a great way to support a cause that is important and how, in digital citizenship, you take on many responsibilities and how it is up to you how you share your ideas and express yourself in your digital world.