Friday, October 24, 2014

Fundraising with Social Media! Support the Causes You Care About

     Let’s be reasonable here. Most people cannot afford to contribute to every cause about which they feel strongly. But Social Media Fundraising is the one way that will catch someones attention enough that will make them feel like this is the one that is worth to contribute. Social media fundraising is a great way to support a cause.

     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.
Image:DL Cade

     Organizations that use social media fundraising will result in a 40% increase in their fundraising. Most organizations do this by using Youtube, Facebook and Twitter, which are all very popular social media sites. If a picture is worth a thousand words then how much would a video be worth. That is why youtube is such a great way for organizations to gain attention for a cause. I know that if someone were to hand me a piece of paper asking me to donate money I wouldn’t be very intrigued but when a video is placed before me I will gain a sudden interest immediately. Almost anyone or group can use social media fundraising, schools, churches, medical organizations, organizations to help with community service, social media is free, which makes it more accessible, too. Groups don’t need a giant budget for their campaigns because they can spread the news through free sites. That is another way social media fundraising is so useful because of how accessible it is.

     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.


  1. Great Article Saffari. I was really interested in knowing if social media fundraising actually worked, especially because I took part in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. I think it is great that people want to raise money for causes using social media. I found this article from I talks about how much money really goes to the organizations. Hope you enjoy it.


    1. Thank you so much for the commenting it means a lot to me Alex. The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge is a great example of social media because of how effective it is. The article you sent me is really cool I still can't believe how much money the challenge gained, its amazing. If you are interested in ALS I suggest you look at this article it talks about the different kinds of ways that The Ice Bucket Challenge is effective. Again, thank you for leaving a comment and showing me some knew insight on social media fundraising.

  2. Good analysis of the topic Michael. I never took part in the ALS Ice bucket challenge because I didn't think it was actually effective. After reading your blog post I see that social media fundraising is an effective and safe way for people to help raise money for a cause. I think social media fundraising is a good for people who do not have money to give directly to the cause but still want to help.

    Good work,

    1. Thank you Viola for leaving a comment, I'm glad to see that people were able to understand how effective social media fundraising is. I never noticed that it was also a safe way of supporting a cause also. The great part of social media fundraising is if you don't have a lot of money you can still support the cause in participating and gaining awareness. If you are interested in this subject and want to learn more I suggest looking at this it talks about the effectiveness of ALS. Again thank you for the comment it means a lot.

  3. This is a very well written article. You did a nice job on showing the positive and negative sides of social media. Social media fundraising seems to be a very effective way to raise money and awareness for a campaign or cause. I found this article about how to actually start a fundraising campaign. Take a look:

    1. Thank you so much LyvSec for commenting on my blog, it means a lot to me. At first I did not know how useful social media fundraising really is until I did more research. Now I know that social media fundraising is a great way to support a cause. If you are interested in this subject found this it talks about how the ice bucket challenge is not just a game but a great way to support ALS. Again, thank you for leaving a comment.


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