Fundraising In The Social Era

by Jason Falls |
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There are few things more fulfilling than finding someone doing something for a good cause or raising money or awareness for something important. I’m participating in Movember, which is a male cancer awareness effort to follow October, which has a breast cancer awareness focus, mostly for women. (You can help shave my goatee by donating to the Prostate Cancer Foundation. See my previous post about it for more information.)

Stream That Cause LogoSocial media for social good is rampant these days, which is somehow satisfying, even if the impact isn’t huge or the reach isn’t massive. I know my friends Beth Kanter, Susan Reynolds, Connie Reece, Geoff Livingston, Drew Olanoff (Still clapping for you beating cancer, my man) and more have leveraged social media to do all sorts of warm and fuzzy things for great people and tough issues.

This is why I find it hard to say, “no,” when someone pitches me on a charitable effort or product. I have to most of the time or SME would turn into the X charity using social media blog. That’s not what most of you come here for and so I have to sometimes play the bad guy there. But once in a while a pitch comes by that makes me think, “Now there’s something worth telling folks about.”

Enter StreamThatCause.com. Instead of getting people to pledge a dollar for every lap you walk or hour you jump rope, you can flex your social media muscles and get them to pledge for every view of a video you post in support of a good cause. This does a couple of compelling things: First, it puts the power of fundraising in the hands of people who, if creative enough, can blow it out of the water.

Think about that fun wedding video that went viral a few months back. What if the person who figured out that choreography could do something as inspired around a good cause? A dollar per view? Thank you Mr. Banker person. I drove $4 million views. Will that be cash or check?

Certainly, that’s a bit of a stretch, but still.

StreamThatCause.com also gives the smallest of causes or non-profits (i.e. little league teams) the ability to leverage a new medium that’s fun and share-able to not just raise money, but spread the word in compelling ways. You’d be surprised what a smart kid with a web cam can do. I can’t wait to see what comes out of this tool as people discover it and start having fun creating.

The site launched Nov. 1. It take a few bucks ($39 for one web-a-thon) but unifies all the videos for one effort under a single umbrella, essentially giving your cause it’s own video home on the web. All the relevant social tools are there as well. For a church fund-raiser, 40 bucks is nothing to throw down for your own video-enabled website with full sharing functionality.

It’s cool. It’s scalable (down and up) and it allows for a ton of creativity. Now that’s worth telling folks about.

(And yes, StreamThatCause.com is yet another product of the Silicon Holler – Louisville, Kentucky’s vibrant tech community. And no, I had nothing to do with it. A friend of mine just told me about it.)

So tell me, what cause are you connected to that can use this site? Tell us in the comments.


About the Author

Jason Falls

Jason Falls is a leading thinker, speaker and strategist in the world of digital marketing and is co-author of two books, No Bullshit Social Media: The All-Business, No-Hype Guide To Social Media Marketing and The Rebel's Guide To Email Marketing. By day, he leads digital strategy for Elasticity, one of the world's most innovative digital marketing and public relations firms. Follow him on Twitter (@JasonFalls).