The holidays are fast approaching, and with it, the time of year known for selfless generosity.
While social media is helping shoppers avoid in person holiday sales and still get a great deal, it’s not all about buying the gifts, which is on a strong surge. With the true spirit of the giving season, the act of giving, social media is making an appearance to make giving front and center.
In the past, the big organizations brought the holiday giving campaign to the people with in-person, crowd based campaigns. Now, organizations like the Salivation Army are using social media to extend their reach with a personal touch through Facebook, Twitter and Youtube. They even offer tools for dedicated volunteers to help spread the message.
The Baltimore Sun has an interesting article about charities using social media to add another avenue for giving:
Facebook fans of the Salvation Army can create virtual kettles on their pages and ask their friends to make donations without ever visiting a real storefront kettle. The United Way and Red Cross are tweeting their latest news of families helped and fund drives launched.
No one can yet say whether the new social media are effective ways to raise money, but that’s the goal, charities say. “We’re hoping to get this new audience, and we hope in the end there is a fundraising component with it,” said Amrit Dhillon, communications director for the United Way of Central Maryland.
Taking into account that the economy has been hard on everyone, Beth Kanter articulates a good process for making your holiday charitable giving decisions. The Red Cross found in a recent study that in spite of the economic downtown that most people anticipating donating more than $25 this year during the holiday season. Maybe by using Social Media these charities have a chance of getting those donations by interacting with their audience when they are at their computers, more able to donate online.
All year we’ve heard of social media is being used to change the world: Make Your Mark, SM4SC, 12 for 12k, Social Media for Social Good, Twestivals, Tweetsgiving and countless others. I think it is exciting to see these efforts extend to our holiday traditions and continue the support of those around us in need. Using social media for holiday giving is making it’s mark – but lets not forget that it’s all about the impact.
For a sprig of humor for your holidays, David Alston wrote a great post about transitioning the tradition of Santa into the modern tech world.