10 Ways to Support Charity Through Social Media

This post is a collaboration between Mashable's Summer of Social Good charitable fundraiser and Max Gladwell's "10 Ways" series. The post is being simultaneously published across more than 100 blogs.

 summerofsocialgoodnew


Social media is about connecting people and providing the tools necessary to have a conversation. That global conversation is an extremely powerful platform for spreading information and awareness about social causes and issues. That's one of the reasons charities can benefit so greatly from being active on social media channels. But you can also do a lot to help your favorite charity or causes you are passionate about through social media.

Below is a list of 10 ways you can use social media to show your support for issues that are important to you. If you can think of any other ways to help charities via social web tools, please add them in the comments. If you'd like to retweet this post or take the conversation to Twitter or FriendFeed, please use the hashtag #10Ways.

1. Write a Blog Post & Promote the Cause You Support

This is how TheGreenGirls.com was created. A strong passion for a cause pushed us to create a platform where we can share & interact with other environmentalists.

Blogging is one of the easiest ways you can help a charity or cause you feel passionate about. Almost everyone has an outlet for blogging these days — whether that means a site running WordPress, an account at LiveJournal, or a blog on MySpace or Facebook. By writing about issues you're passionate about, you're helping to spread awareness among your social circle. Because your friends or readers already trust you, what you say is influential.\ \ Recently, a group of green bloggers banded together to raise individual $1 donations from their readers. The beneficiaries included Sustainable Harvest, Kiva, Healthy Child, Healthy World, Environmental Working Group, and Water for People. The blog-driven campaign included voting to determine how the funds would be distributed between the charities. You can read about the results here.

You should also consider taking part in Blog Action Day, a once a year event in which thousands of blogs pledge to write at least one post about a specific social cause (last year it was fighting poverty). Blog Action Day will be on October 15 this year.
 

2. Share Stories with Friends

 twitter-links

Another way to spread awareness among your social graph is to share links to blog posts and news articles via sites like Twitter, Facebook, Delicious, Digg, and even through email. Your network of friends is likely interested in what you have to say, so you have influence wherever you've gathered a social network.

You'll be doing charities you support a great service when you share links to their campaigns, or to articles about causes you care about. [more]

3. Follow Charities on Social Networks

In addition to sharing links to articles about issues you come across, you should also follow charities you support on the social networks where they are active. By increasing the size of their social graph, you're increasing the size of their reach. When your charities tweet or post information about a campaign or a cause, statistics or a link to a good article, consider retweeting that post on Twitter, liking it on Facebook, or blogging about it.

Following charities on social media sites is a great way to keep in the loop and get updates, and it's a great way to help the charity increase its reach by spreading information to your friends and followers.

You can follow the Summer of Social Good Charities:

Oxfam America (Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, Flickr, YouTube)\ The Humane Society (Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, MySpace, Flickr)\ LIVESTRONG (Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, YouTube, Flickr)\ WWF (Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Flickr)

 

4. Support Causes on Awareness Hubs

change-wwf

Another way you can show your support for the charities you care about is to rally around them on awareness hubs like Change.org, Care2, or the Facebook Causes application. These are social networks or applications specifically built with non-profits in mind. They offer special tools and opportunities for charities to spread awareness of issues, take action, and raise money.\ \ It's important to follow and support organizations on these sites because they're another point of access for you to gather information about a charity or cause, and because by supporting your charity you'll be increasing their overall reach. The more people they have following them and receiving their updates, the greater the chance that information they put out will spread virally.

5. Find Volunteer Opportunities

Using social media online can help connect you with volunteer opportunities offline, and according to web analytics firm Compete, traffic to volunteering sites is actually up sharply in 2009. Two of the biggest sites for locating volunteer opportunities are VolunteerMatch, which has almost 60,000 opportunities listed, and Idealist.org, which also lists paying jobs in the non-profit sector, in addition to maintaining databases of both volunteer jobs and willing volunteers.\ \ For those who are interested in helping out when volunteers are urgently needed in crisis situations, check out HelpInDisaster.org, a site which helps register and educate those who want to help during disasters so that local resources are not tied up directing the calls of eager volunteers. Teenagers, meanwhile, should check out DoSomething.org, a site targeted at young adults seeking volunteer opportunities in their communities.

6. Embed a Widget on Your Site

Many charities offer embeddable widgets or badges that you can use on your social networking profiles or blogs to show your support. These badges generally serve one of two purposes (or both). They raise awareness of an issue and offer up a link or links to additional information. And very often they are used to raise money.

Mashable's Summer of Social Good campaign, for example, has a widget that does both. The embeddable widget, which was custom built using Sprout (the creators of ChipIn), can both collect funds and offer information about the four charities the campaign supports.



7. Organize a Tweetup

You can use online social media tools to organize offline events, which are a great way to gather together like-minded people to raise awareness, raise money, or just discuss an issue that's important to you. Getting people together offline to learn about an important issue can really kick start the conversation and make supporting the cause seem more real.\ \ Be sure to check out Mashable's guide to organizing a tweetup to make sure yours goes off without a hitch, or check to see if there are any tweetups in your area to attend that are already organized.

8. Express Yourself Using Video

As mentioned, blog posts are great, but a picture really says a thousand words. The web has become a lot more visual in recent years and there are now a large number of social tools to help you express yourself using video. When you record a video plea or call to action about your issue or charity, you can make your message sound more authentic and real. You can use sites like 12seconds.tv, Vimeo, and YouTube to easily record and spread your video message.\ \ Last week, the Summer of Social Good campaign encouraged people to use video to show support for charity. The #12forGood campaign challenged people to submit a 12 second video of themselves doing something for the Summer of Social Good. That could be anything, from singing a song to reciting a poem to just dancing around like a maniac — the idea was to use the power of video to spread awareness about the campaign and the charities it supports.\ \ If you're more into watching videos than recording them, Givzy.com enables you to raise funds for charities like Unicef and St. Jude's Children's Hospital by sharing viral videos by e-mail.

9. Sign or Start a Petition

twitition
There aren't many more powerful ways to support a cause than to sign your name to a petition. Petitions spread awareness and, when successfully carried out, can demonstrate massive support for an issue. By making petitions viral, the social web has arguably made them even more powerful tools for social change. There are a large number of petition creation and hosting web sites out there. One of the biggest is
The Petition Site, which is operated by the social awareness network Care2, or PetitionOnline.com, which has collected more than 79 million signatures over the years.

Petitions are extremely powerful, because they can strike a chord, spread virally, and serve as a visual demonstration of the support that an issue has gathered. Social media fans will want to check out a fairly new option for creating and spreading petitions: Twitition, an application that allows people to create, spread, and sign petitions via Twitter.


10. Organize an Online Event

Social media is a great way to organize offline, but you can also use online tools to organize effective online events. That can mean free form fund raising drives, like the Twitter-and-blog-powered campaign to raise money for a crisis center in Illinois last month that took in over $130,000 in just two weeks. Or it could mean an organized "tweet-a-thon" like the ones run by the 12for12k group, which aims to raise $12,000 each month for a different charity.\ \ In March, 12for12k ran a 12-hour tweet-a-thon, in which any donation of at least $12 over a 12 hour period gained the person donating an entry into a drawing for prizes like an iPod Touch or a Nintendo Wii Fit. Last month, 12for12k took a different approach to an online event by holding a more ambitious 24-hour live video-a-thon, which included video interviews, music and sketch comedy performances, call-ins, and drawings for a large number of prizes given out to anyone who donated $12 or more.

Bonus: Think Outside the Box

blamedrewscancer

Social media provides almost limitless opportunity for being creative. You can think outside the box to come up with all sorts of innovative ways to raise money or awareness for a charity or cause. When Drew Olanoff was diagnosed with cancer, for example, he created Blame Drew's Cancer, a campaign that encourages people to blow off steam by blaming his cancer for bad things in their lives using the Twitter hashtag #BlameDrewsCancer. Over 16,000 things have been blamed on Drew's cancer, and he intends to find sponsors to turn those tweets into donations to LIVESTRONG once he beats the disease.

Or check out Nathan Winters, who is biking across the United States and documenting the entire trip using social media tools, in order to raise money and awareness for The Nature Conservancy.

The number of innovative things you can do using social media to support a charity or spread information about an issue is nearly endless. Can you think of any others? Please share them in the comments.

Special thanks to VPS.net

vpsnet logo
A special thanks to
VPS.net, who are donating $100 to the Summer of Social Good for every signup they receive this week.\ \ Sign up at VPS.net and use the coupon code "SOSG"to receive 3 Months of FREE hosting on top of your purchased term. VPS.net honors a 30 day no questions asked money back guarantee so there's no risk.

About the "10 Ways" Series

The "10 Ways" Series was originated by Max Gladwell. This is the second simultaneous blog post in the series. The first ran on more than 80 blogs, including Mashable. Among other things, it is a social media experiment and the exploration of a new content distribution model. You can follow Max Gladwell on Twitter.
This content was originally written by Mashable's Josh Catone.
}

Related posts:

Bless a Child Artist With Household Junk You Don't Want Anymore
Raw Recipe: Creamy Spinach & Cilantro Dip via @NataliaKW
Would You Feel Better Without Coffee? Why You Should Quit—and How

52 Comments

  • Peculiar article, just what I was looking for.

  • Hello just wanted to give you a quick heads up. The words
    in your post seem to be running off the screen in Chrome.
    I’m not sure if this is a formatting issue or something to do with browser compatibility but I thought
    I’d post to let you know. The design and style look great though!
    Hope you get the problem solved soon. Many thanks

  • bookmarked!!, I like your web site!

  • Hi! This is kind of off topic but I need some advice from an established blog.
    Is it very difficult to set up your own blog? I’m not very techincal
    but I can figure things out pretty quick. I’m thinking about making my own but I’m not sure where to begin. Do
    you have any points or suggestions? Thank you

  • There’s definately a great deal to know about this topic.

    I like all of the points you’ve made.

  • Your method of describing all in this article is truly pleasant, every one be capable
    of effortlessly understand it, Thanks a lot.

  • This article is in fact a fastidious one it assists new web users, who
    are wishing for blogging.

  • It’s appropriate time to make some plans for the future and it’s time to be happy.
    I have read this post and if I could I want to suggest you some interesting things or tips.

    Maybe you can write next articles referring to this article.
    I wish to read even more things about it!

  • Thanks for sharing such a fastidious thinking, article is fastidious, thats why i have read it completely

  • I have been browsing online more than three hours today, yet
    I never found any interesting article like yours.
    It is pretty worth enough for me. In my opinion,
    if all webmasters and bloggers made good content as you did, the net will
    be a lot more useful than ever before.

  • Great delivery. Solid arguments. Keep up the great spirit.

  • Stunning story there. What occurred after? Take care!

  • I’ve been browsing online more than 3 hours
    these days, yet I by no means discovered any interesting
    article like yours. It is lovely value sufficient for me.
    In my opinion, if all webmasters and bloggers made good content material as you probably did, the
    web will be a lot more useful than ever before.

  • Hi! Do you know if they make any plugins to safeguard against
    hackers? I’m kinda paranoid about losing everything I’ve
    worked hard on. Any suggestions?

  • always i used to read smaller content that as well clear their motive, and that is also happening with this piece of writing which I am reading at this place.

  • Hey this is kinda of off topic but I was wanting to know
    if blogs use WYSIWYG editors or if you have to manually code with
    HTML. I’m starting a blog soon but have no coding know-how so I wanted to get guidance from someone with experience.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated!

  • I simply needed to appreciate you yet again. I do not know the things that I would have undertaken without the type of ways shared by you about such problem. It truly was a horrifying dilemma in my circumstances, nevertheless looking at your specialized avenue you handled the issue forced me to cry over gladness. I am happier for this service and thus believe you really know what an amazing job that you’re undertaking educating the others through the use of your web page. Most probably you’ve never met any of us.

  • I and also my guys appeared to be reviewing the great information and facts from your website and suddenly I got an awful feeling I had not thanked the web site owner for them. Those women became for this reason stimulated to study them and have sincerely been making the most of them. We appreciate you being quite considerate as well as for considering varieties of useful areas most people are really wanting to be informed on. My personal honest regret for not saying thanks to you sooner.

  • I enjoy you because of each of your efforts on this site. Betty enjoys getting into internet research and it is simple to grasp why. Many of us notice all of the powerful ways you make worthwhile ideas on this blog and invigorate participation from the others about this area of interest while our favorite princess has always been being taught a whole lot. Take pleasure in the remaining portion of the year. You have been doing a tremendous job.

  • I really wanted to send a quick note in order to appreciate you for the nice guidelines you are showing on this site. My extensive internet search has at the end of the day been paid with professional facts and strategies to share with my family members. I ‘d say that most of us site visitors actually are undeniably fortunate to dwell in a useful place with very many outstanding people with very helpful plans. I feel really grateful to have seen your entire weblog and look forward to many more brilliant minutes reading here. Thank you once again for everything.

  • I am just writing to let you be aware of what a perfect encounter my princess gained studying the blog. She discovered a wide variety of things, which included how it is like to possess an amazing teaching spirit to get other individuals with ease know just exactly certain impossible things. You really surpassed our own expectations. I appreciate you for providing the essential, trustworthy, edifying and also easy tips on this topic to Gloria.

  • Have you ever thought about including a little bit more than just your articles?
    I mean, what you say is fundamental and all.
    Nevertheless think about if you added some great visuals or video clips to give your posts more, “pop”!
    Your content is excellent but with pics and clips, this website could definitely
    be one of the best in its niche. Fantastic blog!

  • Yes! Finally something about advertising podcast.

  • I simply needed to thank you so much once more. I do not know what I would’ve used without the actual tips documented by you over such field. It was actually a hard dilemma in my view, however , discovering a specialised tactic you managed it forced me to jump over delight. Now i am thankful for the work and even believe you recognize what a powerful job you were accomplishing educating many others through a site. Probably you have never met all of us.

  • My spouse and i got very more than happy Chris could finish up his researching with the ideas he gained through your web page. It is now and again perplexing to just find yourself giving away procedures men and women may have been making money from. And we all understand we now have the website owner to appreciate because of that. The entire explanations you made, the straightforward web site menu, the relationships you assist to create – it’s many exceptional, and it’s really facilitating our son in addition to us believe that this theme is awesome, and that’s particularly vital. Many thanks for all!

  • Thank you a lot for providing individuals with an extraordinarily superb opportunity to read articles and blog posts from here. It can be very terrific and as well , full of a good time for me and my office colleagues to search your web site at the very least 3 times per week to read through the newest stuff you have got. Of course, I am at all times satisfied with your magnificent advice you serve. Some 2 points in this posting are unquestionably the most beneficial we have had.

  • My wife and i ended up being fortunate when Emmanuel managed to conclude his research through the entire precious recommendations he obtained out of the web site. It’s not at all simplistic just to happen to be giving out procedures which often other folks could have been making money from. We really realize we have the writer to thank for this. The entire explanations you have made, the simple web site menu, the relationships you make it possible to instill – it is everything remarkable, and it is letting our son in addition to our family imagine that that concept is interesting, and that is seriously mandatory. Many thanks for the whole lot!

  • Needed to draft you a little bit of word to say thanks a lot yet again for the wonderful views you have discussed in this case. This is simply generous with people like you giving without restraint all a lot of folks could have sold for an e book to help with making some money for themselves, and in particular given that you could possibly have tried it if you ever desired. Those concepts as well served as a great way to fully grasp other people have similar desire really like my own to learn way more when considering this issue. I think there are numerous more fun moments ahead for many who start reading your blog post.

  • My husband and i have been absolutely thrilled Louis managed to conclude his research from the ideas he made out of your blog. It’s not at all simplistic to just continually be giving out tips and tricks which often men and women may have been making money from. And we also do know we have got the writer to thank because of that. These illustrations you’ve made, the simple blog menu, the friendships you can help to engender – it is everything fabulous, and it is facilitating our son in addition to the family know that that idea is cool, which is extremely vital. Thanks for the whole lot!

  • I am just writing to make you know of the fantastic experience my wife’s child developed going through your webblog. She mastered a lot of details, which included how it is like to have a great teaching mood to let other people with no trouble fully grasp specified complicated issues. You actually did more than our expectations. Thank you for producing these warm and helpful, trusted, explanatory as well as cool thoughts on this topic to Janet.

  • I together with my pals have been going through the nice tips found on your website while then I had a horrible suspicion I had not thanked the website owner for those secrets. My people were absolutely stimulated to read them and already have clearly been making the most of those things. Appreciation for really being well kind and then for choosing some beneficial things most people are really eager to discover. Our own honest regret for not saying thanks to you sooner.

  • I am only writing to make you understand what a brilliant experience my wife’s girl obtained reading your site. She discovered a lot of issues, including what it’s like to possess an excellent coaching character to make certain people without hassle understand a variety of grueling matters. You really did more than my desires. Many thanks for distributing those practical, safe, educational and as well as fun guidance on that topic to Lizeth.

  • I’m just commenting to let you be aware of what a really good discovery our girl had browsing your site. She mastered so many details, which include what it’s like to possess an ideal giving mindset to let other folks really easily understand some very confusing subject areas. You really surpassed people’s expectations. Thanks for giving those precious, dependable, educational as well as easy thoughts on the topic to Janet.

  • I really wanted to write a small remark to be able to express gratitude to you for some of the nice ways you are giving out here. My particularly long internet search has now been honored with good knowledge to write about with my two friends. I ‘d express that many of us readers actually are rather fortunate to live in a magnificent website with many special people with great plans. I feel quite lucky to have come across your entire weblog and look forward to many more brilliant times reading here. Thank you once again for all the details.

  • An interesting discussion is value comment. I think that you need to write more on this matter, it might not be a taboo topic however usually people are not sufficient to speak on such topics. To the next. Cheers

  • I am just commenting to make you know of the superb encounter my wife’s child went through reading through your web site. She figured out some things, most notably what it is like to possess an amazing coaching mindset to let men and women with no trouble learn about selected advanced subject matter. You truly exceeded our own expected results. Many thanks for delivering the insightful, trusted, explanatory and also fun guidance on the topic to Julie.

  • I together with my pals were reading through the nice procedures from the website and all of a sudden came up with an awful feeling I never thanked the blog owner for those strategies. Those young men appeared to be consequently glad to read through them and already have actually been having fun with them. Thank you for getting really accommodating and then for obtaining varieties of incredible resources most people are really needing to understand about. My personal sincere apologies for not saying thanks to you sooner.

  • I must show my admiration for your generosity supporting folks who have the need for help on this particular theme. Your personal dedication to getting the message all through had become unbelievably significant and have frequently made men and women just like me to get to their desired goals. Your entire insightful tutorial signifies so much to me and substantially more to my office workers. With thanks; from everyone of us.

  • I enjoy you because of all your valuable hard work on this web site. Ellie take interest in carrying out research and it’s obvious why. We all learn all about the powerful medium you offer both interesting and useful tips through your web site and as well as recommend contribution from website visitors on that article while my simple princess is certainly understanding a whole lot. Take pleasure in the remaining portion of the new year. Your performing a fantastic job.

  • Thanks a lot for providing individuals with such a spectacular opportunity to read from this blog. It is usually so pleasing and jam-packed with a good time for me and my office peers to search your blog no less than three times every week to learn the newest stuff you have got. And of course, I’m also at all times contented considering the fabulous creative concepts you serve. Certain 4 areas in this posting are unquestionably the finest I have had.

  • I am only writing to let you know what a nice encounter my cousin’s girl obtained visiting the blog. She figured out such a lot of details, which included what it is like to possess an incredible teaching nature to make men and women without problems comprehend several complicated matters. You undoubtedly did more than visitors’ desires. Thanks for presenting those practical, dependable, educational and as well as easy tips about the topic to Mary.

  • I simply desired to say thanks again. I do not know the things that I could possibly have undertaken without the hints shared by you directly on such subject matter. It absolutely was a alarming issue in my view, nevertheless noticing your specialized approach you managed the issue made me to cry over contentment. Extremely grateful for your information and in addition pray you find out what a great job you have been doing instructing the others thru your webpage. More than likely you’ve never got to know any of us.

  • I want to show appreciation to this writer for rescuing me from such a circumstance. After surfing throughout the search engines and getting tips that were not productive, I was thinking my entire life was done. Being alive without the presence of answers to the issues you have sorted out through your main report is a serious case, and the kind which could have adversely affected my entire career if I had not come across the website. Your main capability and kindness in touching almost everything was useful. I don’t know what I would have done if I had not come across such a point like this. It’s possible to at this moment look forward to my future. Thanks a lot very much for the skilled and sensible guide. I won’t think twice to propose your site to anyone who needs and wants counselling on this problem.

  • My spouse and i ended up being quite ecstatic Peter managed to carry out his investigation through the ideas he received when using the web pages. It is now and again perplexing to just continually be giving away tips and hints which others may have been making money from. And we already know we now have the blog owner to be grateful to for this. Those explanations you have made, the easy web site menu, the relationships you can assist to foster – it’s got mostly excellent, and it’s leading our son in addition to our family understand that subject is interesting, and that’s extraordinarily serious. Thank you for the whole thing!

  • I wish to show some appreciation to you for rescuing me from such a incident. Because of checking throughout the online world and seeing notions which are not productive, I figured my entire life was gone. Being alive devoid of the solutions to the difficulties you have fixed by way of this short post is a critical case, as well as the kind that could have adversely damaged my career if I hadn’t come across your blog post. Your personal training and kindness in maneuvering every part was helpful. I’m not sure what I would have done if I had not come upon such a stuff like this. I can at this time relish my future. Thanks for your time very much for your high quality and result oriented help. I will not hesitate to recommend the website to any individual who should receive recommendations on this situation.

  • I’m commenting to make you know of the fantastic discovery my girl enjoyed reading through your web site. She figured out a wide variety of details, which include what it is like to possess a great teaching heart to let the rest with no trouble thoroughly grasp chosen complicated things. You undoubtedly did more than my expected results. Thanks for offering such insightful, healthy, edifying as well as fun tips about this topic to Mary.

  • I happen to be writing to make you understand what a nice experience my friend’s daughter encountered visiting your site. She figured out so many things, which included what it is like to possess a very effective giving heart to get certain people easily comprehend various impossible issues. You undoubtedly exceeded people’s expected results. Many thanks for imparting those priceless, safe, revealing as well as unique thoughts on this topic to Julie.

  • I precisely needed to thank you very much again. I’m not certain the things I would’ve followed without the information discussed by you relating to such topic. It became a real alarming scenario in my circumstances, but coming across a new well-written strategy you dealt with it forced me to cry over contentment. Extremely grateful for your assistance and trust you recognize what a powerful job you’re getting into educating many people using your webblog. Most probably you have never met all of us.

  • I would like to express some thanks to this writer for bailing me out of this particular condition. After searching through the search engines and obtaining ways which are not helpful, I believed my life was over. Living devoid of the strategies to the problems you’ve solved by way of your short post is a serious case, as well as the kind which could have negatively damaged my career if I hadn’t encountered the website. Your understanding and kindness in playing with all areas was excellent. I don’t know what I would’ve done if I had not come upon such a thing like this. I am able to at this time relish my future. Thanks for your time so much for this professional and amazing help. I won’t hesitate to suggest your blog to anybody who needs and wants care on this problem.

  • I and also my buddies came reviewing the good tricks found on the blog and so immediately got a horrible feeling I never expressed respect to you for those strategies. All the women ended up as a result stimulated to read through all of them and already have definitely been using these things. Appreciate your turning out to be well considerate and then for picking such useful information millions of individuals are really desperate to understand about. My sincere apologies for not saying thanks to you sooner.

  • I definitely wanted to write down a simple note to be able to express gratitude to you for the fantastic facts you are showing on this site. My time consuming internet research has now been recognized with reputable know-how to write about with my neighbours. I ‘d say that most of us visitors are very much fortunate to dwell in a really good network with many awesome individuals with very beneficial opinions. I feel extremely blessed to have come across your weblog and look forward to some more enjoyable minutes reading here. Thank you once more for everything.

  • Needed to draft you the very little observation in order to say thank you once again for all the lovely ideas you have documented here. This is so surprisingly open-handed with you to present publicly all some people would’ve distributed for an ebook in making some cash on their own, mostly considering that you might have tried it if you ever desired. These tactics likewise served as the great way to be aware that most people have the same keenness just as mine to know the truth somewhat more when it comes to this problem. I believe there are numerous more fun occasions ahead for folks who read carefully your blog post.