A lot has already been written about the myriad “social networks for good” that sprouted up in 2007. Some stories overstate the impact so far, and many take a cynical view of the power of these networks to raise MONEY. It’s one thing, they argue, to get friends to become ‘fans” online, and another altogether different thing to get 20-somethings to give. This may be true, but in the last week there have been some pretty powerful signs that online giving – to political or charitable causes – is something the emerging generation will be well-poised to embrace.
Take for example, this Tech Crunch report on Barack Obama’s fundraising in January. $28 of $32 million! “…That means Obama raised more money in January online than Howard Dean raised in his entire 2003/2004 campaign (he raised a total of $27 million). Barack’s $28 million in online contributions came from more than 250,000 contributors. 90% were under $100. 40% were $25 or less, and 10,000 people gave $5 or $10 to the campaign.” It’s universally accepted that Obama is appealing disproportionately to younger voters – those who in the future will have larger sums to contribute.
A second encouraging sign is the success of the Case Foundation’s Facebook Giving Challenge (the companion to the Parade/Case America’s Giving that GG was part of as well). The top three fundraisers attracted a combined total of almost 11,000 unique donors.
Another experiment we’ll be really interested to watch is the United Way’s Text-for-Good SuperBowl ad. It’s already been blogged by our friend Lucy B. We did some experimentation with text-to-give a year or so ago via PayPal, but it met with a deafening silence of uptake. Of course, we weren’t advertising during the Super Bowl.
All of these examples point to the level of engagement of a “younger skewed” audience. They are more likely to transact online and one day they will have a bunch more money…