Going Global: Empowering Giving and Learning Throughout the World

While nonprofits are often focused on helping individuals in their local communities or nationwide, there is a growing number of charitable organizations that seek to effect global change. This is largely thanks to the increasing significance of social media as a global networking tool, which allows nonprofits to connect with a worldwide audience regardless of their size, cause or financial resource.

As the recent ‘Everyone Gives’ campaign proved, social media is the ideal platform on which to empower a wide demographic of participants while also raising significant funding. Founded by leading real estate firm Colliers International, the campaign allowed donors in more than 64 countries to make contributions to the charities of their choice, while encouraging them to share the opportunity across their individual social networks. In total, more than $741,213 was raised in just 17 days.

Social Philanthropy: Empowering Youngsters as the Donors of Tomorrow

While this campaign proves the ease with which global campaigns can now be managed, it is not the first to leverage social media as a way of effecting a global cause. Global Impact is a nonprofit organization that has been connecting donors with causes for more than 40 years, and the implementation of social media techniques has afforded it an even greater reach and the potential to empower a different demographic of donors. This was evident through the 2010 CFCNCA (Combined Federal Campaign of the National Capital Area) campaign, which received an honorable mention at the 2012 Nonprofit PR Awards.

The CFCNCA campaign was designed to engage both first time and younger donors, and embraced evolving technologies through which these individuals could be both empowered and inspired. Social media was a significant feature of this integrated drive, as Global Impact recognized the way in which its younger and more proficient users shared information through remote interaction. This not only helped to foster a sense of social responsibility among younger members of society, but also gave featured causes and projects the opportunity to go viral within a matter of days.

One World One Ocean: Educating Through Online Videos

In addition to reaching and engaging a wider target audience, global nonprofits can also use social media to educate followers about a specific cause or relevant social issue. For example, the multi-year One World One Ocean campaign has consistently embraced innovation in order to educate followers on the plight of the worlds oceans, and its 2012 online video series taps into the audio visual power of social media to achieve this on a global scale. This series highlights significant issues such as plastic pollution and overfishing, and seeks to inspire action through the impartation of knowledge.

As witnessed with this and previous campaigns conducted by leading global nonprofit Charity: water, the use of video imagery is continuing to emerge as an extremely engaging and interactive educational tool. When this is shared across an integrated social network and resources such as YouTube, Facebook and Pinterest, nonprofits have an opportunity to retain the interest of informed donors throughout the world who can genuinely assist their cause. Whether individuals want to offer their time or money, they are more likely to participate in a cause when they have a deeper understanding of its purpose and what they can help to achieve.

Lessons for Nonprofits

Social media is undoubtedly changing the way in which individuals interact and share information, and this trend is especially prevalent across more youthful social demographics. Nonprofits can ill afford to ignore this, as a global campaign that is integrated across different social media sites has a far greater chance of going viral and engaging the interest of a wider section of society. Given that social media is also narrowing the boundaries of the world in which we live, the contemporary nonprofit also has a unique opportunity to educate its following on any number of breaking or unheralded social concerns.

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