Supporting a charity is something that makes us feel good. Whether we are supporting The American Cancer Society or a local youth group, it feels good to know that some of the money we make can help others.
The challenge, though, is that most of us only have a little to give and would like to make more of an impact. This is where social media comes in. Great strides can be made on Facebook, Twitter, and email to let people know you really care about an organization, and this can allow you to reach further toward being an agent of change. The key is understanding how it all works.
Using Facebook to Support a Charity
When making friends on Facebook, do not forget that the charity you give to desperately wants to have an online relationship with you. Reach out to them and become friends. When they accept your invitation, people you know will see this.
For example, let's say you are participating in the 2013 Portfolios With Purpose competition where people donate $100 to pick five stocks and the top three finishers get all of the money for the charities of their choice.
While it is too late to encourage your friends to enter the competition this year, they can see that you are friends with Portfolios With Purpose, and they can also get updates from you as you go.
For example, let's say you are currently ranked in the top 10 of the hundreds of people competing, that is certainly worthy of noting on your wall with a link to the page showing your name and the charity you are competing for. Such an event would certainly be Twitter-worthy, as well.
Using Twitter to get the Word out
The great thing about Twitter is that it allow you to pop in on your friends and let them know what you are up to. While many of us know that we are not as interesting Steve Martin, we do still have friends who are interested in our lives and what we are doing. For this reason, we can let them know what we are doing, especially if it something as awesome as supporting a charity.
Using the example above of placing in the top 10 one day in the Portfolios With Purpose Challenge, a good tweet would be "Looks like cancer charity is getting $17k in my name; check out PWP."
Your Facebook friends will get the gist that this is something you are really into, and something that might be fun for them, too. At this point, it is time to hit up your friends with an email to follow up.
Using Email in a Non-spammy way
There is nothing spam-like about letting your friends know you are doing something cool. There are plenty of friends who do races for charity. You know they won't win, but it's fun to feel like you are there with them by throwing $10 their way.
With this, you can say, 'as all of you know, I competed in the 2013 Portfolios With Purpose competition and placed 44th out of over 400 people. I had so much fun this year I am going to enter the competition again for 2014. However, I do not want to do it alone. I hope some of you will join me in trying to raise money for our favorite charities.'
And whether you support cancer charity, a church, or even your local school, it doesn't matter. The important thing is that you are helping to make a positive difference in the world you live.