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« Young Consumers Hold the Key to Sustainable Brands | Main | How Digital Media is Changing the World of Philanthropy »

The Power of Social Networks and Mobile Giving

Maureen Feldman
August, 2013

Social media and technology are redefining traditional philanthropy as we know it. A new study by the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project revealed that one in three people in the United States use their mobil device to make charitable donations. Mobil devices and social media are at the core of how people connect with one another and with their favorite causes. Non-profit professionals predict the mobil device mindset will continue to grow, enabling fundraising professionals to attract and engage new audiences. The ability to send small donations using mobile phones facilitates “impulse giving” in direct response to, “calls to actions” posted on personal social media sites by trusted friends and influencers. 

Capital CauseYounger donors appreciate the transparency and lack of hierarchical structure social media and mobil donations provide. Social media allows a non-profit the opportunity to generate online engagement, nurturing long-term commitments with donors. The process is more flexible than traditional fundraising methods and arguably more cost effective.

Non-profits are also effectively leveraging a powerful new currency; the influence of their online supporters. Julie Dixon, deputy director for the Center for Social Impact, states we typically think that giving always involves our wallets, however, the new kind of currency making an impact in charitable giving is our influence.  Just under half  of those interviewed for the PEW study had encouraged their friends or family members to make a contribution via text messages. Most of these efforts (76 percent) were successful. Non-profits are using their supporters networks to increase donations, enlist volunteers, and promote signature events.

Reader Comments (2)

Maureen - these should be linked in the article or posted as reference posts.
I left the original on the TUW portal and that can stay as is. Nice job!

Julie Dixon - Using Your Social Currency to Support Global Causes | TEDxChange: Positive Disruption

August 12, 2013 | Registered CommenterEditor


I really enjoyed reading your post. You are absolutely right when you state, “Social media and technology are redefining traditional philanthropy as we know it” (Feldman, Maureen). Although, it’s not only changing the philanthropy arena, it’s changing the fields of entertainment, education, and communication as a whole. One reason being that the advancements in social media and technology have changed the way we communicate with one another, as well as share experiences with one another. The Hollywood reporter conducted a study on social media and found that “88% of the surveyors viewed social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook as a new form of entertainment” (Solis, 2012). Therefore, with individuals being able to share and communicate their individual experiences through social media society is able to come together and connect on issues, and get involved in causes relevant to philanthropy.

2012. Solis, Brian. Lights, Camera, Action: How Social Media Changes the Entertainment Experience. Retrieved:

August 14, 2013 | Registered CommenterNadia

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