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Philanthropy and Social Networking: Awareness or Laziness?

Submitted by on October 8, 2010 – 11:22 am

On Tribal Truth, we are big believers in the power of social networking and philanthropy. In the past, we covered the online Restore Truthiness campaign which raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for Donors Choose and philanthropy social networking sites like Crowdrise.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and so far, the online “I like it on…” campaign has broken from the pack and has been covered by many of the major news sources and publications. Women are encouraged to change their Facebook status to where they like to put their purse when they get home. Favorite picks include “I like it on the floor,” “I like it on the couch,” or “I like it on the counter.”

Some people think the campaign is inappropriate and does not tie in enough with breast cancer, but the bigger concern for us at Tribal Truth is that the campaign’s media attention is not leading to higher donations. According to Ericka del Rosario, the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation’s interactive media specialist, “We’re not seeing the same reaction at this stage of the day as we did with the last one,” and the Christian Science Monitor reported this week that most of the donations so far have been raised through traditional means. The “I like it on…” campaign might have increased the number of visits to the Susan G. Komen Foundation website, but less people are actually donating once they get to the site.

The problem with Facebook or Twitter campaigns is that people are raising awareness and think that is enough. People tweet about injustice and “like” finding a cure for cancer, stopping human trafficking, or helping African girls go to college, but they don’t actually do anything about it. These causes require time, money, and action. Awareness isn’t enough anymore.

Tribal Truth wants to hear from our readers. What do you think of the “I like it on…” campaign? Does it make you more or less likely to support breast cancer research? Comment below, and let us know how you are honoring Breast Cancer Awareness Month!

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