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Cause Blogging and the New Media Activist – #TypeACon 2013

Here we are Cause Blogging and the New Media Activist with moderator Ilina Ewen and speakers: Fadra Nally,Sarah Pinnix, and Chrysula Winnegar.

These ladies do a lot of very good things for a lot of very good organizations. You can form partnerships, donate ad space to charitable causes, do community work.

Cause Blogging and the New Media Activist. Moderator: Ilina Ewen. Speakers: Fadra Nally, Sarah Pinnix, and Chrysula Winnegar.

There are a million and one causes out there vying for our attention, our donations, and our time. How do you choose?

Cause fatigue is a real thing, but we can look at it as a purchasing decision. Pick what you’re passionate about. Do your reading and research to determine what really matters to you. Girl empowerment? Children and maternal health? Poverty? Education? Health care? (We have a few Shot@Life Champions both on the panel and in the audience.) Hunger? Animal welfare? Music and art? Find out what resonates with you.

Pick two or three causes to make those choices with your family budget. You can’t do everything. You cannot fund everything in the world.

For Fadra, she looks for organizations that want more from her than just donations. When an organization reaches out to you and wants to work with you to see how you can use your influence to do good, that can be a good fit. 

What do you see going on in the world that breaks your heart? Start there. You can then find organizations that will help make that piece of the world better. What is affecting you and the lives of your readers? For many of use, vaccinations are highly relevant for us and our audiences, saving children’s lives. With Sarah, and with me, cancer is a personal thing – and people know we’re being authentic when we advocate for cancer organizations.

How do you decide which organizations are legitimate?

Charity Navigator is one site that will help you determine things like accountability, no-tax status, how much money gets to the beneficiaries. Don’t go to a charity that claims that 100% of their overhead is taken care of, unless there is transparency about how those bills are getting paid, because that’s not sustainable. 15-23% is a reasonable amount of donor money to keep the lights on for that charity.

What can you do for charity besides donations?

You can donate space on your blog in addition to money. You can donate your time and skills. Fadra was a social media manager for her local food bank. You can meet with your legislators and engage in lobbying. You can do videos and post on your social channels even when it’s not blog post-worthy. Be an ambassador in your community for your cause, especially with brands who want to make charitable donations in your community. Think outside the box. There are some social good apps you can download as well.

When you can bring your online and offline activities together, it can be powerful. If you do meet with your legislators, letting them know about your online influence can make more of an impact.

What are some of the ethical implications of working with non-profits?

It’s very difficult for a non-profit organization to pay a blogger. They do have marketing budgets, but it can be difficult as a blogger to accept charity work as a sponsored post, etc. Brand partnerships can be one way to make the connection without having to accept money from the charity but still get compensated for your work. Donor intent is important too. If your cause is about advocacy and information sharing, then it makes sense for that organization to pay for a blogging campaign. If the cause is more about helping patients pay their medical bills, paying bloggers for their efforts does not work as well.

Your voice matters.

We’ve heard some very personal stories about how individual bloggers have made a real difference in other people’s lives. A vulnerable woman had power restored after Hurricane Sandy. A woman’s life was saved by postnatal knowledge that saved her from bleeding out. Funding was restored to a community organization that provided crisis intervention services to local families. Anything you can do can make more of a difference than you think. Use your voice. Change will come.

Christina Gleason (832 Posts)

That’s me: Christina Gleason. I’m a professional copywriter, editor, and blogger. My company is called Phenomenal Content. (Hire me!) I’m a relatively high-functioning Aspie who also lives with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), depression, anxiety, and chronic pain. I am not ashamed to admit that I am in the care of a psychiatrist, who assures me that people in therapy are often better adjusted than “normal” people who are not, because at least we know what our issues are and are working on them. I’m a geek for grammar, fantasy, and select types of gaming, including World of Warcraft and Plants vs Zombies 2. I hate vegetables. I have an intense phone phobia, so I’ll happily conduct business over email or IM instead. I have started writing no fewer than five novels, and I hope to finish one of them...eventually.

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