Social media can be an incredible force for doing good.

I’ve spoken about it a bit lately, sharing some real world examples in the deck below:

SlideShare

Examples don’t necessarily explain how to do it, so here’s a simple, grassroots way I used social media to raise $1,250 for the Muscular Dystrophy Association just yesterday.

Here’s how I did it.

First, I created a blog post explaining what I was doing.

Then I used Twitter and Facebook to broadcast my requests, Brightkite to post photos (which in turn, post to Twitter), Ping.fm to send information across all my networks, and a ChipIn widget to collect and tally donations.

All of the services above are free.

This blog has been my aggregation point, and it’s basically free, too.

The only hard cost was from Paypal, my clearinghouse for payments, totaling about 3%, which my firm simply made up the difference.

There are options that don’t cost, such as the Causes application on Facebook and MySpace, but the MDA didn’t have a link set up there.

What’s the upside?

What will Outsource Marketing, The Responsible Marketing Blog and I gain from all this? Well, I had fun and it always feels good to do good.

Everyone at Outsource Marketing is here because we care about more than making a buck—we want to do some good too. While my colleagues enjoyed seeing me forcefully removed from the premises, they were genuinely glad our firm was involved. Efforts like this reinforce the culture we’re working to build.

Sure, you can’t spend goodwill, but keeping your team happy reduces turnover.

And lower turnover results in higher client satisfaction.

And higher client satisfaction results in less client churn.

And less churn makes for a more profitable company.

I’ll take all of the above, thank you.

You can help the MDA (or a nonprofit of your choice) too.

If you are ever asked to participate in the MDA Lock-Up in your community, do it. The MDA offers “Wanted” posters and plenty of ideas to promote it around your office.

It’s easy, it’s fun and it’s for a great cause.

Ping me and I’ll promote it here on The Responsible Marketing Blog.

Tomorrow, it’s back to strictly marketing posts. Although I never heard a peep saying as much, I assume a few of you were beginning to suffer from “fundraising fatigue.”

Rest assured, I’ll stay out of jail for at least another year.

So, what’s the most creative fundraiser you’ve ever seen?

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Join the discussion 3 Comments

  • “So, what’s the most creative fundraiser you’ve ever seen?”

    I can’t really say that I’ve paid much attention to fundraisers until the last year. My life had no direction until then, and well, lets say I’m driving it with direction harder than yesterday. Constant growth encouraged, not perfection.

    Soooo, in light of that, I’d say that watching stunts like the one you pulled yesterday got me to thinking about ways to jump out of the woodwork and smack people with a positive message for a good cause (or 2 or 3 you get the pic)

    Hopefully, if I ever manage to be as cool as Patrick Byers when I grow up, I’ll go bungee off of the White House or something, but for now, I’ll just try to keep you out of jail.

  • Marlo Archer says:

    Okay, I don’t actually know how to “ping,” but hopefully you’ll get this. You talked me into it. I am arrested “for good” and it most certainly does feel like it will be forever. I set up a Chip-in site like you did and will take all the help you can dish out.

    http://drmarloarcher.chipin.com/mda-lock-up

  • Lindsey says:

    Hi my mom is going to be participating in the MDA lockup fundraiser this Friday and I know it’s a bit short notice but could you help me promote her. I’ve tried helping out but she just won’t listen. Her link is http://www2.mda.org/goto/WellnessSolutionsDrugAlcoholandDNAtesting. Her name is Terri Snow. I would greatly appreciate it if there was anyway you could help. Even if you could give me a few tips on how I can convince friends and family to donate.

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