Friday, May 25, 2007

BlogCatalog Employs Social Media For Fundraising

San Antonio, Texas — BlogCatalog.com, one of the fastest-growing social blog directories on the Internet, will launch a social awareness campaign to benefit DonorsChoose.org on May 28. The campaign asks directory members (bloggers) to write about DonorsChoose.org and raise funds for the non-profit organization.

DonorsChoose.org is a non-profit Web site that brings teachers and donors together to fund specific student projects that range from "Magical Math Centers" ($200) to "Cooking Across the Curriculum" ($1,100). Any individual can search teacher proposals and fund specific projects, which are tax deductible.

“Internet social networks from MySpace to Facebook are receiving a ton of media and Internet attention, but we have yet to see an online social community come together to raise funds for a good cause,” said Antony Berkman, president of BlogCatalog.com. “We see this as an opportunity to empower and recognize bloggers to collectively focus their blogs for good.”

Berkman’s idea is to challenge directory members to draw attention to and raise funds for this underserved non-profit organization. BlogCatalog.com has set a goal to raise at least $25,000 for DonorsChoose.org, which is a member of the Omidyar Network. The Omidyar Network is a mission-based organization established by eBay founder Pierre Omidyar and his wife, Pam.

“We’ve asked our directory members to provide a specific link in their post so we can track the success of our program, but anyone can participate,“ says Berkman. “All they have to do is include our ‘challenge link’ in any post they write about DonorsChoose.org on May 28 and the importance of raising money for our schools and they’ll help us raise awareness about this organization and contribute funds to teachers across the country.”

The 'challenge link' is: http://www.donorschoose.org/donors/viewChallenge.html?id=16793

Berkman said depending on the success of the challenge, BlogCatalog.com will develop a community service page to host and promote more blog events in the near future. All donations made to DonorsChoose.Org will credit the blogger.

“We’ve seen social media can be used to bring people together for all sorts of reasons; I really hope we can bring people together to do good,” said Berkman. “Even better, this is a chance to find common interests within BlogCatalog.com and across the Web.”

BlogCatalog.com is the first social network directory to organize its members to raise funds for a specific non-profit organization. DonorsChoose.org benefits school systems in Alabama, Indiana, Louisiana, Mississippi, New York, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas, and Washington, D.C. Donors can also choose school districts in Chicago, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. For more information, visit BlogCatalog.com.

We've seen blogs raise funds for various nonprofit organizations, but BlogCatalog is the first social network that we've seen attempt to coordinate and credit hundreds of bloggers for helping raise funds for a specific nonprofit organization. Innovative giving is an excellent use for social media and it's refreshing to a social network like BlogCatalog step up.

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