The hashtag dominates cyberspace and our lives, regardless of whether or not we understand where it comes from. (You can thank Twitter for its ubiquitousness.) And now, one group is harnessing the power of the hashtag to bring social good.
Instead of visiting a charity’s website and inputting a whole bunch of information, GoodWorld developed #donate, which allows social media users to donate directly to a charity when they use it.
It’s literally as simple as it sounds. According to the Washington Post, once a charity registers with GoodWorld, all a Facebook or Twitter user needs to do is include the hashtag in their message, along with the amount being given, and a donation is made directly to the nonprofit. (Facebook users must also post it on the charity’s page.) For a first donation, users must supply their basic information, but with all subsequent gifts, only the hashtag is required.
GoodWorld just launched on Oct. 7 and already has seven charities on board: ALS Association, Women Thrive Worldwide, Becky’s Fund, Global Kids, Alliance for Peacebuilding, Healthy Living, Inc. and Lolly’s Locks. Soon, though, GoodWorld plans to have about 30 additional participants.
Seven percent of each donation is kept by GoodWorld with the remainder going directly to the charity.
GoodWorld founder Dale Phiefer hopes that using by social media, the importance of giving will be amplified and go viral.
“What’s really important with giving is that the head, the heart and the action can happen at one time,” Pfeifer tells the Washington Post. “With online giving people were seeing things and feeling the emotion but had to take like eight steps to go and do it.”
Bill Thoet is the chairman ALS Association board and believes that GoodWorld would have definitely benefited the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.
“We have pretty good donation Web sites, but you have to fill out a lot of information. You have to go through that,” Thoet says. “There were a lot more videos out there than there were donations. And I can’t think that there were a lot of procrastinators out there that meant to do it, that wanted to do it, but didn’t go through those steps.”