Social media is connecting people across the globe and allowing us to do amazing things, to work together towards a common goal. More and more charities, pro social campaigns and individuals are realising the potential of social media in bringing people and their causes together. Here are 5 outstanding examples...

Rachel's 9th Birthday Wish

Rachel was a young girl with a big heart wanting to make a difference to those who were less fortunate than herself. She set herself a goal of raising $300 to help children in Africa get clean water too. Stating it was her birthday wish, she asked friends and family not to buy her gifts but donate online to the cause. She didn’t reach her fundraising goal but vowed to make her target next year.

Sadly, a little over a month later, Rachel was fatally injured in a car accident. Her family and friends, left devastated, decided to make her wish come true and arranged for the donation page on MyCharity: Water to be reopened.

Rachel’s story went viral. Friends set up Facebook and Twitter campaigns in her name and spread the word of her story. Touched by Rachel’s selfless wish and her families determination to make her wish come true; people were encouraged to make a difference in Rachel’s name. Just a few months later $1,265,823 was raised.

Jack Draws Anything

Jack Henderson has become an internet sensation at 7, charming thousands world wide.

His aim was to raise £100 for the charity Sick Kids Friends Foundation, to thank their hospital in Edinburgh for the constant care given to his younger brother Noah. How did he plan to do this? He took to drawing, starting out by sharing his talents on JustGiving.

Now, Jack has completed over 500 drawings and raised, amazingly, over £32,000.

His online presence quickly grew via Facebook making his fundraising campaign grow bigger and bigger. He now has his own website, YouTube videos dedicated to his drawings and thousands of Facebook fans, all spreading the word about his good deeds.

This is a story that, again, tugs at the heart strings. People have connected with the creative way Jack is helping the hospital and his brother. Jack’s good deeds continue with a new drawing challenge to help celebrate the Hospital’s 20th anniversary. Check out Jack’s Hulk and other drawings here.

The Big Dig Campaign

Wateraid used Instagram to raise funds and create world wide awareness of the work being carried out in Malawi by using it as a daily picture diary for the world to see.

Since this, there has been a big increase in donations – with the UK Government also giving money – doubling the profound impact that the charity is already having on the country.

So far, and with donations still rolling in via text giving and online, the charity campaign has raised more than £2 million with the government’s match funding.

So what has this funding meant for the people of Malawi? It has given clean water and sanitation to over 134,000 people. Benefiting both homes and schools across the country.

The use of Instagram has really helped this campaign take off as it is such a visual cause. By using this social medium, the world is able to see what good their donations are doing and the story unfolds every day. Along with this, an easy donation system via text giving made donating, simple and hassle free.

Charity Swear Box

Turning the taboo into something good. Charity Swear box is,  as they put it,  ‘a swear box for the twitter age’. For every swear word you send out over the social networking website you donate a small amount of money to one of their charities.

Charities benefiting from this bad behavior but for a good cause include BeatBullying in the UK and Camp TLC in the US who deliver a week of camping to children living in hospitals, group homes, and shelters across the country.

Using it’s already major twitter presence, the words spread and people have donated regardless of whether not they have sworn. Currently the expletives have raised over $60,000 for a number of good causes.

Charity swear box is successful because it uses something that we all do and on something millions of us use. It’s made simple with an easy donate system and is endorsed by the band Stooshe. It works because it’s the first of it’s kind and is something fun that anyone on twitter can get involved in.

Movember

Movember is a campaign that runs through November. It encourages men around the world to stop shaving and grow their facial hair wild in order to raise awareness about the health issues that can affect men.

Last year, through Movember, Prostate Cancer Charity managed to raise an amazing £26 Million after it went global.

So why was Movember such a big hit?  It created a shared experience, bonding all those participating. Even managing to get celebrity involvement from the likes of Hulk Hogan and Snoop Dogg to create videos about men’s health issues.

The campaign became effortlessly viral as people constantly added their efforts onto facebook, twitter and their online ‘Mo Space’ – where men could keep track of their progress and show the world their wacky facial doos while making it easy for other internet users to sponsor them. Offline, anyone participating became a walking billboard

In all they took a different approach to fundraising, rather than tugging at the heartstrings they focused on the fun aspect of raising funds, making it a global movement. With November just around the corner the campaign’s influence as well as men’s facial hair is about to grow.

For more on campaigns that have overachieved thanks to social media check out thisprevious blog post and if you’d like to find out more about how social media could help your fundraising email hello@reasondigital.com

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