With the rapid spread of social-network sites and an ever-growing interest in progressive causes in a capitalist society, it’s no surprise they would all converge in cyberspace. The result is SocialVibe, a new activist model that allows you to raise funds for non-profits.
Through SocialVibe, members support brands and charities via social networks like Facebook and MySpace, blogs and personal Web sites. In other words, the folks behind SocialVibe have figured out a new way to advertise, taking advantage of all those Internet users and channeling money to worthy causes. And it seems to be working: SocialVibe has been growing about 300% per month since its launch in February 2008, and it is indeed raising money.
“I SocialVibe for PETA, and PETA has about 19,000 supporters, who are raising $5,000 by end of this year,” says activist Niranjan Amarnath of Chennai, India. Niranjan tells me they’ve already more than tripled their goal, raising more than $16,000. “The Whaleman Foundation has 39,392 supporters, who have raised a total of $26,046, and the spcaLA has 9,779 supporters, who have raised $5,214,” he says.
So how does it all work? Essentially, it’s viral marketing. Similar to Facebook and Myspace, SocialVibe is a social media platform where users network with other people. The difference is that on SocialVibe, members add a widget to their profile page that endorses a brand and supports a non-profit. It is through brand endorsement that members earn points that accrue toward direct charity donations, while at the same time SocialVibe members can earn perks, including travel and merchandise. The more active you are on a social network the better.
“SocialVibe recognizes the power and influence of the individual within social media,” says Joe Marchese, founder and president of SocialVibe. “Our platform empowers individuals to wield this power and influence for a good cause while presenting brands with a unique platform to connect with a rapidly growing number of users. Pilot partners of SocialVibe include Coca-Cola, NBA, Sprint and Nestle.”
SocialVibe got a big boost this year when actress and anti-whaling activist Hayden Panettiere promoted her SocialVibe cause — the Whaleman Foundation — on YouTube.