Tag Archives: volunteerism

Crowdrise – social networking for philanthropy

The last thing I need is a another social networking site to join.  I manage the M2M Facebook page, Twitter, blog, and website in addition to my own personal posts, tweets, blogs, and a profile on LinkedIn.  But Crowdrise is different, worth it, and totally harnesses the power for good, the energy of social networking, with a healthy dose of lowball humor thanks to founders Wil Ferrell, Ed Norton, and a whole slew of celebrities.

Their tagline captures the spirit:  If you don’t give back, no one will like you.

In their own words, “Crowdrise is about volunteering, raising money for Charity and having the most fun in the world while doing it. Crowdrise is way more fun than anything else aside from being all nervous about trying to kiss a girl for the first time and her not saying something like ‘you’ve got to be kidding me.'”

So I sat down with Megan and Corinne, two of our Development Board members to figure out what its all about.  I paid them each $20 to create profiles and post donations so we could see how it worked.

You can support a charity itself (hopefully us!) or a specific project that a charity is raising money for.  You can become a team member, recruit others, and the best part?  The unique aspect of earning points for each donation you make.  Points earn you cool prizes from Crowdrise’s sponsors, like Patagonia messenger bags, ipads, and more.

This won’t replace traditional donations through our website directly or snail mail checks in the mail from the old school contingent that still don’t trust the internet.  But if you are active on Facebook and Twitter, donating through Crowdrise gives your donation a voice – by showing your friends and family you care about a specific project, and giving you the ability to recruit others, share the link on your social networking sites, and tracking how close we are to our goal.  Something not possible through a traditional website.

So our first project page is dedicated to our deaf school in Kabul.  We got land donated from President Karzai, and the primary school construction donated by Innovida, a green technology construction company.  Fabulous news!  The more fabulous news?  They are ready to build NOW and can complete the school in about a month.  But we need to build the security wall and the secondary school so that the entire student population can move into the school at the same time.

So – visit our project page, to see the project, and donate whatever you can.  The beauty of a ‘vocal’ donation?  $20 goes a long way if you can find another 10 people to give $20!  So you need to share the project page on your FB and Twitter about it!   The potential is that its viral… think the Obama campaign!  Small donations by millions of people – we can all be part of the change we wish to see in the world.  Even if we think we can’t afford it!

Help us build this school!  Visit the link, donate, share, and make yourself and M2M heard!  This way – even the deaf children in Afghanistan will hear you!

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The Call to Service

Along with the entire nation today, I watched with a hopeful heart and open mind, as Obama took over the leadership of our nation.  Eyes welled up to hear words like, “We come to proclaim an end to the petty grievances and false promises, the recriminations and worn-out dogmas that for far too long have strangled our politics.”   Eloquent words to be sure, and long overdue.

What sets Obama apart from the majority of politicians is his hearkening back to the era of JFK by placing the power and the responsibility of moving our country forward at the feet of us, the citizens, and the drivers of this runaway train.   This country is supposed to be run by its citizens, with the politicians working FOR us, our representatives in the highest echelons of government.   Instead, citizens get lazy and dependent, assuming that those in power will do what’s right and then complaining when they don’t.  Too many times have I overheard, “I am just one person, what can I do.”  “If I was in power I’d do things differently.”  “Politicians are all crooked and can’t be trusted.”

In response, I quote the aforementioned President, JFK.   “Anyone can make a difference, and EVERYONE should try.”

Obama too, has made it a priority of his campaign, and by initial looks his administration, to place the importance of volunteerism, community service, and citizenship responsibility, front and center.   His call to action reminds me of how Mountain to Mountain, alongside many grassroots organizations were started and how we can all find those small steps to “Be the Change.”

Grassroots organizations are formed to fill a need that someone is passionate about;  children’s medical issues, abandoned dogs and cats, breast cancer, environmental issues, women’s rights, etc.  Someone gets inspired, gets off their ass, and gets to work, hopefully enlisting support, help, and donations along the way to make a difference in lives and communities in small and big ways.

Our own grassroots organization started with two women committed to equality gender inequity through education in remote mountain communities in Pakistan.  Our passion overrode any naysayers affect on the momentum of our fledging organization and our own community support to get behind the effort of building schools overseas with Central Asia Institute.

Entering our third year, and the first on our own non profit instead of supporting others, the commitment to inspiring others to get involved as a means to further our projects is still at the forefront of our approach.

It is our hope that if we inspire those at home to get involved, we can inspire more children to reach their full potential through education.

It is our wish that as more and more citizens answer our President’s call to action, that our own goals for community involvement and building our volunteer base will be positively affected.  Each volunteer that offers up their time and skills drives organizations like ours further.  As our ranks grow, so do the possibilities.

In the upcoming months of this new administration, I look forward to not just watching the direction of our country, but doing my part to create positive changes here and abroad.  I hope that my fellow citizens will do the same, whether with our organization, on their own, or with the myriad of other organizations working to create positive changes throughout this country and throughout the world.

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