Social Giving

by Patricia McGinnis 0

In all the hoopla about social media, from time to time onestumbles on a fragment about social media being used to leveragecharitable and community causes.Sometimes the emphasis is onvolunteering and participation, but financial firms might find someinteresting opportunities in the business of donations.

At the end of 2008, the U.S had in excess of 1.5 millionregistered non-profits, based on their recognition as 501(c)tax-exempt organizations.Of those, 974,000 are classified asSection 501(c)3 public charities, split roughly 50-50 between thosehaving annual gross receipts above or below $25,000.According tothe NCCS (National Center for Charitable Statistics), those 974,000organizations accounted for receipts and donations totaling $1374billion in 2008.Banks and credit unions attempting to strengthentheir ties to a community should clearly understand the localcharitable landscape, and make an effort to support it.

Both JPM Chase and American Express have already executednoteworthy social media campaigns focused on giving, using socialmedia initiatives to engage their customers.Given their nationalprofile, both firms achieved brand recognition.For smallerfinancial firms, especially local banks and credit unions, simplesocial media tools exist to empower them, to lend fund-raisingexpertise and visibility to more local community organizations.Abit of focus on understanding the needs of the smaller,community-based charities could not only improve the image of abank, but also bring it an increased share of that $1.4 trillion inrevenues.

What experiences have you seen in your communities?Have youexplored web-based relationships with entities like Guidestar, orwith Twitpay’s rt2give?How do these activities affect yourrelationships with retail customers?

I’d be happy to hear your story,