Middle East and North Africa

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Flickr/CC/European Commission DG ECHO

By Minji Hong

 

Through time, the Middle East and North Africa region has come to be recognized as the epicenter of instability, where civil conflict is rife, often claiming the innocent lives of many. Media coverage has definitely contributed to the public’s rising awareness over the last few decades across the globe, from the prolonged Arab-Israeli conflict to the Arab Spring in 2010, to highlight a couple. However, what many fail to witness are the positive actions being taken to try to bring about change and restore hope and peace in the region by uniting people. Let’s discover how sports can act as social ventures and as a tool to facilitate the rebuilding of these 3 conflict-stricken countries in the region!

 

Palestine

With the Israeli occupation and the scramble for complete independence, Palestinians have been constantly living under the fear of their lives being endangered. This is where sports come in and help regenerate hope among the people. For the youth, Parkour, or freerunning, has become a popular sport to exercise the freedom of movement, roaming around the streets of Jerusalem for instance, as a way to escape their reality under Israeli occupation led by Sami, founder of Palestine’s very first Parkour team in 2008. Another recent hobby of Palestinians is rock climbing. Wadi Climbing is a social venture led by two American rock climbing enthusiasts Tim and Will with the goals to provide an opportunity to discover and explore the beautiful landscape of rural Palestine has to offer through this unique healthy recreational activity that promotes fitness and facilitates interaction between Palestinians. The club has already introduced the sport to about 500 new climbers, and is currently working towards establishing an indoor gym. Last but not least, in March 2015, the Palestine Marathon held its third annual run in Bethlehem with over 3000 runners, most of which are locals. This marathon grabs unique global attention for not only having the highest participation of female runners but also with its unique mission to “take ownership of Article 13 of UN’s Charter of Human Rights: the right to movement,”  when most of Palestine is under restrictive Israeli authority control. The marathon truly succeeds in congregating a mass as a symbol for unity and peace.

Flickr/CC/Fabio Aro
Flickr/CC/Fabio Aro


Lebanon

A country with a prolonged history of extreme divisions within not only the political sphere but among the general public into multiple religious and ideological factions, Lebanon continues to be subject to a succession of upheavals with the recent Syrian conflict increasing border tensions. In the midst of this precarious realities of the country, one woman took charge to found the Beirut Marathon Association, as a powerful means to reconfigure the dynamics among the highly polarized Lebanese population by encouraging unity and solidarity through sports. Since its first run in 2003, the organization is one of the largest of its kind in the region, by expanding to hosting an annual Women’s Race and a youth race, in addition to the annual Banque du Liban international Beirut Marathon that congregates runners from all four corners of the world. Its success was recognized by multiple platforms, such as the “Power of Sports” awarded by the international Sports press Association in 2010, and in 2011, the prestigious “Sports for Good” awarded by Laureus, a prominent organization with the aim to “harness the power of sport to promote social change.”

Flickr/CC/Control Arms
Flickr/CC/Control Arms

 


Libya

Following the Arab Spring in 2011, which overthrew the country’s authoritarian ruler Muammar Gaddafi’s 42 years of reign that ensued from a region-wide uprising and civil war, Libya has been struggling to restore stability. It has recently been torn apart between the Islamist and secular military powers, two opposing factions that are competing for political control. Meanwhile, sports are assuming an essential role in transforming the distraught community by recovering the active sports scene that Gaddafi’s rule had strictly prohibited, ultimately instilling high hopes for the future and peace of the country. Under Gaddafi’s oppressive rule, boxing was a sport that was considered to be barbaric and subsequently banned for more than 3 decades. However, since Gaddafi’s fall in 2011, the sport has revived, already starting to regain its success in various regional and international competitions. Despite the many obstacles the sport is facing, including the complete lack of financial support, many boxing clubs, one of the most successful ones being Ittihad Boxing Club, are determined to recover Libya’s global reputation and restore its pride in the sport. Along the Libyan coastlines, a new wind is blowing – literally. Jalal El-Walid’s kitesurfing shop, Wind Friends, which also offers lessons, has generated a new community of kite-surfing enthusiasts composed of local women as well, who surf with hijabs on, defying the prejudice against sexism. His efforts are changing the recreational scene of the Libyan youth as well, encouraging them to drop their guns and invest their energy and enthusiasm in learning a sport instead. He strives to realize his goal to make Libya as one of the most popular kitesurfing destinations.

Flickr/CC/bert knottenbeld
Flickr/CC/bert knottenbeld

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Flickr/CC/ITU Pictures

By Minji Hong

The distribution of population in the Middle East and the greater MENA (Middle East and North Africa) region is said to be characterized by a “youth bulge,” stimulated by a significant decrease in infant mortality met with a high fertility rate. However, recent trends show that these young adults are failing to find jobs and earn a decent income, thus becoming a “demographic bomb,” according to an average youth unemployment rate of more than 20 percent. There are many causes that can explain the aggravating situation, including an over-dependence on public-sector jobs to private-sector jobs as well as decreasing returns on education propelled by a discrepancy between the skills and education the youth receives and those needed in the job market. Here are 4 startups that strive to facilitate youth development, some through education, some through harnessing creativity, and others through the support of youth entrepreneurship, all ultimately geared towards combating high levels of youth unemployment in the region by tapping into their potentials.

 

TalentS (Saudi Arabia), Website, Facebook, Twitter

Since its inception in 2007, National TalentS Company for Training and Education “TalentS,” by co-founders Amr Saleh Al Madani, has quickly garnered recognition in the region for its innovative approach to nurturing a passion for science, technology, math and engineering (STEM) in young Saudis, by designing and operating various educational programs, competitions, camps, and exhibitions with a particular focus on empirical, hands-on experiences to engage the youth in enhancing their competency in the field. The company is equipped with a team of 85 young professionals and educators. Built upon Amr’s strong belief that “empowering the youth of Saudi Arabia in the fields of STEM is an essential step to reignite the engines of productivity and creativity” for the nation, TalentS was awarded as one of the Saudi Fast Growth Startup companies in 2009, and in 2014, Amr was granted the Eisenhower Fellowship for innovation.

 

Holom (Jordan), Instagram, Facebook, Twitter

Holom, directly translated as “dreams” in Arabic, is a non-profit organization founded by three young Jordanians in early 2015, with an aim to empower the youth in marginalized communities within Jordan through creativity, to ultimately help them to realize their life goals. Their operations include conducting research on the access to creative learning outlets across Jordan, as well as launching creative-learning workshops in Amman and refugee camps. Artistic activities and social awareness are merged to increase the youth’s engagement in social issues whilst using the arts as a means to not only increase self-confidence but also to help them earlier on to understand the potential role of the arts to provide solutions to the various challenges of the 21st century. The founders’ backgrounds in the arts and the non-governmental sector are instrumental in strengthening the Jordanian economy by providing innovative and creative opportunities to build a stronger MENA region.

 

The Youth Company (Qatar), Website, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter

A youth-run social enterprise based in Qatar, The Youth Company was established in December 2010 in order to provide a comprehensive platform for the empowerment and development of the youth in the MENA region. Today, it operates based on more than 200 projects, training workshops, festivals and conferences. Statistically, the company has engaged more than 250 thousand young adults within the 5 years of its inception. The startup hosts a few events every year, notably, the MENA region’s first ever Parkour competition, the Arab Hip-Hop Festival, and Run The World Festival 2015, the largest youth festival in the Middle East connecting the youth from more than 50 different cultures through sports, food, and music.


Ibtikar (Saudi Arabia), Website, Twitter

This app-developing company based in Saudi Arabia, was founded by Majed Al Thagafi, based on his conviction that “corporates have a responsibility to help qualified students and fresh graduates with the right skill sets to reach their potential.” His efforts to empower the youth by facilitating their professional growth, particularly in the app-developing and software sectors, culminated with his partnership with a number of  universities in the MENA region to provide computer science students with internship opportunities at the company. Moreover, Ibtikar offers job openings to outstanding interns after graduation as well as training programs for its employees. Majed Al Thagafi’s dedication to developing the pool of technical talents and skills in the nation has earned him world-wide recognition, for instance, by being a nominee for Ernst and Young entrepreneurship award.

 

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Flickr/CC/rana ossama

By Minji Hong

Conservative. Restrained. Conforming. Repressed. These are some of the words that are commonly associated with Muslims and/or Arabs. Gradually through time, society has created this invisible dissolution between women in general and those who are Arab/ Muslim, often based on the erroneous perception that the religion Islam constricts and oppresses women. On the very contrary, they are still normal women with the same desire to look and feel beautiful as other women do, regardless of their religious beliefs. So these 3 influential “hijabi” beauty and fashion bloggers are striving to defy the stereotypes against Arab/ Muslim women by revolutionizing how these women are presented in society – that these women have every right and potential to pursue both professional and familial ambitions, and that it’s absolutely possible, in fact encouraged, to rock hot pink lips in hijabs, showing the magical balance between modesty and bold sense of personal style in beauty and fashion.


Ascia AKF (Kuwait), Blog, Instagram, Youtube, Twitter, Shop

“I started out as more of a social change. It was more that I wanted women to kind of push themselves into a place where we were no longer kind of hiding behind this veil… And they are not afraid to have their faces behind all of their businesses now.”

Fashion and beauty blogger based in Kuwait, Ascia is a young Kuwaiti/ American wife and mother. Her passion for empowering Arab/ Muslim women through fashion began with the launch of her blog “the Hybrid in a Headpiece” now turned “the Hybrids” to reflect the collaborative work with her husband who also hails from a racially mixed background. Ascia’s fan base of almost 40,000 subscribers on Youtube, and 1.5 million followers in Instagram extends across the Middle East and is composed of young women who are inspired by her innovative and unique sense of fashion style, bringing about a revolution within the Fashion industry of the region. She has also started her own business “Desert Baby” that produces ring slings for moms to carry their babies in a convenient yet fashionable way, a follow-up of the trend she herself had started with her own child, Adam.

 

Dina Torkia (London), Blog, Instagram, Youtube, Twitter, Shop

“I think of dressing smartly as a way to represent myself and my religion. I don’t understand why you can’t be interested in fashion and be a Muslim.”

Dina is a half Egyptian and half English fashion blogger based in London in her mid 20s. After the launching of her blog in 2011, she has soared in terms of social media stats: acquiring almost 700,000 followers in Instagram and about 270,000 subscribers on Youtube, with her channel gaining more than 30 million views in total. She is indeed one of the trailblazers in this fashion industry for Muslim women all over the world and now stands as the most popular hijabi blogger in the UK. In addition to launching her own clothing range, she has collaborated with Liberty, a large department store in UK to create her own range of scarves. But her most noteworthy achievement is perhaps her role as a TV presenter in BBC documenting her participation in the World Muslimah Awards, an annual beauty pageant for Muslim women held in Indonesia and recognizing contestants from many countries including Iran and Bangladesh.

 

Dalal Al-Doub (Kuwait), Blog, Instagram, Youtube, Twitter

“The goal is to empower women; to provide them with confidence, and to encourage them to become their own stylists and makeup artists.”

A Kuwaiti social media influence, Dalal blogs about fashion and beauty under the name “Dalalid.” Her influence can be clearly portrayed by the 1.3 million followers in Instagram, more than 290,000 subscribers on Youtube and about a 30,000 visitors every month to her website. She started out in 2012 by publishing photos of her outfits and by providing tips on makeup. Soon enough, she became one of the most influential bloggers in Kuwait and beyond. Dalal’s approach is unique in that her content is in Arabic, but also does not hinder non-Arabic viewers to be allured by her innovative and informative video tutorials and fashion-forward styles.

 

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Flickr/CC/ResoluteSupportMedia

By Minji Hong

 

Women make up half of the world’s population. However, they constitute less than 20 percent of legislators and less than 5 percent of ministers in the world. Despite extensive assimilation of democracy around the globe over the last few decades, many countries are still struggling to combat gender inequality, especially those in the Middle East. This poses great limitations on the successful application of sustainable democracy, for without equitable participation of women, thus disregarding their voices, it only accounts for half of the country’s’ citizens. But don’t fret! There has been a history of women taking charge to bring about change to this prolonged fight for gender parity in all sectors of society and brighten a seemingly bleak future for women. And among many, these 5 influential female political figures in the Middle East are using their eminent status in society to contribute to social causes in their region and beyond.

 

Queen Rania Al Abdullah (Jordan), Website, Instagram, Youtube, Twitter, Facebook

“We can spend our lives letting others dictate our narrative, and cast ourselves as the victims. Or we can realize the truth: that we are the creators of our own story.”

A mother, a wife, a boss, an advocate, a humanitarian, an avid social media user. These are just a few of many titles Queen Rania has assumed since her marriage to the current King of Jordan, Abdullah bin Al-Hussein in 1993. Indeed, her global prominence can be attributed to the strong advocacy work in a diverse range of causes she has sought on a local and international level, such as education, health, youth and cross-cultural dialogue. In Jordan, her efforts to improve the quality of education has been manifested in the establishment of various projects and organizations, such as Madrasati, Queen Rania Teachers’ Academy, Jordan Education Initiative, and last but not least, Jordan River Foundation, which aims to lift people up from poverty-stricken communities across the country. On a global scale, Queen Rania’s passion and activism for access to quality, global education was recognized in 2012, when she was chosen to participate in U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki Moon’s High-level Panel, created to form the global development agenda beyond 2015. Needless to say, she is also UNICEF’s Eminent Global Advocate for Children as well as the Honorary Chair of the U.N. Girl’s Education Initiative, and serves as a board member in the World Economic Forum.

Flickr/CC/Frédéric de Villamil
Flickr/CC/Frédéric de Villamil

 

Reem Al Hashimi United Arab Emirates (U.A.E), Website

“I stand before you, representing the voice of millions in my country. I stand before you not only as a civil servant, a daughter, a mother, but also as a citizen of humanity committed and determined to make a difference and inspire change.”

After gaining her higher-education credentials at Tufts followed by Harvard University, her Excellency went on to serve her country, to build an international career and now serves as Minister of State of U.A.E. since 2008. She is also the Chairperson of Dubai Cares, a charitable organization geared towards improving children’s access to quality primary education worldwide, an essential platform for achieving sustainable development. She also stands as the Chairperson for Emirates Competitiveness Council that works to achieve sustainable growth and prosperity in the U.A.E. through a cooperation with public and private companies. Al Hashimi is more recently renowned for her position as the Managing Director of the Higher Committee for U.A.E.’s bid for the World Expo 2020, whose instrumental efforts secured Dubai as the Host in 2013.

 

Sheikha Moza Bint Nasser Al Missned (Qatar), Website, Instagram

“Our Muslim, Qatari and Arab traditions demand that we continuously reinvigorate ourselves and reach out the hand of friendship and support to those who are most in need. To share our blessings with others and also with future generations.”

Second of the three wives of Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, former Emir of the State of Qatar, and the mother of the current Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, Her Highness Sheikha Moza is the chairperson of the Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development since 1995. Selected as one of Forbes’ 100 most Powerful Women in 2010, she continues to be in the forefront of many social causes mainly related to women, children and education. Her contributions can also be highlighted in the international scene, by partaking and leading several projects on the promotion of peace and human development across the globe. She is also the chairperson of the Sidra Medical and Research Center, with the aim to stand as a leading institution for women and children’s care. Her achievements culminated with many awards and honors, such as George Bush Award for Excellence in Public Service in 2013.                 

Flickr/CC/Bundesministerium für Europa, Integration und Äusseres
Flickr/CC/Bundesministerium für Europa, Integration und Äusseres

 

Hanan Ashrawi (Palestine), Website

“So I chose not to be a passive victim… I chose to influence our reality.”

The 68-year-old Palestinian legislator, activist, humanist and scholar is perhaps one of the most, if not the most influential female political leaders in the region. Ashrawi has lived through the plight of the Arab-Israeli Conflict, especially with the outbreak of the Six-Day War in 1967, which forced her to be separated from her own family and denied entry into her own homeland in West Bank. Since then, she has sought to nurture the growth of the seed of activism that her father had planted during her youth. Her career took off with her elected position as the spokesperson for the General Union of Palestinian Students during her days as a student at the American University of Beirut. Ashrawi’s entry into the political sphere could be said to have began during the First Intifada, followed by her service as the official spokesperson for the Palestinian Delegation to the Middle East peace process. She is currently a member of Palestinian Prime MInister Salam Fayyad’s Third Way party. Not to mention that she is the first woman to be elected to the Palestinian National Council. However, her contributions to the society transcend the borders of her own country. She is a board member of the World Bank MENA, U.N. Research Institute for Social Development and the International Human Rights Council.

 

Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein (U.A.E.), Website, Facebook

“My work in these sectors is another way to ensure that I am in touch with people at the grassroots level, and this is of utmost importance to me.”

Born into the royal family of Jordan and the wife of the Prime Minister of U.A.E. by marriage in 2004, Princess Haya is a former Olympic athlete, now a mother, wife and humanitarian, among many other titles. Sports have been a critical part of her life since she was a young girl with a passion for Equestrianism. Since then, she has believed in the important role sport plays in improving the lives of many, empowering women, and as a means to achieve peace and harmony between nations, which led her to assume position as the President of the international Equestrian Federation for two consecutive terms until 2014 and as a member of the International Olympic Committee. Her efforts towards international development are grounded in humanitarian assistance and health. She is a founder of Tkiyet Um Ali in 2003, the region’s first NGO in food aid, and in 2005 became the first woman to serve as World Food Program Goodwill Ambassador. In regards to her commitment to improving health care, she was appointed as the Chairperson of Dubai Healthcare City Authority and also played a key role in developing the Arab Children Health Congress, dedicated to offering a platform between health care providers and the general public on issues related to child healthcare.

Facebook public domain/CC/Office of HRH Princess Haya
Facebook public domain/CC/Office of HRH Princess Haya

 

 

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Flickr/CC/Freedom House

By Maria Bennici 

The Syrian Civil War has stretched for more than four and a half years with no end in sight, and one of the unfortunate consequences of this war has been the displacement of more than 7.6 million Syrians. More than 4 million Syrians are refugees in neighboring countries, and an increasing number are now heading to Europe, often through means as dangerous as they are desperate, in order to find sanctuary. With the death of Aylan Kurdi, the little Syrian boy who drowned as his family tried to reach Greece, more attention has been brought to the refugee crisis, with pleas for help from governments and people around the world.

Eager to help refugees but don’t have the money, time, or expertise to help in the field? Check out these ways to support refugees without even needing to own a passport.

Flickr/CC/EU Commission | Domiz refugee camp, northern Iraq
Flickr/CC/EU Commission | Domiz refugee camp, northern Iraq
  1.       Volunteer in Your Community: Research small grassroots NGOs and nonprofitsnon-profits in your area to see if they offer help to refugees. For instance, the International Rescue Committee operates in 22 cities throughout the United States.
  1.       Donate money: Cash donations are an efficient way to give to organizations that are able to work immediately with refugees. With cash, the organizations are able to allocate the money to the greatest needs, plus cash doesn’t come with shipping and handling fees. You can donate to large organizations like the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees or with smaller organizations with a more specific focus that appeals to you personally. UNHCR also has partnerships with a variety of organizations, including IKEA and UNIQLO so you can support refugees through shopping with these partners. If your company or organization is also interested in supporting refugees, plenty of refugee NGOs form private-sector partnerships as well.
Flickr/CC/Freedom House | Syrian boys 2012
Flickr/CC/Freedom House | Syrian boys 2012
  1.       Educate yourself: The Syrian refugee crisis is a complex and nuanced situation, with plenty of challenges to understand, including the difference between “refugee” and “migrant,” government obligations to provide asylum and why Syrians can’t just “go back home.” Read this article, which describes how the situation has gotten out of hand, watch this Last Week Tonight with John Oliver episode, and explore this section of Human Rights Watch.  
  1.       Speak out: Unfortunately, the lives of refugees are not magically fixed once they reach sanctuary; often, they are faced with truly staggering amounts of xenophobia and racism. With the new knowledge you’ll have gained through step three, speak out for refugees when you hear ignorant, bigoted comments being made about them.
  1.       Donate items with care: Many people are moved to donate items they no longer need to those in need. While this generosity is admirable, sometimes donating items can be detrimental to the rebuilding process (this editorial, published after the Nepal earthquake in April 2014, explains more). If you absolutely must donate items, research organizations in your area and find out what items they actually need in order to avoid inundating their space and ability to organize.

 

Bonus: Refugees Welcome, an AirBNB-like website that allows Germans and Austrians to open their homes to refugees, is currently in the process of opening in other countries. Get involved here!

 

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Flickr/CC/Jason Howie

By Beatrice Loh

 

With Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat changing the way we communicate, social media has been reshaping our world in recent years. The advent of technology and the Internet has made connecting with people across international borders a breeze. Social media has impacted not just the communication between individuals but also the relationship between corporations, the government, and the general public. Social media has not only changed the way we communicate, but also the way we give. Non-profit organisations have adjusted the way they operate with the influx of social media avenues to raise awareness and funds for their causes.

Here are 5 ways that social media has changed the non-profit world:

  1. Reduced Cost of Advertising

Although setting up a Facebook page or Twitter account might be free, social media accounts for non-profit organisations still require staff to run them. However, compared to more traditional methods such as television and print campaigns, social media is a new low cost avenue that non-profit organisations can take advantage of. Apart from reducing cost, social media campaigns allow non-profit organisations to monitor and mine these campaigns for data to better plan budgets, cut costs, and ultimately make more money available to the actual cause itself.

  1. Increasing Awareness for Social Causes

Social media has given non-profit organisations an avenue to raise awareness for social causes through posts that generate ‘likes’ on Facebook and videos and posters that can be shared on numerous platforms.

The ALS Challenge was a viral campaign by The ALS Association, which fights Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig’s Disease. People would either donate $100 to the charity or take a video of having a bucket of ice water dumped on themselves. They would then nominate others to do the same in the video before posting it online. This led to an explosion of videos and donations for the organisation, with celebrities such as Justin Bieber, Chris Evans and Benedict Cumberbatch participating. Matt Damon also joined in and used the opportunity to promote awareness about the water sanitation crisis and Water.org, the organisation he co-founded to combat the problem. Although a significant portion of the Internet audience was more interested in watching funny videos of their friends and favourite celebrities than they were about ALS research, the campaign succeeded in generating a large amount of awareness and funding. Since July 2014, The ALS Association has received more than $115 million in donations.  In comparison, in the fiscal year ending January 2014, revenue from all sources totalled only slightly over $29 million.

A Mashable survey on the link between charity donations and social media has shown that 68.8% of respondents felt that social media was “extremely effective” or “very effective” for spreading information about social initiatives, with the vast majority of the survey audience claiming to learn about new social initiatives through social media.

  1. Increasing Speed of Response

Whilst social media has a wide reach, it also allows the quick transfer of information. The speed of social media has changed the way we learn about and respond to events, especially natural disasters. Ease of accessibility has resulted in unprecedented numbers of people being reached in real time. In the wake of devastation, charities can create a status, page, Tweet, or post elsewhere to inform their followers of a situation requiring urgent help and donations, which can be shared and spread in seconds. In the past, charities had to rely on hastily thrown together television commercials and getting hundreds of people to call others and hope for donations.

After a 7.0 magnitude earthquake hit Haiti, non-profit organisations used social media to mobilise rescue efforts and to support the community. The earthquake also saw the deployment of one of the most successful text-to-donate campaigns seen at the time. Similarly, when Japan was rocked by an earthquake and tsunami in 2011, millions around the globe used social media to receive updates on the situation and contribute to rescue efforts and donate money for medical and basic supplies for survivors. During the recent 7.8 magnitude earthquake in Nepal in April 2015, Crisis Relief Singapore used Facebook to rally its volunteers and managed to create 5 medical teams that were deployed to Nepal within the next month.   

  1. Rallying of Individuals and Small Groups Around Non-Profit Causes

Social media is enabling individuals to create, join and grow groups around issues they care about outside of the direct control of non-profit organizations. Crowd funding websites such as as GoFundMe and CrowdRise have made it easy for individuals to raise funds for social causes special to them.

Social software design is also accelerating this trend. Facebook Causes is an in-app feature that allows users to discover, support and organize campaigns, fundraisers, and petitions around the issues that impact users and their communities. DonorsChoose launched a feature called “Birthday Give Back” that allows individuals to use their birthdays to champion a social cause – instead of a birthday gift, they can share their page and ask friends to donate to their special cause instead.

The rise of social media has led to a more socially conscious population with the right tools to promote awareness and raise funds for social causes that affect their community.

  1. Ease of Donating

Social media has emboldened people to donate time and money not only by making them aware of issues and needs, but also by providing them with solutions to help. Websites like Just Giving, a charity platform that has so far enabled over 21 million people to raise £1.5 billion for over 13, 000 different charities, has made it easier for social media users to share causes and encourage their friends to donate, even to organisations headquartered abroad. Providing a number of ways to donate online and via text, Just Giving makes donating quick and easy, encouraging more users to do so.

Another way that social media has increased donations is through increased transparency. Donors are becoming increasingly selective of the charities they want to help, and prefer to see where the money they are donating is going. Social media offers non-profit organisations a platform through which they can share project updates and successes with status updates, reports and photographs. Donors expect updates on funds raised through special events for a specific cause, and the increased transparency on the use of funds have encouraged previously sceptical people to donate.

 

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