As the Frozen Pea Fund started by Twitter members to raise money for breast cancer research has demonstrated, social media shows great promise as a force for positive change. Another wonderful effort is underway by musician John Ondrasik and his band, Five for FIghting, who are out to prove that social media can help change the world.
Five for Fighting has created a website where people can upload homemade videos answering the question, “What kind of world do you want?” that seek donations to a charity. Each time a visitor watches a video approximately $1 is donated to that cause.
Visitors to the site can make a charitable donation by watching videos made and uploaded by others, or by ear-marking funds to one of the represented charities. The charities currently represented include: Save The Children, Fisher House Foundation, Autism Speaks, New York Police & Fire Widows & Children’s Benefit Fund, VH1 Save The Music Foundation and the Breast Cancer 3-Day.
Ondrasik came up with the concept, after receiving hundreds of unsolicited homemade videos inspired by his hit singles “Superman (It’s Not Easy)” and “100 Years.”
“I thought, well, how can we take that to the next level and do a little good along the way? With today’s technology, everybody is a filmmaker and hopefully it will take off and raise a lot of money for these good causes.” Ondrasik said.
What are the implications for marketers?
The Frozen Pea Fund and Five for Fighting’s social media efforts work because the creators already had a social network in place. Susan Reynolds, to whom Frozen Pea Friday is dedicated, already had a strong social network on Twitter, where she is a well-liked and respected member of the community.
Five for Fighting has an international fan base because they have had many major hits, including “Superman”, which became a healing song for the nation after the 9/11 attacks. Ondrasik is known for deeply personal songs that touch the spirit and invoke action.
A company that has a loyal customer base could certainly marshall that into a force for change. In fact, the Wall St Journal reports that Bill Gates is calling for “kinder capitalism”. Gates has refined those thoughts into the speech he will give today at the annual World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
Hopefully, others will follow suit. But social media has given everyone the tools to work for creative capitalism and positive change, and my bet is that the real leadership will continue to come from places like The Frozen Pea Fund and What Kind of World Do You Want. Bravo! Posted by B.L. Ochman