Digital Altruism: Technology Gives Back

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altruismIn the age of reality TV and Kim Kardashian’s first published book “Selfish,” a compilation of her own selfies, a breath of selflessness and humility may seem lost, but it is, in fact, very much alive in some facets of popular culture and the digital landscape. From the viral ALS awareness campaign to web donations for disaster relief, digital and technology conglomerates have encouraged us to be altruistic and have made it easier to act on our kindness.

While philanthropy and altruism is no stranger to the World Wide Web, it might have been tainted by other uses of the Internet, such as entertainment and education. But the emergence of social media platforms reintroduced charitable donations by encouraging the audience to contribute in easy, fun, and rewarding ways.

Digital Altruism is altruism mediated by digital technology. These are some of the companies that lead in giving back to the community:

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Photo from https://onetoday.google.com

Google: Google has launched a website for Ebola donations for the West Africa community. For every $1 donated, Google will give $2 in a fundraiser to fight Ebola. People can donate as little as $10 or $1000 and Google will double it. The proceeds go to efforts that are helping West Africa to fight Ebola:

  • Doctors Without Borders
  • International Rescue Committee
  • Partners in Health
  • Save the Children

In addition, Google plans to pledge $10 million to these organizations and more.

Facebook: Through the Facebook pages, donations can be done directly to participating nonprofits or by gifting a donation to a friend through their profiles. These are some nonprofits Facebook partners with:

  • American Cancer Society
  • American Red Cross
  • Boys and Girls Clubs of America
  • Donors Chose
  • LIVESTRONG Foundation
  • Malaria No More
  • Girls, Inc.
  • and many more…

Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook, pledged $25 million to Ebola efforts in West Africa and other affecting countries.

Twitter: 

 #tinyGive – An online platform that focuses on microphilanthropy, an idea that small amounts can be more impactful than large amounts. You can set up a tinyGive account, connect through Twitter, join in by tweeting hashtags and donating money to the causes that matter.

#GivingTuesday – A trend for the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday that encourages people to donate money to charities they like.

 Apple: 

 The big technology company accepts donations through iTunes for “City of Hope” cancer charity, a research and treatment center for life threatening diseases. For October month last month, they revamped the charity for Breast Cancer Awareness. Apple also contributes greatly to natural disaster relief.

Photo courtesy of Microsoft7462.HelpBridge_wMicrsoftLogo_RGB.jpg_2624E435

Microsoft:

Microsoft’s altruism focuses on helping nonprofit organizations and disaster-struck regions or countries that lack in superior technology. They have launched in 2013:

  • HelpBridge: a mobile application that helps you to connect to loved ones amidst a natural disaster
  • Microsoft technology donation received by 70, 286 nonprofits
  • 500,000 refurbished hardware devices available to nonprofits
  • 117 countries with Microsoft Software Donation programs
  • Microsoft donated $795 million worth of software to nonprofits

The co-founder of Microsoft, Paul Allen, has pledged $100 million to the Ebola cause

 JustGiving: 

 A philanthropy social platform for charitable donations and fundraising.

 Rally.org

A platform that can be used to create websites for fundraising and donations. Through the website, Rally.org helps build supporters with integrated sharing features and enables supporters to become donors themselves.

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