What she's done: A social media consultant, Beth Kanter teaches non-profits and individuals how to use social media tools like Twitter, blogs and widgets to raise funds and awareness. Although Kanter has spearheaded several unusual funding efforts, her most effective was at the Seattle Gnomedex 8.0 Conference in August of this year, where she raised over $2500 in just 90 minutes by challenging highly connected geeks to tap into their extensive Twitter networks. It started with a mass tweet asking people to help her "send Leng Sopharath, a young Cambodian woman, off to her junior year of college in good health." Tweets and retweets traveled through the online community, and by the end of the conference, Kanter had collected almost $4000. She acknowledges the results as a "special success story," but believes it’s an example of how the power of networks can be utilized by non-profits.
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What you can do: Identify a cause that resonates with you and start leveraging your network to raise money or awareness. Get started by reading Kanter's blog, which offers tips on identifying key influencers with large networks, telling stories, keeping real-time results on a reporting page and building social capital before you begin Tweeting your campaign.
Read the other entries in our innovative giving series here.