During the earthquakes of Haiti and Chile in 2010, texting became a new fundraising tool to raise funds for the victims of those ravaged areas.
Following Japan’s earthquake, text fundraising is still vital tool, but a few corporations has embraced Twitter as a fundraising tool in 2011 to help victims of the Japan earthquake.
Late Friday night, I received this tweet from American Idol’s Ryan Seacrest:
RT @RyanSeacrest: For each retweet @Bing will give $1 to Japan quake victims up to $100K. #SupportJapan http://binged.it/fEh7iT
Today I got a message from the electronic company Samsung with a similar tweet:
RT @Samsungtweets Samsung wants to help #jpquake efforts. Tweet #SXSWcares to @SamsungTweets and Samsung will donate $1 per tweet up to 5k
As the days unfold, it will be interesting to see if these companies will reach their goals.
While Samsung’s $5000 seems low, they might reach their goal faster and will probably raise more money because of their modest request.
However, it might take the Microsoft search engine Bing a little longer raising their funds.
Partly becasue of the larger goal of $100,00, but Bing is also receiving some backlash on Twitter for their fundraising efforts with Ryan Seacrest.
Throughout Twitter, there are several retweets saying ” I do NOT follow Ryan Seacrest!” and “Ugh. Seacrest OUT”, (there’s even a blog entitled “#F@*%BING: Why the Bing tweet was so bad”.
Other than Howard Stern (who doesn’t think Seacrest has talent) or Brian Dunkelman (who co-hosted Idol with Seacrest in the first season before “leaving”), I’m not sure why people are upset with him.
If you don’t like him, his work or the fact he made the Kardashian’s a lot of money by producing their shows on E!, that’s cool, but is it a bad thing that Seacrest is trying to leverage his 4,132,412 Twitter followers to raise funds for Japan?
As far as Bing goes, let’s say hypothetically they did this before and instead of donating the money, people learned that Bing used the money for marketing purposes?
Then its understandable why people would be upset with Bing’s donation tweets.
However, like Seacrest, if a person doesn’t like Bing/Microsoft that’s fine, but shouldn’t Bing have the opportunity to use their social media relationships to raise money for people who are now living without electricity, food, shelter and fears of a nuclear meltdown?
Although Bing/Microsoft could donate the money themselves, (which eventually they did), the fact is we live in a society celebrity and well branded companies can raise money faster than local organizations.
If a person decides to skip Seacrest/Bing or Samsung and donate relief funds to the Red Cross or an organization that they trust, that’s perfectly fine, (in fact people should give donate or volunteer at their local charities on a regular basis).
But to rip someone or an organization that are trying to use social media to help people without proof that it’s a shady deal?
That’s a head scratcher.
(Do you retweeet messages from celebs to help raise funds? What new media ways have you been contacted to donate? Is it inspiring or annoying? Does celebrity make a difference if you donate or not?)