Paying a Charity in Exchange for your Attention

Lee Dryburgh has “called me out” to help in an effort to raise money for a shelter group in the Bay Area, the Shelter Network. In his blog he calls upon me, and a list of social media ‘gurus’ to promote his conference mailing list, and for each person who signs up to the eComms Conference list, they’ll donate fifty cents. There’s more about this in his article. (eComms is a conference about telecom and communication – so if you’re in that space and you can handle 4 emails a month, why not take a minutue to act?)

It is a bit of a bold strategy, calling on all of us to promote his conference in the context of helping a charity at the same time. I’m not sure I love the strategy, actually, but it is bold and it has the potential to be a new model:

  • Paying for mailing lists =”tired”
  • Paying a charity in exchange for people’s attention = “wired?”  (Or even Causewired?)

Lee’s article is below – go read it, sign up (and tell them where you found out about it, eh?).

Social Media: Can it Raise Just 5000.00 Dollars to Help 5 Year Olds? – Emerging Communications Blog

Let’s have a public test of the effectiveness of social media. Let’s do it with the aim of measuring the reach and usage of social media (and hopefully with some serendipity regarding the results). Let’s do it in a way that helps us understand the role and significance of social media on the emerging communications landscape.


2 responses to “Paying a Charity in Exchange for your Attention”

  1. I think there is something in this kind of fundraising model but I think that you have to hook things together thematically. It's kind of the way that the Community Reinvestment Act [1] works. I think that if people who provide housing use donating to shelters as a way of paying for attention or investment that is, ultimately, a kind of balancing act. I worry though that donations of this sort won't encourage any kind of systemic change (which doesn't mean they are bad. I think it's a necessary middle step).


  2. Marnie:
    It may not be a systemic change – maybe it is a way to generate more attention for the non-profit? That might be worth looking into more deeply.