Eugene Cho

using facebook to fight global poverty

After mocking social networking sites for awhile, I finally joined Facebook one year ago.  And while there are still some things that I strongly dislike about Facebook [e.g. constant invitations to Applications], I am a big fan.  It works.  I’ve reconnected with friends from high school and college.  And Facebook is helping me to stay connected to the growing community at Quest. 

But asides from just connecting with past and current friends, I’ve been dreaming how to leverage the power of technology and the internet to further social causes.  This is one of the primary hopes with the new organization we are working on.  How do we utilize and converge technology and human relationships to fight global poverty?

With that in mind, I started this GROUP on FacebookBecause we haven’t yet publicly revealed the name of the organization, we thought of the catchiest name:  “For each person that joins, we will donate $1 to fight Global Poverty.”

We need your help. My wife and I [and our three children] want to sincerely invite you to join us in helping Fight Global Poverty. We will donate $1 to the cause of global poverty for EACH person that JOINS this group – with hopes of this group growing to at least 100,000 people.

We might not be able to save the world but we can certainly make a difference in a family, a town, a village… Even a few dollars can make a difference.

Why are we doing this? Our motivation is not to appear altruistic or righteous. We don’t want any pats on the back. We are simply convicted to ACT. We can’t afford to not do anything. We have decided to make some life decisions to give $100,000 to fight global poverty through a new Humanitarian Organization and simply ask that you consider learning together how we can CARE and ACT. Together, we believe we can make a difference.

Our hope is that AT LEAST 100,000 people will join by the end of August because our conviction is to donate $100,000 in hopes of encouraging others to consider giving.  Thus far, 21,119 people have joined since the group started one month ago.  Our goal is to launch the organization in September and we hope to leverage this group to help build momentum.

Would you help us?  It’ll take you no more than 5 minutes but if you can help us with these simple five ideas, it’ll be a great help to our organization.

1 ► If you haven’t done so, please join the group – CLICK “Join this Group”
2 ► CLICK on “Invite People to Join.” 
3 ► SELECT all of the friends that you want to join.  Think strategically about friends who might invite other friends.  Think of friends who are strategically located around the world.
4 ► CLICK on “Send invitation”
5 ► SHARE on your “Posted Items.”  This may be the most effective way of spreading the group.  After you’ve joined, would you simply share the group amongst your “Posted Items.”

Question: Any other ideas you have?

Filed under: family, health, technology,

16 Responses

  1. Kacy says:

    I am actually a member of face book and never had the time to really delve deep into the benefits of what site can do for people aside from making friends. Your idea will certainly be put to the test “and work”

  2. ripplegirl says:

    To be honest I have been sceptical of groups like this, not understanding how the process works. But I guess if you have made that commitment then it makes sense and I will join and invite others.

  3. Andrew says:

    Great idea. I joined and have invited as many folks as possible. Good luck to you.

  4. Daniel says:

    Joined! I love ideas of “leveraging” technology for good.

  5. minabina123 says:

    I think that using Face book is a good idea! Nice work! I’ll see if I can join!

  6. gettheconcept says:

    I have tried the social networking thing.

    I think its probably really fun if you’re in school. But so many of the social networks seem to have a lot of people on the sites with empty content, (i.e., the users don’t and cannot write,) that they reling too heavily on sophomoric applications that reduce the users to electronic popularity contests and product placement campaigns. That is why I for one are switching switching over toe

    ffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffff

  7. Aaron says:

    Have you heard of milliondollarhomepage.com? Basicly, some kid decided he would sell blocks of pixels on his site. $1 per pixel. (The smallest you could buy was like 10×10.) But anyways, its all advertising. He was in the news for his website, and I think he actually made $1 million off of the idea… seems pretty crazy to me but he raised a whole lot of money (probably for himself though).

    I only mention this because it seems like the closest thing I could think of to what you are doing with the facebook idea. Maybe it will give you some more ideas on how to rase $1 at a time!

  8. […] click here for the original post or keep reading  […]

  9. leftoverkumquats says:

    I don’t understand enterprises like this. If you commit to X dollars per person and your goal is say in this case 100,000 people, why not just donate the $100,000 straight up? Sure you could say I am promoting global awareness but most people that join these groups do so and then completely forget about it, investing no less time than a click of a button and your promise to donate $1 in edgewise.

    I’m not condoning your project, just questioning how efficient it is.

  10. eugenecho says:

    @leftoverkumquats: good question. it’ll make sense in about 6-8 weeks.

  11. Jred says:

    Have you ever used KIVA? I recently discovered it and it’s pretty amazing. The person won the Nobel Peace prize (if I’m not mistaken) and it’s a noble goal of alleviating world poverty through micro no interest loans. I like being able to read through people’s stories and giving them money to better their lives. When they pay it back then I can pass the money on to the next person. Honestly I don’t really care if I get paid back, but when they do it gives money to the next project. I don’t know. I just thought you might be interested and it might fit in with what you are doing. http://www.kiva.org/

    Your use of facebook made me think of how they are also using facebook. It’s a good use of technology.
    http://apps.facebook.com/kiva_org/about_page.php

  12. eugenecho says:

    @Jred: yeah, KIVA is great. it’s an example of how philantropy is changing and how they’re leveraging technology for good.

    also, they haven’t won the nobel peace prize. you’re thinking of muhummad yunus who put microcredit/lending into effective motion to empower the poor.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muhammad_Yunus

  13. invited all my friends. 😀

  14. mattbusby says:

    Speaking of leveraging technology for good, have you heard of searchkindly.org? It is a search engine that uses Google but it donates any profits it makes on advertising when you visit the site. I know it is probably less than a penny per visit but I remember reading on there that if they can generate 1 million page views a day it is something like $12,000/day! And you get to vote on which charity gets the money that month. So if nothing else maybe you could register your humanitarian group with them come September.

  15. djchuang says:

    I’ve used http://www.chipin.com/ to do a short-run online fundraiser. What’s nice about chipin.com is its integration with Paypal (who doesn’t have a Paypal account now?) and the live thermometer that instantly shows the progress of donations made online, live!

  16. […] comes from my friend Eugene Cho using facebook to fight global poverty After mocking social networking sites for awhile, I finally joined Facebook one year ago. And while […]

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Nothing grows by itself. If something matters to us, may we be intentional about growing it.

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Thank you, Minhee. I love you so much even if you made fun of my hairstyle and sideburns. I missed you, Seattle. Grateful for a time to pray, rest, retreat, read, reflect, and sabbath. I've spent the last 12 days in the woods alone. Competely alone. It's been both haunting and refreshing. Haunting because of loneliness. Refreshing because through the silence, I am reminded - again - that I'm not alone. Emmanuel.

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