You are casually perusing Facebook when you notice your friend’s hilariously bad picture of his new handlebar moustache. You laugh, and then notice that he is doing it in support of Movember, a movement to raise awareness about prostate cancer. Inspired by his cause, and wanting the rest of your friends to laugh too, you share the picture and donate a few bucks to his campaign. You feel great, euphoric even, at your amazing philanthropic contribution toward ending one the most prevalent male cancers.
In a world where endless posts cross our screens and vie for our attention, does retweeting or posting on your newsfeed really engage your friends?
According to the Millennial Impact Report, 42 percent of young adults give to wherever “inspires them at the moment,” so why are we replacing real conversations and experiences with the share button? In addition to retweeting your friend’s funny ‘stache, take the time to tell two friends about your dad’s experience with prostate cancer or explain how one in six men will be diagnosed with the disease. That’s a REAL share.
Social media makes it easy to be a fan of an organization or cause, but actively getting your friends involved is much more difficult. What happened to championing your cause? The Impact Report notes that millennials who “form long-term volunteer relationships...tend to give larger gifts and encourage friends and family to give and volunteer as well.” So, if you’re really passionate about improving child literacy rates, after you share on Facebook make sure to bring a friend along the next time you tutor fifth-graders at the neighborhood school.
Don't be afraid to dig deeper into the issue you are passionate about. Talk to leaders of local nonprofits and find out what their needs are. Maybe the local chapter of Everybody Wins! needs a new logo and one of your friends is a budding graphic designer. It's a great opportunity to get your buddy involved while helping an organization.
In the age of Instagram, muploads, and check-ins, it’s easy to forget that authentic sharing happens offline, face to face. We love and appreciate our fans, but it's the champions who really help us achieve our mission.