UN Turns to Social Media for Humanitarian Causes

UN twitterThe UN has brought fundraising and awareness for its humanitarian causes to social media with its “The World Needs More” campaign. August 19th, which is World Humanitarian Day, marked the launch of their campaign, taking place on networks such as Twitter and Facebook. Through the use of shares and specified hashtags, participants can raise funds for various causes run by the UN. This campaign is a new venture for the UN and is likely to bring new energy to overlooked campaigns.

Campaigns That Have Been Overlooked

While major crises bring international attention to humanitarian causes such as the current civil war in Syria, the UN reports that other areas of the world “may have slipped off the global agenda,” including Yemen, Afghanistan, Colombia, and Haiti. To bolster awareness of these issues and create a system for fast and easy fundraising, the UN turned to social media networks such as Twitter and Facebook.

Celebrity Participants & Sponsors

This fundraising effort was facilitated by celebrity participants and corporate sponsors such as Beyonce and Gucci. These “ambassadors” tweeted or shared a post with a chosen hashtag such as #empowerment, # strength, and #acceptance. Beyonce, for example, chose #strength as her word. When other users retweeted or shared these posts, each one generated $1 for the campaign.

Why Social Media Works

Social media is an excellent facilitator of this UN campaign because of its versatility and ease. The UN planned for this campaign to build over the course of 37 days, during which time other celebrities and brands could join in and sponsors could increase their donations. Because this campaign is so simple, it can easily take place over an extended period of time and gain more support. Social media enables a wider participant base, and the fact that celebrities have massive followings allows for more sharing and more funds raised.

Learn More

For those looking to learn more about the UN’s The World Needs More campaign, visit the official site at http://worldhumanitarianday.org/. You can even share words directly from the site to contribute. Find campaign sponsors and follow them on Twitter and Facebook to watch out for tweets and posts to share and fundraise for those causes that have fallen off the media’s radar.

Did you participate in The World Needs More?

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Elizabeth K

Elizabeth Kent is a recent graduate with an M.A. in Women’s and Gender Studies from Brandeis University. She earned her B.A. from Smith College with a major in the Study of Women and Gender and a minor in Jewish Studies. Elizabeth recently relocated from the Boston area back to Western Massachusetts, where she spends her free time volunteering with a local non-profit organization. Elizabeth has worked as a writing tutor, archival intern, research assistant, and retail associate. Her interests include studying pop culture, kittens, and making meals with as little cooking as possible.

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