Happy Birthday to Me (and My Cause)

Even though I love shoes and earrings, this birthday I decided I probably had a sufficient collection of both. So using Causes, a Facebook app for micro-fundraising, I donated my birthday to a great cancer fighting organization.

I’ve only recently gotten involved with this organization and it was my first time to uses Causes; so all around, a very new experience for me. (And actually one inspired by Convio’s Social Media Week presentation, “Is Three a Crowd?” from back in February.)

Here’s what I learned from my maiden voyage with Causes:

  • Some organizations are easier to find than others.Even though any US nonprofit can be the beneficiary of a Cause or Birthday Wish, those who are partner nonprofits show up higher in search results and I would venture to guess are selected more often. I think for maximum potential, you’d want to become a partner nonprofit.
  • You’ll want an updated Guidestar profile.Causes uses the address in your Guidestar profile to tell it where to send the check. Make sure your address and other contact information on Guidestar is accurate so your money doesn’t get lost.
  • Donations are processed through Network for Good. No real action items here but always good to know who is processing your gifts.
  • Donors don’t have to be on Facebook. For folks not on Facebook or who don’t want to give via the Facebook app, they should just visit the Wish page directly and give there. For me this meant that my Mom could make a gift…and if your Mom is like my Mom, you know Moms are almost always the most generous gift-giver at your birthday, a big win for my Cause. It’s great that Causes isn’t limited to Facebook account holders but on the flip side of the coin, anonymous donors really are anonymous making it a bummer that you don’t know who to thank, which leads me to my next point…
  • Saying “thank you” is always a good plan. Whether you are the beneficiary organization or the volunteer fundraiser, make sure you say thank you. Saying thank you via the donor’s Facebook wall can be a good way to give public recognition and attract more attention for the cause.

Editor’s note: this post has been updated on Apr. 25, 2023 to remove broken links. Company and organization names remain the same for historical purposes.