In an effort to support the blogging community and their philanthropic endeavors, the newly launched, New York based nonprofit organization Bloggers without Borders has created a platform, where individuals in the blogosphere can join forces to provide assistance to fellow bloggers as well as raise awareness for different causes they are passionate about.
Co-founders Maggy Keet and Erika Pineda-Ghanny were inspired to build an online presence, catered to bloggers and their charitable efforts, after Pineda-Ghanny lost her home to a fire late 2010.
Immediately following the incident, Keet and a fellow blogger took to the Internet to help raise money for Pineda-Ghanny and her family, collecting more than $11,000 from the blogging community in the span of a week.
“We were blown away by the incredible support we received in such a short period of time. But getting organized, disseminating information, finding a place to post updates and collect money — that was difficult, we really had to scramble. It made me think, ‘Yes, look what we achieved! But what if we’d already had a website, a blog, a social media platform, a central hub for charitable activity online — this would have been much easier,” CEO and Co-founder Keet said.
Through its website and social networking sites, BwoB assists bloggers by promoting the charities they support, offering bloggers guidance and knowledge on how to start projects as well as fundraising for various causes both inside and outside of the blogging community.
In August 2011, BwoB featured “A Fund for Jennie,” (#afundforjennie) a fundraising campaign for food writer Jennifer Perillo.
Pitched by food blogger-turned-author Shauna James Ahern of “Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef,” the campaign was organized to aid Jennie financially, after her husband’s sudden death, so that she could raise her two children and continue pursuing her love for writing, without the added stress of an entire mortgage payment.
Bloggers who helped promote Perillo’s cause were able to do so by writing posts about #afundforjennie, hosting auctions and collecting donations though the Bloggers without Borders PayPal badge, which they were encouraged to add onto their own websites.
By using BwoB as a platform, community bloggers were able to raise a total of $76,430.50 for the cause — talk about a huge success!
As far as future projects are concerned, Keet tells us that the organization has several projects lined up — something we’ll have to keep an eye out for!
In other BwoB news, we have learned that the organization will collaborate with Share our Strength for the National Food Blogger Bake Sale, which is set to take place April 28.
According to Keet, the BwoB mission is to bring the online community together via fundraising projects and campaigns.
“It is our hope that by doing this work together, we will increase charitable activity online and offline by helping bloggers use their platforms and gifts for good. For our first year, our goal is simply to keep doing more of this work — gaining strength, support and momentum with each campaign,” Keet said.
Although Keet maintained a sense of modesty when asked to provide advice for other organizations, trying to get their name out in the new media community, the BwoB CEO gave some important tips that we thought we’d share with you.
- Make social media one of your main concerns — consistently update your followers during each project
- Respond to email messages as soon as you can — try not to let days go by before you reply to someone who has reached out to you.
- Use a hashtag that is short and catchy
Want to help out? The BwoB website offers four simple suggestions for how you can get involved:
- Check out current projects on BwoB
- Tell your friends about BwoB
- Help start a campaign