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News from the Case Foundation and what people are talking about this week in the world of giving, tech and everything in between.
Charity:Water launches September birthday campaign
On Monday, Charity:Water launched its fourth annual September Birthday campaign asking folks to "give up" their birthdays and instead ask for donations to the organization's efforts to bring clean drinking water to the Central African Republic. As this Chronicle of Philanthropy piece reports, this year, Charity:Water is aiming to raise $1.7 million for the campaign, which will rely heavily on social media to help spread the word, as well as their own online presence, which serves as the platform for folks to sign up for the campaign. As this Technorati article puts it: "Since its inception in 2006, the September birthday campaign has helped Charity:Water grow its base of supporters by embracing social media and providing the platform and tools for individuals to lead their own campaigns." The significant press coverage that the campaign kick-off has received, which also includes articles on the Huffington Post, TechCrunch, Fast Company and numerous other blogs and sites, is a testament to its success over the past four years. Will you be giving up your September birthday this year?
This week, Facebook announced the initial launch of the much anticipated Facebook Places feature, which allows users to "check-in" much in the same vein as Foursquare and Gowalla (check out Mashable's coverage of the event announcement). According to this CNET article, one of the aims of the new location feature is to add to the site's overall focus on storytelling:
Facebook Places will not just collect location check-ins, it'll allow for messages and comments and pictures to be aggregated around them, creating a sort of "collective memory" that places a layer of Facebook-published narrative atop the physical world.
Need a primer to learn how to use Facebook Places? This ABCNews.com article provides a good overview. Will you use Facebook Places, stay loyal to Foursquare/Gowalla, or have you not bought into the check-in craze?
CauseOn launches to tie group coupons closer to nonprofits
As its name suggests, CauseOn is a new group couponing site that launched this week to bring the benefits of social couponing to consumers while also benefiting charity. As this TechCrunch article notes, customers will have the option to direct 20% of their purchase to the charity of their choice. The Chronicle of Philanthropy has more on the site, which initially launched in Portland but hopes to be in more than 40 cities within a year, as well as an overview of the charitable efforts of other group couponing sites.
Other noteworthy items
Inspired by the spirit of the Giving Pledge, young entrepreneur Bryan Sims, who is not (yet) a billionaire, pledges to make a substantial contribution of his future earnings to charity, and over on the Change.org Social Entrepreneurship blog, challenges other young entrepreneurs to do the same.
Frequent travelers were excited when JetBlue announced its "All You Can Jet" pass this week. The great folks at DoSomething are taking it one step further by offering free passes to five lucky young people for sharing their stories of how they'd use the pass to further their organization's goals, whether by meeting with potential donors or going to conferences to learn new skills.