People who belong to the Facebook community, know it’s a great place to track down childhood friends, keep in touch with distant relatives, stalk old high school boyfriends and play a game of Bingo Blitz with Grandma. Now they can also help a worthy cause (several actually) and it will only cost $5.00. This week we highlight the charity managed solely on Facebook, The $5 Project.
When Betsy Schauer, professor of music at University of Arizona, watched coverage of the earthquake in Haiti, she was struck by the magnitude of people who heeded the American Red Cross’ plea to make $10 donations via text message. Though people gave just a little, they felt empowered because they knew they were a part of a bigger movement. Betsy had a little epiphany for a future endeavor that night and after it needled her brain for a year, The Five Dollar Project became a reality.
As mentioned above, The $5 Project doesn’t have a traditional web page, it has a Facebook page and that’s where all the action happens. Betsy and her board members choose a local or regional charity to highlight for one month. Loyal followers of the project donate $5.00 to the cause and then use their own social networks to spread the word. At the end of the month, the donations are tallied and the group does a follow-up on the highlighted organization, showing how they were impacted by the influx of generosity.
Since The $5 Project launched on Facebook in January, they’ve helped a variety of agencies. Their idea was to “champion local and regional causes across the United States that normally don’t get the exposure larger charities such as the Red Cross gets.” Including their very first charity, PALS (Positive Activities Lead To Success)an after school and summer program located in an impoverished area of Colorado.
In August, the project rallied around, Beyond Balance, a New Jersey therapeutic riding center for people with special needs. Giving to this organization hit close to home for $5 Project board member, Dana Dwyer who has two children with Autism. Dana previously attended a Beyond Balance class with her son and remarked at the amazing difference it made in his coordination and physical awareness. The $5 Project was able to raise $660.00 for Beyond Balance in one month. Dana hopes the money will be used to sponsor other Autistic children who otherwise might not be able to have the same experience her son had.
The $5 Project is an example of what Love Drop has known to be true from the beginning of our adventure in micro-giving, that people are more apt to participate and donate if they feel like their portion is an essential ingredient in the big ole pie. Members of the $5 Project seetheir dollars go to work every month in a new and different way. We know how precisely how that feels. . . awesome!
Make your heart happy. Do good!