Fundraising Social Media Crazes: A Fad or the Future?

26th March 2015

To tie in with Mother’s Day, another social media fundraising phenomenon took over the likes of Facebook and Twitter – Macmillan’s #sozmum campaign.

Like many before it, the #sozmum campaign includes posting a picture to your social media account and then donating after you have done it. Macmillan have asked people to post pictures of things they want to say sorry to their mum for, and then donating in memory of mums that due to cancer, aren’t here.

This campaign is not a new concept. Cast your mind back to early 2014, when a craze named ‘Neknominate’ flooded social media pages. The main premise of the game was downing an alcoholic drink as fast as you could and then nominate a couple of your friends to do it. Thus the chain continues. Whilst teenagers and young-at hearts revelled in the idea, many were appalled and after five men are reported to have died because of their neknominate actions, social media was inundated with requests to stop the madness. Several people who were nominated by their friends went on to donate to charity and encourage others to do the same.

It was last March that the fundraising really kicked off. The ‘#NoMakeUpSelfie’ went viral, and although they weren’t the creators behind it, Cancer Research UK received over œ8million. This craze involved women posting selfies with no makeup on, and donating in the process. Men were encouraged to adorn makeup for a photo, and donate in the same way. The thinking behind it was an act of bravery to show solidarity to those suffering with cancer and embracing the way they look naturally.

It didn’t stop there – the UK adopted a new viral campaign from the US, the incredibly successful #IceBucketChallenge. The original charity behind the campaign was ALS, when it came to the UK people became confused over what the charity was and the funds became diluted. The challenge involved tipping a bucket of ice-cold water over your head, and then nominating others to do the same. It is estimated that over $100 million was raised for various charities throughout this period.

It is highly likely this #sozmum campaign will not be the last social media craze to adorn the internet. With social media growing at the alarming rate it has done in the last few years (Facebook is currently the second most visited website in the UK – ranking under Google) more trends and fads are likely to take place.

The main question is though – are we allowed to say no? What will actually happen if we do? There is absolutely no denying that the charities we donate our hard-earned money to are benefitting greatly from this.

However, peer pressure can make some people fearful of reproach if they decide not to participate; it is difficult to hide on social media. There are of course plenty of other ways to help charities and peer pressure should not dictate that this is the way you should donate. As any charity will say, it does not matter how the funds are being raised, whether it be a direct debit every month, a social media craze or a fundraising event.

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