Facebook co-founder moves into charity market
Thursday, December 2, 2010/
Chris Hughes, co-founder of Facebook, has launched a venture aimed at the growing online charity market.
Non-profit website Jumo.com allows users – who can also join via Facebook – to find issues and organisations they care about to receive news and updates, and donate money, time and skills.
Hundreds of non-profit and charitable organisations are featured on the site, specialising in everything from health and the environment to poverty and human rights.
Hughes said Jumo’s mission is to use networking technology to connect individuals and organisations working for global change.
According to Hughes, the explosion of new communications technologies such as the mobile phone and the internet “make it easier for people to share their work and passions, learn from others, and improve the quality of their activism.”
Stephen Shubitz, founder of Charity Greeting Cards, says Jumo has an “interesting” marketing approach.
Founded in 1999, Charity Greeting Cards provides greeting cards to corporate clients and individuals, contributing 20% of its annual turnover to 90 different charities through its website.
“What I like about [Jumo] is the accessibility of information – reading about a charity in its current state. Because that information is at your fingertips, you’re more inclined to donate then and there,” Shubitz says.
“I also like the notion of choice because no one feels pressured into giving money, as is the case in a public place.”
“I recently saw a local bank branch urging people to sign up for workplace giving as they walked through the door. It just made people feel uncomfortable, which is awful.”
Shubitz says charity promotion will continue to evolve as technology continues to develop and the younger generations become more involved.
However, he says using technology as a communications tool presents its own set of challenges, citing the company’s recent move into the eCard market as an example.
“Going into eCards is a huge challenge… Our initial question was, how do you send warmth and sentiment electronically? We’ve had to get our eCard concepts right to make sure they really stand out among the 100 emails some people receive each day.”