Ed Trimble is the CEO and founder of Endorse for a Cause. Endorse for a Cause is an online community that encourages consumers to shop and share while earning money for their favorite social cause. Social Times had a chance to talk with Trimble about Endorse for a Cause, social media for philanthropy and charity, and the future of this space.
How does Endorse for a Cause differentiate itself from other services in the social shopping + philanthropy space?
First, Endorse for a Cause has a viral aspect that differentiates the site from other services. Consumers can shop online at EFAC or leading retail sites, share their favorite brands and products through Facebook and Twitter, and score big for the charities that mean the most to them. In essence, Endorse for a Cause is a simple and fun way for users to create network of goodwill and make a difference.
Second, there is a gaming aspect of Endorse for a Cause that makes the service really engaging and fun. Users can earn points, badges, and even cause-based prizes (like a trip to The Humane Society of the United States Genesis Awards, aka Oscars for animals, or a private healthy kitchen makeover and grocery store tour with the American Cancer Society’s Nutrition and Physical Activity Director).
Third, Endorse for a Cause allows users to drive revenue to their favorite causes simply by doing what they already love to do. When users shop online and share their activity through social networks, Endorse for a Cause collects money from retailers and donates it to the cause of choice. This allows people to go about their everyday activities and support the causes they care about at the same time.
What about social media makes it so appealing to organizations looking to raise awareness and funds for social / environmental causes?
Social media allows charities to engage with people on a deeper level, helping foster a relationship of trust and confidence between online users and nonprofit organizations. This relationship is crucial in gaining genuine supporters that wholeheartedly believe in the mission of the cause.
Embracing social media also provides ordinary people with an easy way to build a passionate community. For charities, social media is a tool they can use to empower the online community to do extraordinary things.
Can you give us some predictions of how you see social media being used by non-profits and organizations supporting social / environmental causes in the future?
We’re all well aware that traditional channels of communication are quickly becoming obsolete. This makes it more important than ever for organizations to find new ways to capture the attention of our fast-paced and socially -networked society.
As the popularity of sharing content online continues to rise, organizes will realize the importance of leveraging social networks in order to stay relevant. Smart organizations will embrace change and will continue to look for new opportunities.