People are stressed, short on time and – especially in today’s economy – short of money. Yet many of us still seek fulfillment in giving back, whether through our churches, volunteer organizations or donations.
Technologies and online social media like Facebook and Twitter provide us new means not only to socially connect and motivate people to support causes, but also to give. The Internet and mobile phones can connect widely scattered, loosely related networks of people to make a significant difference through many small contributions.
For example, in the wake of the Haiti earthquake, for example, numerous individuals made $10 donations by texting via mobile phone. These small donations rapidly added up to over $10 million in aid. “Micro-acts,” as a result, is a recently coined term; described as small, altruistic acts that cost little time or money, while creating a worthwhile and positive effect in the world.
The Golden Opportunity Challenge, at www.TGO.tv, is a social experiment created to harness the power of micro-acts. Social media investor and philanthropist Victor Kearney founded TGO in order to ask visitors this question, “What would you do with a free Flip camera and $250?” By offering an opportunity with no strings attached, individuals are provided a means to give back. Each month, TGO awards up to twenty-five Golden Opportunity packages. Winners are selected three different ways: through a sweepstakes for all registered guests, by submitting the “best ideas” as voted on by the TGO community, and during ongoing challenges sponsored by companies, communities and celebrities.
TGO winners have already posted a wide spectrum of videos, including Scott, who presented malaria nets to a village in Tanzania; Natalia, who purchased a guitar for a man on the street; and Fernando, who bought a pair of Toms Shoes.
The Golden Opportunity Team believes that the majority of individuals, given an opportunity, will rise to the occasion and act altruistically. By providing the tools and platform for sharing these individual contributions, TGO hopes to trigger a ripple effect of meaningful micro-acts. Technology and social media are keys in enabling micro-activism, by giving us new ways to give–even if our means are limited.
-Guest Blog by Aaron Henry