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A Personal Facebook Cause

By Tom Watson on January 2, 2008One Comment

Ben Casnocha, the author of My Start-Up Life: What a (Very) Young CEO Learned on His Journey Through Silicon Valley has interesting post on his blog about a young Duke University student with a rare disease who has – in part -used Facebook Causes in his battle to fund life-saving research. Ben writes about Josh Sommer, a junior who was diagnosed with chordoma, a rare bone cancer with low survival rates:

He and his mom launched the Chordoma Foundation to promote research of potential cures and galvanize the research community. He works 30 hours a week in Duke labs with professors who have agreed to study the problem. In the meantime, he lobbies congress to implement legislation that would better prevent the accumulation of toxic mold in buildings as toxic mold in his house partly caused his disease.

A few weeks ago, Josh raised $4,200 over three days for his foundation on Facebook “Causes”. By securing the most individual donations within a 24 hour period, he won Facebook’s $1k prize. About 1,300 people (mostly college students – like me) contributed small amounts of money to the cause. Talk about micro-philanthropy!

Micro-philanthropy indeed. I’ve said a bunch of times that the actual funds raised through Causes may be small, but the large numbers of people participating actually sets the table to future involvement and larger fundraising. Here’s a full profile of Josh in the Charlotte News & Observer.

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One Comment »

  • Josh Sommer says:

    absolutely correct – the funds are small but the pool is large. We Can Cure Chordoma! Facebook cause has raised about $6,300 from 187 people. This is 3% of the funds we’ve raised but represents 30% of our donors. It certainly helps build our support base and opens the door to lots of potential donations in the future. Thanks Facebook

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