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CauseWired Canadian

By Tom Watson on May 24, 20093 Comments

Later this week, I’m headed for Toronto to give the luncheon plenary at the AFP’s local Fundraising Day conference there. So in true crowd-sourcing style, I started pinging the network just a bit in order to hit reload on my knowledge of ‘CauseWired’ Canada – and the network responded with some great resources that has me totally jazzed about the action north of the border. Sometimes it’s great to put a request out there in the interest of continuing education in the sector … and the strong desire to be well-informed about my hosts!

Not everything will make it into the 30 minutes I have to speak (plus a follow-up seminar for experienced fundraisers later in the day) but I wanted to share my notes with readers here, so as not to let any of the great projects and resources go to waste. All links recommended.

The Easter-time Orange Day organized by the United Gospel Mission of Vancouver hoped to raise $12,000 to feed and care for people in Metro Vancouver – but hit a total of $23,069.59. This gorgeous campaign blended a simple premise – get outdoors, buy an orange for someone in need (only 32 cents!), and get active in the community. Great photos, a Twitter feed, blogs, video and regular updates organized around the #orangeday tag with a reachable goal – and a really simple ask – made it go. And you just know that the Orange Day social media effort will pay long-term dividends for the UGM beyond the money raised this year. [Thanks to Joe Solomon for this one.]

A related effort unfolded on Twitter in the form of the TweetupHeatup campaign after a homeless woman’s body was found burning in a makeshift shelter built around a shopping cart, a victim of the long winter just past. Almost overnight, the tweets got folks into the streets with blankets, hot soup, and just the basic offer to help a neighbor – and bring attention to a serious issue.

Another winter/holiday effort was the widely-heralded HohoTO campaign, which used Twitter and other social media to unite Toronto’s sizable tech community and raise money for the The Daily Bread Food Bank. The site seems to be down now, but you can read about it at Adele McAlear’s excellent blog, check out the Twitter page, or watch the video. The effort raised $25,000 and more than a ton of food. [H/T to Stacey Monk.]

Not surprisingly, the great team at Social Actions sent me a buncha links – since it’s one of the great Canadian social start-ups ever! And three of the Social Actions’ aggregated platforms – CanadaHelps, GiveMeaning, and PincGiving hail from Canada. [Thx Peter Deitz.] Many of the social entrepreneurs who tend to gravitate to efforts like Social Actions will be attending Net Change next month in Toronto, “a week-long event designed to explore how social technology can bolster social change. Presented by the Social Innovation Generation team at MaRS (SiG@MaRS), Net Change Week will tap into the potential that exists when new methods of communicating, organizing and mobilizing are brought to bear on chronic social issues. ” One of the leading sponsors is the aforementioned CanadaHelps, which has facilitated more than $85 million in donations to Canada’s 83,000 charities since 2000. [Gracias, Christine Egger.]

TakingITGlobal is a wonderful social venture aimed at getting “youth everywhere actively engaged and connected in shaping a more inclusive, peaceful and sustainable world.” That’s a heck of a goal, but the Toronto-based organization has signed up 245,552 members in 261 countries at 1,154 schools in less than a decade – tremendous social impact. I’m also taking a look at BettertheWorld, a browser-based campaign to shift online ad revenues to the charity of your choice. [H/T to Romina Oliverio.]

More stuff to take a look at in the next few days: Global Agents for Change, Save Our Net (Canadian net neutrality), One Million Acts of Change, ChangeCamp, WarChild, and Urbantastic.

Obviously, these are just a small sampling of what’s going on in Canada – I’m hoping to hear more in Toronto on Thursday.

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  • Thank you so much for the kind words and link to my site. And thanks to Stacey Monk for the HT too :) You have a fascinating consultancy. I love teaching non-profits how to use social media and it’s good to see some Canadian efforts being acknowledged south of the border. I’m sorry that I won’t be in Toronto to hear your speak at the luncheon. Please do look me up if ever you come to Montreal.


  • Appreciating the attention you’re bringing to a number of familiar, buzz-worthy organizations here, Tom; and, as usual, learning alot from your post, too! Thanks for expanding our north-of-the-border horizons :)

    Christine Egger
    Social Actions

  • Lanie says:

    Thanks for sharing all these. It’s nice to know that people like you exist to help people in this industry. Thanks again. This site might be of your interest too.

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