Ahmed Elbatrawy

A campaign to make giving go viral


Charities receive 100% of donations through the Everyone Gives online project

(CNN) — What if one small gift to your favorite charity could become dozens, hundreds or thousands?

That’s the goal of Everyone Gives, an online fundraising campaign launched last week that seeks to harness the power of social media to help nonprofit groups around the world.

The campaign does not have a definite end, but bonus donations will be made for top earners through March 1. So far, more than a quarter of a million dollars ($257,039) has been raised for more than 1,200 charities. When someone donates at the campaign’s website, that donation is pushed to their various social networks like Facebook and Twitter.

As the campaign goes on, the site keeps track of how many people were inspired by their donation to make their own.

“This isn’t another one-off charity donation,” said Doug Frye, CEO of Colliers International, one of the campaign’s sponsors. “This is about enabling individuals to engage their personal connections to give more to the charities they are passionate about, and watch as the power of one donation multiplies.”

Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair is also on board.

His Tony Blair Faith Foundation, which aims to expand communication and understanding between world religions, is one of the participating charities. In a video on the Everyone Gives website, he notes the way one donation can turn into what the campaign calls a “Giving Tree.”

“One gift becomes five,” Blair said in the video. “Five becomes 25. Twenty-five turns into hundreds. As your giving goes viral, you can actually see your donation multiply on the Everyone Gives website.”

The site does not take any cut of the donations — 100% goes directly to the charities selected.

Charities range from relief organizations like the American Red Cross and Doctors Without Borders to medical charities like the American Cancer Society and Muscular Dystrophy Association to smaller local groups.

Zak Bagans, host of the Travel Channel’s “Ghost Adventures,” is one of several celebrities taking part. His tree, for the Nevada Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, had raised more than $8,000 from 367 participants as of Monday afternoon.

“Every single one of you who donate to my ‘Everyone Give’ tree for the NSPCA have a HEART OF GOLD!” he wrote on Twitter. “Thank you — what goes around comes around.”

In all, more than 6,500 people from 57 countries had donated Monday, according to the site. More than 1,200 charities received donations.






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Ahmed Elbatrawy