This presentation is about Social Media for Social Good, and the effect that technology and social media has had on the growing success of telethons.
Telethons, for many many years, have proved a very succesful way to raise large sums of money for charitable donations. When telethons first began, they were very popular; society very enthusiastic about the new technology of televisions.
Donating to a cause was suddenly much more convient with the invention of telethons. All you had to do was pick up your telephone to make a donation. Now however, even this simple task seems a great effort now that telethons have utlized technology and social media to raise even more money than ever before.
Now that telethons have move online and began to use the internet, technology and social media they are able to raise more money than they ever were before.
Texts messages have transformed the telethon industry and through this advanced social technology, far greater sums of money have been raised throught North America and internationally for really maningful causes. I will discuss in greater detail, the extreme impact that text messaging and social media has had on the success of telethons.
Though telethons first began in the 1950s, the 1970s and 80s was the era of the telethon. There have been telethons for all kinds of projects ranging from raising money for charitable causes, to more rare cases like the 1984 Austrailian telethon to raise money for their olympic team. Probably the most unique telethon was in 1975 California, to raise money for Sheriff Guy Langley to pay his legal expenses. As you can see, there are many uses for telthons.
Celebrity Parade, was the first telethon ever filmed in the year 1950. It was a fifteen hour telethon held in New York City to benefit United Cerebral Palsay. Celebrity Parade raised nearly one million dollars. This specific telethon no longer exists, but rather has been replaced by the Local Celebral Palsay telethon in Green Bay Wisconsin in 1954.
Jerry Lewis, born March 16, 1926, is an american comedian, actor, producer, director and singer. Despite all of his many talents, he is now probably best known for his association with charity fund-raising telethons, as a national chairman for the Muscular Dystrophy Association. He began to host this telethon in 1955, and is seen by many as the pioneer of the telethon.
as a national chairman for the Muscular Dystrophy Association. He began to host this telethon in 1955, and is seen by many as the pioneer of the telethon.
Technology istelf has greatly impacted the effect of the telethon. In 1998, Lewis’s telethon was the first to go online, which helped raise a signifiantly larger sum of money. In 1966, his telethon raised one million dollars, and in the year 2008, 65 million dollars were raised.
So what makes telethons so sucessful? Their star power. Celebrities are used to draw people into watching telethons, that then have the power to guilt trip audiences into donating. Modern day telethons have become increasingly celebrity focused, having transformed from day long events to short, star-studded benefit concerts.
Text messaging donations to telethons can be done anywhere, anytime. This encourages individuals to participate in telethons that they feel strongly about, even if they are not around to actually watch the telethon or make a donation by phone.
Hope for Haiti, a US led, celebrity encouraged telethon that aired January 22 2010, that has made effective use of social media to help raise money for earthquake relief in haiti. This telethon allowed viweres to send text messages with their donations, which is how a large majority of them were received.
Hope for Haiti has raised a record setting 58 million dollars. This incredibly large sum was raised even higher to 66 million dollars through sales of the thelethon album on itunes following its air on live TV. This is another metho of using social media
Facebook is another way that organizations are fundraising through social media. Facebook users can now use something called facebook credits, to donate to charities and help support local, national, or international telethons.
Stand Up to Cancer is one fundraising project that is making use of facbeook credits to donate to cancer research. On September 10, 2010, dozens of celebrities performed in a live telethon event to help raise money for the cause. By using the credits, it acts as a virtual curency, with 100 percent of the donations going straight to the cause. Users could donate credits through the Stand Up to Cancer’s facebook page all day leading up to the event, as well as during the live broadcast.
Amenia Fund, supporting funding for clean drinking water and irrgication projects in Artsakh, hosted a live telethon from Hollywood on November 28 2010. This was a 12 hour telethon that would reach every continent through cable, satelite and the internet http://www.flickr.com/photos/alexanyan/3041257677/lightbox/
In addition to the telethon, the armenia fund announced a text message campagin where people all over the united states could text the word armenia to 55555 and make a ten dollar donation
In 2010 the average person in the us sent 534 text messages per month. With statistics like this it seems obvious that telethons would resort to text messaging for donations. It is proof of a modern society engaging with the technology and social media that surrounds them.