Smartphone Philanthropy: Examining the Charity Concert Model
Before digital connectivity, nonprofit organizations benefited from concerts that solicited donations and touted their causes. The 1971 Concert for Bangladesh raised money for UNICEF; 1985’s Live Aid sent famine relief to Ethiopia; and since 2004, the Black Ball has collected millions to fight AIDS. Now the charity concert model is changing. Millennials prefer festivals to black-tie affairs, and use social media to advocate instead of swiping a credit card.
One example of this new method of advocacy is the Global Citizen Festival, a concert held in New York City each September to promote awareness of extreme poverty. The festival’s model is a digital facelift of the 1980s movement-building efforts of Amnesty International and an indirect descendant of Bono’s ONE campaign, which pioneered online advocacy for the development sector in 2004.