In early December 2006, Network for Good launched the beta version of its Charity Badge fundraising widget, which allows individuals to raise awareness and money for a cause on their personal blogs, social-networking sites or Web pages.
Nonprofit organizations can create the badge — a vertical box that can be personalized with a photo, video and/or text describing the mission — and give it to constituents to put on their blogs or Web sites, or constituents can create their own. The badge includes a “donate” button; visible, real-time tracking of donations and the amount the badge has raised; and a “Create your own Charity Badge” button. When creation of the badge is completed, individuals are given the code that links to the badge, which then can be copied and pasted onto their blog or Web site, or into an e-mail.
Charity Badge is not the first widget of this kind. ChipIn was the first to offer an online community fundraising tool like this. Fundraising software providers GetActive, Kintera and Convio also have made their own badges available to clients.
Katya Andresen, vice president of marketing for Network for Good, an online charitable resource for donors, volunteers and charities that allows visitors to donate to the more than 1 million charities listed in its database, says the company’s creation of the badge was motivated by two things: 1) the general online trend toward user-generated content — YouTube, Flickr, MySpace, AIM pages, etc. — and 2) growth in the nonprofit sector of person-to-person fundraising, i.e., organizations using their strongest supporters to appeal to their friends and families to raise money.
To coincide with the launch of the Charity Badge program, Yahoo! offered a $50,000 matching gift to the Charity Badge that garnered the most donors by the end of 2006. Organizations involved included WorldChanging, Global Justice, the Anacostia Watershed Society and the Sharing Foundation.