Blog Action Day 09: 5 Fun Ways to Support Earth-Friendly Charities
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Blog Action Day 09: 5 Fun Ways to Support Earth-Friendly Charities

Sioux Falls : SD : USA | Oct 15, 2009 at 4:01 PM PDT
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These days, with economies stretched to the limit and people cutting back on everything from designer label clothing to brand-name toilet paper, trying to help out a favorite cause may seem like an impossibility. But helping out your best-loved non-profit or charity organization doesn't have to cost a dime.

There is no question that charities and non-profits need monetary support in order to keep running. But these organizations need even more than that; they also need exposure - and the more eyeballs they can get on their website, the more chance they will receive monetary support.

So if you are short on cash, but know your way around the Internet (even if you don't!) there are a few fun ways in which you can do your part to spread the word, and keep your favorite organization in the spotlight. For today's Bog Action Day article I offer the following five fun and simple ways that you can help support your favorite cause for climate change and the environment.

Fun Idea #1 - Send eCards to your friends and family

No one enjoys boring text email anymore, but everyone loves e-cards! There are many places online where you can sign up to send free cards. Or, for a small fee get a membership and send out an informative, fun e-card each month to all your family and friends. There is nothing more enjoyable than a fun, animated e-card waiting for you in your inbox.

E-cards typically allow unlimited text space where you can share information about an upcoming charity event, link to news announcements, or just let people know what organizations you care about and why. And if you have a birthday coming up, why not send birthday e-cards to your friends and family, asking them to contribute to your favorite charity instead of sending you all those gifts of cash and technicalogical gadgets! Now THAT would be a testament of good will and dedication to your cause!

Fun Idea #2 - Add links to your favorite cause in signatures and profiles

Most everyone who is on the Internet these days has memberships with forums, community bulletin boards or social media networks. These sites almost always allow you to provide customized information in your profile, or a custom "signature" that is attached to each post you make on the site. Customize your profile or signature with a link to your favorite charity site. Add a quick, eye-grabbing sentence to entice readers to click the link. Or better yet, create a snazzy graphic and link it to your favorite site.

And don't forget about your e-mail signature; many of my small business clients forget that e-mails are a ripe source for advertising efforts, especially if you are prone to sharing those all favorite jokes and funny email photos and stories. Customize your email signature with links to your favorite causes, then set your preferences to add your signature to each e-mail that you send. Before you know it, your links will be circling the globe, along side that "what does the chicken get when he crosses the road" cartoon!

Fun Idea #3 - Use Facebook and Twitter to help disseminate your charity's message

Most people who are familiar with Facebook or Twitter realize that there are many ways to share links, and information with their friends, but there is more you can do than just send off random links!

First, support your favorite environmental charity by adding a Twibbon to your Facebook and Twitter profile photos. Twibbons are small icons that are attached to your photo in support of charities and other groups and organizations. This is a more passive support effort, but it allows you to easily share your support with each Tweet and post you make. Give it try - you can support Earth Force, one of my favorite non-profits, with this Twibbon icon.

But don't leave it at that. Send private and direct messages to your followers and friends as often as you are able. Make the message simple and sweet, with a convenient link they can click to get exactly where you need them to be. But don't make the mistake many businesses make in using these social media tools - if you expect to get any support from your followers you have to be a part of the conversation before you make your plea. Otherwise you're doing no more than standing in front of a house, knocking on the door and asking strangers to give you money. Make a presence, and others will follow where you go with it.

Fun Idea #4 - Citizen journalism

Today marks one of the best decades for citizen journalism ever! Anyone with the desire and inclination can write articles that can be viewed by dozens, hundreds, or even thousands of others. There are even websites specializing in citizen journalism efforts, like AllVoices.com.

These sites allow you to catch the action as it happens, or provide commentary on events after-the-fact. Whatever your comfort level or experience you can jump into the fray and express your opinions, thoughts, ideas, and join the discussion with others. Citizen journalism sites have far more reach than most personal blogs, but a personal blog article can reach others as well.

Regardless of which option you choose be sure your articles are interesting and relevant to the article topic. The key is to get people reading in the first paragraph, so they are enticed to read further. And offer them a reason why to continue reading as soon in the article as possible. And most important, make sure the title is an eye grabber!

Fun Idea #5 - Play games!

This last idea is my favorite, and is probably the least recognized venue for supporting charity events. Second Life, a live interactive software game where users interact with one another using animated avatars in a 3D environment, is a growing and significant venue for charity fund-raising efforts.

Consider this - in 2007, the Relay for Life Second Life Walk-a-thon event raised more then $118,000 and attracted more than 1,700 participants. That's a lot of Linden dough for one virtual game!

So how can you help? Joining the Second Life community is something that requires a small learning curve, but once you've mastered moving and flying around in this fun virtual environment, you can participate, advertise or otherwise volunteer for favorite charities. Purchase virtual art items in one of the many art auction for charity events, or fund your own event and donate the proceeds.

These are just a few of the many creative and fun ways in which you can take part in an effort to reduce the effects of climate change through your favorite environment charity or other worthy cause. Although these efforts may not seem like a lot in the whole scheme of things, every effort, everywhere, counts.

Last year I participated in a Second Life Earth Day event that raised awareness for the carbon footprint that every human leaves behind each and every day. These type of events put together are significant in raising the awareness necessary to begin to curb the effects of climate changes and negative environmental impacts, and every small effort helps. Just like making the choice to not throw your empty wrapper out the car window, you too can make your small place on earth one which supports and encourages awareness and respect for our environment. So let's make our every action, online and offline, count!

This article is a reprint from my blog at http://online-business-woman.com/

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Earth Day 08
A Second Life earth day event
Roxanne Weber is based in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, United States of America, and is a Stringer for Allvoices.
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