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This is a Google Plus fundraising story. One that is happening now and that is truly an amazing story of inspiring activists. Thank you +Carter Gibson for allowing me to interview you about your Google+ fundraiser. This is the blog post about it.
Carter Gibson's profile photoEnna Grazier's profile photoDebra Askanase's profile photoUrs E. Gattiker's profile photo
+Debra Askanase thanks for pointing this out.

+Carter Gibson writes and I quote "Circle me and I'll donate $0.50 to the Red Cross' Horn of Africa Relief
When iis it okay to whore yourself out? when it's for charity"

Well seeing this this morning I felt it turned me off. If Carter wants to donate, why not donate and just keep quiet. Why does one have to make a show out of it and, at the same time push his or her own cause (get more people to put me in circles).

Is this just? Do your ethics allow for this. Not in my neighborhood.
Hi +Urs E Gattiker! The point here is that "just donating" doesn't engage people. It doesn't spread the word about anything. Google+ is different than other social media networks because it appeals to people who are committed to making new connections with people and collaborating with their efforts.

Could I have very easily asked everyone to just +1? Yes of course. But I limit the number of people exposed to this to just my circles. What special about a reshare and a circle is that it raises awareness of the issue in thousands, upon thousands of people's streams and allows me the ability to engage these people (like I'm doing now). The point here is reaching out to as many people as possible. Many of them have already donated who would have no otherwise had they not seen my post.

People are too satisfied with the lazy art of just a donation or a "+1" without the desire to ever spread awareness or take it a step further. Is it a little bit of a show? Yes. Absolutely. But would you have ever seen the link to donate to Horn of Africa relief without it? No. And that's exactly the point. I think it's perfectly, 100% just. If I were doing this just to "look more popular" then no. Absolutely not. But those aren't my intentions and I hope that once you review my profile, see my work experience, and understand that I truly value the relationships I've made here I hope you'll think differently.
Hi +Carter Gibson, thanks for replying so quickly.

I can see your point, but the question is if other people will donate as well or if they will think having befriended you will be enough (you giving for them that is).

I donate for causes I believe in with money, volunteering my time and so forth.

However, there might be some people that do require an 'in your face' fund raising approach like you seem to have organised to really get going.

I am learning every day :-) Thanks for sharing.
I think what's awesome is that so far two people have pledged to match me and a few other ones have donated $50 and $20 in addition to however many people I don't know about. Whenever someone circles me from this they feel like they've made a difference, even it's a small rather. More importantly, if they reshare, they feel like they've made that much more of difference. It's that feeling that keeps people engaged.

And good! Glad to hear you're engaged! And I always like to reply as fast as I can :)
+Carter Gibson so you made a difference if the others donate as well, yes maybe I need to remind myself that every charity or good cause have to fight for our attention.... to get a slice of the share of our wealth that we are willing to donate.

Keep up the good work.
Thanks +Urs E Gattiker! I actually love these conversations. Thanks for talking to me and asking the questions you did.
+Urs E Gattiker I also had the initial reaction of being a bit put off by Carter's approach, which is why I specifically asked him what he would say to people who are put off, or are naysayers to this approach. It does seem self-serving, on the surface. However, the beauty of actually talking with +Carter Gibson and virtually interviewing him was that it became clear that Carter's motives are far from self-serving. They are actually about raising awareness, raising money, and creating activists.

The biggest challenge with Google+ fundraising is that nonprofits are not yet allowed to put up Google+ identities (Google is taking down these profiles as quickly as NGOs put them up). The challenge with fundraisers like Carter's is to iterate them so that they don't appear to be even a little self-serving. If the Red Cross had a Google+ profile, then Carter could say "I will donate $0.50 for every new person that puts the Red Cross in their circle." There may also be other iterations on the peer-to-peer fundraising model here, and I'd love to find out more about others doing it.
+Debra Askanase you are so right especially your second paragraph. We have so many options and no more. Since the American Red Cross cannot put up a Google+ account, the second best thing is have people like +Carter Gibson do it for them (in a roundabout way raise the money)

This has been an interesting discussion and I have basically changed my mind at least I move sixty percent toward a yes, big step for me :-)

Thank you both for helping see the benefit of this. Merci.
Urs and Carter - I've enjoyed reading your exchange, as well!
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