Non-Facebook Causes Site May Cause Confusion

Causes650It seems like everybody is getting active these days — well, socially active, at least. So it follows that depending on your political viewpoint or social leanings, you might be supporting a lot of different causes from social sites like Facebook. And if you aren’t supporting any causes on Facebook yet, you’ll likely be surprised to know that you have more than one option to do so, and it’s kind of confusing to sort out, so I’ve done the work for you.

With Facebook, it’s pretty darn easy to go online and search for the issue you’re interested in. Can’t find it? Well, just go ahead and create your own cause:

FacebookCreateAPage

You COULD do that, but there’s another way to go about it, a BETTER way — and one that works with Facebook, but is also separate from it.

San Francisco-based Causes created its own social media platform — one that hooks in quite nicely with Facebook, but allows for a bit more functionality and freedom than what you’ll find going through that whole page-creation route.

With Causes, you start off by picking stickers that show what you care about:

CausesStickers

After that, you find people who support like-minded causes and then work to bring in more friends to join the movement. And then they invite friends, and then THEY invite … you get the idea. It can grow quickly.

One of the main differences between Causes and Facebook causes is that Causes offers the ability to let followers make pledges. Those might be pledges of time, money or materials, but as long as the cause you are interested in meets with Cause’s criteria, you can set up your own campaign, communicate with followers, invite new ones and crowd-source solutions.

Just got a nice pledge or a big donation? Post about it to your group, but then also share it on Facebook, AND Twitter and LinkedIn. So Causes offers more social consciousness capabilities for your buck (both are actually free, though).

The ease of fundraising and pledging figures prominently in a cause, so although a Facebook cause page is great for raising awareness about your issue (on Facebook only), highlighting upcoming events or even pulling in new volunteers for the cause, it’s sorely lacking when it comes to financials, and that can make or break many causes.

When it comes time to create a cause, you’ll likely have limited time to sort out the particulars, so know that if you want expanded reach or if you want to raise money, your time is best spent using the external Causes (and leaving the native Facebook cause creations to those who haven’t read this post!).

Murray Newlands is an entrepreneur, business advisor, and online-marketing professional. In 2013, he founded TheMail.com. He is a columnist for Entrepreneur.

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