A couple I follow on social media raised $118,000 for an organization that assists and supports children in foster care. Through Instagram stories and posts, they listed their personal Venmo accounts and encouraged people to give, even if it was just $1 or $5. A few days later, they posted a video where they had announced the total amount to the organization’s founder, and her reaction was both incredulous and joyful as she erupted in screams and laughter.

Social media campaigns like these, where small sums from followers can make a tremendous collective impact, demonstrate a generational shift in giving. In this digital age, it’s convenient and hassle-free to donate thanks to sites like GoFundMe and apps like Venmo. With just a few clicks, donors can make an impact or support a cause almost effortlessly. 

And since people spend a lot of time online, on social media, and on their phones, these are natural platforms for donating. For instance, in 2019, $511 million was donated online on #GivingTuesday (a global generosity movement following Thanksgiving).

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