Nonprofit Newswire | Facebook Co-Founder Takes Online Charitable Engagement to the Next Level

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March 18, 2010; Wall Street Journal | Almost from the start, people and organizations have been using Facebook to raise money and awareness for their causes and issues. But the man who helped start the social networking site thinks it’s going to take an entirely new Web presence to engage people in social change organizations in ways that their contributions make a meaningful difference.

So, this fall, Chris Hughes, a co-founder of Facebook and director of online organizing for Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign, says he is launching a new site called Jumo.  According to the Wall Street Journal, the free site, which stands for “together in concert” in Yoruba, a West-African language, will “help people find out about new organizations and other issues, as well as donate money and skills.”

Hughes will apply what he learned both from his days at Facebook and his work on the Obama campaign in developing the new site.  For instance, he says that Causes, the popular Facebook application, “does a good job of enabling people to either give some money or to raise some money.” But people need more information and presented differently if they’re going to get deeply engaged.

That’s where his experience from the Obama campaign comes in, and where he learned that “people want to engage in a more substantive level, if you just open up the information channels.” He adds, “If you can help people discover and truly connect with these organizations and issues, then that is where you really open up a whole set of resources that were previously inaccessible. That is a very different experience from seeing an organization that you already know and giving them $10 bucks.”

For now, all you’ll see at the Jumo site is some introductory information. But if Hughes’ past history is any predictor of future success, expect virtual lines to start forming ahead of the site’s launch.—Bruce Trachtenberg

  • Eric B. Estes

    I believe we can all understand and appreciate the desire of Mr. Hughes to make life easier for Nonprofits everywhere, but I wonder if this approach is not counter intuitive. We are a Facebook world, nearly every business, industry, individual, college, and yes