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How DoSomething Engages Young People [VIDEO]

How DoSomething Engages Young People [VIDEO]

One of the great success stories of online advocacy has, a not-for-profit that encourages young people to use the power of online to “do good stuff offline.”

Last fall I moderated a panel at BlogWorld Expo with DoSomething chief technology officer George Weiner, and last month I co-presented a Social Media for Social Good bootcamp at the National Conference on Volunteering and Service with George.

So during a brief break in the action I got him to talk about how DoSomething spurs 1.2 million young people a year to take action on behalf of a social cause they care about.

“Young people have this amazing thing they can do that doesn’t require car, money or an adult,” he says. Simply put, any young person — 25 or younger, with a sweet spot of 16- to 17-year-olds — can launch a social cause campaign about any cause they feel passionately about.

The nation’s largest cause site for young people, DoSomething has about 30,000 cause projects started by young people.

Success comes down to a combination of factors

The site’s success comes down to these factors:

• They make it easy to participate by lowering the barriers to entry.

• They’re laser-focused on catering to young people.

• They make it easy to take part in campaigns via mobile devices.

• They try to make causes fun by emphasizing use of participants’ social networks.

“This generation is far more engaged than anyone can possibly understand or measure due to the amount of conversations going on in social media,” George says.

For instance, DoSomething partnered with Better World Books on the Epic Book Drive, a campaign that collected more than 250,000 books to benefit the Recovery School District in New Orleans.

Head to DoSomething to find a cause that resonates with you. And don’t forget to look for the DoSomething Awards on VH1 in August. Have a question or need help? Text HELPME to 30644.

This post originally appeared on and is reposted here with permission.


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1:18AM PDT on Jul 27, 2011

Thanks for sharing.

8:00AM PDT on Jul 26, 2011

i was looking at their website earlier when i was searching for useful things to do, i think its great, now can we have one for older people, haha, nah we have care2!

4:12AM PDT on Jul 25, 2011

Thanks for the article.

12:52PM PDT on Jul 24, 2011

I used to be the leader of a DoSomething Club. It was great, we did all kinds of community service projects, and donated to all sorts of causes. I hope that I was able to influence the members of my club like these wonderful people are influencing young people all over the country!!

7:23PM PDT on Jul 23, 2011

Maybe, if we're lucky, some of our future leaders will have been influenced by the rewards of doing something for others - doing something to help.

7:22PM PDT on Jul 23, 2011


5:35PM PDT on Jul 23, 2011

this great! I am glad that the young people can participate in the laws that run their lives.

1:09PM PDT on Jul 23, 2011

George W. is a great guy, with a clear-eyed view of how to engage young people. Every time I come across DoSomething, they're doing something interesting.

6:20AM PDT on Jul 23, 2011


5:44AM PDT on Jul 23, 2011

Interesting article..

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Julie M. Rodriguez Julie M. Rodriguez is an arts, green living, and political writer based in San Mateo, CA. Her work... more
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