5 Or 5 Minutes 1 Way To Make A Difference

October 26, 2009 · By Sloane Davidson, Founder and CEO, Hello Neighbor

HOPEYou know what people say to me all the time? I want to get involved but I don't know how. Where do I start? It's too overwhelming, there is too much information out there.

Well, I've heard you, and I'm here to help. Today launches the newest series on The Causemopolitan. It's called $5 or 5 Minutes = 1 Way to Make a Difference. I'll show you how with a few clicks of the mouse you can give back. And you know what? That's not a bad place to start. Remember if you and you and you and you ALL do it, real change happens. So don't give me any of the "does my $5 really make a difference." Because it does. And since I'm hand-picking the campaigns, you have my word I've checked them out. I'll only recommend campaigns that are real and authentic, none of that "portion of the proceeds" trash. I hate that.

So come along for the ride. I told you I'd focus more on YOU and not just ME once I got my act together for the next chapter of The Causemopolitan. That starts now.

1) Leave a comment. Go to this post: Philippines floods affect many of our microfinance entrepreneurs. Let’s give them an extra hand! and $5 will be donated to Kiva's Ahon sa Hirap, Inc. borrowers in the Philippines affected by the recent typhoons. I am biased to this one since it was the women that I was working with this summer. But let me tell you this is the real thing. Over $2,500 has been raised since this campaign started. Every $5 means so much to the women there, so many have lost everything in a typhoon that was of "Katrina" size damage to the countryside. The money is being given by members of a Kiva lending team called The Road. By joining the team you could also help by making a contribution.

Seriously, this campaign is picking up steam. Here are the updated stats:

October 21: Turning words into deed: I donate US$5 per comment on this post October 22: 208 comments, US$1,040 raised in 24 hours October 23: 400 comments, US$2,000 raised in 48 hours October 24: 500 comments, US$2,500 raised. First new loans allocated

Campaign runs through OCTOBER 31, 2009. Go here. Leave a comment. Feel good.

2) Follow @DrewFromTV on Twitter. When he reaches a million followers, he's going to give a million dollars to Live Strong. So far, he's at 118,643. He's got a ways to go. But it's a cool idea, I mean WHY NOT. Having followers on Twitter is a kind of currency now. Why not make something from it.

You know, this gets me thinking...anyone could do a challenge like this on Twitter. Next time you want to reach a milestone, why don't you throw a little cause-action into it? Might surprise you how good it feels to run your own campaign.

Read more about Drew here and remember to follow him here.

3) $2.50 per month = 1 CFL lightbulb for a New Orleans resident through Green Light New Orleans. They are running a campaign called "Be One of the 10,000 People" as they look for 10,000 to donate $2.50 a month.

When I was in New Orleans earlier this year I heard about Green Light and the amazing work they're doing. A bit more about their goal for New Orleans:

The city of New Orleans faces a strong increase in energy cost and serious installation consequences of global warming through stronger and more frequent hurricanes. Our goal is to switch the entire city from incandescent light bulbs to energy efficient compact fluorescent light bulbs, one house at a time. To change 3 million light bulbs will save 135 million dollars of electricity and will reduce CO2 emissions by 600,000 t .

Why is your help needed: New Orleans was a poor city before Hurricane Katrina. Since the Hurricane even more people have trouble paying for their basic expenses, including energy usage.Your support helps people get through this difficult time AND gives you an opportunity to actively fight global warming.

Your donation on the site will total $30. It's worth it. Your one in 10,000 is one step closer to making a contribution in America's greatest city. Donate here.

4) Participate in America's Giving Challenge. Here's the deal. Go to Facebook Causes here. Make a donation to your favorite nonprofit. The nonprofit with the most donations by November 6th at 3pm EST will be awarded $50,000 additional money and the total amount of prize money to be donated totals $170,000. So you're making a donation no matter what, cool, but if you want to get serious about it, you can make a donation once a day through the end of the campaign to help your cause. More details:

America’s Giving Challenge participants will compete for 30 days to bring in the highest number of donations for their nonprofit cause through the Causes application on Facebook. This year’s Giving Challenge builds on last year’s effort that saw $1.8 million raised for nonprofits.

Challenge participants can get involved in one of two ways:

*Champion a cause – Individuals can become “cause champions,” individuals who are passionate about a specific cause and will compete to obtain the most donations for their cause through the Causes application on Facebook. *Promote, donate or join a cause – All individuals are encouraged to take part in America’s Giving Challenge by joining, promoting and donating to the causes they care about. Facebook membership is not required to donate to a Giving Challenge cause.

Matt Damon gives his two cents on why this campaign matters here.

5) Donate $5 for 1 malaria net Cause It's My Birthday is open through October 31. Doug and I are so close to reaching our goal of $20,000 (currently at $18,742). We keep getting donations every day and are making the final transfer to Netting Nations on November 1st. With less than $1,300 to go - every dollar really does count. Plus 100% of ALL donations go to malaria nets. Each net costs $5. Super easy and this campaign brings the FUN back into fundraising. You can donate twice you know, a few people have. It's up to you the amount you choose. The next part of the campaign is to try to get over to Ghana to deliver the nets so stay tuned for information on how you might be able to help with that mission coming up in November!

More about the Cause It's My Birthday campaign can be found here and here.

There you have it. Five easy ways to give back today. Do one or do all five. Remember, start small, start anywhere. Cause doesn't have to be this big scary thing. Just dive in and see what happens. Make it a part of your daily life and let me know what happens!

If you liked this post, you might like: What You Give You Will Get Back Tenfold Say Hello To Your New Kiva Fellow Service Call To Action