July 03, 2007 11:19 ET
Change.org Launches Political Donations for Facebook.com
Aims to Turn Facebook Into a Vehicle for Political Change
SAN FRANCISCO, CA--(Marketwire - July 3, 2007) - Change.org, a leading social network for
political and social activism, launched an integration of its service with
Facebook.com this morning. The integrated service allows Facebook's 27
million members to create grassroots political action groups and raise
money for all 2008 presidential campaigns.
"Facebook is the fastest growing social network on the web and has the
potential to become a true political force," said Change.org founder and
CEO, Ben Rattray.
Rattray cited how a recent user-driven group titled "One Million Strong for
Obama" spread to over 250,000 members in its first month.
"The explosion of grassroots political groups like 'One Million Strong'
demonstrates the enormous potential of peer-to-peer distribution within
Facebook and the interest young people have in political involvement --
particularly when it includes friends. But it has also exposed the
limitation of Facebook's current features for political action. Although
Facebook is great for viral communication, it doesn't offer users the tools
to translate their collective energy into real political power. We've
added the last piece to this puzzle by building a political action portal
directly into Facebook to give users the ability to raise money, start
grassroots lobbying campaigns, and organize political action -- in other
words, to turn Facebook into a vehicle for political change."
Change.org's portal on Facebook allows users to raise money for any of the
presidential campaigns as well as for "Draft Funds" that allow supporters
to donate to potential candidates such as Al Gore, Fred Thompson, and
Michael Bloomberg. Users can also create their own political action
groups, organize rallies and get-out-the-vote drives, and form candidate
slates to support upcoming congressional elections.
"The story of the 2008 campaign thus far is twofold: the emerging influence
of small donors and the radical democratization of political participation
the web is bringing to politics. We're working to advance these two trends
by bringing tools for small donor fundraising and political participation
to the biggest untapped community on the web," said Rattray. "There are
nearly 20 million potential young voters on Facebook, and with the power of
peer-to-peer distribution, the thirst among young people for a new age in
politics, and our tools for social action, I think this community can have
significant impact on the upcoming elections."
In addition to Change.org's political tools, Facebook members can use
Change.org's portal to raise money for over 1 million nonprofit
organizations, organize volunteer events with friends, and raise awareness
about social causes through their personal networks.
In both politics and philanthropy, Rattray asserts, social networking
technology is able to leverage the power of personal connections to
dramatically deepen social engagement.
"The most common way people become engaged with political or social issues
is through a personal connection. When someone from an immediate network
of friends appeals to you directly or is personally affected by an issue,
you are much more likely to be compelled to action. Online social networks
amplify those direct appeals and personal messages by making them much
easier to deliver, thereby getting more people engaged in social issues and
involved in helping to advance positive change together."
Change.org's integration with Facebook follows the company's announcement
in May opening its site to third party developers. Change.org is one of
the first companies to integrate its entire service within Facebook's
platform, which is available at http://apps.facebook.com/changes.
Change.org is a social network that empowers people to transform their
passion for an issue into real social and political change. Change.org is
a privately held social entrepreneurship venture based in San Francisco,
CA. For more information go to: www.change.org.