New Charity Blends Blogging and Philanthropy

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Can bloggers help build a better world? That is the question two friends asked and answered with a resounding, "Yes!" Bloganthropy.org combines the power of social media with the resources of corporate giving. Its goal is to connect companies and bloggers in order to address societal needs.

Blog + Philanthropy = Bloganthropy

Bloggers are excited to get involved with genuine campaigns that allow them to use their talents and influence to make a difference. That's far more uplifting than a free sample.

Debbie Bookstaber, Mamanista.com blogger, announced the launch of Bloganthropy.org during an expert panel at the second annual Child's Play Communications Bloggers Brunch.

Blending social media and philanthropy is nothing new. Tweeting and blogging is about building relationships and communicating and so grassroots efforts naturally spring up to help others in need and raise money for important causes. Bloganthropy, a non-profit organization, aims to facilitate and amplify these efforts by teaming social media users with corporate giving and PR departments.

From their days as college friends at Yale University, Debbie Bookstaber and Candace Lindemann have enjoyed collaborating on philanthropy projects. After graduation, they continued to volunteer actively but missed that sense of community for a purpose they had enjoyed in college.

In 2007, Bookstaber and Lindemann started Mamanista.com, a product review blog for moms, with the hope that they could raise revenue for charities.

Impressed by the energy and compassion they saw in their fellow bloggers, the two began brainstorming ways to build on their initial fundraising goals and involve all of the brilliant and committed bloggers they had met.

After BlogHer 2009, people took to Twitter and their blogs to discuss proposed FTC regulations and the abuse of access to free products (aka SWAG). Bookstaber and Lindemann were dismayed by the negative perception so many had of bloggers. Bookstaber explained, "Since Mamanista's creation, we have donated thousands of dollars as well as products to charity. We did not recognize this caricature of materialistic bloggers. This was not the blogging community we know and love."

Bookstaber continued, "Through conferences such as BlogHer and online events such as the weekly #GNO Twitter chats, we know there are many other bloggers were committed to charity and to using the reach and impact of social media to improve their local communities."

They also understood how eager companies were to connect with bloggers. A segment of bloggers have been very supportive of small, independent businesses and major brand campaigns but many bloggers are not necessarily going to write about cleaning products and new soups. In many cases, shampoos and granola bars just were not a fit for the blog's format or readers. Lindemann noted, "Bloggers are excited to get involved with genuine campaigns that allow them to use their talents and influence to make a difference. That's far more uplifting than a free sample."

As Vice-President of Strategy and Business Development at The JAR Group, Debbie Bookstaber understands corporate giving initiatives and marketing. "Frequently," she offered, "I have reached out to my contacts to obtain donations for charities and to connect my social media friends with the appropriate resources in the business world."

As the editors of Mamanista, Lindemann and Bookstaber were inspired by invitations to corporate charity campaigns. Lindemann pointed out, "We were especially impressed by projects that looked beyond simple donations of money or product to empowering bloggers as philanthropic leaders in their communities."

The blogging duo wanted to make it easier for companies and bloggers to connect through charity and corporate giving, so they founded Bloganthropy and began the 501c3 registration process to obtain non-profit status.

The JAR Group, an interactive marketing agency based in Brooklyn, NY, and Child's Play Communications, an agency specializing exclusively in publicity and marketing communications for products and services targeted to moms, are providing online marketing and public relations assistance respectively, to assist in the creation of this non-profit organization.

Bookstaber and Lindemann are challenging their fellow bloggers to pledge their time and skills by volunteering and sharing these efforts with their community. Bloganthropy.org is actively recruiting volunteers ready to use the power of their blogs, Twitter, Facebook, and other social networks, to give back this holiday season and throughout the year. They will be announcing the first Bloganthropy project on http://www.bloganthropy.org and on http://www.twitter.com/bloganthropy in time for the holidays.

About Bloganthropy

Bloganthropy combines the power of social media with the resources of corporate giving. Bloganthropy is a non-profit organization. (501c3 status pending.)

About The JAR Group

The JAR Group (http://www.thejargroup.com), an interactive marketing agency based in Brooklyn, NY, is providing technical assistance, social media consulting and search engine marketing. The JAR Group partners with non-profit organizations to increase online donations and recruit volunteers through pay-per-click search engine marketing campaigns. The JAR Group manages pay-per-click accounts for non-profits without upfront management fees utilizing a free budget provided through Google Grants to non-profit organizations.

About Child's Play Communications

Child's Play Communications (http://www.childsplaypr.com) specializes exclusively in publicity and marketing communications for products and services targeted to moms. Based in New York City, the agency celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2008. In addition to the Bloggers Brunch, Child's Play offers a number of proprietary services focused on engaging consumers through online and social media, including Team Momâ„¢, the agency's own network of more than 200 mom bloggers.

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Debbie Bookstaber
The JAR Group
(646) 290-8659 ext. 6003
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