New cause-driven social network, Karma411, could be excellent marketing tool for corporations, development channel for nonprofit organizations

A friend of mine, John Murcott (I went to business school with his wife, Gretchen), recently launched Karma411, with his former partner at FatWire Software, Mark Fasciano.

Karma411 describes itself as a “cause-driven social collaboration site.” The two principal purposes of the site are to serve as a social network for socially-minded people and to allow its members to “start a campaign to raise money and awareness” for their “favorite cause or nonprofit.”

Although Karma411 is in its infancy, I believe marketing professionals at nonprofit organizations and companies should be aware of this site for several reasons:

  1. For nonprofits, the network could be a new channel through which they can raise money. One of the main services of Karma411 is campaign management, and nonprofits can even set up microsites within the network to accept donations
  2. For nonprofits, Karma411 may be a great source of volunteers for their organizations. The site asks its members to highlight some causes/organizations that are important to them. If I were a development director, I would look for members who have stated that they care about my cause, and then would have someone from my organization contact that member. Quite often, people may care about the work that a group does, but have never been asked to get involved, and do not know how to do so. The right email to these people may make a huge difference.
  3. For corporations, Karma411 could be a great marketing tool. Much has been written about how socially-conscious consumers often earn more than the median salary in this country and are willing to pay more for products and services from companies that are seen as good corporate citizens. Members of Karma411 will be a valuable source of potential customers for these types of companies, and once there is a critical mass of members, advertising and promoting through this site could be a cost-effective way to reach this group
  4. For both nonprofits and corporations, Karma411 can be an excellent research tool. The site easily allows a member to create a poll, a function that should help organizations gather important data about potential customers/donors/volunteers, etc.

Some pundits might claim that niche social networking sites cannot compete with behemoths like Facebook and myspace. However, smaller, more targeted sites have started to demonstrate excellent success as well, especially as focused advertising destinations. Here’s an excellent article from the Washington Post about this trend. As a focused site, once Karma411 signs up enough users, it should then be able to attract advertisers, who will want to gain access to this small, but likely higher-than-average spending group.

Regardless of the benefit to advertisers, I’m excited to see Karma411 launch, and as a site focused on helping its members improve the world, I wish it and its founders every success. I recently became a member and encourage others to do the same!


3 thoughts on “New cause-driven social network, Karma411, could be excellent marketing tool for corporations, development channel for nonprofit organizations

  1. Pingback: Pages tagged "excellent"

  2. There are now thousands of social networks that cater to a whole variety of subjects. These smaller, focused sites allow users to connect with like-minded people and give advertisers targeted demographics. Niche social networks are also good for marketers who have a product or service they want to promote that relates to a particular interest. A good place to find such sites is this search engine for social networks.

  3. I discovered Karma 411 when I received notice for a fundraising campaign sponsored by a charity I support in Guatemala: Open Windows Foundation. Since $15,000.00 were raised for that projec t, I decided to use the site to raise $4,000.00 for the construction of a shop where craftswomen in the community of San Isidro, Chiapas, Mex. could sell their beautiful handwork. The success of that campaign prompted a second one to raise $2,000.00 to repair the electric system of a girls’ orphanage in Lima. $2,500.00 were raised, allowing us to repair both the internal and external damage caused by the earthquake. If an e-mail list is available, a charitable organization can motivate its members to make a donation when they see that even a small amount can help reach the goal. Larger donors seem to eye the deadline and step in to fill the gap just as the campaign closes.
    I am now starting a third and more ambitious campaign to raise $8,500.00 to build a kindergarten for the children of Malobago, a rural community in the Philippines. Wish us (and Karma 411) luck !

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s