[ always tell stories ]

Why Does Facebook Hate Charity Fundraising?

(ATLANTA - 25 October 2011) “Too big to succeed.” And no, I’m not talking about AIG or Morgan Stanley.

Those horrible four words could be the new-new-new-new Facebook tagline. As the social-networking giant has grown exponentially, it has changed UIs (user interfaces), bells and whistles, functionality, and security preferences more than Tara Reid has changed boyfriends. While Twitter has streamlined and improved without blowing up their core product - and spawning a cottage industry of top-notch Twitter clients - Facebook has seized on an ill-perceived need to change, change and change again.

This issue came to a boiling point while running
ARTvision Atlanta - which, smart as it was at the time, has a Facebook page for the sole purpose of expanding our earnings reach and branding. As many folks have noted (here and here), love it or hate it, Facebook is a critical element in growing exposure to charitable causes.

Among the myriad challenges that charities face, spending time
fixing a fatal code bug on a Facebook page shouldn’t be one of them. (My Googling shows that this is a widespread and as-yet unaddressed issue.) Alas, this is the case with our page now. Without getting into the geeky-gritty of it: Facebook has inexplicably violated its own TOS (terms of service) by allowing administrators to inadvertently change the name of a group with 100+ members by indicating the location of said group. So now, ARTvision Atlanta - which was closing in on 500 members - now reads as its beneficiary, Positive Impact, and the name cannot be changed back.

A group’s name is, last time I checked, the very foundation on which fundraising stands. Our AV page has three years of activity, history, photos and proven sales history that we have abandoned for a new page until Facebook gets off its ass to fix the issue. Sending bug reports, posting on help pages and other pleas for assistance have been systematically denied - because, well, Facebook is just too damn big. At last count, the site has 800 million users and they, by sheer volume, cannot address everything individually.

But is that a good enough reason to refuse help when charitable funds are at stake? This bug rises to a different level entirely when we’re talking about charitable giving. We depend on the networks and reach of Facebook to get word out, and this fatal flaw in their code - being no fault of any user -
must be addressed now. Lest the company go down in history as the giant who got too big for their britches and couldn’t care properly for their philanthropic micro-communities.

When it comes to charitable giving and fundraising, a different urgency should rise through the ranks. And if this post helps to fix the overall bug itself, fine by me. In the meantime, please
visit our new Facebook page and forgive the occasional grumble from me. - WP

Big HT and shout out to WannaBAuthor for the awesome devilish FB image.

Blogger’s note: I will be blogging at the
ARTvision site from here until the end of the year.

UPDATE: After hitting hard, Facebook came back and addressed the Group name issue. We now are back in business as ARTvision Atlanta on Facebook! Of course, they attributed it to our mistake. But I don’t care... as long as we have the real name back.

Broadway Sings 'It Gets Better' For The Trevor Project

The folks who entertain us on Broadway are some of the most generous, awake and kind people out there today - constantly giving of their time and energy to “make it better.” Countless “Broadway Cares” events from Actor’s Equity show how much they invest themselves in the community.

Here’s another great example of Broadway giving back, this time for
The Trevor Project.

Not to be left out, watch for similar “It Gets Better” themes from this year’s

Help Me Raise $500 (Or More!) For This Year's Emory AIDS Ride

(ATLANTA :: 17 March 2009) Despite being scared shitless about “the unknown” of a long bike race, I’ve decided to take part in and sponsor the 2009 AIDS Vaccine 200 - a 200-mile bike ride benefiting Emory Vaccine Center right here in Atlanta.

Support the effort and sponsor my ride!

Why is this is a significant event? Emory’s is the “only university-based vaccine research center in the U.S. to have an AIDS vaccine candidate in clinical trials,” according to the EVC Web site. That distinguishes our great city by having such expert people working to lessen the effects of HIV - people like EVC scientist Harriet Robinson, Ph.D., who created EVC with her colleagues at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Their vaccine candidate successfully prevented AIDS in monkeys.

So... I’m riding for many reasons. First, to support Emory’s hard work. Also, to get in better shape and try a new sport I have only a peripheral understanding of or involvement in. And finally, putting the “rubber on the road” and making a difference.

I think of all the great generosity folks showed for our ARTvision event this year, and I’m sure we can rally again to make this great organization some cashola!

To donate directly to my page,
click here, or e-mail me and I can send you donation information! Thanks in advance for your support.