In August 2010, Shaun King (this week’s live chat host -- RSVP here) saw the devastation in Haiti and knew he had to help.
He was already adept at using social media to rally people to help with important causes. Just the prior year, Shaun had used Twitter -- then only in its infancy -- to raise $1 million in flood relief for Atlanta and organize 10,000 volunteers.
So when the Haiti earthquake hit, Shaun already knew social media had the power to change lives. He launched a program called TwitChange, which leveraged the power of celebrity to motivate people to donate to a worthy cause. It worked, and the program raised nearly $600,000 dollars for an orphanage in Haiti.
But what about those people without the social media flock of Lady Gaga or Kim Kardashian? How could they ever get the word out about their causes?
That was the thought process behind HopeMob, a crowdfunding site bringing worthy stories to the attention of potential donors and do-gooders all over the world, dubbed “the Reddit of giving” by Mashable.
"People that want to give time and money don't feel good about their current options," King told Mashable. "People who are in need don't have the time or social network (to find help)."
As a teenager in Kentucky, Shaun was the victim of a hate crime, requiring a series of surgeries over two years. Maybe this is one of the reasons he wants to use the web’s evolving social tools to connect those who need help with those who are more than willing to give it.
“When bad things happen to some people it hardens their heart, but for me it softened my heart,” Shaun said in a recent Forbes profile.
HopeMob helps ordinary stories both big and small get in front of a crowdfunding group willing to lend a hand and a dollar. The site spotlights stories, which it thoroughly researches, so those who need help don’t need a Kardashian-sized army to rustle up support. Best of all, for those who want their money to make a real difference, 100 percent of the proceeds go directly to help the issue.
“Just like Flash Mobs dance and bring spontaneous joy and laughter, HopeMob brings caring strangers together to create sudden, yet organized relief and hope all over the world,” Shaun said in The Huffington Post. “We see a need and swarm it!"
This Thursday, April 25th at 3 PM EST is your chance to talk to Shaun about social good, community fundraising, and using social media to make a difference. Don’t forget to bring a few questions for the winner of Mashable’s Award for Most Creative Social Good Campaign during the hour-long #StartupLab live chat presented by Citi.