Chris enjoyed a 20-year career as a newspaper journalist before joining The Fuller Center in 2011. He handles social media, website, video, photography, writing, publications and media relations as a 1-man communications department. He remains a multi-award-winning humor columnist for the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer and has published four books.

Fuller Center President David Snell set a goal of raising $700 through Facebook for his birthday. His friends met the goal in less than 24 hours.

Facebook's fundraisers are a great way to share the love you get on your birthday & other special days

(Update: The day this blog posted, a staffer reported that their 3-year-old daughter got hold of their phone and created a Facebook fundraiser for The Fuller Center. It immediately got a $22 donation, so we’re not accepting “it’s too difficult” excuses!)

There is no doubt that social media platforms have brought a plethora of problems from privacy invasions and spreading fake news to increasing hateful rhetoric and reducing actual face-to-face interaction.

However, these platforms have some positives to offer, as well. Provided that we have the ability to discern truth from fiction, they allow us to learn new things and stay updated on news and events. They reduce the need for high school reunions because we can already see who gained weight or lost their hair (guilty on both counts here). And they help us feel connected to far-away family members, such as my son who studies in Scotland and is my one and only Snapchat friend. I’m sure he feels honored.

Whether the good points outweigh the bad is a decision each of us must make on our own. However, nonprofits like The Fuller Center for Housing must spread the word about their good work, and that makes social media a necessity — especially the largest platform, the ubiquitous Facebook.

Among Facebook’s most positive features is the ease with which it allows you to support your favorite nonprofit — which is, I suspect, The Fuller Center for Housing. (You just look like the kind of person who thinks folks should have simple, decent places to live.)

Not only can you go directly to our Facebook page and click the “donate” button at the top, but Facebook takes zero percent out of your donation. There’s no processing fee, so 100 percent of your gift goes directly to The Fuller Center. Because The Fuller Center is one of the most efficient nonprofits in the affordable housing field (check out the Charity Navigator report), that means you’re getting a lot of bang for your generous buck.

An even more powerful way to support your favorite nonprofit is to create a fundraiser, which many people do to mark their birthday. Yesterday morning, my boss — Fuller Center President David Snell — tried this out on his birthday with a modest $700 fundraising goal, and it was met within 24 hours. I even had to return the pogo stick I’d bought him and donate myself so I could be part of the experience.

The Fuller Center for Housing has more than 15,400 followers on Facebook, a number that grows every week as more people learn about the good deeds our partners are doing across the U.S. and around the world. Imagine if every one of them had a birthday fundraiser like David’s and were equally successful. That would be more than $10 million for this important work. If just one out of 10 did it, that’s still more than a million dollars that will be put to good use. Some people have raised more and some have raised less from such fundraisers, but every dollar is put to good use and appreciated.

These fundraisers are perfect for people who are more concerned with making the world a better place instead of obtaining more stuff in their life. You probably have enough stuff. If you don’t, you can go to a yard sale and get some stuff from the people who are trying to get rid of stuff because they have too much stuff.

They are highly effective because Facebook helps you promote your fundraiser to your friends, and they can share it with their friends and so on. The rapid networking power of Facebook is pretty remarkable.

To the many people who have already leveraged their birthday to support The Fuller Center’s work of partnering with families to help them have simple, decent places to live, thank you. We’re glad you were born!

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  • Well said! Kinda’ makes me ashamed that I did not do one for my own birthday. Hats off to David, and to you.

  • Well, Jackie, I’d say that you have offered more than your fair share of support through the years, and it is very much appreciated. Although, if everyone who apparently enjoyed your birthday festivities (which looked like a lot of fun!) gave us $5, we could fund this ministry through the year 2525! 🙂


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