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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Breast Buddies awareness gets a push up

One UA student’s Facebook experiment could end up earning $10,000 for breast cancer research.

Media arts graduate student Evan Moore created the Facebook cause Breast Buddies benefiting the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, Inc. The juice company Odwalla is now backing the cause with a grant of up to $10,000.

Odwalla will donate $1 for every new member that joins the group until Oct. 4. They will also donate $2 for every $1 member donation.

Donations and corporate giving through Facebook causes is a new form of philanthropy. Some students think donations are beneficial but raise questions of accountability.

“”How do we know if that’s really what they’re doing?”” pre-business freshman Krista Anderson said. “”Do they actually do it?””

Moore started Breast Buddies three years ago to answer these questions.

“”I was curious about all of these of causes and if they were in fact legitimate,”” Moore said. “”It was kind of by chance that it happened.””

The group was created through the Causes application on Facebook. The goal of the application is to “”create positive change through microphilanthropy,”” according to Erin DeRuggiero, the co-founder and president of Social Reality, oversees the Causes application.

“”It was developed so anyone on the Facebook platform could choose a cause that’s important to them,”” DeRuggiero said.

Moore looked through the list of possible beneficiary organizations on the Causes application.

“”The issue that just sort of caught my eye the most was breast cancer,”” said Moore, who noted many of his friends have lost mothers and grandmothers to the disease. 

Moore hardly monitored Breast Buddies after its creation. When he looked back a year later, the group had about 200,000 members.  He then became more involved and added the most active members as administrators.

“”From there it just grew really fast,”” Moore said.

The group now has over 500,000 members and has raised over $30,000 for breast cancer research.

Facebook users can create a cause by choosing one of over a million non-profit organizations. They can then invite friends to join and donate money through the website.

“”Ultimately they wanted to harness the reach of Facebook,”” DeRuggiero said of the founding of Causes.

The Causes application raises $50,000 each day for non-profit organizations from Facebook user donations, according to DeRuggiero. The application has raised $22 million over the past two years.

Many students are familiar with Causes on Facebook and have been invited to join by their friends.

“”Basically just ones from my high school like Invisible Children,”” said pre-nursing freshman Madison Gerber on the Causes she follows.

Other students said they often consider joining causes.

“”I think it depends on if I believe in it,”” said Anderson.

Corporations often offer donations through the application, “”to get consumers involved in supporting the cause they’re aligned with,”” DeRuggiero said.

Odwalla contacted Social Reality looking for a cause to support. Breast Buddies was well-supported and fit with Odwalla’s interests.

“”They had a relationship with the Breast Cancer Research Foundation already,”” DeRuggiero said. “”We’re just really thrilled to be working with Evan and reach the community he’s built.””

Odwalla’s donation comes in the form of a matching grant, which requires the interest and participation of community members.

“”They can raise money for this cause simply by joining,”” Moore said. “”It’s an easy opportunity.””

Moore said applications like Causes show the positive aspects of social networking.

“”It isn’t like I did anything,”” Moore said. “”People are mobilizing themselves.””

 

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