One of the most courageous, innovative Christian leaders of my generation is Shaun King. His story is amazing. He’s already left his mark for social good on one major social media platform. Now he’s getting ready to launch a whole new platform for making the world a better place, which Mashable this week dubbed “The Reddit of Giving.”
Shaun’s new project is called HopeMob, and the idea is simple: Connect people in need (who have limited social networks for reaching out) with generous strangers who are already networked and ready to be mobilized to meet those needs. It’s like a flash mob for philanthropy.
Mobilizing the Masses
Over the past few years, we’ve seen all kinds of wonderful stories about people finding help from masses of strangers online when their stories went viral. Remember Ted Williams, the man with the golden voice who was homeless and begging on a street corner, because he lost his career and everything to his addiction to crack cocaine? His video spread like wildfire across the Web, which led him to opportunities to work again and, most importantly, get into rehab where he appears to be doing well one year later!
These things really do happen, but up until now they’ve been random, uncoordinated, unpredictable. There’s still a real element of unpredictability with HopeMob, but there’s also a sense of coordination and focus and, with those things in place, greater possibility. HopeMob will connect masses of people ready to be mobilized to do social good, which means quicker response times and larger impact leveraged from even greater participation.
Sparked by Stories
There’s also going to be a fun social gaming aspect to the HopeMob website, which is what led Mashable to make its Reddit comparison. Stories will be shared, and HopeMobbers (HopeMobsters?) will be able to vote the stories up or down in the “cause queue,” by using what will be called “story points.” You’ll get 50 story points for joining HopeMob, more if you donate generously to the Kickstarter campaign right now to help get HopeMob off the ground.
I’m proud to say I’m a part of it (along with hundreds of others from all over the country and around the world) — and I’ve pledged to help financially support the project, as well. Shaun’s vision is that 100% of the money donated through HopeMob will go to the projects we take on together, a la Charity Water’s 100% commitment.
Shaun has raised over $5 million for other causes in the past. So far HopeMob has raised over $25,000 toward the goal of $125,000 in startup funds. He believes HopeMob has the potential to impact many more lives than the work he’s done with his previous projects. His passion and vision is infectious, and I can’t help but believe the best is yet to come from Shaun and from all of us as we work together to make a difference in this world, one story and one HopeMob at a time.
Call me a Hope junkie, here are just a few other Hope-y organizations I’m proud to be affiliated with:
Hope Partnership for Missional Transformation (where I work full-time)
Children’s HopeChest (fantastic orphan care and anti-trafficking organization)
HOPE for AIDS (international HIV and AIDS projects of SIM)