Unprecedented damage and destruction on the island nation of Haiti has been met by an extraordinary fund raising effort through the Internet and social media.
Aid workers began updating followers on Facebook and Twitter within minutes of the 7.0 earthquake striking Port-au-Prince on January 12.
The Red Cross alone has raised over $8 million through their “Text Haiti” campaign that allows cell phone users to donate $10 via text message.
The Buyer Group has compiled a list of ways social media is contributing to the relief efforts in Haiti.
@RedCross has been providing updates and requests for assistance through Twitter. They announced yesterday that more than $35 million has already been donated in support of the people in Haiti.
@wyclef Wyclef Jean tweeted a message to his almost 1.4 million followers: “Please text ‘Yéle’ to 501501 to donate $5 to Yéle Haiti. Your money will help with relief efforts. They need our help.” His followers have responded by donating nearly $1 million since Tuesday.
@decappeal is the Disasters Emergency Committee, a group that coordinates efforts by United Kingdom charities. The DEC has seen its followers double in Twitter following the quake and is expecting “astronomically higher” donations because of their increased Web presence.
@whitehouse Even President Obama is using social media as a fundraising source. The White House issued a video update Thursday afternoon and has designed a graphic for bloggers and Web sites to post on their pages.
@cbhaitifund At the request of the White House, President Clinton and President Bush are also partnering in the efforts to help the Haitian people reclaim their country and rebuild their lives through the creation of the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund.