It’s nice to check-in to battle to be the mayor of your favorite burger joint, or to get 30 percent off a purchase, but it’s much more satisfying to check-in and feel as if you’ve actually done some good in the world. That’s because the AIDS battling organization (RED) has announced today that it will be partnering with Foursquare to leverage check-ins and social media awareness in the largest check-in campaign to date.
The initiative is being held to raise both awareness and funding in support of RED’s RUSH TO ZERO, a campaign that seeks to help deliver an AIDS-free generation by 2015 by way of a series of in-person and digital events and experiences that involve social media, brands, celebrities, gamers, and more.
In this case, from June 1st to June 10th, the campaign is partnering with Starbucks, which will be donating one dollar to The Global Fund for every Foursquare check-in in their stores throughout the U.S. and Canada, up to $250K. (Check out the landing page here.) Penfolds and Bugaboo are also participating and will make donations for check-ins at participating third-party retailers.
Judging by the usual Starbucks check-in rate, I’m sure that goal will be surpassed in a matter of days — if not hours. Just go about your usual bleary-eyed latte purchasing, and after having plied your brain with some of that sweet, sweet caffeine, check-in at Starbucks and bazingo! you’ve just forced Starbucks into doing some good. Other than feeding your caffeine addiction, of course.
The campaign is a great example of donation by action — something uber sharer Drew Olanoff has talked about — where social media and sharing platforms become venues whereby users and partners come together for a cause. Partners put up the incentive, drive people into their stores, and not only help their own customers do good (and the social media platform by default) but get some socially-conscious brownie points as well. Something that has become critical for brands today, as consumers have plenty of choice among brands today and have the social channels by which to find an audience and become armchair activists.
It’s actually very cool to see a non-profit organization willing and able to use smart social media campaigns and models to raise funding and awareness for social good, part of the reason it was the first non-profit organization to get over one million followers on both Twitter and Facebook.
Created by Bono and Bobby Shriver to encourage the private sector in the fight against AIDS, it’s teamed up with big brands (like Apple, Dell, Converse, Gap, Nike, etc.) to produce RED-branded products, and a portion of the sale of those products then goes to The Global Fund. In all, the organization has generated more than $190 million for its cause. Starbucks has done its share, too, having donated $10 million to RED since 2008.
Starting on June 1st, RED will also be hosting (RED)RUSH Games, a global video game tournament in which gamers can compete against their friends and favorite celebrities for prizes and pride and to help fight AIDS.
Says Foursquare founder Dennis Crowley of his company teaming up with AIDS:
At foursquare, we love to see the ways that technology can be used to improve the world, and we are excited to see our community get involved in the effort to fight AIDS and raise awareness … This is the largest non-profit campaign that foursquare has been a part of and we are proud to be partnering with (RED)RUSH.
Foursquare is a geographical location based social network that incorporates gaming elements. Users share their location with friends by “checking in” via a smartphone app or by text message. Points are awarded for checking in at various venues. Users can connect their Foursquare accounts to their Twitter and Facebook accounts, which can update when a check in is registered. By checking in a certain number of times, or in different locations, users can collect virtual badges. In addition, users...