Charity And Narcissism

Social media is a great tool for sharing moments with your friends and loved ones and has catapulted international communication to a level never seen before. It has also raised the profile of many worthy causes such as Lou Gehrig’s Disease with the Ice Bucket Challenge which has seen the Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Association increase the size of its donations from $2.7m to $98.2m within just a year.

George Bush’s #ALSIcebucketChallenge

But where is the line between genuinely caring about a worthy cause and promoting yourself through social media? Did Michelle Keegan really wear make-up for her #nomakeupselfie? Is the #nomakeupselfie just trivializing breast cancer?

Before/After #NoMakeupSelfie
Before/After #NoMakeupSelfie

Some people argue that despite all the controversy surrounding online viral fundraising campaigns, the end goal of raising money is still achieved and organisations benefiting from the influx of donations such as ALSA and Cancer Research can go on to do a better job with the cash that they have raised.


However, one of the main worries for non-profit organisations is that interest in these causes is just a flash in the pan and donations will start to falter once again. Post-#nomakeupselfie and #ALSicebucketchallenge, charities are still fighting to survive another day.


So what can we do? Take action. Do something about it. It’s easy to set up a ShareAGift page and invite friends to donate. Take a look at the stories and testimonials from past fundraisers that have proven to be huge successes from Jamey and Willow to name just a few. Here at ShareAGift, we believe that no cause is too small. You can easily collect funds online and share your worthy cause.


MPS Charity Campaign collects over £45k ($74K)

For all of those kind supporters and followers of the campaign to save Jack and other MPS Children, we just wanted to take a moment in the run up to Christmas to let you know how they’re getting on.

For any readers not aware of the history, back in August of this year we helped the MPS Society launch a campaign to raise £600k to help save the lives of children suffering from a rare fatal childhood disease.

As of this morning I’m delighted to report the 7 Shareagift Pages set up to drive the campaign have collectively raised over £46,000 ($74,000) and the word is spreading. Jack’s and Bobby’s Pages have each collected over £14,000 alone thanks to the generosity of the general public and effect of people sharing their stories.

The MPS Society have now raised over £145,000 in total, with amazing efforts from friends and family fundraising, and from strangers, members of the public who have seen the Shareagift campaign and offered to contribute – including one incredibly generous one-off donation of £25,000.

As Christmas is a time of year that’s about family and gift-giving, we’re really touched to see so many people reaching out to give something to a stranger. And almost more importantly, we’re incredibly grateful for the effort of people sharing these stories. It’s one of the most gratifying benefits of the social web, and of the way we see people using our site, that they share stories with one another – and, without trying to sound too twee, just by sharing these stories, they are helping these children on the way to a better future.


Tillie Mae raises £4k in just 72 hours

This is testament to the amazing generosity of the general public.

10 days ago Tillie Mae Mawdsley’s family created a Shareagift Page for her as part of the campaign for MPS Children. Tillie has a rare childhood disease and we’re involved in a campaign with the MPS Society to help raise over half a million pounds for the drug she needs to treat it (please see this blog post for more information).

Her parents originally sent the Page out to their friends and family who were hugely supportive and did all they could contributing what funds they could spare. The local paper picked up on her story and ran an article in the Welwyn Hatfield Times.

Then something amazing happened. The UK national press got behind the campaign.

For all the moaning and groaning we do about the British press, they’re power to influence for the greater good is phenomenal. On October 16th The Daily Mail ran Tillie Mae’s story and the public response was overwhelming. Overnight her Shareagift Page received over £2,000 in contributions from members of the public, strangers who had read the article and been touched by the story.

The following day other major national newspapers had picked up the story and articles ran in the Mirror, The Sun and the Metro sparking a whole host of generous contributions from people up and down the country wanting to help.


Tillie’s Shareagift Page received over £4,000 in contributions in just 72 hours – the most we’ve ever seen for one Gift Page in such a short space of time since our launch.

We’re delighted to report that at time of writing, Tillie’s Page has collected £4,618 in contributions from over 300 generous contributors, and the number is rising every day.

Follow @Shareagift on Twitter to keep updated on the progress of the MPS Children’s campaign or search for #MPSchildren. Click here to go to Tille Mae’s Shreagift Page.

MPS Children’s Campaign

A few weeks ago we told the story of 2 year old Jack, who suffers from a rare fatal childhood disease called Sanfilippo disease. Jack’s family are using Shareagift to help raise the £580,000 needed to fund clinical trials that could help him and children like him in the UK.

We were all really touched by Jack’s story, and wanted to help support the campaign. So over the last couple of months we’ve been working closely with the MPS Society and Wicked Genes initiative to help other families with Sanfilippo children gain public support.

Creating Micro-Campaigns

The charity and the children’s families created their own Shareagift Page for each child. That meant we could create ‘micro-campaigns’ to help spread the word and drum up support from lots of different angles all fundraising for the same cause. There are now seven children with Shareagift Pages all raising money for the clinical trials and the public response to their stories have been amazing. At time of writing, they have collectively raised over £26,000 towards the fund in just a matter of weeks.

Attracting press 

We’ve gained some amazing support from the press for the campaign. Because we had seven different children as the ‘faces’ for the campaign, we were able to reach out to local press for each child generating regional support, and off the back of this secure coverage from national press including The Evening Standard, the Metro, Daily Mail, Mirror and The Sun.

Jack’s Shareagift Page has now raised over £8,900 and has been featured in the Metro, the Sunderland Echo and the Sunday Sun

Bobby Gill’s Shareagift Page has raised Over £12,200 and has been featured in The Evening Standard

Tillie Mae’s Shareagift Page raised over £4,000 in just 24 hours and was featured in the Daily Mail, the Mirror, the Metro and The Sun

Gaining public support

The public response to this campaign has been absolutely overwhelming, with some of the children’s Shareagift Pages literally going viral overnight as people shared the pages with their friends – posting to their Facebook walls, pinning on Pinterest and Tweeting for support. To the generous public who have made contributions we cannot thank you enough. Through Shareagift and other fundraising initiatives the charity has now raised over £144,000 towards the funds – with one generous donor saying he would match the £25,000 collected on Shareagift to date with a single one-off contribution.

If you’d like to support the campaign please:

  • Search for MPS Children on Shareagift to see all seven of their Gift Pages
  • Follow the campaign progress on Twitter with the hashtag #MPSchildren
  • Visit the Shareagift Facebook page as we chart their progress 🙂