Peter threw some books and papers into his backpack. He had a paper to work on so he left his dorm room and began a leisurely stroll across campus toward the library. It was an unseasonably warm day – hardly the type of day to be inside writing papers – and he wanted to savor a few minutes in the sunshine and fresh air. His mind was wondering, and he almost didn’t see his friend, Kaye, as they approached one another on the sidewalk.

“Peter!” she called, bringing him back to reality.

“Hey, Kaye. What’s up?”

“I’m just coming back from volunteering,” she replied. She always spent a few hours of every weekend working at a charity.

“That’s cool,” Peter said sincerely. “I wish I had time to volunteer, but with my internship and student organizations and everything this semester, it’s hard to have enough time for homework as it is.”

“I get that,” Kaye sympathized. “But there are other ways to help out charities that can be equally as helpful.” Peter saw where she was going. “I know, but as a student, I don’t exactly have a lot of money I can donate right now.” “I totally understand. Instead of donating a bunch of money yourself, give a small donation then ask five or so of your friends to do the same. Then have those friends also challenge their friends. It really starts to add up and no one has to break the bank.”

“That makes sense! I definitely have $10 or $20 I can spare. I just never thought that small of an amount would make a difference, but if a bunch of us were all giving $20, that can add up to something big!” Peter agreed.

“That’s just one of many things you can do!” Kaye added. “What if I told you that you could make a big difference to a charity without spending any money or even leaving Facebook?”

“You mean like following pages and ‘liking’ posts?” Peter asked.

“Those are good things to do, too, but they don’t always have the biggest impact. In addition to doing that, next time you start following a charity on Facebook, write a short paragraph on your timeline saying why you support the charity, and when you share a post, write a sentence or two explaining why you shared it. Those simple things really help get the word out by getting your Facebook friends to pay closer attention. Think about it – everyday you probably scroll past dozens of posts that friends share. Making it personal makes it stand out!” That’s why  “Going Beyond Social Media Likes, Following, or Photo Tagging” is so important.

“That’s awesome because it’s something everyone can do! I’m going to write a post as soon as I get to the library. Thanks, Kaye!”

If you’re reading this sentence then you’re certainly an individual who cares about helping people even with the little time and resources you have. As you know, sometimes you may not have a lot of money to donate, but being intentional about helping an organization can go a mile along with our small donations. For instance, in the case of YesLiberia, after you “LIKE” a photo or “FOLLOW” a page, you can be intentional by doing the following do these three simple things:

  1. Write a short paragraph explaining your reasons for LIKING or FOLLOWING YesLiberia.
  2. Think about your friends a consciously pick five to 10 friends and challenge them to make donations each. If these friends think like you, they will most likely donate as you have.
  3.  “Custom share” YesLiberia’s stories with your social media networks, co-workers, classmates, church, etc… YesLiberia defines “Custom Sharing” as the act of adding few sentences to whatever you share about YesLiberia. The staff believes people will appreciate what you share even more if you can tell them why you are sharing it with them. That is the proper etiquette for sharing posts, articles, or photos with others.

So, let’s be intentional, and consciously do these things. You can start right now, with this article. It makes a whole lot of a difference for YesLiberia, as the organization focuses on fundraising for SportsUp. Ready? Set? Go beyond Photo Tagging, Likes, and Following.

About the Author: Ms. Nevins has served as regional director of an international volunteer program for university students, a regional marketing coordinator for an NGO, an instructor for 5th and 6th graders, and, most recently, Editorial Intern in Cape Town, South Africa. She studies International Relations/Affairs at George Washington University.