Slacktivism: Can it be a good thing?

Since 2009, I have been reading quite a bit about slacktivism. In most contexts I have found the term, it has had a negative connotation, directly implying that slacktivists are people who are too lazy to engage in something meaningful.

Today, I read a great blog post that made me realize that I have been missing a very important dimension about slacktivism. It’s not just about people being too lazy (though there sure is some of that involved): there’s an element of acknowledging the fragmented attention span (and wallet depth) that most people have these days. As a result, if you can engage millions of people for a short period of time and get them to sign a petition (and pass it along to tens of others) or have millions of people to TEXT a $10 donation, you CAN make millions of otherwise seemingly pointless contributions VERY meaningful.

But “The Art of Activating Slacktivism” by Kari Dunn Saratovsky goes one step further. He introduces the “teach a man how to fish” concept:
“Nonprofits spend too much time trying to figure out how to use social media tools to entice new donors to give them $10, when they should be figuring out how to empower their existing donors to leverage social media tools to raise money for them.”

I look forward to incorporating this concept into our future fundraising campaigns at the Diabetes Hands Foundation.