Image by degreezero2000 via FlickrIf you are going to be an effective advocate for your favourite charity you need to arm yourself with as much knowledge as possible (preferably related to your cause!). The internet is a great way to do this - if you know where to look.
Here's a list of 10 great places to go for information and discussion about the causes that you are passionate about:
- Alltop is like an online magazine rack of popular topics and the stories are updated every hour. To find out more about your cause, simply type it in the search box. My favourite channel is Alltop Good - for all you need to know about doing good!
- Addict-o-matic lets you perfom a search for your topic and creates a custom page with the search results that you can bookmark and refer to later. It searches on Twitter, Google, Friendfeed, You Tube, Digg, Flickr and more
- Twitter is a cool micro-blogging/social networking tool that allows you to build a network of like minded people. Its amazing what you can learn from 140 character soundbites!
You can find people to follow using tools like Twibes (groups of Twitter users interested in particular topics. I love the Philanthropy Twibe) or Twellow (the Twitter yellow pages).
A great way to find Charities and Non-Profit organisations that use twitter is to check out #charitytuesday
- Charity Evaluators such as Intelligent Giving and Charity Navigator can help you to choose a charity that is going to make the most efficient use of your donations. So you can be sure that your money is actually going to make a difference rather than be used to fund the organisation's operating costs!
- Your chosen charity will more than likely have a website. Be sure to check it out. It should have plenty of information about the charity organisation - what they do , who they help, success stories and testimonials - as well as background information about the cause they work for.
- Squidoo is a great place to find out more about the Cause(s) you are passionate about. People create Squidoo Lenses about a whole range of topics - simply search for the one that interests you.
- GiveWell is a Charity Evaluator that conducts in-depth research on charities to help people accomplish as much good as possible with their donations. They focus primarily on how well the programmes work. So if you want to be sure that the charity you donate to is really having a positive effect on the people it serves - this is the place to find out!
- Causecast is a place to explore issues and connect with a community of people wanting to make a difference. Its chock full of great information!
- Big Think is a great place to find out what other people are thinking about your favourite cause. You can join in and share ideas or just read through what others have to say. They have a great collection of really interesting and knowledgeable experts on a variety of topics. It is a fascinating site!
- Just Cause is a great site to find information about your favourite cause as well as inspiration to help you make a difference.