Digital Activism: Kids Stump for Change

wwf-bank.jpgEarth Day is upon us April 22, and helpful links to kids activities abound. At WWF, kids are out to make change, literally.

Worthy nonprofits are finally getting the hang of digital media’s marketing power, and kids are making change on the planet in all kinds of global and local ways.

Unicef’s Voices of Youth programs like the Media Magic digest, Biovision Forum and J8 Junior Summit have made their way into virtual worlds like Teen Second Life’s Global Kids Digital Initiative…Yet sometimes it seems these creative, innovative efforts are eclipsed by some common slamdunk corporate media tactics. Example?

Two consistent draws for youth (animals and eco) are being used to “MAKE CHANGE” with a “free recyclable globe bank & fundraising kit” from World Wildlife Fund, marketed online to segue into actions offline.

Unicef may have started the ‘Trick or Treat’ bit ages ago, but now kids are stumping for Mother Earth using the ol’ premium incentive played out in the digital arena, circling back to grassroots efforts door to door.

Old idea, new repurposing! Once the bastion of corporate marketers, digital media is fair game for savvy nonprofits ready to leverage all the ‘usual suspects’ in kids’ digital marketing for the planet.

E-Cards. Forwards. Freebies. Viral movies like BioDaversity Code. Youth Forums & Blogs. Interactive quizzes and games. And now…do it yourself fundraising. Smart. Very, very, smart.

Who could argue with kids “collecting coins for change?” It engages kids in global dialogue as they pledge to tap into paltry pocket lint which their partner org Coinstar
says is “sitting idle in American homes” to the tune of $10 billion!

That’s a lot of pennies for a virtual begging spree!

Think about it.

Who would begrudge darling Johnny coins for a cause?

I can hear the “Awwww” cuteness factor at my doorbell already. “Recycled” cash! (they weren’t “using” it anyway, right?)

The “personal commitment” page where kids around the world share their ideas in a forum of user-generated content adds to the brilliance.

Bravo, WWF. Sure beats the heck out of spending donor dollars for plush toys.

Only pushback?

Why just 50 days before Earth Day to collect $50 or more, WWF? Planet promos need year-round attention to make actions more…er, sustainable.

A Few Fun Random Resources

EPA Kids’ Site

Global Warming Interactive Game

Earthseeds.net and 6 Friends.org

Google Roundup of Eco-Links

Earth Observatory/NASA

OneClimate.net

Stay tuned for more as Earth Day draws nearer!—Amy

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Comments

  1. Hi, I just checked out your website and thought you would be interested in checking out HowStuffWorks.com’s special feature about Earth Day.
    Check it out http://people.howstuffworks.com/earth-day.htm
    HSW, is an online explanation site that covers thousands of topics and for Earth Day they’ve put together a great roundup of stories called “How Earth Day Works.” It’s a great resource for kids looking for simple explanations of environmental issues. It also gives ideas for things you can do to help save the earth at home or in your school or community in a larger-scale effort.

    How earth day works includes explanations in a very easy to understand way to some of the following questions: How Does Ozone Pollution Work? , What is the Greenhouse Effect? If the Polar Ice Caps Melted, How Much Would the Oceans Rise?, How Do Rainforests Work? How Does Composting Works? and even shows you 10 Things You Can Do to Save The Earth.

    Best,

    Melissa

  2. Fabulous link, I’ll be in touch with a follow up piece on Earth Day activities links for kids and online media resources soon! Many thanks for posting this!

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