When the California lemonade stand girl, Vivienne Harr, rang the bell on the New York Stock Exchange floor two years ago to ring in Twitter’s IPO, both she and her dad thought their amazing run had closed with a bang.
But they were so wrong.
Right after Vivienne, then a fourth grader, rang the bell, she and her father, Eric Harr, got to shake hands with Twitter co-founder Biz Stone. But, why pick her? They were both eager to find out.
Stone told them that he loved the way just one person could affect so much change. At age 8, Vivienne had set out to sell lemonade for 365 consecutive days and donate all the money she raised to end child slavery. The total amount she raised turned out to be more than $100,000! She used social media to get the word out and accomplish her goal.
What if we built the technology to create 100 million Viviennes, of all ages and backgrounds? What if we reframed philanthropy? Stone asked aloud.
“My jaw just dropped,” Harr said.
“I believe in the triumph of humanity, with a little help from technology,” said Stone, who took on Chairman of the Board, a big win for the company. “STAND delivers on the true promise of a connected world, people helping each other. I believe STAND will be one of the most important apps we’ve seen in a long time.”
And so Stone, and some heavy hitters including Twitter’s Jack Dorsey, MGM’s Roma Khanna and SocialMoms’ founders Jim and Megan Calhoun, decided to invest $3 million to make that happen. In January 2015, STAND was born, creating a space where like-minded people can raise awareness and funds for causes that they believe in. The app’s tagline is: The social network for people who change the world. It’s currently in public beta, available in the Apple App Store.
The app organizes social causes into categories, such as human services, education and the environment, and it enables people to connect with others and network around issues important to them.
Take a STAND today! Simply download the app to your iPhone, create a brief profile, and follow some inspiring causes and people. Then, try creating a STAND for Save the Children. Just click the + icon, select the type of STAND you’d like to create — for Awareness or Fundraising — then search for “Save the Children”. Upload a photo of the children who inspire you and make an impact statement. Then share on your social channels. What are you waiting for? Show the world where you STAND!
— Megan Calhoun, founder of Megan Media, SocialMoms and investor in STAND
Harr said about 600 STANDs and tens of thousands of dollars have been raised for various charities so far. 92% of donations within the app go directly to the nonprofit with 3 percent going to STAND and the remaining 4.9 percent going to Network for Good for credit card processing, distributing funds to the nonprofits and sending tax-deductible receipts to donors.
“We’re building a platform that makes it fun and easy to connect with amazing people that share your values and causes you care about,” Harr said. “When you want to find things, you Google. When you want to share things, you Facebook. When you want to change things, you’ll STAND.”
“We’re trying to connect people with other people that care about the same causes you do.,” Harr continued, “STAND is where you go to create change.”
Elton Loberternos, 39, of San Francisco, is an avid STAND user who is trying to change the world’s perceptions of HIV. A longtime community advocate, he’s been using the app to post photos of his bike rides to raise awareness for the issues he supports, such as ending AIDS in San Francisco and South Africa. Each STAND allows him to share about a sentence to explain the image and a link to the related nonprofit’s website. It also allows his friends and followers to see in pictures how he is putting his compassion into action.
“STAND is a way to collage what you’re doing,” he explained.
He’s also using the platform to educate young people who don’t remember what the AIDS epidemic was like in the 1980s. By posting photos and short thoughts, and directing followers to the proper organizations, Loberternos feels like he’s reaching out to a population that might not have learned about these ideas otherwise. He feels like he’s truly making a difference. So far, he’s created nine different STANDS and has 89 followers. “If you can reach someone that doesn’t know anything about your cause, and target them on social media to your cause, that’s great,” said Loberternos.
Dawn Sandomeno, 49, is a lifestyle and entertaining expert, influencer, digital strategist and consultant and is using STAND to influence friends and strangers to care about causes she believes in. To date, she’s created seven STANDS, including one to help children survivors of disasters like Hurricane Sandy in her home state of New Jersey. She has also donated to several STANDs, including Vivienne Harr’s STAND for Save the Children, which helps children around the world.
“What I love about STAND is that when I’m feeling passionate about something, I have a specific place to send people,” she said. “In the past, that passion was hard to make a reality. Now, I can create a STAND and share it on Twitter or Facebook with just a click to spread the word to my friends and followers.”
Sandomeno is a big believer in social media and uses it prolifically. And to skeptics who may wonder how an app or a tweet might do real good in the word, she points to the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, which went viral, mostly through silly videos posted on Facebook. More than 17 million participated, raising more than $115 million for ALS.
“If you have one million followers and get one percent to engage,” she said, “that’s 10,000 people that know about your cause.”
Ready to make a difference? Give STAND a try today.