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Philanthropy 1.0 And The Megaphone Of Social Media

Last week, I had the opportunity to moderate a panel at the Blogworld Expo in Las Vegas. The topic was: Online Locally, Act Globally.

What does this mean exactly?

It's obvious that bloggers and non-profits have a voice that can reach beyond their local community- and no, I'm not talking about just tweeting about "me me and more me." What we're seeing is a power shift to the individual to create global impact, and using the megaphone of social media to benefit the non-profit world in big ways. I always go back to Charity:Water founded in 2006 by Scott Harrison. It's a prime example of a non-profit that has used the online community to engage, create awareness about the water crisis and ultimately raise money to build wells and bring clean drinking water to developing countries. With the launch of mycharitywater.org in September, where you can create your own fundraising page, they have already raised half a million dollars.

Then there's Twestival, a completely volunteer-driven Twitter Festival. Last year's first ever global event, proved the power of using social media for social good, as founder Amanda Rose mobilized around 200 cities to set up local events and raise over $250,000 for Charity:Water. Now tell me that one person can't make a difference!

So back to the panel, which included inspiring leaders in the field:

• Cameron Sinclair - Co-founder of Architecture for Humanity

• Andy Sternberg – Interactive Director of Live Earth

• Robert Chatwani – EBay Sr. Manager, Internet Marketing and GM of www.worldofgood.com

• Jess McCarter – Vice President of Sales at Sama Source

• Amanda Rose – Founder of Twestival

Sinclair, who actually calls himself a "Chief Eternal Optimist" on his business card, gave me his tips on how you can get people involved in your cause:

Besides that great advice, in the end I always go back what I like to call FTFV: "Face To Face Value." As much as we can create positive change online, taking relationships and initiatives offline is where the real growth is sustained and action can blossom.

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    Shira Lazar is the Host and Executive Producer of CBSNews.com's new weekly live interactive show and 24/7 news hub, "What's Trending".