Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes officially launched his much-buzzed-about social network, Jumo, on Nov. 30. Hughes, 27, helped create Facebook from his Harvard dorm room and also served as the social media genius behind Barack Obama’s presidential campaign. He has now narrowed his focus from friend requests and politics to a more notable cause — social activism.
Of the $263 billion Americans give to charity each year, 5.7 percent is given online, according to Blackbaud Inc.’s index of online giving, which tracks fundraising.
Thus far, other social networks have failed to connect individuals and nonprofits more efficiently and less expensively than traditional means.
Hughes said Jumo, which means “to come together,” makes it easier for people to discover, follow and support the causes that are meaningful to them and to their friends, family members and colleagues. The hope is that, over time, people will form a deeper relationship with and commitment to those causes.
According to Mashable, Jumo, with 3,500 organizations on board at launch, would-be philanthropists can find and follow something of interest upon joining.
“We can make it easier for people to connect with the professionals working in a lot of fields in order to make change happen,” Hughes said. “There are a million different groups out there working day in, day out to provide healthcare or education services, or do good government work and I think that our challenge is not to use social media to reinvent the engagement paradigm, but instead to support the work of the people who are out there getting the job done, day in, day out.”
This is a very positive shift in the world of social media. By using Jumo, users are making a bigger statement than simply clicking a “like” button; they can now connect directly with the cause they care about and donate in a fast, simple way. The site will not simply be a platform for donations, however. The main goal of Jumo is to promote the giving of time and effort, thereby creating relationships between the donor and the organization.
As Hughes told The Huffington Post, “Most every site that’s out there focuses on donations. And, don’t get me wrong, donating to organizations, especially right now, is really important. But Jumo is taking a very different approach. It’s not just about how much money are you donating to this or that group. It’s about what kind of relationship you are building with that organization.”