ActofGood is a site designed to connect users to the causes they support. The website connects users of like mind who wish to support their cause, educate prospective supporters, and provides for discussion and management of upcoming events on both a local and national level. This enables people to organize supporters for a wide variety of causes, whether they are charitable organizations, political organizations, or organizations based around a single unifying idea. Act of Good provides them the infrastructure to take their cause out of the living room and into the world.
Created by Michael Farah, owner of the popular yogurt shop Berry Chill, Act Of Good aims to link volunteers and financial supporters to the causes and movements that they support. Act of Good was founded to serve as an alternative to Facebook in some ways, such as by providing the means for organizations to schedule events, and other features that Facebook lacks; however, it isn’t intended to replace Facebook, as Act of Good integrates with user’s Facebook profiles to further expand knowledge of the events their users support into a different online community. Instead, Act of Good more completely integrates the scheduling aspect of community organization by connecting more directly to users Outlook calendars, Yahoo, or Blackberry. Organizations currently using Act of Good are Meals on Wheels – Chicago, A Special Wish Foundation, and the Alzheimer’s Association.
Act of Good provides a service for organizations more so than people, therefore its features and capabilities are uniquely suited to managing and organizing a group of people. Through the available features, Act of Good makes it convenient and cost effective for organizations to create and maintain an online presence.
Act of Good has a very clean, simple and speedy interface, which is important when organizations are attempting to get their membership to use a central planning tool such as this, as they’re sure to all have a varying degree of technical expertise. After logging in, the user sees a top menu bar with two links, Causes and Events. The Causes link allows the user to browse the organizations registered on Act of Good to see if there are any the find interesting. The Events link allows users to browse events by location. Below the title bar there are several options such as Build Your Network which allows users to invite people and find connections, as well as Create Profile, Search Events, and Find Causes which are all fairly self explanatory.
When starting with Act of Good, a new user must first provide minimal personal details, such as first and last name, e-mail address for registration purposes, their zip code and a password. After clicking Sign Up, the user is immediately sent a confirmation e-mail. After following the link in the email, the user is taken to their profile page, where they can fill out the information more completely, add pictures, or invite friends to join.
Act of Good is a free web service, just like most social networking sites. There are numerous banner ads displayed on the pages of Act of Good; however, they’re fairly unobtrusive. The true cost in using Act of Good would only come from donating to causes that the user supports.
Community and political organizations, as well as a wide variety of other activist groups would be well served in using Act of Good. Unaffiliated individual users most likely won’t get much out of the site, unless they are interested in joining a cause, or establishing their own; however, members of such organizations are provided with a central resource for all of their cause’s upcoming events, discussions and plans, keeping them well informed on the causes they care most about, while introducing them to some new ones they possibly wouldn’t have known about otherwise.