Do One Better Podcast Logo 200.jpeg

Guest Profile

Anita Yuen

Head of Social Impact & Health Partnerships (EMEA)

Facebook Logo.png

About Anita Yuen

Anita is Facebook’s head of Social Impact and Health Partnerships in the Europe, Middle East and Africa region where she is responsible for the roll out of its social good products and strategic alliances with the social impact and health sector. 

 

Anita is a Social Impact Leader with more than 20 years’ experience raising awareness and building partnerships to drive scalable change through leveraging digital products across the non-profit and private sector.

Prior to joining Facebook, she was responsible for leading UNICEF’s global digital fundraising and engagement strategy, maximizing income through web and mobile platforms via its network of national offices. Anita also ran digital innovation programmes at the World Food Programme and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.

Episode Transcript (May 2021)

NOTE: In this episode, Facebook’s Head of Social Impact & Health Partnerships, Anita Yuen, joins Alberto Lidji to discuss their initiative to connect billions of people to authoritative information on COVID-19 vaccines. Anita sheds light on Facebook’s COVID Information Center, where people can access authoritative information and goes on to explain how they have been partnering with the World Health Organisation (WHO), non-profit organisations and governments around the world to make sure there is accurate and credible information for people about COVID-19 vaccines. The discussion also delves into Facebook’s work around blood donations in more than 29 countries and how the platform has facilitated $5 billion in donations for good causes.  She provides a candid look at social good campaigns at truly global scale.

Alberto Lidji

Anita, welcome on to the show.

 

Anita Yuen

Thank you Alberto, it's a pleasure to be here again and I remember the last time we met it was November 2019, just before the pandemic, and so much has happened since then.

 

Alberto Lidji

Exactly, the world has changed drastically. What have you been up to?

 

Anita Yuen

It's obviously very different becuase when we first met we were in Facebook's offices in London, now you and I are in our living rooms. It's obviously been an unprecedented moment and a global emergency where there has just been a huge amount of partnerships a huge amount of launches of products and also a huge amount of the Facebook community coming together to connect to each other, to mobilise resources, to advocate on issues and push forwards social causes. A lot has happened.

 

Alberto Lidji

I know you guys you have been working closely with governments and public health officials and non-profits there is so much that you have been doing in terms of responding to this pandemic. It would be great to learn a little bit more about that because I know these relationships you have and the way you are driving forward some of these efforts globally, they don't just happen.

 

Anita Yuen

Yes absolutely. I think very early on in the pandemic we started to really mobilise and say hey you know obviously a platform of 2.7 billion people really has not just an opportunity but, in a lot of ways, a duty to provide credible information and offer authoritative information on COVID-19 to help people make decisions around health…  and currently around the vaccine and taking the vaccine, so we have things like the COVID Information Center on the Facebook platform where people can access authoritative information and we have been partnering with the World Health Organisation (WHO), non-profit organisations as well as governments around the world to make sure we have accurate and informative information for people around COVID-19 and getting vaccines.  We have seen over 2 billion people who have accessed this information and most recently we have rolled that out now to Instagram which as you know is a very popular platform for people to be finding out about covid.

 

Alberto Lidji

And Instagram is part of the Facebook family?

 

Anita Yuen

It is yes so WhatsApp, Instagram, Facebook, they’re all part of Facebook Inc.

 

Alberto Lidji

Right. now as I remember you yourself where in the non-for-profit space for quite a while, you used to be at UNICEF leading some of the engagement efforts there and so forth so this is not entirely alien concept for you, you you have been dealing with these organisations for a long time.

 

Anita Yuen

 Yes.  prior to joining Facebook and I have been at Facebook for almost 5 years, I can't believe it has flown by.  But prior to joining Facebook  I worked in many of the world's biggest humanitarian aid organisations,  so I started my career working at the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent societies, moving on to the World Food Program in rome, And later to UNICEF. In all of these organisations I have always worked in the area partnership and digital innovation and I have had my fair share of emergency response.  This is something that I find immensely purposeful and really energy  in terms of being able to pitch in and be helpful.  It has been so interesting  and really meaningful to be inside a company like Facebook and in a sense to do a very similar job in terms of responding to the emergency but doing it in a slightly different way  and having a great fortune to work like great organisations like UNICEF and the WHO  the to amplify what they are doing.

 

Alberto Lidji

Right.  Now in a previous life I used to run an organisation and we collaborated closely with UNICEF. One of those things that is close to UNICEF’s hear is vaccines…

 

Anita Yuen

Yes!

 

Alberto Lidji

I remember speaking with folks at UNICEF and learning about vaccines and why it’s important for people to take vaccines. And not just because it’s important for them but as a good for society it’s important.

 

Anita Yuen

Absolutely.

 

Alberto Lidji

Because the more people who are vaccinated the more difficult it becomes for something to get transmitted through that community. So,  and now you are here at Facebook and you are privileged to have an enviable platform with such scale and connectivity. What  are you doing to get people connected to authoritative information? 

 

Anita Yuen

I guess the first thing and I mentioned it before it's the COVID Information Centre and we have seen over 2 billion people access authoritative information about COVID, they can learn more about COVID-19 vaccines. And all of this information that we’re putting here is being provided by world health organsations and governments around the world. The other thing that we’re doing is on posts on COVID-19 vaccines we’re starting to put labels on those posts with additional information from the WHO. Just to make sure that we’re amplifying credible and authoritative information around the COVID-19 vaccine because as you know there have been loads of questions around it, people have had some concerns about it, so we want to disseminate and amplify credible information. In some cases we also were working with governments to expandi WhatsApp chat bots to make sure that people are getting registered for vaccines in countries where vaccines are available. And then the other thing that we have done that has been a massive effort across Facebook has been to support partners global partners like the WHO, UNICEF, GAVI and other,  as well as government and NGOs,  and to support them with campaigns around vaccinations and help amplify any communications they’re doing to get out credible information around the vaccine. So, for example, we’re working with UNICEF right not to help them run campaigns in countries around the world that are featuring health professionals talking about why it’s important to get the COVID-19 vaccine. Similarly, we’re working in countries like the UK where we’ve got organisations, NGOs that are focusing on trying to provide more credible information to populations that may be very concerned about the COVID-19 vaccines. So, we’re working with an organisation in thh UK called the British Islamic Medical Association.  We’re amplifying the campaigns around the COVID vaccine, answering questions and busting myths around the vaccine. So, at this point we’ve kind of donated over $120 million worth of ad credits to these kinds of partners around the world and, in addition to that, we’ve also supported them with marketing advice and really helping them to understand the impact of these campaigns, so they can understand, did it move the needle, did it help shift people’s willingness to take the vaccine.

 

Alberto Lidji

Fascinating stuff. Now, changing attitudes, increasing awareness is very difficult. What are the challenges you’re facing around that, and how are you measuring it?

 

Anita Yuen

I think the important point here is to say that we are not kind of doing that. We are working with partners to support them in those types of activities so it’s not sort of us, but if a partner is working or representing a certain community where there are questions around the vaccine, and they know exactly how to address some of those questions by providing authoritative information, credible information from trusted messengers, then we’re here to kind of help them amplify that so that they can reach broader audiences.

 

Alberto Lidji

I remember one of those things that really resonated with me when you and I first met in 2019 was around the importance of speaking with an authentic voice…

 

Anita Yuen

Yes. I think it’s really important and I think it’s very fair for people to have questions around health and have questions around the COVID-19 vaccine, and Facebook is in many ways a perfect platform for people to voice those questions and also for organisations who are experts in this area to provide information and answer those questions from trusted messengers. People that are from those communities. We know in the UK for example, there is a higher degree of vaccine skepticism among the Black and South Asian communities. There is also, we have seen globally that younger people, too, may be more reluctant to take the COVID-19 vaccine, so by working with partners to make sure that people really get all the information they can and can make informed decisions around their health and whether they will take the vaccines is something that we feel is really important to do. And I think it’s also really important to say that we know that there have been many people who have been disproportionately effected by COVID-19 and there are certain communities that are more vulnerable and so we just want to make sure that we are able to support organisations that are trying to reach the hardest to reach. That’s something that I think is really important to us and for me personally, I find very motivating.

 

Alberto Lidji

If I’m on Facebook, how do I stumble on to this hub of authoritative information that you’re curating or guiding people to? Does it simply show up on my feed or do I need to do an active search for it?

 

Anita Yuen

You can find it on the Facebook tab but you can also… when we’re updating information, when we have new content from the WHO, people often receive a notification on Facebook letting them know that there’s new information that’s been put there. So we’re proactively trying to drive people to that hub. I think another important area that we’re working on most recently has been around trying to make sure that we’re supporting the global and equitable distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine. We’re sitting in the UK right now, many people here have had at least their first jab, over 50% of the adult population in the UK have had their first dose of the vaccine. But, globally, sadly, we know that 80% of the world’s vaccine supply is in the hands of 10 of the richest countries and we know that there is inequity that has happened around this and we’re trying to really work to support the COVAX initiative, which really is an initiative run by GAVI to try and drive more equitable vaccines around the world. So, last week we announced that we’ll be donating 5 million to the WHO, they have a foundation which we’ll be making a donation to them through the Go Give One campaign — a global campaign that was recently launched and so for every fundraiser that’s created on the Facebook platform for the United Nations Foundation to support this campaign, Facebook will be adding $20 to each fundraiser to help incentivise people to raise more money for this really important initiative.

 

Alberto Lidji

Excellent. We touched on this last time you were on the show but it’s a very strong platform for fundraising, Facebook.

 

Anita Yuen

It really is. When you and I spoke in November 2019 we have recently announced that we had raised over $2 billion for charities through our donations tools and just a weeks ago we announced that we have now raised over $5 billion for charities. So, this is …

 

Alberto Lidji

Crazy!

 

Anita Yuen

Yes, it is crazy. I think that it’s been in many ways the COVID crisis has very much negatively impacted non-profits. If you remember the first phase of the COVID crisis, so many charities really, they had to cancel all of their kind of offline events, their real world events. So many charities really they held off on fundraising appeals because in a way everybody was so focused on COVID that there were little opportunities to raise money for other causes. And, so while I think COVID I think has been very tough for the non-profit sector, what we have seen is quite a rapid digitisation of fundraising activities for charities. And, I think that’s probably reflected in that growth from $2 billion to $5 billion.

 

Alberto Lidji

2 to 5… 2 billion in itself is crazy… 5 billion is mind boggling. And is it still the case that you guys don’t take a cut? There are many digital platforms out there but there’s usually someone taking a commission.

 

Anita Yuen

It’s true. We are not taking a cut. So, 100% of what is raised… so 100% of that $5 billion has gone to non-profits. There is no fees and we cover the credit card transaction fees. And of course we have a lot of overhead, just in terms of supporting this product but we absorb all of that. And, yes, and our ambition is to grow this and to raise even more money for good causes. But I think it’s been very inspiring to see the types of things that have happened on the platform over the past year. There’s been… Obviously, COVID has had a tremendous impact on people’s mental health. We’ve seen increases in things like domestic violence and so there have been many organisations that have really… are responding to that and have seen a lot of mobilisation of their community to raise funds for them. I’m thinking of …. there’s an Irish charity called Pieta House, which is for mental health and suicide prevention. And, I think it was March 2020, there was a person by the name of Oggie Doyle, and he had a friend, Libby, who had basically succumb to her mental illness and he created a fundraiser on Facebook to support her memory and support this charity, and I think he was going to walk or run 100K, so something like this. He set up a fundraising goal of raising 500 Euros and I think he very quickly raised something like 23,000 Euros among his Facebook community. It was amazing to see somebody effected and impacted by the death of his friend, do something not only for this charity but also do something meaningful to channel that kind of… the celebration of her life. That’s just one example. We also work an organisation in the UK called Refuge, and they’re an amazing organisation that supports women and children who are survivors of domestic abuse. And, you can imagine this year, it’s been really tough one for a lot of women during lockdown. And, Refuge was an organisation that essentially was not really investing a lot in digital channels and the beginning of the lockdown they started to invest in digital channels, because it was essentially one of the only ways in which they could really mobilise support. I think within the last year they raised something like 3 million through the Facebook platform, and it’s growing. 

 

Alberto Lidji

That’s great. And, setting up these fundraisers is fairly straight forward, right?

 

Anita Yuen

Yes, it’s very straight forwards. Often we’re running… we’re still running a birthday promotion, so 2 weeks before your birthday you may get a notification asking you if you’d like to donate your birthday to a charity, to a good cause. And you can easily set up a fundraiser, you set a goal, you set a time frame in which you want to raise money and you can ask your friends and family to support you in that. But I think that sort of thing right now has been really meaningful in a moment where I think so much of the world has… I feel the COVID crisis has probably made us all a bit more empathetic and I think people had wanted to do things and show support for other people and other causes. Another really cool thing that I think has happened during the COVID crisis has been…  I mean it’s not cool in that a lot of offline events were cancelled for charities but what charities have done is they’ve been very innovative and cleve in turning that into an opportunity for their communities. So a lot of offline activity got cancelled, a lot of events, marathons, walks and runs go cancelled, and so what we’ve seen over the past 18 moths has been charities where they will actually set up a virtual challenge. What charities are doing is sort of for a month they’ll run a virtual challenge where they’ll ask their community to basically walk every day, or you know, take X amount of steps, do 10,000 pushups within a month and set up a Facebook fundraiser and raise money for them. I think one thing that has been really cools is that they’re using Facebook advertising to drive people to ask them if they want to take the challenge, they then put people into a Facebook group, so people then become part of a community where they’re really kind of cheering each other on. They’re sharing all of the things that they’re doing and in terms of the challenge and they’re raising funds among friends and families. These have been a tremendous success for charities, and I think it’s been very cool to see how they’re building communities on the Facebook platform but also I think really importantly they are providing almost something enjoyable for something to people to do during lockdown. You know, we’ve all been locked in our houses. People need a good excuse to get out and walk or to move their bodies and doing for a great cause is just a win-win. It’s great for the supporter but it’s also great for the charity. So this has been one example of where we’ve seen loads of different charities, particularly in Europe, really start to pivot and think creatively around how can they raise money in a very tough moment.

 

Alberto Lidji

Very interesting. Are you able to glean any sort of optimism? I’m always very pleasantly surprised by the amount of optimism that tour guests have. They’re like, we need to build back better, building back better is not easy but it’s really great opportunity to rethink about how we’re doing things, and also to strategise and think about what were we doing as an organisation that we might be able to do differently when we get out of this. Are you able to glean by the way people behave or they communicate any optimism in terms of where things are heading?

 

Anita Yuen

Yeah, I feel optimistic about a bunch of things. I think the first one -- and I think it’s something that’s really probably something I feel personally quite passionately about — is the impact that platforms like Facebook can have and the digitisation that we’ve seen, the acceleration of digital within the COVID crisis, and I think for a lot of organisations it is a challenging moment but they’v been able to do a lot of things, build communities, mobilise resources, mobilise advocates through platforms like Facebook and digital channels. So, I feel very optimistic about that. COVID has accelerated digital and I do think that there has been… we’ve seen so many examples throughout the past 18 months of where that has come to life. I feel also that COVID is an unprecedented crisis and I think what it’s also done, and I see this very much in the work we’re doing at Facebook, it’s that it’s bringing the private sector, it’s bringing governments, it’s bringing individuals together in a way.. .and the non-profit sector, in a way that maybe it’s never done before tackle global issues. And I think we’re kind of living in a… we’re finding new pathways and ways of working together to kind of tackle the COVID crisis, and I think it will provide a bit of a blueprint for future global challenges that we’re trying to face. So, the fact that we’re partnering with the WHO, governments, to get out credible information… we’re mobilising… there’s all sort of individuals that are raising money or getting out and talking about the importance of issues that they care about. All of this convergence that we’re seeing I think is unprecedented and I think it’s… whether it’s another issue of… climate crisis or other big issues, I think it will help pave the way for us to find new, creative ways to solve problems. Alberto, one other thing that I wanted to mention in terms of what we’ve been focusing on over the last 18 months has been our blood donation product and it’s rollout. When you and I last spoke we had launched in 5 different countries, so I think we were in Pakistan, Bangladesh, India, the US… and since then we have now expanded our blood donation tool to over 29 countries. We’ve launched in places like Mongolia and Egypt, the UK, and so this has been an amazing cross functional effort among policy teams, partnerships teams, communications, product marketing at Facebook, as well as amazing partnerships that we have at national levels with ministries of health and blood partners to help bring this to life. So, it’s been quite amazing and I think the COVID crisis has… because of lockdowns, in many ways really had an impact on blood supply in many countries.

 

Alberto Lidji

How does it work, tell us a bit about the blood donations initiative?

 

Anita Yuen

So, the blood donation initiative has been around since 2018 where we launched it initially in India. And, really that was born out of the reality of us seeing that on the Facebook platform when people were going in for surgery in India they would need to bring in their own blood in case they needed a blood transfusion, and they would just post organically on FAcebook asking friends and family to donate blood so that they could have that blood when they went into the hospital. We sort of observed that on the platform and started to build a tool to try and make that a more efficient and streamlined process. So, in essence the blood donation tool is a fairly straight forward took were people who want to donate blood can indicate an interest and sign up for their willingness to donate blood, and blood partners — organisations that are responsible for the blood supply in a given country — they can onboard the tool and when they need blood they can send out notifications and let people know that they need that blood. So, if you singed up and said, hey I’m interested in donating blood. You’ll receive a notification when that blood is needed in your geographical area. It’s a very simply but quite effective tool for helping the global blood supply.

 

Alberto Lidji

Which a lot of the times is in short supply from what I understand.

 

Anita Yuen

It really is. I think with lockdown people were a bit nervous about leaving their house and donating blood. And so in many countries there has been a real need during COVID for blood, and so this tool has been another channel for countries to source much needed blood.

 

Alberto Lidji

Yeah. Now, we’re running out of time. I always want to ask my guests for a key takeaway that they’d love for the audience to keep in mind after they finish listening to todays episode. What would that be? What is it that you’d like to share?

 

Anita Yuen

I’m with you in the sense that I feel very optimistic. It’s been a tough year obviously but I think some of the things that we’ve seen take place on the Facebook platform have been really encouraging. And, we obviously want to give people a place to share and create positive impact, and I think this past year we provided so much information and resource to people on health and wellbeing and I think that has been tremendous. It’s something that I feel really proud of and positive about. But also just seeing how people come together to make a difference. It’s been motivating and inspiring and I think we’re very much invested in this area, we very much want to scale and grow these products. We want to be helpful and we’re still looking at… and observing what are people doing on the platform, you know, to have social impact, to have positive social impact. How can we make that even more powerful, how can we amplify that and how can we scale that. And I think the importance of partnerships…. when you and I spoke originally we talked a bit about the importance of partnerships and partnerships have never been more important to us, and for this year I think we couldn’t do any of this without amazing partners. We’re also… we’re learning and this is really down to a lot of our partners.

 

Alberto Lidji

Excellent. And on a very upbeat note we conclude today’s episode. Anita, thank you so much! It has been so good seeing you again, speaking with you again, and I look forward to our next visit with us.

 

Anita Yuen

It’s great to see you, Alberto, and next time in person!

 

Alberto Lidji

Next time in person, we’ll pop by your offices.

 

Anita Yuen

Anytime!

Episode Overview (November 2019)

Facebook’s head of Social Impact (EMEA), Anita Yuen, joins Alberto Lidji to discuss how they’ve raised $2 billion for good causes, connected blood donors to those in need and innovated at global scale.

 

The conversation explores how Facebook is using its tremendous global scale to drive forward social impact and social good.

 

There are more than 2bn people on the Facebook platform, which in many respects can be viewed as a global community of advocates, volunteers and donors.  Combined with the fact that there are millions of non-profits active on Facebook, this provides a great opportunity for these organisations to engage with their community in a genuine and authentic way.

 

Anita explains how there are various tools on Facebook, such as Groups and Blood Donations, that are being effectively used by non-profits and those in need.  

 

The Blood Donations product was developed in 2018 and it came out of what Facebook were observing in India. They noticed that when people where due to head for surgery in India, people would post on Facebook and ask their friends and family whether they could donate blood. This is because in some parts of India, when people have to go in for surgery they often have to bring in their own blood in case they need a blood transfusion. There is a global shortage of blood. 

 

After observing this, the team at Facebook asked themselves how might they be able to make this process to facilitate blood donations easier.  

 

The Blood Donations product has now been rolled out to various countries, including Bangladesh, Pakistan and Brazil.  As of today, Facebook have over 50m people who have volunteered to donate blood. 

 

Anita speaks with passion and is particularly excited about the sheer scale they are able to enjoy whenever they decide to pilot and deploy new, innovative products.  There aren’t many companies where one can engage with millions and millions of people globally.

 

Facebook also have created a donations tool that allows people and organisations to raise money for causes they care about.  You can create fundraisers, go out to your Facebook community and ask them to make a donation. 

 

Anita provides useful insight into specific case studies.  ‘Ocean Cleanup’ is a Dutch-based organisation with a focus on cleaning the word’s oceans and rivers.  Anita notes they build amazing tech to clean the ocean.  They are a relatively new organisation and have been using Facebook’s tools for approximately the past year and a half, and have already been able to raise millions of dollars by having people create birthday fundraisers for them. So, two weeks before people’s birthdays, they’re asked whether they’d like to donate their birthdays to the Ocean Cleanup – and this approach has worked extremely well.  Anita is very proud to have them on the Facebook platform.

 

Another organisation Anita mentioned is a UK-based outfit called ‘Help Refugees’, which was started by an individual who wanted to do something about the refugee crisis and bring supplies to refugees in Greece. They’ve used Facebook’s donations tool to buy supplies; people have created fundraisers for them; and they’ve also encouraged folks to do fundraisers for them.  Anita drilled down and provided insight into a particular instance when Help Refugees were in Calais, France, and experienced their truck breaking down; and they didn’t have enough money to fund its repairs. So, they went onto Facebook and created a special fundraiser just for this. Within a week they were able to fund the repair of the truck.

 

The community angle is key. Non-profits who understand their community and are able to speak to them in an authentic and genuine way are achieving amazing results on Facebook – people are looking for meaning and an understating of the impact of the causes they’re supporting. Anita explains how the Facebook platform has been very powerful in helping them reach new audiences.  Community engagement is invaluable and can revolve around moments of global crisis, just as it can around small moments, or diaspora communities scattered across the globe.

 

Anita sheds light on Facebook’s Social Impact Team – a diverse and highly motivated team including a group of engineers mainly based in California who are behind innovations such as their Blood Donations tool, crisis tools, fundraising tools, volunteering and all kinds of social impact products. They also have marketing, communications and partnerships specialists in the team.   Anita remarks that many folks are surprised to hear that they have people working at Facebook who focus only in the social impact space.

 

We hear how the team at Facebook work very closely with partners. These partnerships help inform Facebook and help them produce new products and ensure their relevance.

 

Scale is a theme that comes up during the conversation repeatedly. Indeed, Anita is very excited about scale and she notes that in many respects the journey has only just begun. 

 

For instance, the Blood Donations tool is only available in 5 countries at present, but they want to make that global. The same applies to their donations tools, which are only available in just 19 countries.  They’re constantly asking themselves how best to scale such products.

 

It may be counterintuitive but scaling up a digital tool to new countries isn’t as straightforward as one might think – it’s not about merely flipping a switch.  For instance, to expand their Blood Donations tool, they need to establish partnerships with governments, with NGOs on the ground and with blood banks – you need to get this right on many levels.

 

Remarkably, their donations tools are only available in 19 markets but, as of September 2019, Facebook have raised over $2bn for good causes and individuals.  Anita invites listeners to imagine what these sums could look like if they were to scale this globally, and the good this could do.

 

A bit of information Anita underscores very clearly is that Facebook do not take any fees at all for any of the donations they’re helping raise. Anita notes how 100% of what is raised for a charity goes to that charity. Facebook don’t take any transaction fees; they cover the credit card fees of donations.  Facebook has not taken any fee at all for the $2bn that they’ve raised thus far.

 

When asked about what success looks like in the next 10 years, Anita notes that they’d like to continue to do what they’re doing, in the sense that when they think of their approach to social impact partnerships and product, they’re really observing what is happening on the Facebook community on the platform; what do people want to be doing, and how can Facebook facilitate that in an easier way. They look to the Facebook community and to their partners to say, well, ‘what can we be offering that is genuinely and authentically useful’ and so if Facebook continue to do that Anita feels that they’re going to see their work in this space go into all sorts of different areas., with a focus on scale.

 

Facebook, Instagram, WahtsApp – these platforms are all part of what Anita calls ‘Facebook Inc’. They are looking to ensure best practice and innovative tools from one platform are deployed across other platforms. In July 2019, for instance, they launched Donation tools on Instagram.  So, they’ve taken learning and best practices and experience from their Donation products on Facebook and are now beginning to build these things out on Instagram.  You can expect to see more innovation on instagram.

 

Facebook has been on this journey for social impact for quite a while. They launched their donation tools in the USA in 2015.  And even before that, ‘Safety Check’ – one of their crisis tools – came out of the Fukushima disaster in Japan back in 2011.

 

Anita sheds light on the impact the ALS Bucket Challenge had on Facebook’s thinking.  The ALS Bucket Challenge took place back in the summer of 2014 and out of that Facebook saw essentially the world’s biggest viral fundraising campaign take place on Facebook.  All of these videos were being uploaded to Facebook, people were tagging friends, and so the whole thing was actually happening on Facebook but at the time Facebook didn’t have a way for non-profits to take in donations. But because of that experience Facebook started to see that there was actually a need, and a willingness, for the Facebook community to give to good causes. So, after that, they had a couple of engineers in California start to work on creating a donation button. And, that donation button was the start of what has now become a set of tools that the entire sector and the Facebook community are using. 

 

Anita also explains how the tsunami of 2004 was one of the first major disasters when people actually gave at such a scale but they did it online. Anita remembers that well, because she saw this as a turning point in philanthropy, where non-profits recognised the power of online giving.  Things back then happened quickly but nowhere as quickly as today. If a tsunami happened today they’d be able to move in minutes or seconds, not days as was the case back then. 

 

Anita’s key takeaway for listeners: she starts by letting listeners know she has been thinking about ‘purpose’ lately, and goes on to note that people sometimes may feel unsure as to how to begin supporting a cause.  She explains that now more than ever is a time when everyone can do good. Everyone has a voice. Everybody can use their voice and do good things.  She encourages listeners simply to “just jump in”. Small acts of kindness are amazing. Now more than ever people can have a voice and take action.  If you see something that’s wrong or you see something and you want to do something about it, just jump right in!

Please subscribe to the podcast if you enjoy it. Thank you!

Additional Resources

Facebook Social Impact

 

Facebook - Charitable Giving

 

Facebook - Crisis Response

 

Facebook - Health - Blood Donations

 

Facebook - Mentorship

Anita Yuen - Facebook

Anita Yuen - LinkedIn

The Ocean Cleanup

 

Help Refugees