ServiceNation, a relatively new nonprofit that hopes to engage more Americans in volunteer and service work, has earned the seal of approval from Facebook.
The social network will provide the organization with advertising deals, technical help, and support for ServiceNation campaigns on Facebook. In return, ServiceNation has selected Facebook as a primary tool for online organization and communication.
The nonprofit was kick-started earlier this year by four existing organizations: City Year, Be the Change, Civic Enterprises, and Points Of Light. Its inaugural "summit" is set for September 11 and 12 in New York with a keynote by California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.
"Facebook is already a place where people are acting on their interests and ideals, connecting with each other, and sharing information that can lead to meaningful change," Elliot Schrage, Facebook's vice president of global communications and public policy, said in a joint release. "Through this partnership with ServiceNation, we can be part of an historic effort to inspire Americans to act together to get more directly involved in and connected to their real-life communities."
Given Facebook's global reach, influential status among young people, and reputation as an effective tool for group communication and organization--as well as founder Mark Zuckerberg's more-than-occasional comparisons with a young Bill Gates--the company has been increasingly asked about philanthropy and the general concept of "doing good." In both speeches and private conversations, the company's executives frequently talk about changing the world.
But Zuckerberg said at the South by Southwest Interactive Festival in March that the company was not yet mature enough to undertake its own philanthropic projects. That would take up financial resources that the young company simply doesn't have yet.
"I think at this point, because we're not incredibly profitable, we're not at that stage of the company--hopefully we get there--that's not really something that we can do a lot of," the CEO, then just 23 years old, told CNET News at the time. "But I'd like to think that just what the company is trying to do in general, just helping people communicate, is actually making the world better."