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Social Charity Hub: A novel new way for charities to use Social Media formed at #Innowe10

One of the most interesting parts of Innovation Weekend is that you are working on actual business cases and challenges that matter for non-profit organization. In some cases the business case becomes just as, or more, important than the actual technical implementation. We believe that the scenario we worked with during #Innowe10 in Las Vegas is one of these.

The key challenge all non-profit organizations face is how they can reach potential donors and volunteers. Once they reach them they are generally very good at presenting their story and have a reasonably high rate of conversion.  Today, traditional channels such as e-mail, postal letters, sms are used for reaching the potential donors and volunteers. However, we believed that proper use of social media could drastically change this and that was the business case we set out to solve in our team at Innovation weekend.

Social media strategy for any company is not a trivial task and it is very difficult to get right. For a non-profit organization the challenge is to get the attention of all the users of facebook, twitter, linkedin, MySpace etc. Collecting followers is generally considered the key metric for how well you are doing.  However, non-profit organizations are not managing to gain the same follower numbers as celebrities and corporations. This is illustrated in the table below showing number of followers (people who like) from facebook today 20.10.2010.


Facebook followers
 Non-profit Celebrity  Corporation 
 Doctors without Borders: 343 515  Michael Jackson: 22 190 941  Starbucks: 15 862 452
 American Red Cross: 211 776  Lady GaGa: 21 031 946  Coca-Cola: 14 766 636
 Arts Umbrella Vancouver: 537  Britney Spears: 5 290 852 SAP: 41 309


Our key insight was that in order for a non-profit to use social media in an effective way, they need to piggyback ride on the networks of celebrities and corporations. That’s how we make sure our message of charity reach as many people as possible. (people spreading it in their own personal network can of course be done as well, but we believe it has less potential )To motivate corporations and celebrities to spread our message of charity we quickly realized that we had to stimulate friendly competition and apply free market principles. We do this through “The Challenge” and the “Challenge Update” mechanisms

“The Challenge”


The Challenge” is posted to one or more social media channels by our Social Charity Hub solution. “The Challenge” is posted to the page of corporations and celebrities that we want to challenge to raise money for our charity campaign. (new corporations and celebrities can of course be added as the campaign proceeds). In the example above Lady GaGa has received a challenge which contains the following:

  1. A description of the charity
  2. A challenge to raise as much money as possible
  3. A competitor/archrival which will be their primary opponent (here Britney Spears
  4. Link to our donation page with parameters identifying that the donation is from Lady GaGa’s network

Once the challenge is posted on the wall of the celebrity or corporation, it is visible to their followers. But what we really want is for the challenged celebrity or corporation to define their own strategy for how to raise donations. They might do a pledge saying that for every dollar donated, they will also donate the same. Or they might send an e-mail with the link to all their employees and encourage them to participate. This is where the free market principles kicks in and since this is combined with the competition, people are sure to become very creative in how to raise money. The corporations and celebrities also get positive publicity because of this campaign.

“Challenge Update”

Once all the challenges have been made by our Social Charity Hub, the solution as a whole will constantly monitor the transactions made and use analytics to see how the competition is proceeding. Below we’ve illustrated the high-level overview picture of the general flow.

The analytics solution consists of a dashboard solution allowing the competitors and the campaign management to viewing the current status of the charity. However, the Social Charity Hub will also retrieve aggregated data from here, which it will use as a basis for deciding if new updates should be published through social media channels. These new message should update everyone on how the competition is proceeding and raise the competitive instincts in all the people involved. An example of such an update is shown below, where it shows that Lady GaGa is actually trailing Britney Spears by 12%

Challenge completed

When the campaign has reached its target set by the campaign manager, the Social Charity Hub will also publish a detailed thank you note to each celebrity and corporation involved through social media. This will include a link to a dashboard built with SAP Crystal Dashboard(Xcelsius) that allows anyone to analyze all the donations and the different competitions defined.

SAP Technology used

A lot of exciting SAP technologies were used for this scenario, but the details and experiences really warrant a separate blog. We weren’t able to connect all the different systems within the limited time of Innovation weekend, but perhaps you’ll see parts of this solution on SAPCodeExchange in the future. The technologies were as follows:

  • StreamWork with Gravity collaborative process modeling plugin
    Used for working with the business case and defining the process for rolling out a new campaign and updating social media
  • NW Business Process Management 7.3
    Used for modeling the overall process governing the Social Charity Hub
  • Visual Composer 7.3
    Used as user interface for BPM screens
  • WebDynpro for ABAP
    Used for the donations page
  • ABAP
    Used for storing the donation transaction data
  • SAP Crystal Dashboard (Xcelsius)
    Used for analyzing the transaction

The team

The team dynamics were amazing to see in action. It is very interesting to see how engaged people are, even though they’ve just met. The team consisted of:

  • Dagfinn Parnas Bouvet ASA (Norway) – SAP Mentor
  • Paul Aschmann Faist Chemtec INC. (South Africa)
  • Carlos Pereira Cisco Systems (Brazil)
  • Sergio Oliveira FH Consulting (Brazil)
  • Srini Marada Commercial Metals Company (USA)
  • Ivan Mirisola SAP (Brazil)
  • Marlo Simon Complex (Brazil)

Finally, we would like to thank Craig Cmehil, Marilyn Prat, Kaj van de Loo and all the other SAP and non-SAP who helped organize and participated at Innovation weekend at SAPTeched in Las Vegas 2010.

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      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member
      More information on the work we've jointly done such as the technology architecture as well as some screenshots from gravity BPM are available on the SDN wiki @
      Author's profile photo Ivan Mirisola
      Ivan Mirisola

      I have been developing for Netweaver Portal 7.0 lately and using a lot of SDN content. It's funny to stumble on posts like this after so many years. This Innovation Weekend 2010 was by far the best I have ever experienced. Hope I repeat this one day.