“Birthday Wish” Campaign Brings together Friends; Inspires Social Media Action for May 20, 2012 Telethon
GLENDALE—The Armenian National Committee of America-Professional Network (ANCA-PN) kicked off a series of Southern California social events in support of ANCA Telethon 2012, with a successful jazz night at local hotspot NEAT.
The March 28 mixer also coincided with the birthday festivities for ANCA Western Region Board Member Steve Artinian, who used Facebook’s “Causes” to encourage friends and family to celebrate at the ANCA-PN reception, with all gifts generously donated to the ANCA Telethon, which will be broadcast nationwide on May 20th.
The capacity crowd of young professionals, community activists, and Artinian’s birthday guests enjoyed an evening of networking, friendship and jazz music until the early hours of the morning – all in support of an ANCA’s grassroots initiatives for the Armenian Cause. ANCA PN Chairman Ayk Dikijian welcomed members and guests alike and expressed his gratitude for their ongoing support for the professional network. ANCA Telethon Organizing Committee member, Berdj Karapetian, applauded the ANCA PN’s leadership in raising funds for the ANCA’s educational and civic initiatives. He also encouraged guests to follow Artinian’s lead and create their own Facebook “Cause” Pages to support the Telethon and continue to find creative ways to help strengthen the ANCA Endowment Fund. ANCA-PN Committee member Linda Adran added, “It’s exciting to see so many young people come together for such a noble organization.”
Facebook’s Causes and Steve’s “Birthday Wish” a Model for ANCA fundraising
Artinian, who is chairing the ANCA Telethon Public Relations Committee, identified Facebook Causes as an innovative way to use social media to encourage friends and family to support the efforts of the ANCA.
Artinian started off the effort by using the Causes “Birthday Wish Page” feature to invite friends and colleagues to join in the celebration on March 28 at NEAT. Within a few weeks, Steve reached out to his 700 plus “Facebook Friends” as well as, family members, co-workers and the ANCA grassroots network – Armenian and non-Armenian, alike – asking for a modest donation for the ANCA Telethon. The response was overwhelming with folks offering from $10 to over $200 in honor of the happy occasion.
“Creating the Cause Page on Facebook was easy and fun,” remarked Artinian. “I was happy to see so many of my friends and family step up and make a donation for a Cause we all care so deeply about,” he continued
Artinian’s effort inspired many guests at the ANCA PN event to set up their own Facebook “Cause” pages or to simply support one of the ANCA’s efforts.
At this site, activists can opt to support the overall efforts of the ANCA or target their donations to areas including supporting a democratic and prosperous Armenia; supporting Karabakh’s right to self-determination; ensuring an economically viable Javakhk; Armenian Genocide recognition and reparations; helping the youth secure jobs in public policy; fighting misrepresentation of Armenians and our issues in the media, among other topics.
Supporters can also visit the Telethon 2012 Web site and make a donation directly to the ANCA Telethon effort. Both options support the ongoing programs of the ANCA Endowment Fund.
The ANCA’s Facebook “Causes” initiative is an extension of its expanded foray into using the internet in general and social media in particular to advance Armenian American concerns. The ANCA has over 29,000 “Friends” on its Facebook page and close to 10,000 Twitter followers, with the numbers growing monthly. Activists can follow the latest ANCA news on its website – www.anca.org and use its Facebook App and ANCA Webmail service to reach out to elected officials in support of community concerns.
ANCA Telethon 2012 will be aired nationally on May 20 on a variety of broadcast, cable and digital channels and showcased on http://www.ancatelethon.org from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. EDT (2 p.m. to 8 p.m. PDT). To help support the Telethon, please call (855) 378-2622, visit www.ancatelethon.org, or visit the ANCA Causes page.
The first two ANCA Endowment Fund telethons, held in 2006 and 2009, raised over $4.5 million for Armenian American educational, youth, and civic programs. Both programs touched a common emotional chord, speaking directly to the devotion to the Armenian Cause that rests in the hearts of Armenians from across the U.S., regardless of organizational or political affiliations.
Countless organizations, volunteers, churches, community leaders, local ANCAs, performing artists, Members of Congress, and state legislators from across the nation participated in the telethons, contributing to their enormous success. Both telethons featured several documentaries that highlighted various ANCA programs and numerous results the ANCA Endowment has achieved over the years, largely through its volunteer and grassroots network.