Charity Thrives is an organization dedicated to empowering individuals by providing tools and information that make it possible to contribute to society in a positive manner even in the absence of disposable time and income. Its goal is to embody the original spirit of Slacktivism, a term coined by Dwight Ozard and Fred Clark in 1995.
Slacktivism is often dismissed in the current media climate as a series of ineffective gestures designed to boost the Slacktivist’s own ego rather than to bring about any form of substantial change. Social media outlets such as Facebook are responsible for many of the modern criticisms associated with Slacktivism. Say, for example, the Slacktivist is scrolling through his news feed and happens upon a photo of a kindhearted, well groomed, smiling person handing a sandwich to a starving child, covered in filth and tears, dressed in rags, grateful for the offering of food. He clicks, “Like” or “Share.” What’s wrong with that? Absolutely nothing… on the surface.
In this example, the Slacktivist is identifying in a positive way with the basic message: It is good to give food to starving children. The criticisms levied at modern day slacktivists focus primarily on the absence of any action following that click. In other words, the Facebook user clicks “like” and feels at least a momentary sense of accomplishment and pride, “I am one of the Good Guys. I believe we should give food to starving children. All of my friends know I feel that way. Yes, Good Guy here!” And that’s it. A cute cat video appears in the feed and the moment is virtually forgotten. No one got a sandwich besides the little girl in the original picture. In contrast, an activist may have been stirred to action by the picture and taken concrete steps to end child hunger, such as organizing a food drive or volunteering at the local soup kitchen.
We at Charity Thrives embrace the original 1995 spirit of the word Slacktivism. Social media was not yet ubiquitous in the mid 1990’s. Smartphones had not yet been invented. Actions, reactions, and interactions were more organic. The Slacktivist in 1995 would not have had the option of expressing his concern about child hunger simply by clicking a button. Slacktivism required some form of physical action. In the absence of an endless supply of cat videos to distract him, the turn of the century Slacktivist viewing the same photo may have at the very least rooted through the cabinets for some canned goods to drop off at the local food pantry on his way to work. The original slacktivists were similar to those of the current generation in the sense that they lacked the time, will, and / or resources to routinely participate in protest or charitable movements in the physical sense, yet they in many cases adhered to Mahatma Gandhi’s wisdom, “Be the change that you wish to see in the world.” Charity Thrives promotes a similar approach to slacktivism. We partnered with The Shopping Hag in May of 2018, not simply for entertainment value, but as a means of showing how one person chooses to shop as ethically as possible on a small budget. Simple decisions like choosing a small family owned business over Walmart, are a physical means of exercising slacktivism.
In addition to promoting the concept of living in accordance with one’s ideals, Charity Thrives supports the use of programs, apps, and, yes, clicks… When they count. In the coming months, we will be highlighting ways in which everyone, no matter how busy, tired, or financially drained, can leverage everyday activities, from shopping to exercising to gaming, to earn money for charity without a change in lifestyle or a lightening of the wallet.
Ultimately, our goal is to raise as much money as possible for people and causes in need of support with the help of our readers and a hefty serving of Slacktivism. Thank you for your patience while the site is under construction. Please subscribe to be notified by email as we add content.