Sina (NASDAQ:SINA) has added a charity platform to its microblogging site that allows users to ‘follow’ and donate to good causes. Called ‘Gongyi’ it’s all a part of its popular Weibo service, which has 250 million registered users, and has a centralised charitable homepage at gongyi.weibo.com.
Weibo has already grown enormously, thanks to glamourous celebrities and brands, and so this is an opportunity for its users to do something a tad more civic-minded.
The Gongyi homepage divides deserving charities into five categories: education, child assistance, medical care, animal protection, and environmental protection. Each charity gets a separate page, which looks less like a normal Weibo page – with tweets stuffed down the bottom, unusually out of sight – and the emphasis is instead put on the group’s fundraising campaign. Picking the example of a Beijing-based non-profit for disabled children (see it here), its Weibo Gongyi page shows that it’s aiming to raise 30,000 RMB (US$4,760) by April 2nd, and a progress meter shows that it’s currently at five percent after a total of 335 donations in the past few days:
The green button is the start of the donation process, and an optional message can be attached to your funds as well. To encourage benevolence and giving, special goodwill points (shown next to a heart logo) will be given to donaters, and the main Gongyi site is home to a top eight list of charitable givers.
At the moment, Sina has told the media that the charitable platform is currently in beta, and is only featuring a range of specially-invited charities. Later it will be opened up, and a strict vetting procedure will be put in place to ensure that only genuine non-profit groups can join and receive donations from users.
Last October, Sina rolled out a similar platform for government departments to get onto Weibo, giving them brand-like microblog pages.
[Hat-tip to Marbridge Consulting for spotting this]