Social Media for Social Good -- Facebook Raises Organ Donation Awareness

Renee Hansen | @redeemed36 The list is long, and thousands will pass away annually because their names didn't make that list.

But if Facebook has anything to say about it, this will change.

There are currently more than 118,000 people on organ transplant waiting lists in the U.S., but this list could be shortened if only more people consented to be donors. Between 5,000 and 10,000 people whose organs could have been used for transplants, had they consented to be donors, die annually, letting their healthy organs to go unused.

Recyle Yourself, Become an Organ Donor

So on May 1, 2012, Facebook partnered with Donate Life America to spread the word on organ donation.

The campaign for awareness kicked off May 1, 2012, and allowed user to share their organ donor status with friends. The social media site also provided links to respective state motor vehicle departments to allow easy access for new donors to register. Within 24 hours of the program starting, 57, 451 Facebookers updated their profiles and there were 13,012 new donors who registered online, according to a study by John Hopkins University researchers.

To put these numbers in perspective, the study compared this amount to the daily average of new donors: 616.

The short-term response was impressively dramatic, and now Facebook is working towards long term.

Update your Facebook profile for organ donation

As Dr. Andrew Cameron, leader of the John Hopkins study, said, “If we can harness that excitement in the long term, then we can really start to move the needle on the big picture. The need for donor organs vastly outpaces the available supply and this could be a way to change that equation."

The main goal? Just keep conversation going.

If you’re interested in learning how to update your profile or registering as a donor, follow the steps highlighted here.

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