Some clothes, a perfume, a bouquet of flowers, a weekend getaway or a bottle of wine. All these items are examples of possible birthday gifts. However, sometimes someone surprises you with a special desire when you ask “what do you want for your birthday”, as in Julio César’s case.
Julio César Ortega is a journalist and publicist. Among other media, he has worked for Zero magazine, was editor-in-chief of Men’s Health and is currently working as a content creator for Condé Nast publishing group (GQ, Vogue, or Vanity Fair among other publications). He is very active in social networks and has chosen the Facebook fundraising campaign tool for contributing with the Fight AIDS Foundation.
A few months ago, Facebook activated a tool that allows each user to create a fundraising campaign. Few days before his birthday, the user receives an invitation to do so, asking his contacts to make a donation to a non-profit organization as a birthday gift. The results are spectacular: during its first year, more than 300 million dollars were obtained via this application. The Fight AIDS Foundation is included in the list of NGOs that Facebook users can choose and, since then, 30 campaigns have already been created.
"I chose the fight against HIV because it is a very important cause for me. Especially for young people, who are forgetting to protect themselves. With the chronification of the disease, not only the stigma went down but also its risk perception", says Julio César. And he adds, "everyone prefers one cause over another and must choose those closest to their hearts. In my case, HIV has affected my personal environment”.
With this second fundraising campaign (he already launched one for his birthday last year), Julio César has achieved the record of donations to the Fight AIDS Foundation via Facebook, with € 600. "My friends have listened to me. Good boys!", he jokes. In his opinion, motivating his contacts through the social networks has been the key to succeed. "I posted several stories with information and data from the Fight AIDS Foundation's website explaining where the donation would go. I think the data is key."
The work of this tireless fundraiser is not over: everyone who made a donation will receive a gift that closes the circle with an extra of solidarity. "I saw in a pharmacy that Durex has a limited edition of condoms by RED, an initiative whose benefits are donated to the Global Fund for the fight against HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. I will send a thank-you letter to all donors including a condom and a red bow."
When we tell him that currently Brigitta Lamoure has started a fundraising campaign with a goal of € 2,000, he wishes her luck and adds "it would be very funny if rivalries arose to push us to set more and more ambitious goals."