IMPACT
03/20/2012 02:45 pm ET Updated Mar 20, 2012

How SXSW 2012 Attendees Give Back (SURVEY)

The thousands of people who thronged to Austin for South by Southwest apparently share more in common than a love for music, tech and film. An overwhelming majority say giving charity is at the top of their life's set list.

More than 87 percent of surveyed participants said they donate money to causes, with human and social services organizations being a priority, according to a survey conducted by Convio.

More than 50 percent also said they do much of their giving online.

"Online fundraising continues to shine, especially with the Generation X and Generation Y crowd at SXSW Interactive," Karoline McLaughlin, director of corporate communications at Convio, said in a press release.

But offline, the giving at SXSW Interactive still made its mark.

At a SXSW keynote address, Seth Priebatsch, founder of gaming platform SCVNGR, challenged an audience of more than 2,000 to a community task for charity, Mashable reports. He handed out double-sided cards that were blue, green, or orange on either side and asked each row to choose a color and hold up their placards in unison in less than 180 seconds. The group succeeded and SCVNGR donated $10,000 to the National Wildlife Foundation.

But other charitable endeavors introduced at SXSW were slightly more controversial.

The marketing agency BBH Labs introduced Homeless Hotspots, an opportunity for homeless people to sell WiFi access to passerbys at a cost of $2 for every 15 minutes.

Despite some support for the innovation of the program, the agency decided not to continue its trial run after SXSW.

"We have no definite, specific future plans yet, in New York City or elsewhere. This was an initial trial program," Emma Cookson, chairperson of BBH New York, told the New York Post. "We are now listening carefully to the high level of feedback, trying to learn and respond, and we will then consider what is appropriate to do next."

When it came to sharing causes they care about, 15 percent of those surveyed said they support children's charities and 16 percent said they empty their pockets support disaster and international relief, according to Convio's press release.

"Our survey results demonstrate a consistent theme that those passionate about technology and committed to innovation are compelled to give back to their communities and the world at large, with online clearly the preferred way to do so."

To find a place to donate or volunteer, check out VolunteerMatch.

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