With the barrage of emails, facebook posts, tech messages and tweets I get every day, sometimes messages get lost in the noise. 50% off here! A fabulous deal!! Vote for me? Do you ‘like’ this?

I checked today – – I’m a member of 18 deals sites and personally ‘like’ more than 350 pages on Facebook.

Yeah, information overload.

But in all of those tech-based messages flying around, good things are happening. Social media has tremendous power to do social good. Here are two ways local Charm City organizations are making use of it:

Deals for Deeds

Deals for Deeds started in Washington, DC and recently launched in Baltimore. (Expansion plans are in the works for Philly next!). The basic premise? Using deals — which drive traffic and create customers for local businesses — to reinvest in the community. A consumer (that’s you or me) purchases a deal from the website and then a portion of the proceeds benefits a local non-profit foundation. There’s a little gift back to the consumer in terms of a price break, the local business attracts new loyal customers, and a non-profit gets a little financial boost. A win-win for everyone in my opinion.

I chatted with co-founder Harrison Miller on Tuesday about the websites expansion into the Baltimore market. He stressed that the deals through his website won’t be as significant a discount than let’s say, a Groupon or Living Social deal. Rather than a 50% discount, a consumer will receive something more akin to a 20% or 30% discount. For small businesses (which most of our local businesses are!) this is critical to helping them attract repeat customers rather than one-time deal seekers, and helps protect their viability. Often times small businesses participating in the large scale discount websites end up losing money on the promotion. Plus, are consumers are making a contribution to a terrific cause in the process of purchasing a deal.

Here are the current local charities working with Deals for Deeds: Back On My Feet of Baltimore,
Baltimore BORN, Baltimore Child Abuse Center, Baltimore Humane Society, Community Law in Action, Downtown Baltimore Family Alliance, Hand in Hand, Parks and People, Park Heights Community Health Alliance, Project PLASE, The Literacy Lab, and Wide Angle Youth Media.

To receive weekly deals for deeds in your inbox, just head over to their website. This week’s deal is $15 for $30 worth of YUM at Cazbar.

Baltimore Child Abuse Center and Chase’s Community Giving Program

Chase has $10 million to give away – – and is using Facebook as a means for the public to direct where the money goes. Any registered Facebook user can log and vote for their favorite charity. This has made quite a difference for the Baltimore Child Abuse Center — who placed in the top 100 causes for round one and will receive $25,000. They have a chance to win $500,000 in round two, but need your help!

They have a BIG IDEA: No child should be a victim of sexual abuse. They aim to educate every Baltimore City kindergartner, kindergartner’s parent and kindergarten teacher. They also want to provide support – – through an innovative arts program to empower survivors . Lastly, they’ll develop free online tools for adults to work with children to develop safety strategies and family plans.

Want to help? Give them your vote.

How else has technology enabled social good? Tell us your story!

Tech Thursday is a project of (cool) progeny and Classic Play. Each week, both blogs take on a family-tech issue. We invite you to join the conversation!

NOTE: (cool) progeny is now an affiliate of Deals for Deeds. We love that they’re giving back to the city we love — and 100% support them in this initiative. We’ll keep our readers informed of any family-friendly deals too. But we want to be transparent with everyone and thought you should know we’re working together. {{We’re super picky about who we work with — and Deals for Deeds fit our criteria!!}}