October 12, 2009

An inventive cause campaign to fight malaria

A cause campaign to fight malaria from JD Lasica on Vimeo.

Causeitsmybirthday.com raises $16,000, effort continues through Saturday

JD LasicaSocialbrite’s own Sloane Berrent has been a bit busy of late. Fresh off a three-month stay in the rural Philippines doing field work as a Kiva fellow, she and her friend Doug Campbell of Mindshare launched Causeitsmybirthday, a cause campaign with a wild premise: parties in seven major cities on seven consecutive nights to raise money for malaria nets for orphanages and refugee camps in northern Ghana.

Malaria kills 3,000 children a day. It has killed more people than all the wars in human history combined, causing 1 to 3 million deaths per year. And the tragedy is that the majority of those deaths could be prevented with simple actions such as putting up mosquito nets to ward off the malaria-carrying mosquitoes. (This YouTube video explains why nets are so effective in the battle against malaria.)

I’ve never seen an effort quite like this, but Sloane, who blogs at TheCausemopolitan, and Doug pulled it off, working with the small nonprofit Netting Nations to make sure that 100 percent of the charitable donations go toward malaria nets. As of today, they’ve raised more than $16,000 and, even though the seven-city tour is over, you can donate to the cause online through Saturday. (Use the PayPal widget at the left.)

Watch, embed or download the video on Vimeo
Watch the video in QuickTime H.264 on Ourmedia Continue reading

August 16, 2009

Twestival and how to prevent cause fatigue

Guest post by Amanda Rose
Founder, Twestival

Note from Beth Kanter: Last week, I wrote a reflection on a CNET article called “Crowded Roads Ahead for Charity 2.0,” musing about the solution. A number folks offers some insights in the comments or on Twitter, including Amanda. I invited her to share her thoughts about cause fatigue and scaling as she launches Twestival Local.

Cause fatigue is something I think about daily; particularly going into our second Twestival in September. I’ve felt a huge mix of pressure and enthusiasm to launch another one from previous organizers and cities who missed it the first time around. I didn’t feel like the Twitter community could handle another cause infused global campaign on the scale of Twestival so soon. My gut told me to think locally and use this international momentum and inspire people to shine a spotlight on a local cause, or a cause that a community would get behind. Where Twestival Global focused all of its energy on one cause, on one day; Twestival Local, taking place the weekend of 10-13 September 2009, has the potential to impact hundreds of causes.

Volunteers around the world feel empowered when asked to use their skills, not only to bring people together at an event, but contribute to something positive. Continue reading