March 24, 2010

Twestival 2010’s worthy cause: Concern Worldwide

JD LasicaI‘ll be attending the third Twestival on Thursday evening in San Francisco, one of 175 cities holding fundraising events — see the TwestivalSF page. As with the original Twestival 13 months ago, which raised $250,000 for charity:water (here’s our interview with Twestival founder Amanda Rose and my photo of Amanda below right), and Twestival Local (which raised money for hundreds of local charities last fall), Twestivals in cities around the world will raise money for an incredibly good cause: Concern Worldwide.

Amanda RoseSee the video at top for a well-done short explanation of how Concern is helping children in poverty around the world. As the Twestival website puts it:

“Concern Worldwide was founded in 1968 to meet the needs of people living in extreme poverty, for whom every day is a fight for survival. Concern is a non-governmental, international, humanitarian organization dedicated to the reduction of suffering and working towards the ultimate elimination of poverty. … [Concern’s] education programs target the poorest people in the poorest countries in the world, with particular emphasis on reaching out-of-school children such as girls, orphans, street children, working children, children affected by conflict, children affected by HIV and AIDS, and children with disabilities. Concern’s education programs currently reach over 700,000 people in 25 countries across the regions of Africa, Asia, and the Caribbean. Please follow @concern on Twitter to get a glimpse of their staff tweeting from around the world; including their efforts on the ground in Haiti.”

“The power of Twestival is not just in the amount of money it raises for inspiring nonprofits like Concern, an organization whose mission it is to end extreme poverty,” said Allyson Kapin, editor of the Care2 FrogLoop blog. “It’s in Twestival’s incredible reach across communications channels, and how they help to raise awareness about nonprofits and social justice issues through earned media and word of mouth.”

Hope to see you at the Horizon Lounge in San Francisco — register here to attend for just $15 — or, head to the Twestival nearest to you. You can also donate directly or participate in the online auction.

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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

May 20, 2009

How to get the most out of cause marketing

Scott Henderson (photo by Ms. Jen)

Beth KanterI was supposed to lead a workshop at the Cause Marketing Forum on Social Media and Cause Marketing at the end of May. I was looking forward to it because Michael Hoffman at C3 was a sponsor and participating. Unfortunately, I had to cancel and asked Scott Henderson if he’d do on my behalf.

I met Scott online over a conversation in the comments when I wrote some reflections about David Armano’s personal fundraising campaign back in January. I also participated in a campaign he organized for Share Our Strength.

I decided to do an interview with Scott to learn more about what he is learning about social media and cause-related marketing.

Who are you?

I am a cause marketing director for MediaSauce, helping non-profits and corporations use online media to pull off their next big thing.

Tell us about the “Pledge to End Hunger” you recently launched to benefit Share Our Strength

The main goals were to raise awareness of childhood hunger in America, give people the tools to take meaningful action to help end this solvable problem, and create a case study from which non-profits and corporations could learn how to better use social media in their cause marketing.

Our primary audience was more of a profile than a group. We were seeking to find individuals who cared about the cause and would be willing to rally their respective communities (social media and in-person) to take action. Working from that profile we identified four categories:
1) Active Twitterati and bloggers from different niches
2) SXSWi attendees & ambient attendees (those following from home)
3) Individuals in the email databases of the corporations & non-profits leading the campaign, and
4) Wild cards – people separated from us by 2-3 relationship degrees who fit the profile

Continue reading

February 17, 2009

Amanda Rose’s reflections on Twestival

Amanda Rose at the London Twestival
Photo by @mikebutcher

Beth KanterThe Twestival combined online twitter fundraising with a groundswell of offline self organized events in 202 cities around the world on February 12. This world-wide fundraiser, with a $1 million fundraising goal, brought together the Twitter community for an evening of fun and to raise money and awareness for charity: water.

Last week, I was in San Francisco leading a workshop and helped organized a group of attendees for TwestivalSF. Unfortunately, I was sick, so didn’t make to the event. One of the workshop participants kindly brought me bag of schwag which included a t-shirt and other goodies and told me how wonderful it was!

The Twestival events kicked off in New Zealand and traveled around the world. Everyone was watching closely, would they make their $1,000,000 goal?  Would Twestival forever change the nature of social media fundraising.  It has taken few days for Twestival to report on the results. Allison Fine wondered aloud why it was so difficult to find out the final numbers and whether it was a strategic decision because they were disappointing. She came to the conclusion of “campaign exhaustion” and “system challenges,” which were on target.

Continue reading