Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Twitter and Fundraising - 1 day 'til Dallas Twestival

Listening in on the final conference call to organize tomorrow nights local version of twestival, I find myself hearing the same kind of last minute details that would be talked about whether the event took a year to plan. Of course, all over the world, it has been put together by volunteers in about two weeks time.

I am typing this with tweetdeck open on my desktop and a search feed set to the term "twestival." The tweet signal is going off every 30 seconds or so with an average of 5 updates containing the word each time. It is amazing. The planning progress that I have been reporting on for Dallas in the last week has been replicated in hundreds of cities, each with their own grass roots volunteerism.

4 cities in Africa
26 cities in Asia Pacific
54 cities in Europe
7 cities in the Middle East
75 cities in North America
20 cities in South America
2 virtual twestivals (in Moderne Island and Second Life)

Each has a organically designated volunteer coordinator(s) and an active plan to get together in the name of Charity: Water.

Press coverage has been expectantly minimal. If you listen to the most recent Dallas twestival conference call you will hear of some press coverage that has been negative from news outlets that "just don't get it." The NY times did post a brief write up today that obviously had a day or so of research behind it.

I'd like to lift this quote from the NY Times piece and make an observation for nonprofits.
Ms. Rose said that the Twitter community is particularly adept at mobilizing Internet activity into real-world action because the undercurrent of social currency is strong within the service’s ever-expanding community.

If your NPO ever wants to come close to having social media have an impact on your development or fund raising efforts, you must trust the adeptness of the community's social currency.

Speaking of currency, you can monitor the growing fund raising mark through the tipjoy home page. The day of twestivities has already started in some parts of the world.