Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Twitter and Fundraising - 2 days 'til Dallas Twestival

Here is the ongoing report of the worldwide Twestival 2009 coming together in Dallas.

If you listened to the conference call that I linked you to yesterday, you heard the reference to other metro areas organizing their own events. Los Angeles is one local event that is coming together with the help of some high profile web celebrities. ijustine put together this video to promote the worlwide and the local LA event.

If you look around at some of these other local tweet ups that are coming together, you'll realize that many of them have set local goals. I have read in several places that the worldwide goal is $500,000. Los Angeles alone has a goal of $250,000. London launched a little music station for all the bands that will be performing called twestival.fm which has it's own $20,000 goal. It will be an interesting number to track and count and see grow. Because it's fundrasing organized from the bottom up, I don't know that there is a central thermometer that we can watch the funds associated with twestival be accurately counted.

Here is the main lesson your organization can learn from Charity: Water and they way they are interacting as recipients of the twitter communities generosity and efforts.

They have let go of their need to control it.
They are not running around enforcing branding standards or editorial platforms.
Charity: Water, I suspect, is just barely riding the wave that will flood over them come Thursday...and they are letting it happen.
Most nonprofits probably aren't engaged in this grass roots conversation enough for it to happen to them. And most would accidentally kill it by trying to control it (if it ever started to happen to them)

If the development cycle for you is...

Acquisition, Cultivation, Solicitation, and Stewardship.

You must have a good Acquisition and Cultivation strategy in order to get close to a good Solicitation strategy. If you are going to engage in social media conversations as part of your Cultivation tactics, you will kill the conversation by turning it into a Solicitation tactic. You will kill it fast.

Charity: Water controls it's Solicitation tactics and strategy. Here is an example of Cultivation naturally bubbling up into it's own kind of Solicitation. Charity: Water is an example to us all by just letting it happen.