How Twestival worked with charity:water, and what the coordinator would do differently

Went on Beth’s Blog this morning looking for this and saw several “must read” posts*.  Among them, Beth interviewed Amanda Rose, one of the key people (and volunteers) on the Global Twestival Team.  (She’s also posted two amazing Powerpoint presentations – one on the ROI of social media and the other, an introduction to social media for charities.)  She shared her thoughts about what she’d do differently next time.  These three observations (of five) seem germane to local grassroots-organized efforts:

 2) Providing A Better Virtual Hub To Support Volunteers.   Amanda says the website was a key element in reaching out to the cities and that she was not prepared for the amount of work that went into setting it up.  Says Amanda, “Even through this was a volunteer-run event, there was a level of expectation from people once they signed up.  I think most understood that we were doing the best we could with our resources and limited time – but it was frustrating not to be able to offer them something beyond a blog to connect and share.”

4) Set up a system for incoming donations to be aggregated quickly and easily.   Donations were coming in from several streams, including Amiando, Tipjoy, Paypal,  and cash donations.  This made it difficult to tabulate the amount raised quickly.  In addition, being able to produce real time tracking reports that showed how much each city still had to work to achieve their original fundraising target would have motivated them and spawned a bit of friendly competition.

5) Extend the planning timeline to 2-3 months.   Amanda admits that it was stressful to work under these very tight timelines.  “However, not unlike Twitter which is restricted to 140 characters, I wanted to challenge everyone to see what we could do in the span of a few weeks.  This generated a lot of buzz and enthuasiasm on Twitter and extended offline.”  Amanda observes that volunteers were amazed with what they could do in this short a timeline and the amount of creativity that surfaced was truly inspiring.  Amanda points out, “Hawaii raised over $7k in 9 days, Toronto $10k in about 15 days.  What we are left with now are international teams who have a passion to do this again – only bigger.  The feedback so far has been incredible and many cities feel disappointed that they couldn’t reach their goal this time; but the amount of awareness they were able to generate through their community or local press is a testament to their hard work.”

*I want to ask Beth about her perspective on how charities can ensure that they maintain control of funds being raised in their name on Tipjoy, and I’m also interested in her perspective about the effect of a recent Facebook dispute about who owns/controls user-generated content, and how that might affect charities and causes.

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