Social networks and fundraising, Part 1

Shortly before Thanksgiving, a post on Twitter asked me and others on this friend’s network of “tweets” to consider helping in the building of a classroom in an African village. The link that was embedded in the tweet provided the details necessary to authenticate the appeal, and five minutes and one Paypal transaction later, I was back to work.

I was not alone.

The graphic below shows the pace of giving for this campaign, which successfully raised more than $10,000.


More information on the campaign can be found at the Tweetsgiving web site, and in this post about the project, written as it was underway.


The success of this project should not be misinterpreted, however.

It would be easy to conclude that this illustrates the marketing reach and power of a new medium. Yes, it’s true that this “medium” is powerful. But as others have pointed out, it would be like saying the telephone is a powerful medium, because so much business is transacted over it.

Instead, we have to look at social networking as a new way of communication. Period.

And as long as the means of communication is handled well and for a compelling reason, exciting things can be built — a brand, a reputation … and even a classroom inTanzania.

Social media powers fundraising for an African classroom

This morning I contributed to TweetsGiving, and I urge you to as well. It’s an excellent cause, and it can give you a first-hand experience in the power of social media. As the name implies, what is propeling this two-day fundraising effort is the micro-blogging platform Twitter.

As of this post, the total raised is ,182. Here is what the TweetsGiving web site has to say about the effort:

Tweetsgiving is a project of Epic Change that seeks to demonstrate the power of twitter and the social web by spreading gratitude and raising $10,000 in 48 hours to build a classroom at the school in Tanzania. The project was inspired by the TrickorTweet campaign organized around Halloween by @TheGrok and @ChrisBrogan and by this “thank you” post.

Giving Thanks

Follow @TweetsGiving on Twitter. Then, as the site suggests, you can “Tweet thanks. Share something you’re thankful for with all your twitter followers. Your tweets can be touching or silly, poignant or fun. Just tweet from the heart and be sure to include the #TweetsGiving tag and a link to”

And of course, be sure to give!