Sunday, 14 March 2010

Twestival: A lesson in real-time and transparent fundraising

Anyone with an interest in charities and social media is likely to be aware of Twestival. Something that started in 2008 as one tweet and a small gathering in London has grown into a worldwide phenomenon which I'm delighted to be part of. I'm organising the Bristol Twestival, one of more than 175 parties due to take place around the world on 25 March. We're all raising money for one cause; Concern Worldwide, which uses education to help the world's most marginalised and poorest children.

I wrote last year how Twitter and other social media tools are changing the way charities fundraise by putting greater power into the hands of supporters. Well, this year Twestival has gone one step further.

Twestival parties haven't even taken place yet but in a secton on the global blog supporters can access details of exactly how much money has been raised and exactly where that money will be spent - in real time.

Too often charitable fundraising lacks this kind of transparency and interactivity but given where the Twestival idea was born it was inevitable that it would be good at it!

Charities - and indeed social enterprises - have a lot to learn. The social media generation craves information. They don't want to wait until an annual report is published many months after a charitable event has taken place to find out where their money has been spent; they want to know now.
Equipping supporters with the kind of information Twestival is providing - even before the event has even actually taken place - not only pleases though converted to the cause but creates cause champions which is turn attracts new backers.
So whatever your cause, think real-time!

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