Monday, September 2, 2013

Five Good Will Efforts From Twestival

While there have been dozens of social media for social good efforts that have come and gone over the years, few have been as successful as Twestival. This social movement program has raised more than $1.75 million for important causes around the world, with 100 percent of the money raised through ticket sales and donations going directly to support charitable projects.

The concept behind the program is simple enough. Twestival (a.k.a. Twitter-Festival) is a movement that uses the power of social media to organize offline events in support of local causes, much like CitizenGulf did in 2010 and Bloggers Unite did as early as 2007. But unlike other efforts, Twestival places a greater emphasis on developing offline events capable of raising money in person.

Twestival 2013 is bold; rife with challenges.

What's new this year is that the "Tweet. Meet. Give." concept of Twestival has been placed in the hands of local volunteers in 72 cities in order to raise funds for local charities on whatever day those local supporters choose. Previous Twestival efforts centered on a single day and/or singular theme.

Initially, the organization was hoping to inspire 300 events this year but will likely fall short of that goal. There may be other challenges too, including including some event leaders who snapped up cities only to drop the ball in planning an event (despite an organizational vetting process). As it stands, there are too many events marred by the words "coming soon."

Twestival messages haven't always helped either. Without enough events making progress, the organization has added past success stories into its social stream, detracting from current events.

But even so, there are several dozen cities doing something around the world. And we think the efforts of those precious few are admirable. The concept is too cool to give up despite global challenges.

San Luis Obispo, Calif., United States,  Sept. 13. With the event just days away, event organizers are hoping to raise money for the San Luis Obispo Children's Museum in California. The museum has been a cornerstone of this community with hands on-exhibits and events. Proceeds for the Twestival are going to a new exhibit, the Musical Garden.

Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, Sept. 24. Located in Victoria, British Columbia, The Cridge Center For The Family provides a place for brain injury survivors to become part of a community and receive employment skills in a commercial kitchen. The funds raised by this event will be used to create a community food program.

Farnham, Surrey, England, Sept. 25. After having their event postponed for several months, the event to benefit the Phyllis Tuckwell Hospice will have a second chance. The event includes blues and a full buffet with raffles and other prizes. Funds raised for the event provide non-specifed support for the hospice.

Phoenix, Arizona, United States, Oct. 15. In an effort to curb teen suicide, volunteers selected Teen Lifeline to be the benefactor of their event in Phoenix. The event itself will be held at The Clayton on the Park (in Scottsdale) as a mixer and silent auction. Proceeds will help fund counselors and volunteers to keep the call line open for teens in distress.

La Casa del Xuklis, Barcelona, Spain, Oct. 24. La Casa del Xuklis is a residence for families of children inflicted with cancer. The house consists of 25 individual apartments for families that have been displaced from their homes while their children undergo treatment in Barcelona. Some sponsors have stepped up but event details are pending.

A couple graphs about the local and global Twestival. 

Like many social media for social good efforts, Twestival started as a small concept with a well-defined intent. A group of London Twitter users had decided to host a Harvest Twestival to meet up with some of the people they had connected to online. The event included a raffle, which collected donations and canned food for a local charity.

When 250 people turned out for the event, enthusiasm for the concept led to the creation of a campaign under the direction of founder Amanda Rose that would host dozens of local events in support of an international cause. More than 10,000 people participated, raising funds for charity: water in 2009. Total donations exceeded $250,000.

Twestival 2013 Is A Liquid Hip Good Will Pick.

At least once a month, Liquid Hip highlights good will efforts undertaken by people with big hearts. We don't score them. That belongs to you.

We chose Twestival because the program is unafraid to take on its biggest challenge yet — attempting to inspire local communities to host events for local charities. In more ways than one, organizers were attempting to do the impossible, taking the event back to its hyper-local roots.

Although the model is exceedingly more difficult as the variables expand exponentially, the program has still demonstrated its ability to succeed in any community where a few people are willing to step up for good. Visit any of the local events listed above or find out if your city has a Twestival slated or if it needs help. For those who are more ambitious, there are still three months left to make it happen in your city.
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