Tag Archives: fundraising

A New Way To Say Thanks

25 Oct

The currency of appreciation

Twollars is a concept that began in 2009 as a way to thank people.  The program, based in Spain, aims to harness the positive social energy on Twitter and give it a symbolic form that can be converted into hard money. Here’s how it works: people give Twollars as a thank-you gesture to anyone- friends, family, etc. and then the receiver donates the Twollar to a charity of choice.  Every Twitter user automatically has a page where they can tweet people to thank them with Twollars, and the page also displays their account balance and “generosity ranking.”  Every user has a starting balance of 50 Twollars.

Here’s what my page looks like:

My Twollars Page

These donated Twollars are converted into real dollars when partnering businesses and individuals “purchase” the Twollars in exchange for real money at a rate of $1 for 10 Twollars.  Often businesses give out Twollars to customers who purchase their products or support their brand as a thank-you note.

Here are the tips the site suggests for getting more Twollars:

  • Tweet good tweets :-) . Engage with, and help people by passing along useful tips. Be generous and give lots of Twollars away, and others may send you Twollars as well.
  • Ask people to send you Twollars – Tweet This! (be sure to replace it with your Twitter name)
  • Go to one of the websites that rewards its users and visitors by giving away Twollars. Since we have just launched this new service, there aren’t many
    sites in the Twollars programme yet. Over time we expect many to join. So, be sure to check back soon.
  • You can also purchase Twollars directly from a Charity. The exchange rate is at $1 for 10 Twollars.

Here’s an example

One charity on Twollars is called Miles The Bear (BearsOnPatrol) an organization that provides police officers with free teddy bears to use in situations that are traumatic for small children.  100 Twollars buys one teddy bear.  This is such an easy way to raise money, and the best part is anyone can help by simply logging onto Twitter and donating Twollars.  Even more amazing is the fact that users don’t really have to pay anything- it’s supporting businesses that are “purchasing” the Twollars from charities, so people that are tweeting their support aren’t even paying to do so.

Founder Eiso Kant explains why he started Twollars and how the project has developed (Interview with Robert Scoble of Scobleizer.Com):

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“Changing the World Through Social Media”

29 Sep

“Hope – Change – Belief ” …  and Facebook – Twitter – Blogging

I recently discovered 12 for12k, an organization that combines social media and fundraising to help supported charities connect with as wide an audience as possible.  Founded out of Burlington, ON, by social media whiz Danny Brown, (see an article he wrote about the 12for12k staff here) the challenge has raised over $100,000 since December 2008. Here’s their YouTube video:

Here’s how it works

Each month, for 12 months, a charity is chosen to receive $12,000. 12for12k intends to help lesser-known charities, which is what caught my eye. Would it be possible to land 12k for my charity project in Shanghai?! Well, yes, but not easily.  Here’s the criteria for chosen charities:

  • Financial records available on request
  • Registered 501-c (3) charity or equivalent worldwide organization (all donations tax-deductible)
  • PayPal or credit card donation system (for user-friendliness), made through Chip-In, that is tied directly to the charity’s bank account

Hm. So there’s a couple things preventing Project Revive from gaining 12k anytime soon. But there’s learning here. While charities can raise money through social media, if they want to fundraise directly through Facebook, Twitter and other platforms, they need an existing bank account, and the Chip-In widget. I took a look at Chip-In, and found out it was actually a widget used to raise money through PayPal. You can embed it on WordPress, but you need a hosted WordPress account for the graphic to show up. While this means it won’t grab viewers attention right away, I am still able to post a link for the Chip-In page, so viewers can go and donate directly to my PayPal account if they choose to do so. This is an easy way to charities to increase donations, since all viewers have to do is follow the link.

Back to 12for12k

It seems like a ton of money comes from ChipIn, and the use of Twitter and Facebook (adding Twibbons to respective profiles), and encouraging people to contribute. There are other ways that 12for12k is making money, including events such as Live Concert Streams and Tweetsgiving, which are all advocated through social media.

In the Future…

The challenge is relaunching in a few days, so I look forward to seeing what exactly “relaunching” means. The website doesn’t specify exactly what they plan to implement in the future, so it’s a little unclear what the new goals are. On the 12for12k Facebook page, it appears as though the last activity was in April: when a charity supported brain injury, Boundless was chosen.  Check back in a few days, when I write an update about the relaunching of The 12for12k Challenge on October 1. Here’s the video that’s currently featured on their homepage: