Last Thursday, February 12th, 2009, people in over 200 cities around the world hosted events to raise money for charity: water. This non profit organization brings clean, safe drinking water to people in developing countries.
Many of the events were small networking parties, bringing together people who normally only correspond via the web, specifically the social network/microblogging site Twitter.
It was called the Twestival and so far over $250,000 has been raised. In fact donations are still being accepted. Many of the donations were small amounts, less than $100 often just $5 at a time, submitted via the web application TipJoy. Events themselves sold tickets or had a cover charge at the door of the event. Some held live auctions and others did eBay to raise funds.
An important aspect for nonprofits to understand about Twestival – the idea, planning and execution was exclusively done by volunteers, that is the people who use Twitter. They choose the nonprofit that would benefit, not the other way around. Charity:water supported the effort by placing information about it on their website, including the online donation services of TipJoy.
Toronto Twestival had a rocky start planning, but on event night there were over 450 attendees and raised over $10,000 for charity: water.
L.A.’s Twestival bring hipsters, websters and Tay Zonday Los Angeles Times reports on that city’s event (@twestival_LA)
London Twestival: Wigs, beer and hotpants at a very real world meet-up the Guardian (@guardiannews) reports on London event