by Dana Oshiro

Jennifer Connelly in charity: water Public Service Announcement from charity: water on Vimeo.

On Feb 12, more than one hundred cities will host Twitter Festivals or Twestivals to raise money for Charity: Water – an organization that aims to help the 1.1 billion people who survive without access to clean drinking water. 100% of the proceeds from these events will go towards the charity and many of the locations will broadcast a live stream. Essentially, here’s another great example of how people are using the power of their online networks to enact change.

Running an Effective Cause Campaign:

Our own Brian Solis writes, “Without the ability to humanize our story and communicate with people in the places they go for information, how can we expect them to care?” For this very reason, those that care have moved beyond the brochure. A few examples include:

THE NETWORKED GURU: Nonprofit social media guru Beth Kanter is known for her person-to-person fundraising abilities. Kanter gave a talk at last year’s Gnomedex entitled, “How one woman poked, prodded, tweeted, blogged and mobilized a networked army of supporters to rally their friends and personal networks and raise over $90,000 for Cambodian Orphans”. During her talk she raised more than $2500 in 90 minutes to send a Cambodian orphan to college. Kanter helps other organizers by keeping a wiki of her work here.

THE NETWORKED ORG: Amanda Koster, author of “Can I Come with You?” is the founder of Salaam Garage – an organization that takes amateur photographers to developing countries to document the work of local organizations. Koster’s organization is a success because her photographers use their own voices and images to advocate in online and offline networks. Writes Koster, “The key has been to share the project, and also ask for support. It’s all a collaboration, and once I shared my passion I found that others had it too, and were happy to collaborate.”

THE NETWORKED NETWORKERS: In 2007, Robert Scoble and StageTwo Consulting’s Jeremy Toeman formed Geeks Doing Good – an event group where individuals from the tech community gather to volunteer for Habitat for Humanity, the SF Foodbank and other great orgs. Writes Toeman, ” I feel that this is a good first step for me personally, one that I’d like to build on in the years to come.” The group lists new events and member-submitted articles on its Facebook page and encourages members to ping their network contacts.

*CORRECTION: StageTwo Consulting’s Andrew Kippen is also one of the co-founders of Geeks Doing Good. He currently manages the San Francisco group in its efforts.

Got examples of great cause-tech efforts? Let us know about them in the comments below.

Dana Oshiro is a writer, PR Pro and media strategist. She is the Marketing Director for online 12M member DIY repair site, FixYa and the former online strategist for the Breast Cancer Fund.

Blogs: Villagerswithpitchforks, Hiyaablog
Twitter: @suzyperplexus

About the Author:

Dana Oshiro

As the Senior Media Analyst and Publishing Strategist for NetShelter, Dana helps 180+ tech sites including VentureBeat, MacRumors and PhoneDog increase their on and offsite audience engagement. In her spare time she contributes to ReadWriteWeb's startup channel and her personal blog VillagersWithPitchforks.

Visit Dana's page at


    no imageJeremy Toeman (Who am I?)27 January 2009 8:41 am

    thanks for the mention, Dana – I really want to give props to Andrew Kippen though. He planned most of the first event, and has been holding the candle high while I’ve been mired down in being a daddy and running 2 businesses.

    Rate this: