Blame it on Twitter

This was a great idea and I hope it proves successful in Knoxville:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - August 14, 2009
 
Knoxville Twestival Announces Charity Selection After Innovative Social Media-Driven Selection Process
 
Knoxville, Tenn - Organizers for Knoxville Twestival (http://www.knoxville.twestival.com) announced today that The Salvation Army of Knoxville (http://www.uss.salvationarmy.org/uss/www_uss_knoxville.nsf)  has been chosen as the designated recipient of the 2009 Twestival fundraising effort. The pick was made following an innovative, two-week long, social media-driven selection process.

Knoxville Twestival is part of a charitable event taking place in communities all around the world during August and September. The
local Twestival is co-sponsored by Social Media Club (http://smcknox.ning.com/), Knoxville Overground (http://www.knoxvilleoverground.com/) and the Knoxville Social Media Association (http://www.knoxvillesocialmedia.com), and it uses the power of the local digital community to encourage people to support a specific local charity effort.

The crowd-sourced, viral process by which The Salvation Army was chosen was unique, and was the brainchild of the volunteers behind Knoxville Twestival planning. Beginning August 1, Knoxville-area, non-profit organizations were encouraged to fill out an online form at the Knoxville Twestival site explaining they should be chosen as the designated charity for this year's Twestival event. All entries received by Friday, August 7 were then published on the Knoxville Twestival blog(http://knoxville.twestival.com/charity-submissions/), where readers were able to cast an online vote for their favorite
charity. Voting was driven via social media, as supporters of each charity encouraged their friends and followers on Twitter and Facebook to go cast an online ballot on their charity's behalf. In the end, 35 charities were submitted for consideration, and close to 4,000 votes were cast.

Voting ended at 5pm August 11, and at 6pm the same day, a panel of representatives (Names and affiliations available at
http://www.knoxville.twestival.com) of Twestival's three co-sponsoring organizations each cast a single vote to choose the winning charity from among the top three online vote getters. The Salvation Army emerged the winner, and Twestival fundraising efforts on the charity's behalf will now begin.

"We're thrilled now to be able to use new media to connect with a whole new generation of people who really desire to have an impact on their community.  It's a great fit for what we do," said Jonathan Haskell, Director of Community Relations at the Salvation Army, after learning of his organization's selection.

Twestival organizers and supporters, as well as fans of The Salvation Army, will tap into their own online social networks to drive
donations during the fundraising period via the "TipJar" button that is now live on the Knoxville Twestival site. Fundraising efforts will culminate with the September 10 Twestival event from 7-10 pm at The Knoxville Zoo, featuring live entertainment, as well as food and drinks. Details for the Twestival performers will be announced next week.
 
100% of all funds raised via the Twestival site, as well as all money collected for ticket sales to the Twestival party, will go directly to The Salvation Army.
 
For more information about Knoxville Twestival, or to schedule an
interview with one of the Twestival organizers, contact us:
 
Nicole Van Scoten at nicole.vanscoten@gmail.com
Katie Allison Granju at katie.granju@gmail.com
Alex Lavidge at a.lavidge@gmail.com