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