It's easy to look back now and call TwitChange a big success. But that's not what it looked like at the beginning. In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Shaun King, the Atlanta pastor behind the effort said 45 of the 50 friends he initially pitched the idea to thought it wouldn't work.
But King understood something they didn't.
Everyone on Twitter really wants someone famous to follow them, to shout them out, to mention them. It's something that people want, but never say.
King was right and TwitChange raised over $531,000 for aHomeInHaiti.org.
The typical celebrity Twitter package for sale on eBay looked something like this:
Ryan Seacrest will follow you on Twitter for a minimum of 90 days, will retweet one of your tweets and will send out a tweet including your @twitterhandle.
Paster King's success has rewards for all of us, because TwitChange is a Twitter fundraiser that smart causes in major cities across the country could successfully replicate.
No, you're probably not going to involve the likes of Kim Kardashian and Justin Bieber, unless they hail from your city. But what about local celebrities, sports stars, newscasters and perhaps the ever present celebrity-politician?
You also won't make the half-million TwitChange did, but you could raise five figures and generate some great press for your cause.
I know here in Boston we have local celebs like Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, Areosmith frontman Steven Tyler and everyone's favorite office manager Steve Carell. Sports stars like Tom Brady, Big Papi and Shaq. The list goes on and on. (I'm not event sure if all of these people are on Twitter, but I think you get my point.)
A wicked smart cause would market this program to local corporate sponsors and raise even more money.
There's also an alternative to raising the money online with eBay. Auction off the Twitter packages off at your next big gala or dinner.
Think about it: TwitChange could change celebrity asks forever. Signed footballs, pictures and jerseys? Keep them, Tom Brady. We just wants your tweets.