Part III (The final frontier)
As defined in the Wikipedia, I am not sure I agree with the first part of cause marketing, but that is neither here nor there. Cause marketing is what this was, I am told. How did I get into this?
I think on March 20 I was drinking a lovely Chateau St. Michelle Riesling, and as I approached the bottom of the bottle (I never did that before!), I noticed I was approaching 50,000 tweets RAPIDLY. Those that follow me know I am rapid, velocity is fierce and I am prolific (does someone want to nominate me for my photo next to the word in the dictionary?) when it comes to Tweeting. I do three things at most times, and tweeting is one of them, it is second nature, I can carry on a conversation, cook, and a multitude of other things all while tweeting. I am calculated in my tweeting, I think about every tweet, about how I word things, and what I choose to tweet. I am equally as calculated in what I choose not to tweet. So love me or hate me, know those things.
50,000 tweets seemed like a fun thing to do something to commemorate the accomplishment, or the pure waste of time (as some would point out). I had a special tweet at 45,000, and joked about making it to 50,000 quickly. That seems to be the running joke amongst my friends, well if you are laughing at me that works just fine for me. Having done a fund drive for Mothers Fighting For Others back around the Christmas Holiday, and a quick drive with some wonderful friends contributing, we raised $700.00 in about 6 hours, so I thought, heck I can raise $5,000.00 for MFFO! I committed to it.
Then I reached out to Rocky and Jeff Turner to discuss what I wanted to do. Rocky informed me that she wished 10 people would do that, they needed $50,000 (oh, I don’t believe in coincidence, I think life takes you where it will and you just go with it). I was going for 50,000 tweets, and they needed 50,000, well I thought we could do it! I might have been under the influence of Trust Agents, or heading Mitch Joel, Chris Brogan and Julien Smith speak, but I felt that this would be easily achieved; this was a great community, and a large community. Rocky was well respected, and she said there was a need, and that she was not legally able to disclose the whole story (hope she can soon), but if Rocky said there was an emergency and the need was urgent, I was going to do whatever I could, and I knew that RE.net would stand behind it too, and maybe we could transcend out Real Estate community. Wasn’t this what it was all about? Trust amongst out “friends”. And not forgetting leverage here at all.
We planned a Skype call (Jeff dubbed me “Skypetard” that night), we began planning. Jeff and I began plotting – people seemed to get me, not get me, love me, or not like/hate me. Let’s take that angle and run with it we decided, we would discuss more at RE Tech South the following week, and launch after that. 50kfor50k was born. From that we decided to create the two sides, of “keep her tweeting” and “shut her up”.
A bit more background, Rocky had noticed tweets the day of the Trust Agent event, and had mentioned she wanted to reconnect with Chris on the topic of MFFO and suggestions for fundraising, she had gotten involved in another project and felt she had dropped the ball in previous communication with him. I forwarded her message to Chris that day. As I understand it, a lot of the direction that the MFFO site took in the fundraising effort was based on his advisement – but I was not privy to that and won’t write about it. Chris did blog about the MFFO cause, the girls in Kenya, and put his remarkable reputation behind the efforts, tweeting numerous times (thanks again my friend). How could it fail? MFFO would succeed. Then Paul Mabray also got on board, fabulous! A number of RE.net people donated services, and the like, to auctions. The auctions have grown (there is still one now). Lots of great effort, but still… April 20 is next week.
Rocky heads to Kenya on April 22 to do what she has to do (when she can release info I will put I right here, but don’t know if anything can be posted yet, so I will use this as a place marker, and tell you all… donate now, once this blank is filled in, you will want to donate, but you will feel better having TRUSTED the need we all communicated). As of yesterday, I was told that we had raised just under $15,000. That is impressive, that is amazing, that can do a LOT for the girls. Everyone should be so proud, and I know I am so grateful.
What is $1 to each of us? Really nothing. Truly nothing. I was willing to stake my Twitter account on this, I was so confident that as a community, we would unify and get behind the cause. It was never about my account, it was never about my tweets, it was never about me in any way, and apparently some people thought it was. I am sorry if people misunderstood, I was just another person trying to help, like so many others – too many to name, as I know I will forget someone (feel free to comment below and tell us what you did, as it is something to be proud of). This was ALWAYS about the girls, and it was about what Social Media can do.
Do I think we succeeded? I don’t know. Success has many measures. I am goal oriented, so if you ask me if I think we succeeded based on the goal I had hoped, lofty as it was, as unrealistic as some felt it was, then the answer is no. If I look a bit deeper I look at what we have given the girls – yes we have succeeded.
Even further is the human spirit. Did each person who saw the hashtag, or heard about this, did they read the site, did they learn, did they consider the cause, did they perhaps think “I can do that for ______ charity”. Did someone stop, look, and truly appreciate how fortunate they were in their own world, with all the privileges they have, and comforts they were surrounded by. If those things happened then I think this was a remarkable success.
Small Sacrifices, is what I wrote about before, and what I asked people to do. Make a single small sacrifice. I know a few people who truly were not in a position to contribute who did, and those of more privilege and blessings gave more, or matched donations. That was the side of humanity I wanted to see, and I want to see more of it.
Together we accomplished something great, but I think it could have been greater. We still have a few days. But I must tweet again, and I must start for tomorrow. Tomorrow a group of entrepreneurs will learn from me, and others, how to plan and create a successful business, and I want to tweet about it, to perhaps connect one, or all, of them with someone who might like what they are doing, or fund their business. The ability to connect people is what I love, and I want to emulate those that do it. To give back more, for I am very fortunate.
I have been an emotional mess too, deepest gratitude to my friends who have put up with my mood for the last few weeks, highs and lows, and more lows. I felt hopeless at times, disappointed in the response, desperate to understand why we were having such a hard time reaching $50,000.
It is all about perspective, and attitude. This morning as I woke up knowing I would resolve this for myself, I felt an incredible sense of hope, and freedom. I had peace again, and the realization that I would now recreate my Twitter strategy. To bring more to people, to share more about others, and the good things I see, and be a bit more positive. I love what Social Media can do, or as Whitney calls it Digital Media (I swear last month she called it New Media). I want to share this with everyone, the power and the connections, and I will.
Most of all, I am grateful that as I put my daughters to bed each night, they have a safe place to be, with people who love them, and an education. Opportunities. Things that 34 beautiful girls in Kenya may have because of people like Rocky Turner, and people like you who contributed.
Contributing isn’t about giving money, a contribution can be sharing, and promoting. So thank you all… now I will tweet this one myself. And please – keep MFFO front of mind. If not MFFO please commit to a charity of your choice, and help someone who is less fortunate. Enjoy your abundance, and provide someone else with the basic needs for survival.
See you at the #140conference. And thank you all. This truly is a remarkable community.
(I will link things tomorrow, I am going to sleep now).