Since the early days of the Facebook Platform, Causes has been one of the most popular apps. It’s also big on MySpace, and the company behind it recently announced that they had raised some $10,000,000 for various causes in two years. It makes sense; it’s using the social aspect of these platforms to spread the word on good initiatives. A new venture, TwitCause, from Experience Project, wants to extend that idea to Twitter.
And it’s possible that this idea could work even better on Twitter, given the built-in viral nature of the service. Basically, each week on Thursday, TwitCause has a new cause they support. They ask that you follow the TwitCause Twitter account and then retweet the cause to show your support for it. These tweets contain a link to go back to the site where you can find a place to donate money if you choose to, using PayPal. The number of retweets and the money raised so far are all shown in real-time on the page, as are the most recently tweets about the cause.
The service launched today with the The V Foundation as its launch partner. The V Foundation is a hugely successful cancer research organization named after the late, great basketball coach Jim Valvano. With his foundation attached, TwitCause has already seen tweets go out from several official accounts of NBA and WNBA teams. The hope is to get other high profile athletes like Shaq and Lance Armstrong involved and tweeting throughout the week too.
Going forward, followers of the TwitCause account will be able to nominate other nonprofits and causes that they want want to see supported by the service. Armstrong’s Livestrong is currently leading the pack for the next cause. TwitCause is also hoping that businesses and brands will want to get involved to sponsor causes as well, matching tweets with dollar amounts in support.
As I said, the viral nature of the retweet seems to lend itself well to something like this. Plenty of other sites and services have used Twitter to help raise money or awareness for good causes, such as Blame Drew’s Cancer, which we covered a couple months ago. They are now also working with Livestrong and have seen over 20,000 tweets blame things on Drew’s cancer in support of the cause.