|In June of 2008, we saw Anderson Cooper do an amazing story (below) for 60 Minutes on how Doctors Without Borders had helped create a miracle food that was bringing malnourished kids back from the brink of death. Immediately, we
Our thoughts morphed over a period of about two weeks from hosting a local auction in Atlanta, to a national, but traditional charity auction, to an online charity auction with celebrities until we eventually had the idea for celebrities to auction off tweets.
We pitched the idea to our friends @ Kompolt after seeing them host some very successful auctions for Ellen & Warren Buffet. They liked the core idea and we soon pitched it to Doctors Without Borders and to Anderson Cooper. Neither one of them were really feeling the idea and pretty much everybody else we shared it with thought it was ridiculous so we just shelved it.
Because of our success with other projects and several celebrities that tweeted about it, an outreach team @ Microsoft recommended to Eva Longoria that she support our campaign for Haiti instead of starting her own.
Her involvement made a HUGE difference, gave our campaign for Haiti a ton of momentum, and we formed a genuine friendship with Eva to help make the world a better place. After our aid campaign for Haiti concluded, we pitched the idea for TwitChange to her and she loved it. Whereas the year before that we really didn't have the celebrity connections or non profit relationships to make TwitChange happen, now we had both. We had almost no budget to speak of, but the combination of a small, dedicated team, a great idea, a compelling cause, and the support of Eva gave us a running start.
Right away Eva helped to get Kim Kardashian, Demi Moore, Ryan Seacrest, Demi Lovato, and about a dozen other influential celebrities on board. Each of them brought their friends on board who brought their friends on board until we had over 100 celebrities from every genre and industry committed to helping us raise funds for Haiti
In its first 2 weeks TwitChange had over 30 million hits, hundreds of thousands of tweets and retweets about our campaign flooded Twitter, and the mainstream media really covered the campaign and helped expose what we were doing to the world!
Over a 10 day period, our eBay auction received over $500,000 in bids! Many celebrities added amazing bonus prizes to their auctions from clothes to tickets to autographs and more. Because nothing like this had ever been done before, Eva recorded this video for fans to break down exactly what they'd be bidding on...
While we hoped that our first campaign would be a huge success, it was even bigger than we anticipated. The Wall Street Journal wrote a cover story about our efforts and we were super amped to win the 2010 Mashable Award for the Most Creative Social Good Campaign!
After this, we were sure we wanted to use this platform to do more good in the world!