Get Ready!!! This weekend, Operation Smile is launching 140 Smiles (in 140 characters) campaign via Twitter. The excitment starts at the May 30th launch event in downtown San Francisco and continues on through TWTRCON the next day, with great prizes for those who help the most children, including a Grand Prize trip to New Zealand (donated by Entirely Kiwi). You can follow the campaign on twitter as it unrolls with the hashtag #140Smiles.
Operation Smile medical volunteers repair childhood facial deformities such as cleft lip and cleft palate. (Disclaimer: I work at Operation Smile, so I’m a bit biased!) A single surgery can take as few as 45 minutes and costs as little as $240. The 140 Smiles campaign is aimed at raising funds for 140 of these reconstructive surgeries. Operation Smile has partnered with TWTRCON, the first Twitter for business conference, and Common Knowledge, an interactive agency for nonprofits, to launch this exciting campaign via social media channels, mainly twitter.
140 Smiles will kick-off Saturday, May 30, 2009, at 7pm at Le Colonial in downtown San Francisco and will be streamed live by Twooting. Also serving as the launch party for TWTRCON 2009, the event will bring together some of the top tweeters to help spread the word about this groundbreaking campaign.
While Common Knowledge and Operation Smile have joined together to produce a Case Study surrounding the use of fundraising via Twitter and Social Media to be released later this summer, the power of Twitter could aready be seen the way this entire campaign and launch event have evolved. This whole campaign is possible in thanks to Operation Smile’s Twitter support base. Twitter friend and supporter Stef Michaels, known by over 500,000 Twitter followers as Adventure Girl (@adventuregirl) stepped up and not only got Operation Smile and TWTRCON connected to form this campaign, but this media entrepreneur and travel expert then began lining up great 140 Smiles prizes, including a trip to New Zealand, airline tickets from Virgin America, and mp-3 players with Napster subscriptions! Each day, Stef added to this great event, making it better and better through the help of friends and twitter contacts.
So, how does the campaign itself work? Starting May 30th, supporters can visit www.140smiles.org to participate. Donations can be made by individuals or you can start a Twitter Smile Team to hit a larger goal. List of teams and donors will be streamed on the website, with a tag cloud illustrating who is helping the most children as the campaign unrolls. Some unique APIs have also been built to allow the website to tweet out on behalf of the donors and teams as they add to their campaign. Campaign promotion will then be targeted to several million twitter users via Twitter, and we’ll start spreading the word during the launch event and throughout TWTRCON the next day . So get your tweets ready! Plus, the 140Smiles website will do the tweeting for you if you prefer!
If you’re going to be in San Fran this weekend shoot me a message and join the fun. Otherwise, follow the action on 140Smiles.org with the live twooting broadcast starting Saturday, May 30 at 7pm.
I’ll be sure to update on the progress!
Hope to see you there!