The 12 for 12,000 Challenge in 2009

for a good cause
Image by krystynana via Flickr

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the world around me, around us. When the economy is so bad and much of the future is uncertain, it’s easy to forget that as bad as we have it, there will always be someone worse off. Illness; poverty; hunger; abuse; these and more happen every day to people breathing the same air as us. Which is why I’m setting up the 12 for 12,000 Challenge in 2009.

There have been many examples of how social media can help charitable causes, and I’m hoping that that same power can make a difference in so many lives. The best part – it will take very little effort from you.

You’ll notice that I’ve called this the 12 for 12,000 Challenge in 2009, and with good reason. They’re easy numbers to remember, and with a little bit of luck and goodwill they’ll also be the numbers we meet in this challenge. So, how does it work?

  • In 2009, I will offer 12 different charities to support, one for each month of the year.
  • Everyone that signs up for the challenge donates $10 to the chosen charity.
  • Our aim: to involve 1200 people minimum (if there are more, even better).
  • If we reach our target number of 1200 people, and we each donate $10, that’s a figure of $12,000 to every single charity each month in 2009. You can imagine the difference this will make to these charities and the people they help.

The beauty of this challenge is that the decision is entirely down to you and how you participate. If you feel that a particular charity doesn’t fit you, simple – don’t donate that month. (If you wish to donate double to a preferred featured charity, that’s entirely up to you again).

I know that looking at the figures, it’s a high amount to aim for – raising $144,000 in the space of 12 months for 12 different charities. But is it really that difficult if we put social media to its most effective use? I think it’s doable.

For instance, if all the people or brands that followed me on Twitter donated $10 each month, that would be over $16,000 every month and almost $200,000 by the end of the year. That’s just one person. Imagine if we could encourage our followers to join us, as well as ask the help of some of the big guys on Twitter that have several thousand followers? Just one or two extra people each could make all the difference.

I’m currently in talks with various charities to arrange promotion as well as direct sponsorship and donation options. You can view some of the charities that might be chosen here. There’s still some groundwork to be done but I wanted to start the ball rolling now and see who’s interested in supporting this challenge.

If you’re interested, or you wish to suggest a charity, please feel free to leave your details in the comments section, or simply email me and put “Charity Project” in the header. I want to make this work, and I feel that if we have a collection of charities that everyone feels affinity to, we’ll raise even more money.

It’s a tough world, and it often gets a bad reputation as an uncaring one. Help me make it better. It won’t take much, but it will mean a lot. Are you with me?

  • Update. You can now join the 12 for 12,000 Challenge Facebook Group. Look forward to seeing you there. Additionally, if you are on Twitter, we will be using #12for12k to identify specific Challenge messages. Thanks guys!
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  1. says

    Hi Danny,

    Very profound challenge, and I think it’s very achievable. I would like to suggest Lambi Fund of Haiti has a charity to support in this challenge. Haiti has been devasted by April’s food riots, 4 back to back hurricanes, hundreds dead, 2 school collapses, and severe malnutrition and poverty. What’s even more heart wrenching is that Haiti is been stigmatized and isolated and let alone abandoned. What many don’t know is Haiti’s contribution to American history. Aside from being a close neighbor to the U.S., Haiti was the 1st free black republic that helped free Louisiana from French control and contributed to the end of slavery in America. In fact, it was a Haitian, Jean Baptiste Pointe Du Sable who founded Chicago (

    Lambi Fund of Haiti works with communities in Haiti to help build economic self-sufficiency so that these people don’t have to go hungry. The organization is also working on a 1 million trees project to reforest Haiti and restore environmental integrity. Haiti has less than 1% of its forests remaining, which is the reason why they suffer severely from hurricanes. When storms and hurricane come through Haiti, there’s no topsoil and trees to retain the rain, which eventually leads to the flooding we’ve seen this summer.

    Please consider Lambi Fund of Haiti as they work towards sustainable development and food security in Haiti.

  2. says

    Great challenge! I nominate that the Real Medicine Foundation be included as a charity ( They are a sort of ‘doctors without borders organization’ but different in that while they might respond to an emergency need, they set up long-term sustainable clinics in hard-hit, needy areas. They operate both in the USA (key parts of L.A.) and overseas in places like Sri Lanka. They’re doing great work and can use all of the support they can get!

  3. Gilbert Marlowe says

    Great idea! I can *find* a way to put $10/month aside for something this meaningful. That’s just two less Starbucks…

  4. says


    What a great concept, your heart is certainly in the right place. Nothing feels better than when you help someone who can’t really help themselves for whatever reason. If you are looking for groups to support, I know that @stales (Alicia Stales) is doing some good work to fight cancer.

    Good luck, it will be fun to watch. I’ll participate where I can.

    Juliann Grant´s last blog post..CMOs Sketchy on Social Media

  5. says

    Intriguing concept and I’ll share it with some of the environmental/social change bloggers I know.

    A charity off the bat I suggest you include (with the caveat they are a client of mine to improve their website and get them involved on social networks) is Long Way Home, a US-based nonprofit that works on everything from school building to reforestation in a single community in Guatemala. More info at

    Ari Herzog´s last blog post..14 Ways to Describe Twitter

  6. says

    Hi guys.

    Thank you for your support so far, you’re all stars. :)

    These are some great charities nominated here – thank you! I can definitely see us working them in along the 12 month period. I’m currently discussing donation ideas with partners to see what’s the easiest and most secure, and one that we can track easily as well.

    I will update on any developments as they happen. Thanks again, and keep spreading the word – we can do this! :)

  7. says

    Hi Jon,

    Thanks for your support, it’s very much appreciated. I have @iGoByDoc working on some blog badges and banners at the minute, hopefully be ready by the end of the week.

    Next up is getting a video together to promote and use for blog posts – big push to get ready for the first charity in January! :)

  8. says


    Great idea! I am thrilled to see someone else focusing on charity contributions in 2009. If you need any help, we have established corporate contacts for MSF, ACS and Locks of Love for our 2009 Giving Back Campaign! Just drop me a line and I can forward you their information.

  9. bsstahl says


    I would like to suggest (@giphonehome on twitter) who send phone cards to US troops overseas so they can call home. $18 buys an 80 minute phone card for a soldier or Marine in Iraq or Afghanistan and 100% of donations go to the troops.

  10. says

    Absolutely great idea and great use of the social media platforms to get this done. I see you have the group on Facebook and you are getting things revved up on Twitter. I look forward to interacting with you and others in support over the next 12 months.

    Nakeva´s last blog post..What Will You Ask Santa Twitter

  11. says

    Such a great idea! For those people who may not be able to donate $10, they could be encouraged to club together with a friend or to to make the $10. It’s better than nothing, and every little helps!

    I’d like to recommend Alzheimer’s Association (or Alzheimer’s Society here in the UK). Alzheimer’s is effecting more and more people every year and sufferers are getting younger. Coupled with an ageing population, Alzheimer’s is comparable to cancer. In fact, Alzheimer’s Disease costs the UK more than cancer, stroke and heart disease combined but receives only a tenth of the Government research funding allocated to cancer – just £11 per patient per year compared to £289 per cancer patient.

    I am biased as I’ve seen a Grandparent and now my father suffer and the effect it has on the family, but it is still a worthy cause.

    I wish you all the very best with this Danny, it is very commendable.

  12. says

    Hi Danny, I think what you’re doing is awesome and I have a charity to recommend. I imagine that you’re being flooded with recommendations at this time but I thought I’d throw the name of the Daraja Academy in the hat. It is a free secondary school for girls in rural Kenya, and it is set to open its doors on February 1, 2009. I think in that regard it could be great to align with your fundraising drive since the timeline of our project is in the place where a month-long drive to raise that much money could really help us to kick of the school year with a bang. I would absolutely love to speak with you about the project and how the funds would be used. Please check out our website at and thank you so much for the work you are doing!

  13. says

    Thanks, Philip and Mark, for the suggestions and support. The first charity has pretty much been decided (just running some checks) but the others we will be discussing in more detail shortly. I’ll make sure everyone’s suggestions on this thread are in there to look at.

    Thanks again guys, your support is awesome and means a lot! :)

  14. says

    I think the reason why donations are below target is that there are too many obstacles to actually donating. I tried to donate but no matter what amount I put in the dialog box, paypal would refresh the page and warn me to enter an amount greater than zero. I want to let the powers know my concern so it can be fixed but I have to log in using openid, which I hate. That still isn't enough and I am required to open ANOTHER account and register with intense debate. Three log ins and 10 minutes later, I am frustrated and still haven't been able to donate.
    I wonder how many people have tried to donate but gave up in silent frustration? In todays economy it is difficult enough to get people to part with their money. It needs to be much easier and faster!

    • says

      Hi Beanfair,

      Not sure what problems you mean re. OpenID and IntenseDebate – you certainly don't need to register to post any comments on the blog, simply just your name and email.

      I'm not sure why you were having problems donating via PayPal – this is the first anyone has mentioned such an issue, so I will look into it. Although this may be a redundant question, were you using the correct link:

      You just need to put the total in first and then update it?

      Thanks for bringing this up,


      • says

        Thank you for your quick reply
        I was using that paypal link. I would enter the amount and then log into paypal. Upon submit, the page would refresh with a warning that amount must be greater than 0. I would enter in 10.00 and hit submit and it would refresh and show the error. I even tried different amounts like 10, 10.01, 10.10 and they all returned with amount must be greater than 0
        I was really trying to make it work.
        I have used blogging in the past to raise money for a variety of causes. With friends, we were able to take care of a beloved mentor for a year as he was dying of brain cancer just on the donations via the blog. I wanted to do my part to support the war kids cause but also to lead credence to social media for social causes.

  15. says

    Wow I haven’t come across someone that is trulley trying to better the world in a long time, especially on a blog! Thanks for making my day a better day!