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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