Banksy grafitti close to the Roundhouse, Camden Town, London (Photo: CanonSnapper)
Just two quick housekeeping items, then back to our regular programming — some fun content coming — next post.
First, how you can get your product or service in front of 200 influencers this week; second, an update on the overwhelmingly successful school campaign.
The “Opening the Kimono” event is fully booked, and — my goodness — what an audience it will be! Top bloggers, highest-followed Twitter users, authors of 20 or so New York Times bestsellers, the team that engineered virality for Rise of the Planet of the Apes, top executives from huge companies that are household names, and many more.
If you have a product or service you’d like to get in a gift bag for this 200-person group, please fill out this form ASAP. First responders get priority. Note that, if you’d like to do this, all physical products would need to be shipped to Napa, California to arrive no later than this Friday, August 19th…
I am speechless about your birthday donations to Room to Read. I’ll have much more to say on this, but here are the basics:
- Of a target $20,000, you raised more than $30,000. Absolutely incredible.
- I will therefore match $30,000 instead of $20,000, for a total of $60,000, which means we can build THREE schools! Those schools will be built in Cambodia, Nepal, and Sri Lanka, to be completed in spring of 2013.
- Instead of 20 names on plaques, we’ll therefore have 30 names (10 per school): 27 top donors, and the three top commenters/fundraisers, as voted on my all of you below. The #1 voted commenter will also get the promised round-trip ticket described in the last post.
Please vote on the below commenters, choosing the person you think was most effective as a fundraiser:
Melissa Rachel Black
Please see each of their comments below this voting box, and vote on your favorite here! I cannot thank you all enough. Much more soon…
What does education mean to you?
Education, to me, is the opportunity for life to change for the better. It’s the one thing that can be consumed, but then reused forever. Once something is taught, its with the student for the rest of their life. It’s a long tail benefit with an enormous impact for both current and future generations.
And here’s what I’ve done:
1. I have a YouTube channel with over 33,000 subscribers. In the two recent videos I’ve dedicated a significant amount of time talking about this charity drive. You can find the videos below.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o6OlN2vy3MI (Skip to 3:00 for the relevant bit)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FF4vg3tAhhk (Skip to 2:58 for the relevant bit)
2. I also have a blog that receives upward of 20,000 visitors per day. I have done two blog posts where I mention this charity drive. At the moment, both of these are on the home page and probably will be for the next 24 hours.
You can find these blog posts here:
3. I have a Twitter account with just under 5000 followers. I’ve sent out two tweets asking for retweets. You can find them here:
I have also tracked the clicks from all of these sources, along with the retweets. You can find the details here: http://bit.ly/davidturnbull+ (make sure you include the + symbol at the end of the url).
Grattis på födelsedagen, Tim! (happy bday in my native Swedish).
Education to me is quite simply the leverage that allows individuals and societies to improve and grow. It is absolutely critical and I truly believe that the lack of it lies at the root of the majority of global problems. I ABSOLUTELY support Room to Read’s efforts to promote literacy and education.
As the Third Culture Kid of overseas nonprofit worker parents that invested over a decade of their lives to working on public health, education and medical projects in Africa and Asia, you definitely caught my attention with the Room to Read library building project.
I want to make a positive, international, sustainable and SMART impact for education in developing countries using today’s tools so your ephilanthropy ideas are like music to my ears. I officially work in health care philanthropy and I can say that you are miles ahead of most of the sector’s stateside fundraising professionals.
Here’s my stab at supporting your project (I share numbers/measurement backup sheepishly as I am only starting out in my quest to do good online and you and several of your readers are clearly already demigods in the arena):
1) I made an online donation
2) I tweeted from different angles about the project to my (wait for it…) 345 followers
3) I posted to both my personal page (with a very international and well-traveled 1135 friends) and my blog fan page on Facebook 317 fans
4) I wrote a blog post focusing on the importance of doing what REALLY matters and including multiple links for people to give to your project. (I am working hard on expanding the blog and currently it has a worldwide Alexa world wide ranking of #678,322 and stateside #54,940. It ranks as “relatively popular” (#140) in the Chico-Redding, CA area where I live and in San Francisco (#20,403). Alexa estimates the positive 3-month increase in global reach for the blog at 960%. I am trying to employ MED rules to keep this momentum going while avoiding burnout)
5) Emailed my blog subscribers (AWeber results show a 50% + opening average on the emails I send to them)
6) Posted two links (one directly to the cause page and one to my post) to my other accounts: (Google Buzz, Gtalk Status, MySpace, LinkedIn, Identi.ca, FriendFeed, Flickr)
7) Sold my wife on the cause and the donation :)
Alright, that about covers it. I am drawing inspiration from the following 4HWW passage about the Princeton undergrads that you urged to compete for the RT trip ticket to anywhere in the world:
“It was a difficult challenge, perhaps impossible, and the other students would outdo them. Since all of them overestimated the competition, none of them showed up.”
So this is me showing up. But regardless of the outcome, Happy Birthday again and thanks for using your platform in a uniquely meaningful way. You’ve convinced me of what CAN be done:)
Melissa Rachel Black
“What does education mean to me?” Great question and one that has certainly influenced my life.. that was the exact one I answered in a scholarship application essay in 2006 which won me a four-year fully paid tuition at the University of California. My answer then was “a combination of learning and doing” and thinking about it now, it still rings true.
I might be deep deep deep in debt if it weren’t for that opportunity.
Without reading I certainly wouldn’t be where I am today–growing my muse doing what I love designing and printing gangster-rap greeting cards, while living abroad. Literacy is an amazing skill and definitely one that should be available to all.
Going to spread the good word every way I can. I would be honored to win the trip (currently planning an epic adventure with my great friend) but I’m here to support no matter what.
I replied to “What is education” in my previous comment, and just decided that even though there’s not much time left and I have a smaller audience than many of the other contributers, I would tell the silly little fearful part of myself who said my idea was stupid and that it wouldn’t make a difference to kindly SHUT UP. :)
1. Created a new card in my muse shop dedicated to Room to Read & this fundraiser. http://etsy.me/q7zS1o
2. Uploaded photos of it on flickr with a description & link to the donation page (57,790 views on my account)
3. Initiated a store-wide sale and will donate 50% of all income to Room to Read before 11:59 PST
4. Shared a link to your donation page on my muse’s fanpage (92 fans)?
5. Shared a link to your donation page on my facebook (874 friends)
6. Tweeted a link to your donation page on twitter (96 followers)
7. Shared a link to your donation page on google+ (In 20 circles)
8. Shared a link to this blog post in our 4-Hour-Workweek Berlin meetup group (61 people)
9. Sent a link to your donation page in my muse business’ newsletter (88 people)
Forgot to mention–if I win the round-the-world ticket, I’m going to Australia, Fiji, & New Zealand, Thailand, Vietnam, and more with one of my best friends, and we’re going to continue the Room to Read mission… we will make a book!
She (from Britain) and I (from USA) will co-create a book called EATSRALIAN! with the help of local chefs & creatives to celebrate & examine the different food cultures of the big 3 English-speaking countries. We will organize food parties with local eateries and include their recipes, and invite designers, photographers, and illustrators we meet along the way to contribute imagery.
Food, art, friends, reading, and travel… an epic adventure. Nothing finer in my book.
And even if I don’t win, I’m glad to have participated in any small way. Thanks & happy birthday.
What does education mean to me?
Education, to me, is the highest leverage thing we can possibly do to solve the world’s problems.
When people are empowered with education, there is hope. People can take education and they can do things with it. They can look for new solutions to problems in the world. They can learn to stand up for themselves. They can make change.
Most importantly, they can learn there’s another way instead of what they have now.
If you think about it, life is one huge white circle of possibility. So many people have problems that cause them to be hyper-focused on one tiny black speck in this HUGE infinite white circle, when they could be looking at such a bigger picture.
Education opens someone’s eyes to all of the infiniteness.
I know this because I went through it personally. I’ll give you a little bit of my back-story, not to get sympathy, but because it formed the reason why education is so huge for me. The quick version is: just a few years ago I was 100 pounds overweight, broke, and totally despondent.
I was sexually and physically abused throughout my childhood, hated myself so much that I wouldn’t brush my teeth or shower for weeks, and grew up thinking it was normal to be raped by my father. (This is EXTREMELY vulnerable for me to be sharing, by the way.)
When I was 14, my little 11 year old sister called me crying. She saw my father throw my mother’s head into a wall. Then he told my sister how she wasn’t really his daughter (untrue), and he tried to drive her and my mother into oncoming traffic. My sister had to reach through the center console and turn the wheel around.
I’m trying to keep this short, so I’ll just say things didn’t get better from there.
I honestly had no idea there was any other way besides the life I was living. I was focused on that black speck, not knowing about the huge infiniteness of possibilities in this world. I thought I’d forever be fat, with low self esteem, and no idea about how to stand up for myself.
EDUCATION is what saved my life. I came across a book called Secrets Of The Millionaire Mind. I never knew about personal development before and this totally shook my world up. The book led me into a 3 day seminar, and then a Warrior Camp, and countless more books.
That education taught me that it was possible to change my story.
I honestly didn’t know I could before that.
I learned that I could do anything I wanted to.
Since educating myself, I changed my life around completely. I’ve lost the 100 pounds, traveled to many places, and quit my dead-end retail job and started working for myself. I was a cover story in a magazine for my weight loss, was featured in a few magazines for my entrepreneurial skills, and wrote a book about meditation.
I’ve had so many people from my school days find me on Facebook and tell me they were blown away at the things I’ve accomplished. I think most people don’t know how much things can change. That’s why education is so crucial.
Of course, education isn’t just for people like me. Educating people in poor countries is literally their key to enhancing their lives and opening them up to other opportunities besides the ones they’re currently open to.
For example, a lot of little boys in Afghanistan aren’t able to go to school. They’re too busy trying to raise money for their family. Many boys end up entering the Taliban not because they believe in it, but because it pays.
That’s a TRAVESTY.
And that’s just one example. I’ve read so many stories about children who are forced to play small and live small lives… and also so many about the exceptions, with people who DID get to educate themselves and make their worlds so much better.
All of this to say… I am EXTREMELY passionate about education.
And since talk is cheap, I should point out that 2 weeks ago a friend and I raised $50,000 for underprivileged children in a school in an Indian Reservation in Arizona. I am so proud to know that the people who donated and I helped possibly re-write a child’s entire life.
You can read about it here if you like:
I found out a little late about this contest but I still did my best to do several things to get the word out.
I wrote a blog post. I told my friends. I emailed it. I posted to Twitter, Facebook, my Facebook Page, Google Buzz, GTalk, LinkedIn, FriendFeed, and Flickr. I posted about it in an online forum.
I also ran a campaign and paid people $.30 per click to come over and check it out. I figured this would be a way to broaden my reach and hopefully get others spreading the word too. Hopefully the money I spent translated into thousands of dollars for the library.
You can track how many clicks I’ve been able to bring over by going to this specific link: https://bitly.com/donateforlibrary+ (make sure to keep the + at the end). That link will give you stats on how many people came, and from where. I sent most people to my blog post first.
Thank you very much for this opportunity, happy birthday, and congratulations for raising all the money you did. :)
To me, education means freedom. And that came, mostly, from reading (although I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to attend great schools and to acquire a degree or two along the way).
Reading, though, was at the core of it all: I grew up in a library (literally, my mum worked as a librarian when I was a kid) and I have been an avid reader ever since. I believe the ability to read from an early age is crucial to an inner sense of freedom and empowerment—and to upward social mobility (it definitely has been for me, as I hail from a so-called “developing” country).
It’s a great initiative, Tim, and I hope you keep up the good work!
Here’s what I’ve done so far:
* Tweeted to my 280+ faithful followers:
“It takes $20,000 to build a library. Donate to Room to Read to help build one now: http://t.co/O7zBq6z #Reading = freedom!”
* Posted a question on my Facebook feed:
“What does reading mean to you?” with a link to the donation page
* Messaged my librarian friend, explaining the project to her and asking her to forward the message to her colleagues. She’s one of the most social-media-savvy librarians I know, so I expect that to make quite an impact. ;)
* Added a donation link to our Shopify store (we’ve been featured in today’s Shopify New Store Fridays blog post, so we expect a spike in traffic :)
* And much more to come!