This past Sunday wrapped up our Songs of Hope: Music from Kent to NYC, and boy, howdy, did I learn a lot! The event was an online fundraiser for victims of superstorm Sandy, posting songs, facts, and links to charities that were doing good work in the clean up, relief, and recovery effort in New York and New Jersey. We were calling it a "noncert," or concert in digital space, and it appears to have been a success, but not without it's glitches.
First off- there was a decent amount of work on the front end. Finding charities, songs, data, and figuring out the logistics of the whole thing was not simple, but no where near the work that putting on a benefit concert would have been. That was definitely a positive aspect of this form of fundraising. Also on the plus side of the equation was the accessibility of the event. Being an online (in this case, Facebook) event meant that potentially anyone anywhere in the world could participate. Of course, the Facebook event aspect also added a ton of unwanted spam for people who have email notifications set to let them know about everything that happens on Facebook. Nothing I can do to change that, except reconsider possible venues that are better suited to this type of event. Ning? Twitter? A dedicated blog? I don't know, but it's something to think about.
Another issue in my mind was the reporting issue. I couldn't figure out a better way than self-reporting to do what we wanted (not have to handle/process money, allow freedom of choice in charities, and try to keep track). I recognize the limitations of self-report measures, and that makes me a little wary of our numbers. I like to think that humans are mostly honest, and the fact that most of the reported contributions came from people who were not active in the discussion part consoles me that they were likely not reporting just for recognition.
All in all, I would call this a tentative success, with 73 people giving $2258 to 12 different charities. If nothing else, it maybe did a little good, my co-organizers and I learned a lot, and we found some great music.
So how was your Sunday evening?
Edited to add- In other good news, I won the Ear to the Ground music review competition, so it looks like I'll be taking on another semi-regular writing thing. More exciting- the group I reviewed retweeted and favorited the original tweet with my review. When all is said and done, I'm still just the teen with a scribbled note from her favorite artist, and totally giddy over this little brush with stars.