Celebrities putting their fame to good use through charity events and fundraisers is nothing new. Times have changed, however, in that network telethons are no longer necessary for the rich and famous to plead with their fans to donate to the cause du jour. Enter TwitChange, a celebrity auction site that lets fans donate in exchange for Twitter fame.
TwitChange bills itself as “THE WORLD’S ONLY celebrity Twitter auction”, which we know isn’t true, but it does appear to be the most well-known and well-designed site based on the idea.
Launched after the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, Twitchange raised over $500,000 to build a school for Haitian children with special needs and has been building momentum ever since. Celebrities associate themselves with TwitChange and let fans bid on them via eBay with the proceeds going to a designated charity. In return, the highest bidder receives the following:
A “Mega Package” includes all three of these things –
A Mention, Follow and Retweet.
A “Retweet” is a message created by you and tweeted by you from your Twitter ID that the celebrity will then retweet from their Twitter ID. You will be asked to tweet a message and send us the LINK to that message as it appeared on Twitter. The celebrity will go to that link and retweet it. (Celebrity has the right to refuse to retweet if he/she finds it unacceptable.)
A “Follow” means the celebrity will click on “follow” on your twitter page and continue to follow you for 90 days.
A “Mention” is a 140-character message that will contain your Twitter ID (your @twittername). It is up to the celebrity to decide what this message will be.
Winners will then have a lifelong cocktail party conversation starter, such as “Did you know Brett Michaels followed me on Twitter for awhile? True story.”
Big names such as Eva Longoria, who’s currently sponsoring the International Women’s Day auction, and Ryan Seacrest are actively tweeting about their auctions and driving bids towards the associated charities. It’s a noteworthy way for celebrities to put their “Twitter fame” to good use and TwitChange is smart to be providing a user-friendly platform for them to do so. Fans can choose to bypass the auctions all together and go straight to care.org to make a donation.
With only 4-6 campaigns running a year, the potential for big money to be raised for individual causes is large – the social media momentum is fueled by tweets and retweets and it’s an excellent way for us “commoners” and celebrities alike to join forces for change.