updated 3/23/2011 2:48:38 PM ET 2011-03-23T18:48:38

WASHINGTON, March 23, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Twestival Local, the pioneering charity movement, will inspire the biggest global charity event ever organised through social media on March 24th, with 150+ cities across the world coordinating and hosting their own fundraising event. Organised by an army of thousands of volunteers and vocally supported by Twitter's own founders, Twestival events will take place in cities across the globe all of which are fundraising for charities in their local area. The organisation has also added dedicated support and a global fundraising initiative for Save the Children's Japan initiative.

Born from one event in London in 2008, Twestival has grown exponentially in the following three years, with over 200 cities getting involved, from Manchester to Mongolia, raising more than $1.2m.

Twestival founder, Amanda Rose (@Amanda) commented:

"Twestival has grown from a single tweet to the biggest synchronised charity event in the world in under three years.

On Thursday, thousands of volunteers, most of whom have never met in person, will pull together amazing events as varied as the cities that host them, raising thousands for charity in the process. This is so much more than just another charity event; this is the evolution of fundraising."

Live Aid 2.0

Dubbed 'Live Aid 2.0'1, Twestival Local is wholly organised by volunteers, without bias to any specific charity, ensuring independence for each local event. At Twestival London, Prince William's charity Centrepoint has been selected by organisers, whilst in earthquake-hit New Zealand, Twestival Auckland has chosen to support The Red Cross branch in Christchurch. Twestival debuts this year include Ulaanbaatar in Mongolia and the Tunisian capital, Tunis where Twitter was recently used with great effect to attract global media attention and support for political revolution.

Drawing parallels with Live Aid, the event will be broadcast across the globe, although this time online; events from Sydney to Hawaii will form a 24-hour chain of livestreams on VOKLE.com that will break the world record for the most charities supported with one continuous internet broadcast. URDB.com will also host the record livestream video with a view to raising further awareness and donations.

Support for Japan

The Twestival events planned in Japan have been abandoned following the recent earthquake and tsunami disasters, although Twestival has moved to support the country with a dedicated channel of fundraising for Save the Children's Japan initiative, supported by all cities, providing much-needed help to the estimated 100,000+ displaced children in the country

Amanda Rose added:

"As Twestival is continuously evolving, we are able to adapt quickly and although we are maintaining a local focus everyone felt it was important to also leverage our global voice and extend support for international crises like the current situation in Japan. Starting March 24th we will have a dedicated fundraising channel at Twestival.com and our team of Japanese organisers will still contribute by working with Save the Children's Japan Emergency Fund to ensure the money we raise has the maximum impact."

High profile backing

Sarah Brown, the wife of former Prime Minister Gordon Brown, global patron of The White Ribbon Alliance and this week named as the most influential Twitter user in the UK2 (@SarahBrownUK) commented:

"What I love about Twestival is the bold adventure of a new generation of volunteers who are proving that social media does support our global community and willingness to help people everywhere. The thrill of Twestival is that it amplifies the goodness of people in defiance of any cynicism."

The founders of Twitter.com itself are known to admire the project and have voiced support since its inception, whilst a host of celebrities will attend this year's events.

Tech industry unites

To help coordinate more than 150 teams scattered across the globe, Twestival has been supported by a number of technology organisations providing collaboration, donation streams and ticketing. Citrix Online has offered GoToMeeting services to volunteers to help them pull events together and Bernardo de Albergaria, vice president and general manager of collaboration at Citrix Online commented:

"We're proud to join the Twestival cities, partners and organizers in the shared goal of driving incredible results through social media and online collaboration. This year, Twestival organisers are using our GoToMeeting web conferencing service in 54 countries, joining the millions of people already using our Citrix GoTo products to connect and collaborate across the globe."

Details of all Twestival Local events can be found at Twestival.com, and tickets for any of the UK events can be purchased through online ticketing and event-management platform Amiando.com.

Amiando CEO, Felix Haas commented:

"Twestival gives people the chance to participate in a global charitable event while supporting local causes. We are very proud to have been able to support this global initiative from the very beginning with the Amiando ticketing platform." 

Donations can be made directly to Twestival events online through a variety of services all over the world – for information on how to donate in your region consult twestival.com.

1Source: Networked Nonprofit, 2010,Beth Kanter

2Source: The Independent – http://goo.gl/XXKD2

What is Twestival?

Twestival® (or Twitter Festival) uses social media for social good by connecting communities offline on a single day to highlight a great cause and have a fun event. Twestival is the largest global grassroots social media fundraising initiative to date. Since 2009, volunteers have raised close to $1.2 million for 137 nonprofits. All local events are organized 100% by volunteers and 100% of all ticket sales and donations go direct to projects.

Twestival was born out of the idea that if cities were able to collaborate on an international scale, but work from a local level, it could have a spectacular impact. Over 200 international cities from Buenos Aires to Bangalore, Seattle to Seoul and Hong Kong to Honolulu have participated in Twestival.

For more information please contact Manifest Communications:

Alex Myers & Camilla Brown

t. +44 (0)207 8120592m.       

+44 (0)7739314284e.        


More information, images and videos can be found at our Digital Newsroom

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The following pictures are available for download:

[Image] Twestival

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