One of the best experiences in my life was involving myself in a Charity. This is the second edition of Twestival Barcelona. I won’t tell you all the details about this fantastic project because I prefer that you click on the link and you figure it out alone a bit….
In few words it’s just “normal” people like me volunteering to organize a huge global event for a good cause, it’s just a message you spread via Twitter and it reaches spontaneously hundreds of cities around the globe. The target is collecting money for the NGO “Concern Worldwide” for a project on “education” for poorest country. In practical terms it’s just a very cool party with some live music and some nice surprises, but beyond that, for one night people stop giving money to the owner of some disco or to some professionals organizing the event and for a change they send their money directly to the fundraising. Yeah…it’s not billions of euros I know, but apart from money, it’s about delivering to people a message, let’s say it’s a utopy. For one night, they are allowed to have fun with the idea they are participating in something good.
When you do Charity people are hyper-suspicious by default! Bono Vox can try to launch some very good campaign and everybody will complain he is using charity just as a marketing “tool”. If I were Bono (I wish!), I would probably do charity “underground” and I think that’s the way he does actually! It’s not Bono claiming to adopt several african kids and stories like that… I think “Bad Charity” is the “Branjolina”-phenomenon!
I think Bono takes advantage of the fact that he is a show-man with huge skills to address massive crowds at an emotional level, as a singer or as a cause-leader, he uses his “image” and his “skills” for a good cause, he will not tell you how many kids he might have adopted or how many billions euros he might have donated….that’s his personal dimension as an individual, it’s not the Rock-star !
Of course I am not a celebrity like Bono , so for me it’s much easier to do my little charity stuff and I don’t even need to do it “underground”. Still some of my acquaintances believe I am making money out of that, for them it’s totally unacceptable that I am volunteering for the second year, so they conclude I must be cheating on them! It’s such a nice feeling! Anyhow I think it’s an excellent occasion for learning something new (which I recommend to everybody!), meeting nice people happy to help, networking with several cities around the world involved in the project, doing some exciting creative work building up the event and building up also some useful connections and PR opportunities.
Sometimes I am disappointed to see people so consumerist… for crowds it’s just about buying a ticket and getting some drinks, people are so used to this pattern that they don’t even consider the chance that this event might be driven by some different human energy. Then, I am not surprised if I am asked to get a “discounted ticket” to get in or , worse, a VIP guest list… I know that you cannot oblige people to donate his money, but come on they are up to waste 10 euros in a mojito and they are bothered paying 5 euros for a GOOD cause (100% non-profit), including live acts and even a free glass of wine? Sorry, it’s ridiculous! I might sympathize for RyanAir low-cost opportunities, but I CANNOT stand “low-cost” charity!
Anyhow all the bitter is washed away by a majority of enthusiastic people coming to have fun to be part of a big night and helping to make it happen!