1,000 followers on Twitter: from slacktivism to activism (#floodofsupport)

We all know that Nashville got hit with a terrible flood a few months ago. This terrible flood didn’t spare the Nashville Symphony Orchestra (NSO). The orchestra’s damages were approximately $42 million and after insurance and support from FEMA, the remaining financial gap could be as much as $10 million.

A flood is no fun. I know. In 2008, my neighborhood was hit with flooding from the Chicago River. I saw the whole community suffering, and many still are.

I’m sure, scratch that, I’m hopeful, some wonderful major donors will step up the plate and help rescue the NSO from this disaster. The Los Angeles Philharmonic, for example, graciously donated $25,000 toward the symphony’s recovery.

But why shouldn’t we all try to contribute our own little bit as a classical music community online? Here’s my idea: leverage this network with #floodofsupport

I recently passed the 1,000-follower mark on Twitter. I was curious what that exactly meant, so I asked if people could respond with a simple “hi.” I got 16 responses. I pondered what that means for organizations trying to get more out of people than simply saying hello. I was pointed to the term “slacktivism” by Maura Lafferty.

Now, to properly commemorate these 1,000 followers, I wanted to see if we can get past this slacktivism and get some real activism.

I just finished Beth Kanter and Alison Fine’s The Networked Nonprofit. In this wonderful book, the authors talk about “free agents.” People who care about a cause, but do not work for, or perhaps more importantly, with an organization.

In that spirit, as a free agent, I want to raise a modest $1,000 for the Nashville Symphony Orchestra’s flood recovery effort. That translates to just one dollar for each of my Twitter followers.

Here’s all the important stuff:

How to support

* #floodofsupport runs until August 1, 2010
* Donate here: http://www.crowdrise.com/floodofsupport/

About Crowdrise
* Crowdrise charges 5% + $1 for donations below $25; and 5% + $2.50 for donations $25 and up.
* If someone donates $1, $0 will go to the NSO
* I checked with the NSO, and for them there are costs (credit card fees, administrative) and valuable human resources associated with many small donations as well. The point is to help them, not to make their lives harder. Crowdrise seemed the best option. If you have questions about your donation, check here: http://www.crowdrise.com/about/faq.

Marc’s mini-matching grant
* The first five donors who leave a comment underneath this post, will see their donation matched up to $5.

How to support even more
* Spread the message to your friends and ask them to donate and spread the message as well
* Start your own mini-matching grant on Twitter, Facebook, your blog, my blog…

Sharing and networking
* I’m relying on my network to donate, but as importantly, to share the message. When you share on Twitter, please use the hash tag #floodofsupport so we can track the spread!
* I have e-mailed many classical music bloggers to ask their support. Please let your favorite bloggers know about this campaign!
* If you have a Web site or a blog, please use the banners I have created below with a link to this blog post (so that they get all the instructions).

Free Agent
* I have no connection to the Nashville Symphony Orchestra. In fact, I’ve never even been in Nashville. But that doesn’t mean I don’t care! It’s all about the classical music community on the Internet helping out an organization in need.
* The only contact I have had with the NSO is to ask about any costs associated to donating online. There were, hence the Crowdrise option. Let’s surprise them with a nice big check!


Link these banners either to http://mcmvanbree.com/dutchperspective/floodofsupport or http://www.crowdrise.com/floodofsupport/

Flood of Support (120 x 240)

Flood of Support (125X125)

Flood of Support (300 x 250)

Flood of Support (468 x 60)


  1. Alright, so I said above the first five donors to comment will have their donations matched up to $5. I’ve decided to make that the first five donors, period. Get a little momentum going perhaps…

  2. Dear Marc, thanks for starting this project! Hopefully, the “social web” will live up to its name. All the best from Cologne, Germany,

  3. Thanks Birgit! As I said, now I can claim it’s a truly international effort!

    Also, you made donor #5, so all five $5 mini-matching grants have been fulfilled.

  4. OK, I gave my $25.00 and I’m publishing something about all of this in tomorrow’s Adaptistration post. Did I make it in as one of the first five donors?

  5. Thanks Drew! And I’m happy to report, you didn’t make it as one of the first five donors!

    Not that I wouldn’t have loved to match the $5, but I’m happy that there have been more than five people donating!

    We’re at $155 so far. Two weeks to go!


  1. […] Und Engagement zeigt Marc van Bree momentan für das Nashville Symphony Orchestra, das unter den Folgen einer Überschwemmung leidet. Da er die Auswirkungen eines solchen Katastrophe kennt und vor kurzem die 1000 Follower-Grenze bei Twitter überschritten hat wagt er ein interessantes Experiment für das NSO: Marc möchte 1000 $ für das NSO zusammenbringen. Das wären pro Follower etwa einen Dollar, wobei man noch etwas mehr spenden müsste, da die Transaktionskosten prozentual abgezogen werden – der Dienst, den er dafür nutzt scheint ähnlich wie Paypal zu sein, die wollen ja auch Gebühren haben. Genauere Infos zum Prozedere gibts auf The Dutch Perspective. […]

  2. […] Teil dieser Community hatte Marc van Bree nun die Idee: „Let’s flood the Nashville Symphony with support!” (Lasst uns das NSO mit Hilfe überschwemmen!) Wenn jeder seiner 1.000 Follower bei Twitter zum […]

  3. […] Orchestra nach der Flutwelle nun mit einer Welle der Hilfe zu überschwemmen und die Aktion »Flood of Support« ins Leben zu rufen, finde ich großartig. Deshalb war es für mich Ehrensache, mitzumachen und Marc […]

  4. […] something * Please remember to use the (hash)tag #floodofsupport on your blog and Twitter posts * http://mcmvanbree.com/dutchperspective/floodofsupport (you’ll also find some pre-made graphic banners to […]