A simple way for Twitter to help raise money for East Africa famine relief

Would you pay a penny per tweet for one day to support famine relief in East Africa. Would you pay even more? At a penny your 100 tweets would cost you but $1.00. Share 20 updates and you’re out a lousy 20 cents. But imagine if 10 million of Twitter’s users worldwide agreed to pay that penny and all tweeted 20 times. That would be $2 million dollars. Micro payments. Barely noticeable to the individual but quick to add up.

I have no idea how logistically challenging it might be to pull this off, but even if it cost $100,000 to set up, coordinating efforts among Twitter, PayPal and one of the credit card giants, it seems both doable and worthwhile.

We live in an age where we can tap into our collective cognitive surplus to co-create, share, spread the word and drive action. This is a a perfect case and cause. Right now my friend Tim Malbon and his colleagues at Made by Many and their mates at Good for Nothing are working hard to encourage collective ideas ideas like the one above; ideally some can get executed quickly in order to send relief to East Africa where famine is taking the life of a child every six minutes.

So far, lots of agencies and individuals have signed up to contribute ideas. (We have a team at Mullen working on a program that demonstrates the stark differences between our passion for food and the pain in a world without any. Hopefully it’s ready soon.)

You could help, too.  Tell Twitter that you would pay $.01 or $.10 or even $1.00 a Tweet for a day. Send your message to Claire Diaz Ortiz, who heads social innovation at Twitter. She may or may not welcome your message, but then again, she might. You could also simply do it on your own, tell the world what you’re up to and hope it catches on.

You can also read more here at the Made by Many blog or visit the Good by Ideas site and find an idea you want to support.

And, of course, you can always write a check.  Here are some places to donate.

I’ve agreed to pay $1.00 for each idea that gets rated genius. And to pay for my next 100 tweets.  What can you do?