Friday, April 20, 2012

A Stitch In Time Saves Nine


Kudos to the U.S. Olympic Committee, which unfurled a new fundraising campaign that should sew up some hefty donations to Team USA.

Through the "Raise Our Flag" campaign unveiled in tandem with 100 days to go until the London 2012 Olympic opening ceremony, the national Olympic committee for USA invites anyone with a stitch of patriotism and a Visa credit card to fork over $12 (a bargain by many modern fundraiser standards) for an honorary, virtual loop of thread in the American flag to be carried into the Olympic Stadium on July 27.

The purchasing process is quick, easy and also impressive in its social media savvy -- in less than two minutes and with just a few clicks, I selected the quantity of stitches to purchase, entered payment details then crafted a Tweet-length dedication for thread marks No. 2861 and No. 2862 in case you want a peek -- these initial two donations are in honor of my mother, a seamstress, and father, who is a retired federal employee.

What I love most about this fundraiser is how simple it is to see who else is donating (assuming they opt to share their name disclosed via the online donor wall), and also the ease with which others may be guilted into a donation via Facebook, Twitter and other social media means.

For instance, as of tonight (Friday 20 April), many of the leading Olympic journalists -- such as USA Today's Christine Brennan, the Chicago Tribune's Philip Hersh, CNBC's Darren Rovell and Around The Rings' Ed Hula -- did not yet post a donation to the domestic portion of the Olympic Movement that's inspired their work and countless keystrokes of reporting. When they donate I will cheerfully update this post to reflect their generosity.

Not too many of the big sponsors' CEOs or USOC staff -- like Chief Communications Officer Patrick Sandusky -- yet purchased their stitches. But it's been a busy week and the program is new, and there's still time for these and other key folks to contribute.

It is cool to see two donors confirmed so far with the surname "Ross" (though neither with the first name Betsy) and that USOC CEO Scott Blackmun purchased several loops about which Julie Andrews listed among a few of her favorite things.

So, a needle pulling thread may eventually see donations posted by President Obama, Oprah Winfrey or even Steve Martin and costars from The Three Amigos (famous for exclaiming "We can sew!" and "Sew like the wind!" -- though not sure we may count on a donation to Team USA from amigo Martin Short, who is Canadian; oh, well, they've got red mittens to sew north of the border).

I sincerely hope this fundraising program meets tremendous success. Like the headline of this post proclaims, a stitch in time saves nine (and it's all about the Benjamins).

Photos via USOC

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