Every day it seems like there's a new article on how nonprofits and businesses can use Twitter for engagement, activism, marketing, and fundraising. Today's entry comes from the Chronicle of Philanthropy, which published When Characters Count: Advice for Charities on Making the Most of Twitter. Their recommendations include:
  • Do some casual research to learn if people who care about your cause are talking about it on the site.
  • Find out what people are saying about your charity, and what information they're looking for.
  • Inject some personality into your messages.
  • Be professional.
  • Engage with users.
  • Monitor your account.
  • Tiptoe into fundraising.
  • Develop guidelines. Not every staff member at your charity should be using Twitter in the organization's behalf.
  • Avoid taking offense.
  • Involve your chief executive or a celebrity donor.
For more on this subject, be sure to visit Beth Kanter's blog, where you'll find hundreds of posts on the subject. They include her Twitter primer and The Six Signs That Twitter Isn't For Your Nonprofit. Her primer includes the following suggestions from readers of her blog:
  • DO NOT engage with Twitter if you don't want to invest time, attention and resources in making real connections there.
  • DO NOT encourage your staff to Twitter if you don't want them to share information quickly, connect to one another more deeply, and discuss your nonprofits work with the broader public.
  • DO NOT even try it unless you are open to serendipitous returns. If you establish rigid goals and "pursue" them with Twitter, you may as well just flush the toilet. Be open to spontaneity. Go with the flow.
  • DO NOT approach Twitter with the aim of accumulating and controlling an audience.
  • DO NOT mistake Twitter for software.
  • DO NOT Twitter without love.

Techsoup Forum Moderator
Robert L. Weiner Consulting
Strategic Technology Advisors to Nonprofit and Educational Organizations
robert [AT] rlweiner [DOT] com
www.rlweiner.com