Twibbons are great, but where’s the twevenue?

by guest blogger George Crankovic


Charity wristbands were all the rage a while ago, and they’re still around. People wear them to support everything from cancer awareness (like the Lance Armstrong Foundation‘s LIVESTRONG wristband) to the pro-life movement to relief for Tsunami victims and a lot more. Likewise with ribbons of various colors for cancer and other causes.


They’ve even spawned parodies — like a matched set of wristbands with one for each of the 7 deadly sins.


So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the bangles and buttons have crossed over to our online lives.


In cyber-speak, they’re called twibbons. A twibbon is a small image of a yellow wristband, for example, or a pink ribbon or other symbol that people can add to their Twitter avatars to show their support of a particular cause.


It’s funny — when fads like these catch on, it seems like everybody gets involved. But there’s no evidence that a show of support like this has added one cent of actual financial support. Maybe because these are mainly young people’s fads — and young people are not your dependable source of donations.


So why do nonprofits put these things out there? For the media buzz? For the ego-massage? Whatever the reason, they’d be better off spending their time and energy connecting with donors based on a compelling case for giving.


But then you can’t point out your particular bauble on every wrist, lapel, or twitter post for doing that.


(By the way, you can see tons of twibbons at — where else? twibbon.com.)


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The future of fundraising is not about social media, online video, or SEM. It’s not about any technology, medium, or technique. It’s about donors. If you need to raise funds from donors, you need to study them, respect them, and build everything you do around them. And the future? It’s already here. More.

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Jeff BrooksJeff Brooks has been serving the nonprofit community for more than 35 years and blogging about it since 2005. He considers fundraising the most noble of pursuits and hopes you’ll join him in that opinion. You can reach him at jeff [at] jeff-brooks [dot] com. More.


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The future of fundraising is not about social media, online video, or SEM. It’s not about any technology, medium, or technique. It’s about donors. If you need to raise funds from donors, you need to study them, respect them, and build everything you do around them. And the future? It’s already here. More.

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Jeff Brooks has been serving the nonprofit community for more than 30 years and blogging about it since 2005. He considers fundraising the most noble of pursuits and hopes you’ll join him in that opinion. You can reach him at jeff [at] jeff-brooks [dot] com.

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