Fundraising on Twitter: nice try

by guest blogger George Crankovic


Use Twitter and fundraising in the same sentence, and the response from fundraisers is likely to be, “sure, it’s great for talking, but you can’t use it to raise money.”


Well, you can — but in a really roundabout sort of way.


Enter twollers. Twollers are “twitter dollars” that denizens of Twitter send and receive. Each Twitter account comes with 50 twollers. Users send twollers to others to express their appreciation for sharing a tip, passing on some useful information, or helping in some way. Thus, twollers circulate in the twittersphere.


Now say for example that you hear about a charity or cause and want to support it. You can donate twollwers to the charity in acknowledgement of its good work. Your tweet might be something like this: 50Twollars@usaafrica to fund relief for Africa.


As the charity accumulates twollers, businesses or individuals can then purchase them with real dollars (at the rate of $1 for 10 twollers), and the money goes to the charity. Once purchased, the twollers are given out again to others, continuing the cycle. Twitter takes nothing in this exchange, so the charity is the full beneficiary. It’s an interesting approach.


But is giving twollers as direct an experience for donors as writing a check in response to a heartfelt mailing?


No, and that’s the problem. It’s got to be a lot more straightforward for more donors (not just people who love Twitter unconditionally) to really get behind it. If this is the first step toward monetizing social media for fundraising, it’s a wobbly one at best.


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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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About the blogger

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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