What’s wrong (and right with nonprofit Twitter feeds?

Why are so many nonprofit Twitter feeds a lesson in futility?

Three reasons, I believe:

  1. The Twitter audience isn’t quite right for most donors.
  2. Twitter isn’t a healthy environment for heartfelt, compassionate emotions. (It’s much better for zingers, abuse, and panic.)
  3. Most nonprofits cluelessly do nothing but talk about themselves and their needs. They don’t talk about donors’ needs and values.

But it’s not all bad. The HubSpot Marketing Blog points out 10 Nonprofit Twitter Accounts Doing it Right

It seems Twitter is far better at engagement and connection than it is at moving people to take action (especially donating). It’s better at giving something to people than getting something from them.


Comments

4 responses to “What’s wrong (and right with nonprofit Twitter feeds?”

  1. Hi Jeff, new comer to your blog, just found you in Google hah. We actually struggle with this and we are looking to create more engagement on our Twitter.

  2. Hi Jeff, new comer to your blog, just found you in Google hah. We actually struggle with this and we are looking to create more engagement on our Twitter.

  3. Thanks for this, Jeff. I agree on all points, with the exception that #3 modifies #1 a bit. And to be fair, Twitter is in information overload upheaval. The best use of Twitter right now is distribution. That is, getting your info out there. Twitter is not the best place to focus on donors’ needs and values if they’re not using it. If they are, it’s a great way to keep a pulse on their lives by setting up and paying attention to notifications. AND in the reverse, it’s a great way to help your donors and overall community keep a pulse on you. I also recommend to nonprofits that Twitter is perhaps the only place where an automatic share connection to other social media is acceptable. I’d set up connections with every other social platform so Twitter is your news feed to publicize.

  4. Thanks for this, Jeff. I agree on all points, with the exception that #3 modifies #1 a bit. And to be fair, Twitter is in information overload upheaval. The best use of Twitter right now is distribution. That is, getting your info out there. Twitter is not the best place to focus on donors’ needs and values if they’re not using it. If they are, it’s a great way to keep a pulse on their lives by setting up and paying attention to notifications. AND in the reverse, it’s a great way to help your donors and overall community keep a pulse on you. I also recommend to nonprofits that Twitter is perhaps the only place where an automatic share connection to other social media is acceptable. I’d set up connections with every other social platform so Twitter is your news feed to publicize.

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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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