How-to: Leverage Twitter to Fund Your Favorite Causes, Big and Small

Written by on July 8, 2009 in Featured, Funding, How-To, PR+Social Media - 6 Comments

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If you’re in a socially conscious start-up and are seeking innovative venues of funding or just a regular Joe looking to support your favorite charity, then you should definitely consider Twitter a friend.

Twitter offers multiple ways to connect your nonprofit or social change organization to funding options.

Small Funding

To find small funding on Twitter you should tap resources like Twollars, TwitPay, Twitter contests and tweet broadcasting.

Twollars, or Twitter dollars, gives Twitter users an easy way to donate to charities. Just tweet to your favorite nonprofit, “5 Twollars for [enter reason]” and you will be giving them approximately $1. Every Twitter account starts with 50 Twollars and businesses can buy more at any time.  If you are involved with a charity visit here for information on registration or check their FAQ page.

Twitpay is a another simple Web site that allows Twitter users to donate to charities directly on Twitter.  Follow this process to raise money on Twitpay:

1.  Send followers to Twitpay.me

2. Have them choose the amount

3. Have them enter your twitter username

4. Enter the reason, then they twonate!

Twitter contests can be big or small, but always good to pay attention to. Utilize Twitter search and social media news sites like Smartbrief on Social Media and Mashable to keep in the loop. Also, following hashtags like #contest, #contests or #prize won’t hurt (although may not always be relevant).

Lastly, using your loyal Twitter-base to promote visiting your Squidoo charity page, searching via GoodSearch or joining your Facebook Cause will help as well.

Big Funding

Accessing large funding on Twitter ranges from networking with influential financiers and venture funding specialists to entering celebrity contests.

Hugh Jackman recently gave $100,000 AUS to two charities. How did he pick them? He simply asked for tweets about nonprofits and why he should donate to them, then he picked the ones he liked.

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One contest that is currently accepting entries is the CommuniCause Social Media Makeover put on by MindComet. Anyone with an email can vote for their favorite nonprofit and, easy enough, the organization with the most votes wins. The prize? A complete social media makeover valued at $25,000!

Another way of gaining funds through Twitter is good ole networking. Mashable is putting on the Summer of Social Good and hooking up 5 nonprofits with free promotion and donations throughout the summer (maybe if you were in good with Pete Cashmore you could of been one of the 5). Other Twitterers are social venturers and forming a relationship with them could be the key to getting your great social change idea noticed.

How do you find these tweeting funders? One good idea is to monitor conferences that are tweeted by hashtags. The benefit of following a conference related to your cause (of course attending in person is good too) is that you will get a first-hand look at who’s saying what and who the VITs, or very important tweeters, are. By finding the VITs you know who to reach out to and who isn’t looking for a new venture.

Some examples of 2009 social media/social change conferences with a hashtag are #sxsw (South by Southwest), #pdf09 (The Personal Democracy Forum Conference), and #mf2.0 (Microfinance 2.0, which SocialEarth attended and posted about both Day 1 and Day 2). Conference hashtags are usually created in the weeks before by attendees or the host.

Attending and meeting people through Twitter chats is another way. Currently two in the social entrepreneurship sector are #SocEntChat (social entrepreneurship chat) and #4Change (using social media for change). Just like conferences, you never know who you might meet that is into your cause.

And you can always use the Find People option in Twitter. Just type in the name of your cause (e.g. poverty, green, education, etc.) or try keywords “venture” or “funding.”

In the end, there are new Twitter funding ideas popping up everyday (Check out Tweetsgiving or Twestival for good examples). Funnel your motivation into a great idea and partner with other individuals who are passionate about it, and it will get noticed.

Stay tuned for more funding and promotion ideas in SocialEarth’s brand new How-to section (under the news bar, via the home page) for social entrepreneurs and nonprofits.

Tristan Pollock

Co-founder of SocialEarth and Storefront. AngelPad alum. Ex-BestBuy.com.

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