The advent of the internet has opened up new doors for those engaged in nonprofit marketing. Twitter is a social networking tool that allows users to send and receive messages of 140 characters or less using their computer, mobile phone or PDA. It is a quick and convenient way to get answers to questions or inform curious people about daily events, news or issues. Twitter messages, or "tweets" can now be sent and received in over five different languages, making it an important part of any nonprofit internet strategy.
It's not hard to see how Twitter might be effectively used for fundraising. From any PC or mobile phone organizers can reach out for funding, update followers on progress and funds raised and inform potential donors as to how and where to donate. Information can be kept up to date and Twitter feeds can be linked to a variety of other nonprofit and networking sites, all from the comfort of home or while on the go.
While Twitter opens up new fundraising opportunities in a convenient format, it is not quite as simple as informing followers that you need some money. There are a few things which may increase fundraising success on Twitter:
1. Make the message clear. There is an art to being concise and clarity is everything when trying to persuade. The message should stand out, but don't let creativity override common sense.
2. Regularly report progress, such as running donation totals in order to maintain momentum and keep everyone excited about the cause.
3. Regularly report on the cause in general. Post brief snippets of success stories or related news items.
4. Time is of the essence, particularly in a digital world with abundant distractions. Messages should be meaningful and not waste time. When soliciting donations, payment methods should be clear and as simple as possible.
5. Timing is also essential. People are less likely to donate at particular times of the year such as right after Christmas or during the Super Bowl or national holiday.
6. Give praise to volunteers, partners and above all, financial supporters. These are your most important nonprofit resources. With fundraising, there is no greater satisfaction for all involved than to know that they are making a difference, and it encourages a continued effort on everyone's part.
8. Back up words with action. Use Twitter to let followers know what you the organizer are doing to help, in order to build trust and maintain credibility.
9. Keep track of who's following who, on Twitter or otherwise, to learn what efforts are making the greatest difference where, and what areas may call for different strategies.
10. After the campaign is finished, occasionally update people on the current state of the cause in general and where their efforts have made a difference. This keeps it in people's minds and primes them for the next round of fundraising.
Used properly and with a bit of savvy, Twitter offers new and exciting opportunities in social media for nonprofits.
Swati is a freelancer, a work from home mom, who loves to write. She is a postgraduate in English and an MBA. She has written on practically every niche on the web. She writes articles, blogs, web pages, reports, press releases, product descriptions, eBooks, sales letters and newsletters. Visit Swati's blog now if you need content for your business or personal needs.