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Tweet it Forward Cause Marketers

There’s a handful of stories out there about the successful use of Twitter in nonprofit fundraising. Social media expert Beth Kanter has been especially watchful of this trend.

The most common technique is to simply spell out the need in a Tweet to the people who follow you on Twitter.

Just last night in my little market organizers of the 'SunTweet for Charity' tried something I haven’t seen elsewhere. They held a Tweetup for charity in conjunction with the Sundance Film Festival. A Tweetup is a meetup for Twitterers.

SunTweet for Charity featured panelists on the topic of ‘creating value for your social audience,’ free pizza and soda drinks, a cash bar and face-to-face social interaction. The price of admission was $5, which went to an unnamed charity. Event costs were covered by sponsors.

I love events  for charities. Like very few other tactical media choices events can help move prospects from interest to action. And Tweetups happen because even the most distant Twitterer wants the chance to press the flesh of other Twitters. We’re human after all and we crave physical contact with likeminded people.

SunTweet represents a nice marriage between social media and fundraising with a lot of potential for the right kind of charity and the right group of Twitterers.

But if I were the executive director of  the benefiting charity, I would have wanted three more things from the SunTweet organizers:

  1. I’d want the opportunity to address the group, if only for 60 seconds. There’s a great technique you can use when time is short to ask for donations without asking directly. You explain your cause in 30 seconds, then say, “because my time is so short, I don’t have time to address individual questions. But one of the most common questions I get is: ‘how can I help?’ The easiest way to help is go to our website at [URL] where you can donate time or money. After the panel discussion I’ll be back by the cash bar to talk more with anyone.”
  2. I’d want people to know beforehand that my charity was involved. I’d want a link, too.
  3. I’d want the chance to collect email addresses and/or Twitter names in advance.

Folks, steal this idea!


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