June 1, 2009

8 nonprofit executives who use Twitter

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Fred Krupp is the CEO of the Environmental Defense Fund

Beth KanterRecently, BusinessWeek published a slideshow of CEO’s who use Twitter, noting the dramatic rise of CEO’s who use Twitter to clue customers in on new services, help them with questions about their products, and generally get a little bit personal with customers, business associates, and the public.

There are some other benefits to having your nonprofit’s CEO be on Twitter, these might include:

  • Source of news
  • Brand Building
  • Focus Group/Research
  • Networking Tool
  • Monitoring
  • Drive Traffic to web site
  • Humanizing your communications

Of course, if your CEO is going to Twitter, they have to be keep a consistent schedule and be authentic.    There’s been a bit of debate about celebrity Twitter users who have “ghost” twitterers or simply people helping them tweet.

I did a brief scan to see if there any nonprofit chief executives who Twitter. Here’s a few whom I found:

1. @carlPope is the executive director of the Sierra Club, the nation’s oldest and largest grassroots environnmental group.  His tweets are about his organization’s work and retweeting others messages.  Take for example

RT @maryannehitt http://twitpic.com/5n4sq – Re-posting great Seattle rally photo by Sierra Club’s Dan Ritzman #nocoal #epacaa

2. @fredkrupp who is the CEO of the Environmental Defense Fund tweets about his organization’s work to save the environment, plus is sharing interesting news articles or resources from his network of Twitter followers.

RT @MarcGunther A thoughtful piece in The Economist on Jacqueline Novogratz and The Acumen Fund. http://tiny.cc/7japZ

3.  @billshore is Bill Shore and the CEO of Share Our Strength, an organization dedicated to getting rid of hunger.  He tweets a lot about leadership issues and of course, his passion – ending hunger.

Last hope for ending Hunger – Washington Post article”  (Article here, some folks from Share Our Strength quoted)

4.  @dallant is Victor d’Allant who is at Social Edge.  He doesn’t identify himself with his organization, but his personal web site.  Doesn’t tweet much about his organization, but shares interesting and witty observations.

Albert Einstein said:  I never think of the future.  It comes soon enough

5.  @robertegger is Robert Egger and the CEO of DC Central Kitchen but identifies his Twitter profile with his personal web site.  Aside from tweeting about his cause, he shares that he is human!

Alas, his tweets are protected.

6.  @KevinCurley is the CEO of NAVCA a UK third sector organization.  His tweets are thought provoking questions related to the organization’s work.  Take for example:

Still no offers? If I am wrong I will give your charity £100 in 2021. Where are you all? Surely you have the confidence to say I’m wrong?

7.  Cecile Richards is the President of Planned Parenthood.   She only follows one person, but has a following of 708.   Most of the tweets are about Planned Parenthood activities.

Check out this video blog of my visit with peer educators at Planned Parenthood of New Mexico! http://bit.ly/Ii0sZ

8. @kim_gandy is Kim Gandy who is the president of the National Organization for Women NOW.  Her tweets about her organization’s issues, but she also lets us know when she’s being interviewed by the media.

Sitting on-set for CBS news, just finished ABC

Does your Nonprofit CEO Tweet?  What’s the strategy?  Do they do their own tweeting?  What’s the value-added?


Debra Askanase has written an excellent post about why nonprofit CEOS should use social media

Other Nonprofit CEOs who tweet:

9.   @wfaircloth CEO of Upic Solutions

10. @unitedwayswells is Pamela Beckford, Executive Director of United Way

This post originally appeared at Beth’s Blog.Beth Kanter is CEO of Zoetica, a consultancy for nonprofits. See her profile, visit her blog, contact Beth or leave a comment.

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