March 27, 2010

12 great nonprofits & causes to follow on Twitter

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water.org

By Brandy Scoggan
Socialbrite staff

Folks in the nonprofit and social good space just starting out on Twitter don’t want to begin with a blank slate. So we poked around and came up with this list of 12 can’t-miss nonprofits & causes to follow on Twitter.

This roundup should get you going, but don’t stop here — you can use Twitter Lists to explore scores or hundreds of other worthy organizations and individuals on Twitter. You’ll want to take note of which their campaigns or causes to follow — say, environmental issues, human rights or education — and then decide if you like the content of their tweets.

A good starting place is Jason Pollock’s list of nonprofit organizations on Listorious or Socialbrite’s list of change-makers, which focuses more on individuals than nonprofits.

Here are 12 social good organizations that caught our eye:

Water.org

Water.org: Bringing clean water to those who lack it (@water)
Water.org (image above) is a nonprofit concerned with empowering and working with communities to meet their own water and sanitation needs. Their efforts are focused in Asia, Africa and Central America. A lot of big celebrity names are involved in this one — it’s a fantastic campaign and worth following. # of Twitter followers: 339,558

twestival

Twestival: One cause at a time (@twestival)

Twestival had its third event Thursday night in about 175 cities, raising more than $310,000 to benefit Concern Worldwide. Amazing event, great cause, fabulous concept and campaign. Click on the link Twestival campaign to see a really cool Twestival video. # of Twitter followers: 247,068

twitter

Donors Choose: Supporting public education (@Donorschoose)

DonorsChoose is a nonprofit that connects donors to public classrooms in need. Teachers post materials they need, donors help them out on an individualized basis, and then teachers and students often circle back with notes of thanks. It’s the model for future philanthropy. # of Twitter followers: 4,514.

kiva logo

Kiva: Providing loans to entrepreneurs worldwide (@kiva)

Kiva‘s mission is to connect people, through lending, for the sake of alleviating poverty. They act as a liaison between a global marketplace of philanthropic individuals, lending $25 at a time, and entrepreneurs looking to fund a small business. Their program helps lift people in developing countries out of poverty. # of Twitter followers: 343,216.

doctors

Doctors Without Borders: Stepping in to treat the sick (@MSF_USA)

Doctors Without Borders, part of the international organization Médecins Sans Frontière, is an international medical humanitarian organization created by doctors and journalists in France. The organization provides aid in nearly 60 countries to people whose survival is threatened by violence, neglect or catastrophe largely because of armed conflict, epidemics, malnutrition, exclusion from health care or natural disasters. They won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1999. # of Twitter followers: 26,238.

Livestrong: On the front lines against cancer (@livestrong)

Lance Armstrong has done an amazing job with this nonprofit and with getting its message of fighting cancer out into the social mediasphere. Check out this new YouTube video from the Livestrong army. # of Twitter followers: 64,735.

Women Who Tech

Women Who Tech: Helping talented women break new ground (@womenwhotech)

Allyson Kapin is a one-woman army. She’s the founder of Women Who Tech: A Telesummit for Women in Technology in the nonprofit and political campaign world, and founder of Rad Campaign. Kapin’s goal for Women Who Tech is to “bring together talented and renowned women breaking new ground in technology who use their tech savvy skills to transform the world and inspire change.” # of Twitter followers: 10,676.

good

Good: Bringing philanthropy to the world (@good)

Good is a collaboration of individuals, businesses and nonprofits pushing the world forward. They produce a website, magazine and videos “for people who give a damn.” Good is essentially an amalgamation of lots of great ideas and campaigns by a variety of other nonprofits and businesses. LA-based Good takes a more visually entertaining approach to philanthropy than others you’ll see. # of Twitter followers: 379,078.

dosomething

DoSomething: Rallying youths to get involved (@dosomething)

Nancy Lublin is the tweeter behind Dosomething.org, a nonprofit that rallies the younger generation to get involved in causes (or “rock causes,” as Nancy says) that they care about. Nancy was recently featured in a top 10 list of @mobileyouth reaching campaigners. Rock on, Nancy! # of Twitter followers: 344,539.

unicef

UNICEF: Humanitarian action on behalf of kids (@unicef)

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) was founded in 1946 and remains “the driving force that helps build a world where the rights of every child are realized.” A long-lasting and important nonprofit, they are definitely worth following. # of Twitter followers: 75,602.

Democracy Now

Democracy Now: Covering stories traditional media won’t (@democracy_now)

Amy Goodman is my homegirl. One of my favorite nonprofits, Democracy Now presents quality news reporting since 1996. They make it clear they do not accept advertising, corporate underwriting or government funding. I mean, look at their faces, they mean business. # of Twitter followers: 21,086.

amy-and-juan

12for12k

12for12k: Changing the world through social media (@12for12k)

The final entry on our Top 12 Twitter Nonprofits list is 12 for 12k, who are social change agents using social media for good. 100 percent of all donations go to supported charities. They have a fantastic blog and are really putting their money where their tweets are by using the power and outreach of social media to spread the word for every charity they fund. # of Twitter followers: 3,796.

So there you are, go ahead and follow these 12 great nonprofits! They not only provide you with valuable tips for your own social media campaign goals but can help you get started down the path on how to succeed on Twitter.Brandy Scoggan blogs on Tumblr. Follow her on Twitter at @brandyscoggan.

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