September 26, 2011

8 nonprofit Twitter superstars

Twitter superstar
Photo by Karola Riegler Photography on Flickr

Experiment with the approaches below to see which works best for you

Target audience:Nonprofits, NGOs, cause organizations, social enterprises, brands, bloggers, social media managers.

This is the first in our new series of articles on how nonprofits can get the most out of Twitter.

By Kyria Abrahams
Socialbrite staff

kyria-abrahamsWe’re kicking off our new series on how nonprofits can make the best use of Twitter with a roundup of organizations that showcase a strong voice in the community. Below are eight popular nonprofits on Twitter today as well as an overview of their varying styles and strategies.

These organizations are successfully using the following approaches. They:


  • Support other nonprofit Twitter users with Follow Friday.
  • Retweet others.
  • Quote well-known and well-respected voices.
  • Write concise “teaser-style” tweets that link back to their main website.
  • Make ample use of hashtags or create their own.
  • Ask questions that engage their followers.
  • Use human interest stories.
  • Respond to tweets that mention their organization.

charity: water

1With 1.3 million followers, charity: water is the first Twitter result when using the search term “nonprofit.” The organization’s focus is clear and so are their tweets, many of which focus on celebrating individual supporters, small donors and partners. Tweets feature a compelling teaser, which links back to their website.

Sample Tweet from Charity Water

The Gates Foundation

2The Gates Foundation makes ample use of hashtags and actively participates in “Follow Friday” (hashtag: #FF), a practice which builds a sense of community around their cause and can be seen as a type of online partnering. They utilize a “Photo of the Day” that links back to their site, a tactic which is also used by Charity Water. If anyone has ideas on properly using Twitter, it’s probably Bill Gates.

Sample Tweet for Gates Foundation

The Humane Society

3The Humane Society originated the popular hashtag #FelineFriday, which encourages people to post photos of their cats. The tag is so popular that I sent them a tweet asking if they had come up with the concept. They replied to me within two days, which means that they’ve also got a crack team checking on all their @replies — another big plus!

 Sample Tweet from Humane Society Continue reading

March 23, 2011

New report: Nonprofit numbers for social media, advocacy, fundraising

Email outreach still dwarfs social media and mobile.

Benchmarks study: How does your nonprofit stack up?

JD LasicaAt the Nonprofit Technology Conference in Washington D.C. the other day, I was one of 50 attendees who got a sneak preview of the fascinating 2011 eNonprofit Benchmarks Study, the big annual study that shows how nonprofits are using social media, email and much more.

You can download the free 36-page report from M+R Strategic Services and NTEN. The study — the fifth Benchmarks report — collected data about email messaging, email list size, fundraising, online advocacy, Facebook, Twitter and text messaging from 40 U.S.-based national nonprofit organizations for the calendar year of 2010. The study’s authors analyzed the results of 672 million email messages sent to over 17 million list subscribers; more than $114 million in online donations and 2.9 million advocacy actions.

Key fIndIngs of the report

  • Online fundraising showed steady growth for participating groups in 2010 despite the current economic climate. Most groups saw a 10% increase in dollars raised online from 2009 to 2010.
  • The 2010 advocacy response rate was 3.3%. From 2009 to 2010, advocacy response rates declined 7% on average.
  • Not surprisingly, advocacy emails had the highest open, click-through and response rates while fundraising emails had the lowest click-through rate.
  • Annual email list churn was 18%.
  • Online fundraising revenue grew overall by 14% between 2009 and 2010. This rebound was led by an enormous 163% increase in the International sector due to emergencies like the earthquake in Haiti and flooding in Pakistan. However, all sectors saw an increase of some size in overall revenue from 2009, driven by an increase in the number of online gifts.
  • On average, nonprofit Facebook Pages had 15,053 users, defined as people who “Like” a Page (but this includes large nonprofits).
  • Facebook users were much more engaged with nonprofits in the Wildlife / Animal Welfare sector than in any other sector.
  • On average, an organization’s text messaging list size was 1.9% of its email list size.
  • Annual mobile list churn was 14% in 2010.

The graphic at the top of this article conveys, at a glance, why no one is suggesting that nonprofits abandon email marketing in favor of social media or mobile. For every 1,000 email subscribers for your nonprofit, you’ll have, on average, 110 Facebook fans, 19 Twitter followers and 19 mobile text subscribers. What those numbers don’t show, however, is that engaged fans on social networks, and connected fans on mobile devices, tend to be more loyal, to respond at higher rates to advocacy campaigns and to donate at higher rates than the average user. Continue reading

March 27, 2010

12 great nonprofits & causes to follow on Twitter

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: Bringing clean water to those who lack it (@water) (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: 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


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.

Continue reading