Answer A Reader Question: Twitter For Fundraising?

We received an email from Paris Piche, of Carol Joyce Cosmetics who is searching for ideas on how to run her fundraising efforts on Twitter. I’d like to open this up to readers of TwiTip, so please take some time reading, and share your suggestions with Paris in the comments?

My son J-Son was involved in motorcycle accident last October. He is doing well if you call confined to a wheelchair doing well.

He is determined to walk within the year. He has put his application into the organization Project Walk in Carlsbad, CA. The expense is about $1000.00 a week with a minimum of 4/6 months.

Elaine and I own a skincare company and we will contribute 50% of our sales from Twitter followers to J-son’s ability to walk again. He is an Antioch Policemen and bound and determined to report back to work within the year.

What is the best way to use Twitter to post a fundraiser?

Personally, I think developing a #hashtag and asking your followers to use and promote a specific link that Twitter users could click on to make purchases to help their effort would be a great start. What ideas do you TwiTip readers have for Paris and her cause?


  • May 29, 2009

    #hashtag is definitely the way to go, and perhaps re-tweeting again after a day or two, asking for help and askign followers to RT is helpful too (i did so when i ran a competition on my blog, and each retweet brought more people into it) just in case some of the followers missed it.

    so #hashtag and repeat tweeting again after a day or day.

  • May 29, 2009

    I think using Twitter for fundraising is a great idea. You need celebrities to back your cause though. For instance, currently, Veronica De La Cruz (@VeronicaDLCruz) is raising money for her brother Eric who is in need of a heart transplant. Luckily Trent Reznor (@Trent_Reznor), Mastermind of the band Nine In Nails has picked up on this fundraiser and is helping to bring in more money for the cause. Trent has well over 573,000 followers so many of them have helped out.

    So, in other words… GO FOR IT!

  • May 29, 2009

    My first thought is to offer a prize. Each person who donates to the fundraiser would be entered to win the prize in a drawing. If money for the prize is an issue, and it wouldn’t have to be a large one, a part of the 50% of sales could go toward purchasing the drawing prize.
    Combine that with the #hashtag and RT’s, there should be a good response.

    For those inclined to donate, it would be a no-lose proposition.

    Just a thought.


  • May 29, 2009

    I would consider going beyond cosmetics sales and allowing people to donate directly to this cause, using something like TipJoy, which you can use to set up a Twitter-based fundraising campaign. Even small amounts–$5 here, $2 there–can really add up.

    I would also search for and reach out to people and groups on Twitter involved with injury rehabilitation. Enlist them in the cause.

    Also, get up to speed on how to help a tweet go viral. Dan Zarrella has some good tips:

    On a higher strategic level, make the story vivid and real, and highlight the fact that J-son is a policeman who is eager to get back to work serving the community. Obviously there’s not a lot of room in a tweet to go into depth, but be sure to do so on any landing or donation pages.

    Good luck!

  • May 29, 2009

    I think Twitter is great but I wouldn’t stop there. I’d use Facebook and linked in. I’m sure there are groups that you can join in both – in fact you can start your own group in Facebook. As someone mentioned if you can get someone with a large following in these, the word will spread quickly. I’d use the policeman tag in all these places as other policemen will pick it up and spread the word. Also you can search twitter for people in Antioch.

  • May 29, 2009

    Wow this is so Zen along the lines of “wow wee this is what we are having to deal with!” And I find it bookoo encouraging that folks are saying tweet away for contributions, that really lifts my heart which has been heavy lately. Good people who should be in leadership positions but can’t get there because of the bucks involved, might find this tweet to be uplifting as well. Thanks gazillions you wonderful folks!- DrD

  • May 29, 2009

    Good luck, I tweet the link to my Leukemia & lymphoma fundraiser every week and so far no one from Twitter or Facebook has helped find a cure for cancer through my page.

    I posted it on my blog twice, both of those post received O comments, where I normally have between 12-40 comments on a single post.

    I have found that many talk the talk but don’t walk the walk. They talk about it but don’t want to be about it. On should not have to offer a prize in order for people to donate to an established charity. I am truly disappointed in the some of my fellow bloggers.

  • May 29, 2009

    I’d enlist the local Carlsbad community, so see if there’s a Chamber of Commerce that would like to come on board.

    Also use to find Twitter users by geographic proximity and key words. For example, you can search for natural alliances and stakeholders by searching for “wheelchair” and “charity” within a 10 mile radius of Carlsbad, and you’ll get results in real time of tweeters on topic.

    Good luck!

  • May 29, 2009

    There is less potential people would donate cash through Twitter if you don’t offer them something back.

    I learnt something from Sitepoint a while back. As thousands of people were affected by the massive bushfires in Victoria, Australia. Sitepoint made an offer about getting 5 books for the price of 1 and the buyers would help people too because every dollar was going to be donated.

    So, in conclusion, make such an offer, and do marketing it on Twitter and I hope it works for you.

    Wish you the best luck
    - Oussama

  • May 30, 2009

    One of the best examples so far of fundraising on Twitter is Tweetsgiving – That was last year, though, so on the one hand there are many millions more people on Twitter since then, but on the other hand, maybe people have more “charity burnout”…

  • May 30, 2009

    With the launch of my initial board game releases Terra Prime and Homesteaders I will be donating one copy to Child’s Play Charity for each game sold directly online. I plan to use Twitter to help spread the word, and be able to donate several hundred games. It will be harder to get contributions for a non-existent charity just because people will be worried about being scammed.

  • May 31, 2009

    You can fundraise in so many raise on Twitter, but it might take some gradual steps:

    1. Ask people to donate any amount of money from $1 to $100. Don’t ask them too much and don’t ask them daily or weekly. Mention it either bi-weekly or monthly or have a donation week the first week of every month.

    2. We know this is for a great cause and some will donate. However, you need to converse to people who are thinking about donating to your charity. People want a conversation and want to why they should donate x amount of money. Give them a good reason to and they’ll respond. Do not act like robots online.

    3. When you have enough followers (say 500-1,000 legit), setup a charity tweetup for people to network and auction some stuff. The DC Twestival was very well run only on a month’s notice and there’s clear water in Africa because of our help (and 200+ Twestivals that day).

    Overall, I do agree with Shelby to a point you need celebrities (and please not Kutcher) since they are now the big donors (not the big companies), but you need everyone else involved to help out. You can have your big donors, but it’s a clear message that will bring people to donate at any amount. Remember, a penny earned for charity is a penny more they earned today. Just be gracious, humble, and genuine about it.

  • June 3, 2009

    Its such a great note, well try to help some one to get better from a enjury, in my case the onlies thin i think i could do it support well not whit money but whit making other know about you twiter acount and stuff like that, but i did see you twitter user in the pots.

    Than you for the post.

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