Category Archives: Twitter


A Top Twitter Official’s Advice for Charities

Twitter is rapidly changing the way nonprofits promote their causes and connect to supporters, creating new opportunities—and challenges.

In her forthcoming book, Twitter for Good: Change the World One Tweet at a Time (Jossey-Bass), Claire Diaz Ortiz, Twitter’s top official in charge of working with nonprofits and corporations on social innovation, provides advice on how charities can best use Twitter to produce tangible results.

Following is a transcript of an interview with Ms. Diaz Ortiz cond…


Dispensing ‘Nonadvice’ for Nonprofits on Twitter

Fund raisers and nonprofit leaders who use Twitter can find dozens of serious people who regularly offer advice on how to do their jobs better.

Now they also have the option of getting “nonadvice.”

The satirical Twitter account @npnonadvice today began tweeting tongue-in-cheek tips to followers in the nonprofit world. And some of its sharply worded advice is already drawing laughs—and more than a few groans.

Its first tip: “Grass-roots organizations have no need for protocol or professional deco…


Donors Give Big to Replace Corporate Grant Rejected by Charity

The charity Reel Grrls made a difficult decision when it opted to turn down $18,000 from a longtime corporate sponsor, the charity’s executive director said this week. But the organization’s leaders felt it was the right thing to do.

That feeling can only be helped by an outpouring of support from about 600 donors who gave about $22,000 in less than a week. Typically the organization gets money from just 150 donors a year.

The charity made national headlines  this month after a local represen…


Charity Turns Away Corporate Grant After Threat to End Support

A Seattle charity last week turned down an $18,000 grant from Comcast after a cable company representative threatened to pull its grant to the nonprofit over a single tweet.

A Comcast employee threatened to stop supporting Reel Grrls, a Seattle group that helps teenage girls make films, after the charity used Twitter to criticize the company’s controversial decision to hire a former Federal Communications Commission commissioner.

The cable company later told The Washington Post the threat was no…


Snake on the Lam Earns Twitter Fame for Bronx Zoo

A message from the Bronx Zoo Cobra's parody Twitter account: "Does anyone know if the Whole Foods in Columbus Circle sells organic mice?"The staff at the Bronx Zoo noticed an adolescent Egyptian cobra was missing from its enclosure last Friday and closed the reptile exhibit. By the time the snake was found Thursday, a Twitter account run by someone claiming to be the serpent was exchanging tweets with New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Ellen DeGeneres.

The parody account, @BronxZoosCobra, had more than 190,000 followers by the time the real snake was found hiding in the reptile house Thursday. It has been mentioned on the Twitt…


Japan Catastrophe Tops Twitter Topics in Popularity

Items on the Japan earthquake and ensuing tsunami in Japan consistently ranked among the top spots in Twitter’s most-popular topics in the United States Friday morning.

The poll tracks in real time the words or phrases repeated most frequently over the social-networking site.

Among nonprofits, only American Red Cross’ mobile-giving campaign made the list, with celebrities such as George Takei asking readers to “Text REDCROSS.” As it has during previous disasters, the organization is allowing don…


Cancer Charity Taps Into ‘Bieber Fever’

Want to fast track your charity’s next video to viral success? Call Justin Bieber.

A remix of the teenage singer’s performance for the American Cancer Society’s More Birthdays campaign—released by the charity in honor of Mr. Bieber’s 17th birthday last Tuesday—is now the most popular video on the nonprofit’s YouTube channel, with about 14 times as many views as its second most-popular video.

And while Mr. Bieber’s legion of mostly young fans aren’t the charity’s typical supporters, his star pow…


Twitter Co-Founder Pushes New Effort to Use Technology for Social Good

The Twitter co-founder Biz Stone plans to announce tonight that he is joining forces with a nonprofit technology group to start ConvergeUS, a charity that seeks to combat social problems with new technology.

The nonprofit’s goal is to make resources of large technology companies more available to nonprofit, academic, and government organizations, said Rey Ramsey, chief executive of TechNet, who said he approached Mr. Stone to work with his group.

While ConvergeUS filed for nonprofit status in sp…


From #gettngslizzerd to Getting Donations: Red Cross Capitalizes on Twitter Gaffe

Shortly after 11 p.m. on Tuesday, someone named Ryan found two four-bottle packs of Dogfish Head Brewery beer. The more than 260,000 people who follow the American Red Cross’s Twitter account were promptly informed of the discovery.

Accidentally, of course.

Gloria Huang, a Red Cross employee, mistakenly posted the comment to the wrong account through the online application HootSuite, which can support more than one Twitter account at the same time.

What the Red Cross did next is an example to ot…


Tweeting for Coverage: USA Today Asks the Charity-Minded to Tweet Their Goals

USA Today is running a Twitter campaign this week to find people passionate about their favorite nonprofit for a forthcoming feature article in the national newspaper.

The #KindnessChallenge contest, which runs through Friday at 6 p.m., asks Twitter users to post the exact phrase, “My #USATODAY #KindnessChallenge goal is to help,” followed by their goals and the full name or Twitter handle of the nonprofit organization they want to help. The three nonprofits mentioned in the most Tweets will be …