Charitable giving with Twitter antics

I tried a little experiment with Twitter last week.  I see lots of folks talking about how to make money with social media exposure like Twittering, but hadn't yet seen anyone talking about how to give away money via the same.  So on Wednesday I put out a challenge that for each new Twitter follower I got  on my account between then and 5 PM on Friday, I'd donate $2 to the Boys and Girls Club of Wayne County.

What happened?

I honestly didn't expect anyone to really notice the challenge, but a few people did, and "retweeted it" [what's that?] to their own Twitter followers accordingly.  In the end, I had 10 new followers in that time period, about a 7% increase in my relatively modest following.  Who knows which of them came because of my challenge and which would have followed me anyway; it doesn't really matter.

Today I'll write a donation check for $20 to the Boys and Girls Club.

As I said, this was just an experiment to see what would happen.  I think there are some great opportunities to "harness the power of social media" for charitable giving campaigns, especially with great tools out there like Fundable.org, and I look forward to playing around more with what's possible.

Thanks to all who noticed the challenge, stay tuned for others like it.

One thought on “Charitable giving with Twitter antics

  1. Thanks for following up on this, Chris. I was interested to hear how it turned out.

    I too have an interest in finding ways to use social media for such applications. There's obviously a great deal of interest and activity in Twitter, Facebook, etc. these days. Finding ways to connect with people to make powerful, positive change (whether through fundraising or volunteer service) using these mediums seems like a great opportunity.

    However, I think there's a challenge in crossing that bridge between sitting in front of a computer (or cell-phone, or ipod) screen and interacting with the "real world."

    I think campaigns such as your experiment show that people are willing to be a part of something charitable when not much is asked of them in return (no financial outlay, time commitment, or significant physical action.) Part of me wonders what the result would have been if you had challenged followers to each donate $2 to the Boys and Girls club and that you would match each $2 donation with an equal one of your own. Do you think you would have gotten as much interest? If you could have gotten just 5 followers to donate $2 each then matched that $10 yourself the Boys and Girls club would have the same $20. Not only that, but those 5 people would have had more personal involvement in the outcome. Yet that's still only half the people involved compared to your original 10. So many variables to consider ... so many interesting implications!

    Being a leader of a community that deals a lot with charitable giving (and other charitable participation) I find that it's often difficult for people to move from thinking something is a good cause to actively supporting it financially or through physical participation. How might online charitable participation address this issue? I'm still pondering this one myself.

    Thanks for the food for thought ... I might have to perform an experiment of my own!

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