3 Steps to Using Twitter to Gather Nonprofit News

Photo by shawncampbell
01.08.2013By

Photo by shawncampbell

After I pinned a cause promotion on one of my Pinterest boards last week, a friend asked: “Where do you get all this stuff?”

That’s a good question, and I have a one word answer: Twitter.

Five years ago I was reading three newspapers, a bunch of magazines, books, and email newsletters. Today, I only read Twitter, and I don’t feel like I’m missing much. I always have plenty of post ideas for all the online sites I write for, plenty of pins for my Pinterest boards, plenty of topics for my podcast CauseTalk Radio. I rarely feel “out of the loop.”

Here’s how you can streamline your reading in 2013 down to 140 characters:

1. Follow These Twitter Handles

Remember, as a cause marketer I’m focused on nonprofit and business partnerships and the tweeps I follow reflect this. I look for one thing from my followers. Lots and lots of juicy links that take me to the content I care and write about.

  • – @Cone: A leading public relations and marketing agency that specializes in CSR and cause-related marketing. Also, sign up for their wonderful weekly newsletter, Prove Your Purpose.
  • – @TweetCMF: The best source of news, information and education on cause partnerships.
  • – @JoanneFritz: A great source of nonprofit advice and charitable giving tips from the folks at About.com.
  • – @Razoo: Yep, your favorite online fundraising site is active on Twitter. If you follow this handle, you’ll never miss a post!
  • – @NPQuarterly: Tweets on nonprofit trends, news, democratic activism, philanthropy, and more.
  • – @CausePlanet: Denise and company are making nonprofit pros (like me) smarter, faster!
  • – @ForMomentum: This Atlanta-based cause agency has a boatload of talent, starting with its head honcho Mollye Rhea. Great practitioners and sharers!
  • – @IEG: All sponsorship, all the time. Not all cause-related, but it’s still interesting and helpful.
  • – @Philanthropy: My go-to source for the larger charitable world.
  • – @CauseCampaigns: These folks catch everything related to win-win cause partnerships.
  • – @Good: The name says it all. I find some good stuff here. :)

2. Use Twitter Search

Now that you have some good people to follow, search Twitter for a few key topics. You’ll find additional good reading. And, when you get enough good stuff from one person, you can follow them. I use Tweetdeck to manage  searches specifically about cause marketing, for example. I have three active searches on the following terms:

  1. Cause Marketing
  2. #CauseMarketing
  3. Corporate Giving

Search for keywords on the topic you want to monitor; for example, “nonprofit” and “fundraising” are very broad terms, but if you’re looking for information specific to online fundraising, #nptech is a good hashtag to follow.

3. Mark Your Favorites

After adding followers and searching Twitter, you’ll have plenty of tweets. But you don’t have to read them all now! Mark the tweet a “favorite,” and read it later. Whenever I have some extra time I dip into my favorites and learn something.

This is how I get all my cause news and information, but where and how do you get yours? Maybe there is something we can all learn from you!

  • http://twitter.com/joannefritz Joanne Fritz

    Ah, so nice to look up from my sickbed (flu or other virus) today and see my Twitter handle among your suggestions! Thanks, Joe!

    • http://twitter.com/joewaters Joe Waters

      You’re one of my faves!

  • Anonymous

    “Mark Your Favorites” — You can also use this to batch your retweet workflow. I often have time to read tweets, but not to compose retweets that add value. So quickly click “favorite” on tweets you want to retweet (with added comment, perhaps), and then when you’re at a keyboard and have 15 minutes, retweet them all with Hootsuite’s or Buffer’s autoscheduling to spread them out. Automagically!

    • http://twitter.com/joewaters Joe Waters

      Great suggestion, John! Question for you: I love favorites but they can get a little unruly. Have you come across any way to better sort favorites on Twitter? I use Tweetdeck. Maybe I’m missing something by not using Hootsuite or some other service!

      • Anonymous

        Joe, I favorite only a few tweets at a time, so I’ve not had need of an organization tool. When I’m retweeting favorited tweets, I use the Twitter web interface. With Buffer installed, I get a “Buffer” button so I can spread out the retweets. The Web interface presents my favorites in order, newest to oldest, so it’s pretty easy to keep track. Does that help?

        • http://twitter.com/joewaters Joe Waters

          Yes! Wonder how I can manage them better on Tweetdeck. Hmmm…

  • http://twitter.com/JM_Grants Jo Miller, JM Grants

    Joe, I loved this post and was inspired to write my own post using your post as a guide (http://jmgrants.com/grant_news/) One thing I added to the steps is to use ‘Lists’. Using lists allows me to see tweets by a specific group and it allows me to promote a group of excellent content curators by topic. Thank you for this post and for the inspiration. (BTW, Joanne made my list, too!)

  • http://twitter.com/CauseComm Hershey Cause Comm

    Thanks for sharing! We’ve been following some of these great people/orgs but not all of them. And you’ve given us a goal to get added to your list by next year!

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