Friday, October 1, 2010

TwitPay: Using Twitter to Make a Difference

This is cross-posted in the Huffingtonpost Impact Section.

Industry leaders and insiders agree: Twitter is having an amazing impact on nonprofits. Doctors Without Borders and Operation Smile use it to promote their health initiatives with underserved populations. The National Wildlife Federation and Global Green USA post facts about conservation as well as the benefits of going green.

This is tremendous news. I believe this can lay a foundation for how countless nonprofits can use Twitter going foward. Not simply as a place to post, but rather as a platform to participate. TwitPay is helping make this a reality. It has emerged as a great way to support nonprofits. It aims to create even more success stories and help them connect with their audience through social media.

When Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey tweeted "One can change the world with one hundred and forty characters," he wasn't kidding. Twitter has become a positive force for social change. And those who engage and respect the format, stand to benefit from the energy and vitality it produces. As my interview with Twitpay's staff reveals, they have done just that.

I love your concept. Explain how charities and nonprofits benefit from your program.

In today's world, social media is not optional for any nonprofit organization. Engaging supporters and advocates through social media is an effective and powerful way to create a direct and emotional connection with your cause. Also, for long-term viability, nonprofits must engage younger donors earlier, both to begin developing a giving behavior that will last a lifetime, as well as to claim advocates for your cause before someone else does. The younger demographic thrives in the social media arena and they feel empowered by it.

Social media is, without a doubt, the most efficient means of reaching that developing donor audience. However, the recurring question revolving around social media is whether or not it generates actual dollars. That's where we come in. We offer the ability to monetize social media, to allow donors to support a cause through a transaction taking place entirely within their social media interface. And unlike communication and payment tools of the past, we provide a means for the rapid (dare I say viral?) spread of the nonprofits message well beyond their direct friends and followers.

What has the response been like?

Our clients love how easy our system is to integrate and operate, the exposure and response that they're seeing, and the growth potential of the platform. Users (donors) seem to appreciate the ability to make a quick financial contribution, while also encouraging their followers to get involved. This is a new behavior, though, so new user adoption is just beginning to build. The more nonprofits that begin to use Twitpay's Social Giving application, the faster users will continue to adopt this new donation method.

Many believe programs like this will be permanent parts of nonprofit fundraising. How do you see it?

Absolutely! Fewer and fewer people are donating the "old fashioned" way with paper checks. Nonprofit organizations are looking for new programs like ours that enable social interaction. Fundraising is all about creating an emotional connection. Social media allows an organization to make that connection with a large number of people at a very low cost. Whenever that connection is made, and in whatever medium, the organization has to be ready, willing and able to accept any contribution that the individual is willing to make. Twitpay provides the means to do that.

To better understand Twipay's nonprofit, fundraising activities, contact them at

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