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HOW TO: Use Twitter Lists to Promote Nonprofits and Causes You Care About

November 1, 2009

Twitter’s new Lists are a great way to organize your followers, and with a little intention and a dose of good will, Twitter Lists can also be used to promote your favorite nonprofits and the causes you care about. Here’s how:

1) Create a “Favorite Nonprofits” List

Lists can say a lot about your character and what’s important to you. Personally, I am quite saddened by the rapid loss of wildlife around the world, so my “Favorite Nonprofits” list has quite a few wildlife conservation organizations [@diosacomm/favoritenonprofits]. What issues are important to you? Create a Twitter List of your favorite nonprofits to tell Twitterverse what issues you think are most important and deserve attention.

2) Promote Lists created by nonprofits or Lists that feature nonprofits

Another easy way to help nonprofits, particularly those in your “Favorite Nonprofits” list, is to Tweet out their lists to your Followers. Example Tweets:

Good use of Twitter Lists by @NationalNOW to organize NOW chapters @NationalNOW/nowchapters!

Great list of animal rights and animal welfare organizations @nonprofitorgs/animals. Please RT!

Following a list created by a nonprofit also helps the nonprofit by increasing the “Follow” count on their list and having their list show up on your View All Lists page. That’s good… but Tweeting out their lists to your Followers is even better.

3) Create Birthday or Holiday Wish Lists

If you are the type of person that would rather have your friends donate to a nonprofit in your name for your birthday, the holidays, or in lieu of a wedding or graduation gift, then create a “Nonprofit Gift List” [@diosacomm/nonprofitgiftlist]. Select 3-10 nonprofits to feature on your list and then occasionally Tweet out the list to your followers. Hopefully they will make a donation and then let you know in a Reply or RT!

4) Create Causes Lists

Global Warming. Wildlife Conservation. Breast Cancer Research. Human Rights. Women’s Rights. Global Poverty. Corporate Accountability. @diosacomm/sustainability. Create Twitter Lists for causes that are important to you and then add nonprofits and activists that are working on that cause.

Lists have only been live a few days and I am sure we will see some creative use of Lists over the next few months. If you work at a nonprofit, make sure you create some Lists [Campaigns, Events, Donors, Volunteers, Chapters, Allies, etc.] and ask your followers to help support your Lists. If you don’t work at a nonprofit, but use Lists to promote nonprofits and causes on Twitter… thank you. 🙂

19 Comments leave one →
  1. November 1, 2009 3:42 pm

    Very informative.I have my own blogsite that is NGO or non profit oriented too.It is about the development in the world. Thanks for the information.

  2. November 2, 2009 6:02 am

    I have lists People, Planet, Profit and some lists that are more specific. In the Netherlands the list feature is still ‘beta’ for a limited group and Twitter asked not to tweet about it.

  3. pjump permalink
    November 2, 2009 10:30 am

    Thanks for this! I was very confused when I first say the Lists feature on Twitter because I had no idea what it was even for, but this helps a lot! Thanks again!

  4. November 2, 2009 12:23 pm

    I used Twitter lists for precisely this end. It is extremely difficult to identify debt advice that is genuinely anti-poverty – there’s a whole host of debt management companies out there ready to make a quick buck – and whilst my list includes individuals who support anti-poverty / debt initiatives and ethos, it gives followers access to genuinely sympathetic folk, who may have good local advice.

  5. November 4, 2009 8:45 am

    Thanks very much for this post; I, too, was confused by them. I’d ignored the feature … until I found my own organization’s Twitter feed on *other* people’s lists!

  6. November 17, 2009 8:51 pm

    Thank for the information

  7. December 8, 2009 10:38 am

    Thank you so much for this information. I am new to twitter and am always looking for streamline ways to use the service
    Merry Christmas


  8. December 23, 2009 6:40 am

    Interesting ideas here. Anyone know of any nonprofit lists out there I should try to add to? The organization supports AIDS orphans in Zambia and Zimbabwe.

  9. December 25, 2009 12:43 am

    Good stuff – I have been promoting making a charity list for the month of December up until Christmas – great way to help every charity on the list.

  10. February 11, 2010 12:23 am

    The lists are very useful – There is a site called Listorious which may be helpful for those looking to shortcut the hard work of connecting yourself.

  11. March 15, 2010 2:49 am

    thanks that was useful,

  12. August 10, 2010 8:19 pm

    I think I’m abusing my list function. I have 10 lists with most of them crossing over into each other. Most of them are useful though, like my MISC list for people I haven’t worked out yet.

    Oh well. Great blog entry by the way!

  13. August 26, 2010 9:06 pm

    Good points, esp 2 and 4. I was using twitter lists just for getting separate updates from the lists’ people. This posts has now given my new ideas on how best to leverage my WordPress list.

  14. June 11, 2011 9:51 am

    I merely wanted to tell you how much I appreciate all you’ve shared to help increase the value of the lives of people in this theme. Through the articles, we’ve gone out of just a newbie to a pro in the area. It truly is truly a honor to your initiatives. Thanks


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