Yesterday Experience Project launched TwitCause – a way for users of Twitter to support causes and nonprofits they care about. We believe that by marrying Twitter’s distribution with Experience Project’s ability to develop deep emotional connections, we can help non-profits get greater visibility for their cause and attract new donors and supporters.
TwitCause works in a simple way: Users follow the @TwitCause account which updates the community on the week’s featured charitable cause. To support the cause, followers are encouraged to follow the cause and retweet it’s message along with a link to the TwitCause home page where supporters can make a donation.
We launched TwitCause with The V Foundation for Cancer Research which raises money to fund breakthrough research for a cure for cancer. The V Foundation was named after legendary basketball coach Jim Valvano, who died of the disease, and has attracted support from major names in sports. We were ecstatic to see that on launch day we had strong support from the NBA and WNBA as well over half of all NBA teams.
With less than a day of TwitCause we’re already seeing how much pent up demand there was on Twitter for an on-going way to support charitable causes – both from nonprofits on Twitter that are looking to reach out to more followers but also from regular users like you and me that want to make a difference.
I think that the great success of the Twestival and other past fundraising efforts really helped to pave the way for a more permanent solution like TwitCause. We have received dozens of nominations for new causes to feature and we’re busy building updates that will help track those nominations and votes in real-time.
A quick look at a list of some of the biggest nonprofits on Twitter reveals that very few nonprofits have really been able to establish themselves on Twitter in the same way that brands, celebrities, and even small businesses have. Given that the nonprofit sector reaches millions of people and raises billions of dollars, supporting it is going to be an essential step in Twitter’s future.
Thankfully, Twitter has built out a robust developer and partner eco-system that enables movements like TwitCause to address some of this need to “do good” using what has become an essential social media tool. We’re hopeful that like others paved the way for us, we can also pave the way for new efforts that support nonprofits and causes on Twitter.