How to use Twitter to Raise Awareness for Your Nonprofit

Tweeting to Raise Awareness for Your Nonprofit

In the age of social media, anything humans say can be transferred across the globe in a matter of seconds. Shane Jones at recently outlined ways nonprofit organizations can use Twitter and are able to do a lot of good with it. Below are his tips to use Twitter to raise awareness along with some examples of nonprofits using this medium well.

On Twitter, nonprofit charities are able to gain a tremendous following. Some of the more powerful nonprofits include UNICEF with over 2 million followers and the Gates Foundation with just over 1 million followers. These two are examples of how large an audience, free from geographic restrictions, a nonprofit can reach on Twitter. Even smaller or newer nonprofits are effective at building a significant online presence if they’re willing to put in the time and work.

How to Gain That Following

  • Follow Relevant Groups – Following other charities can give you a peek into the different tactics they use, giving you a chance to implement these strategies in your own promotional efforts.
  • Speaking of Branding – In your Twitter bio, explain the purpose of your nonprofit, some of the projects you’re engaged in right now, or what you’re planning to accomplish.
  • Add Twitter to Your Website – Put a link to your Twitter account on your nonprofit’s website. Use the little Twitter icon – it has become so recognizable that people visiting your site for the first time may even be looking for it.
  • Use Relevant #Hashtags – When tweeting, use hashtags to draw in a new audience. Different ideas for hashtags to get you started are #charity, #nonprofit, or #helping. Anything along those lines would be a great addition to a tweet.
  • Engage – Your audience will grow when you start to interact with the followers that you have. People will tweet at you, and they really appreciate when a nonprofit tweets back at them to answer their questions or show your agreement.
  • Promote Your Cause – Once you gain an adequate following, you will be able to promote your nonprofit to a greater number of people than you would have reached otherwise.
  • Give Updates – Use Twitter to give live updates about what is going on in your charity or what your cause is doing.
  • Twitter Pictures – This would be a perfect way to not only tell what you are doing, but show what you are doing.
  • Show Support – Sadly there will be time when you can’t do anything but show your support and reach out.
  • Express Thanks – Lastly, when charities receive funds, resources, or even kind words from others, Twitter is a wonderful way to reach out and thank your donors.

Since the advent of social media, the promotional strategies for nonprofits have been evolving in exciting and powerful ways. Your nonprofit must adapt with these changes instead of resisting them in order to stay relevant in our more and more socially-connected world. Utilizing Twitter is a short, quick way to thank someone, distribute information, and garner support for your cause.

For more Twitter tips plus examples of nonprofits using Twitter effectively, read the full post by Shane Jones on

Do you have any nonprofit Twitter accounts that you enjoy following? Let us know in the comments below!


The Connected Cause is a place for experts in the nonprofit online space to share perspective, offer guidance and promote best practices for using today’s technology effectively. Our goal is to provide a comprehensive source of collaborative thought leadership for the nonprofit industry.


  1. Susan Kenna Wright

    This is super helpful. Many organizations use Twitter and will benefit from this guidance.

  2. Another result of adding all this information into your social streams is that it is always there and searchable. Even if someone doesn’t see your post right now, you increase the chances of your organization being found in searches in the future.

    Use the content you have that let’s your audience know that you are active and engaging with them.

  3. A few of my favorite NPO’s on Twitter: @womenforwomen and @kiva. I would also say to be selective about what you tweet – a few times a day is all you need! You can use Tweetdeck to schedule tweets so they are spaced out throughout the day.

  4. Another interesting way that the @RedCross is using Twitter is their Digital Volunteer Program which allows people around the country to volunteer their time and assist with answering questions on Twitter on behalf of the Red Cross. During natural disasters these volunteers can help by letting people know where the closest shelters are located and offer support to those that need it.

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