The most memorable time this happened for me was when I discovered an online forum where people gathered to discuss my – and their! – favorite author’s book series. Even better, reading back through the archives I discovered that the author posts to the forum as well, answering questions and debating plot possibilities with as much intensity as her readers.
It was like I’d found the magic door with a hidden world behind it!
You may not believe this, but Twitter was like that for me, too, once I figured out how to get the most from it.
But there is an underground river of information and genuinely informed commentary that runs through the channels of Twitter, where questions and debates are led by some of the brightest minds in our industry.
Conversations, connections, and real relationships are built every day on Twitter and they can lead to meaningful collaborations, projects and funding.
In fact, if it wasn’t for a Twitter connection, I would never have had a conversation with Darian Heyman (former executive director of the Craigslist Foundation) that led to me contributing to the prospect development chapter in his book, Nonprofit Fundraising 101. A simple “Follow” and subsequent direct messages led to a new relationship and a meaningful experience.
Why am I telling you this?
Because if you’re not on Twitter, I really think you should be. If you set up a handle ages ago and just haven’t gotten back in the boat, I’m asking you to try again. There’s a lot there to learn, and I don’t want you to miss out. Also, I know that you have a lot to share, and selfishly, I don’t want to miss out on what you find or have to say.
Twitter is very easy to get on board. And you control your experience.
You create the stream that you want – you don’t have to follow a million people. I know someone who only follows 8 others, and that totally works for them. I follow over a thousand accounts, but I use tools that help me sluice and dam the flow, by topic, by industry, by personality…all kinds of things.
Best of all, your self-curated Twitter stream brings you in direct contact with experts in a way that was just not previously possible. Want to know what Lucy Bernholz or Dan Pallotta is thinking? You have their direct line.
You’ll also find information, guidance, and resources on the fundraising and nonprofit landscape, discover interest and capacity about your prospective donors, and learn ways to be more efficient and effective in your work.
A few months ago, fellow HBGer Rachel Dakarian and I were talking about how valuable Twitter was to us, and we wondered why more prospect researchers and frontline fundraisers weren’t taking the plunge.
So we decided to create a podcast to talk about what you’re missing. We’ll talk you through the most important points of joining in, share etiquette tips, useful books, great curation tools, and give you pointers for who to start following. If you’re on the fence, or if you really aren’t sure how or why to get started, give us a few minutes of your time to talk you through our experience.
And let us know what you think – below…or on Twitter, of course.