Things you’ll need
- A twitter account
- A Just Giving account or an alternative way of receiving funds.
Some ideas about how to ask for and receive donations via Twitter. Please add others you’ve tried.
Think about your ‘asks’
Just being on brilliant on Twitter and having lots of followers doesn’t necessarily mean they will give you money. Depending on what type of organisation you are, you will need to ask and remind people how they can give.
Writing your ‘ask’
Think about how to craft your 140 character tweet so it influences people to give. These may be around a current campaign so an ‘ask’ tweet is a natural part of this. It can be difficult to get the message of your campaign across in 140 characters so make sure you factor in enough time to work on these. Remember that you can be more informal on Twitter than on your website.
For cold ‘asks’, do some analysis to find out what words work best for your audience. The first few words of a tweet are important as people skim read so it’s worth doing some testing to see whether your followers respond to the words donate / help / give etc at the start of your message. If they don’t, spend some time finding a method which does work.
One way of asking is by thanking people (EG Thanks to everyone who signed up to direct debits in the last month to fund our work. Here’s how you can too – <link>). Facts can also help (EG It’s costs £10 a month to XX, could you help? <link>) as can an indication of success (EG So far, 30 amazing people have pledged their support. Please join them <link>) or need (EG We just need another £56 to reach our target. Please help <link>).
Remember to say please and thank you.
Sending your ‘ask’
Think about the best time of day to send your tweet. Try and find some data about when you followers respond to you most (ie when they retweet (RT) your messages, mention you or follow links in your tweets).
If your followers are professional or leisure twitter users they may respond during the day or in the evening / weekends respectively. Use Hootsuite or similar twitter tools to schedule in messages if you don’t want to manually send them at 10pm.
If there are big things happening in the real world related to your cause, then take advantage of people talking or thinking about them. This might be a news story, a TV programme or an event. Capitalise on this by sending an ask or general message with link to your website using thehashtag (#) people are using.
Think about frequency. How often is right for you to send an ‘ask’ tweet? Too few won’t generate much income and too many will annoy people. Try to get the balance right.
Text Giving is an ideal way to ask directly for small donations. Either include this in your profile or send it as a message now and again. There is a separate how to guide on how to set up a text giving account and how to maximise text donations.
Invite people to tweet a donation using giv2. This is powered by JustGiving, you just need to sign up and start letting people know what to do. More information from the giv2it website.
Think about the link you include in your tweets. Are you directing people to your homepage and expecting them to click from there or pushing directly to your donation page? Think about the link that is right for your tweet. If you get more value from direct debits than the average donation, prioritise these. If you want people to know about your scheme making money from mobile phones send them there.
It is worth using http://bit.ly or similar to shorten and customise your links as you can get data about click rates from it to analyse effectiveness