How Twitter Donations Work: What Your Nonprofit Needs to Know

Twitter is experimenting with allowing certain nonprofits to accept donations directly through tweets. Like how only a select few nonprofits had access to Facebook’s early launch of their Facebook Fundraising Tools, only a select few nonprofits currently have access to Twitter Donations. It is unclear if Twitter has plans to provide access to more nonprofits in the near future, but doing so would be a smart move. It’s becoming increasingly clear that digital payments will be central to the social network experience in 2017 and thereafter.

For Twitter to expand the service to all nonprofits in the United States they would have partner with a database like GuideStar USA (to easily verify a nonprofit’s legal status) and a donation processing service, such as Network for Good. With charitable giving in the United States at a record high of $373.25 billion given annually and a growing percentage of that amount being given online, it’s time for Twitter (and Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Snapchat) to take the financial power of the philanthropic sector more seriously.

Expanding Twitter Donations internationally is more challenging because an international database of verified nonprofits doesn’t exist and international banking transfers are more costly and complicated, however, GlobalGiving would be a good partner for expanding internationally. Twitter (and Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Snapchat) could also consider expanding the donation service to nonprofits, charities and NGOs that use the .NGO and .ONG domains for the website and email communications since only legally verified nonprofits, charities, and NGOs (and ONGs) can use the new domains. The domains themselves serve as verification and that’s not a very difficult piece of code to write. Hint, hint. 

1) Donors can now give directly through Twitter. See @Water, for example.

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2) For the first donation, donors must enter their credit card information.

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3) Every donation thereafter to any participating nonprofit can be made in two taps/clicks using their saved credit card information.

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4) After giving, donors can easily tweet their donation.

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5) Donors can view their donation history under Settings > Order history.

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6) Nonprofits are provided the donor’s email address for a follow-up thank you email and email engagement.

Water.org has yet to send a thank you, but the donation was only made two days ago, so it is likely coming. That said, I have made 16 donations to nonprofits via Facebook this year and not one of them has sent a thank you follow-up email. In addition, I have also made numerous donations via YouTube Donation Cards and again, haven’t received any kind of acknowledgement. Nonprofits, you need to get much better at thanking donors who give directly through social networks – and fast.

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