Uses Twitter To Reach Fundraising Goal In Just 48 Hours

To keep you up-to-date on creative and innovative fundraising ideas, we will occasionally inform you about how others raise funds for their groups and how you can apply their fundraising strategies to your own fundraiser: created the website specifically for their fundraising campaign to fund building a classroom for a school in Tanzania. During Thanksgiving week (2008), they’ve been using their Twitter account to help get out their message and have managed to reach their fundraising goal of $10,000 within just 48 hours! (Twitter is a site where you can log on and exchange short messages or ‘tweets’ with others. Sounds easy? It is!)


How can you start an online fundraising campaign like this one?

The great thing about this campaign is, that it is pretty easy to implement if you already have a website for your group. A website is important, so potential supporters can easily get more information about your cause and have a place where they can donate. However, unless your group already has a Twitter account, plan for some additional time to attract followers, find others to follow and learn about how Twitter works before you start your campaign.

You have to sign up for several accounts, so make sure you have all contact information handy before you start.

1. Sign up for a PayPal Business account. (Sign up is free.) PayPal will verify all new accounts, so it may take a few days before you can actually use your account and accept payments through it. PayPal is a great way to collect money, because supporters can donate with credit cards or electronic transfers and PayPal is integrated with many online donation services. You can also use PayPal to raise funds through your website. Having a payment portal like PayPal is useful for any online fundraising campaign, not just this one, so sign up now, even if you’re not ready yet for this particular campaign.

2. Sign up for (free) This will allow you to create a widget that shows current contributions – like a ‘fundraising thermomenter’ – to your campaign (see example on website) through PayPal. Put this widget on your website to show your fundraising progress.

3. Create an account at (free) Be sure to pick a user name that reflects or describes your cause. Do allow some time between signing up for a Twitter account and the start of your campaign, so you can get familiar with Twitter and attract some followers for your cause. You will see that the more you interact on Twitter, the more followers you will get; you will also meet many others who have worthwhile causes!

4. Confirm your time frame (over a weekend or just a few days) and make sure you or your volunteers get familiar with Twitter before you start your campaign. This will assure everything will go smoothly.

5. You’re ready to launch your fundraiser! Announce your fundraising campaign on your website and through your e-mail list.

Make sure your or your volunteers are signed in to your Twitter account during every day of your campaign. You can chat with others, answer questions about the campaign, direct followers to your website (where they can also donate), thank each person for their donation, etc. The key is to be a part of the campaign and spreading excitement about your cause.

The TweetsGiving campaign asked followers to ‘tweet’ about what they’re thankful for. This created a conversation and a buzz around the campaign. Some posted funny videos or photos and linked to them on Twitter, which created even more interest. You can do something similar with your fundraiser to get people talking, laughing and telling their friends about the fundraiser. People like to be a part of something positive and people like to help!


Yes, it can get overwhelming. But don’t fret! There’s another way to gain a better understanding about this type of fundraiser: look at it from the perspective of a supporter.

1. Learning about the ‘giving information’ and ‘receiving donations’ part: Go to the website to read about their fundraising campaign and to see the fundraising widget at the top of the page. Then click on the fundraising widget, which takes you directly to their PayPal account. Now donate – any amount is welcomed! You can just donate a dollar if you like. (Since they’ve already reached their fundraising goal, any additional funds will go to building a library for the school.) As you go through the payment process, take your time; this is the same process your supporters will go through, when they donate to your cause once you’ve set up your fundraising campaign.

2. Learning about the ‘social networking’ ‘creating a buzz’ and ‘asking for money’ part: Go to’s Twitter page and read the messages created by them throughout their campaign (3 days around Thanksgiving). They welcomed new followers, thanked people who donated and spread the word about their cause, asked for money, made jokes, linked to funny videos and pictures etc. This is the part that you or your volunteers need to take time for if you decide to do a campaign like this. This is also why a short time frame works best; someone always needs to be available.

(While you’re on, you may want to set up your own personal account and start using it. You’ll see what others are ‘tweeting’ about, you can search for your favorite websites’ Twitter accounts, follow others who are promoting their causes and more.)

Don’t forget:

Just because this fundraiser is virtual doesn’t mean you should just forget about it when it’s completed. Make sure you ‘tweet’ about your fundraising success, thank everyone again for their generosity and also write about it on your website.

Also ask supporters if they’d like to keep informed about future fundraising campaigns and collect e-mail addresses.

Any questions about this fundraiser? Please post them in the comments section below.

Update: For Thanksgiving 2009 EpicChange is moving the celebration offline with live gratitude parties across the globe, to be held during November 24 – 26, 2009. Already, events are scheduled from Tel Aviv to the Silicon Valley, and from Phoenix to Frankfurt. Learn more about staging your own Gratitude Party.


For final statistics on this fundraiser visit He was part of the team putting this fundraiser together.

More about How Others Raise Funds.

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  1. Posted by marcij 29th November, 2008 at 2:33 am

    This is amazing – what a little online socializing can do! We will definitely try this with our New Years fundraiser.

  2. Posted by stevel 2nd December, 2008 at 1:29 pm

    Wow, I’m impressed. Never had any idea what Twitter would be good for. I guess you just never know…

  3. Posted by Julia 8th June, 2009 at 2:36 am

    What a fantastic idea. We are currently assisting The Kennel Club Charitable Trust & this would be a huge benefit. Well done & count us in!

  4. Posted by Julia 8th June, 2009 at 2:37 am

    How come we have only just heard about this please?

  5. Posted by Online Cancer Fundraising Campaigns 20th October, 2009 at 12:27 pm

    […] a worthy cause can raise substantial money through social media channels on the web. Case in point EpicChange’s Twitter fundraiser. (Read about more online fundraising campaigns […]

  6. Posted by Georgia 21st October, 2009 at 1:17 pm

    Is this occurring again this year? Is it possible to put the dates up on your blog posts so we know when they are posted and if they are still up to date?

    Thank you,

  7. Posted by 21st October, 2009 at 4:40 pm

    Hello Georgia – thanks for your comment! This year EpicChange is planning offline events across the globe; you can read more about the events here. We continuously update our articles and add dates where necessary into the text itself. Comments will always have a date attached. Please let us know if you have any other questions!



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