Fundraising news, ideas and inspiration for professional charity fundraisers

How fundraisers could use Twitter's new places feature

How fundraisers could use Twitter's new places feature

has begun to makes its new ‘places’ feature available to users around the world, enabling them both to tag their own tweets by location and to find tweets posted at a particular location, such as where they are right then.

According to Jolie O’Dell on Mashable (Twitter Launches “Places” Feature with Foursquare Integration), “Twitter Places can be explored and will reveal a list of recent, public tweets from that location. Twitter will also show you nearby locations and points of interest, including restaurants and shops.” Clearly this represents some interesting opportunities to fundraisers. Indeed, it is this extension of Twitter’s geolocation facilities that I have been flagging up to fundraisers for the past 18 months at my Fundraising with Twitter courses and presentations.

Look out for the ‘Add your location’ link below the tweet box on your Twitter account. If it isn’t there yet (it isn’t on mine), expect it to appear sometime in the next week as the facility is extended to all Twitter users.

How might fundraisers make the most of the new ‘places’ feature? Here are some ideas:

* find/promote/interact with tweets being posted during or at a fundraising event in a particular location. It need not be an official event run by the charity, but could be that run by volunteers. Offer a twitterfeed or twitterfountain display on your charity’s website of all tweets coming from that venue for that night to promote it further.

* for charities working in large buildings, find out if anyone else at other companies is mentioning your charity or the issues it deals with on Twitter. You can click a Twitter Place within a Tweet to see recent Tweets from a particular location.

* set up your charity office, offices, shops, projects etc as Twitter Places and see who tweets from there. Are they potential supporters or volunteers?

* corporate fundraisers – before visiting a corporate supporter, or a prospective corporate supporter, find out who tweets most from their location (if of course the company permits Twitter use at work).

* find volunteers near a particular fundraising project or charity shop

* set the start/finish line for marathons as a Twitter place and let your runners announce (to their sponsors?) that they’ve started their fundraising event, or crossed the finish line and now it is time to pay up.

* local newspapers will no doubt start to track activity on Twitter Places within their patch, so make sure they’re aware of your charity’s Twitter places

There are very many more opportunities for fundraisers from this new development. How do you think your charity might start using Twitter Places? As we are so often told, it really is a matter of location, location, location.

Howard Lake is a digital fundraising entrepreneur. Publisher of UK Fundraising, the world's first web resource for professional fundraisers, since 1994. Trainer and consultant in digital fundraising. Founder of Fundraising Camp.

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