Nonprofits and Social Media: 5 Twitter Highlights for Those in the Know


In my few moments of spare time a day, I’ve been experimenting with the effect of Twitter’s microblogging. What have I learned? The primary thing that you need to know is that the world of Twitter is wide open to new participants, whether individuals or foundations. It’s a great way to catch the eyes and ears of people who matter and to drive traffic to your blog.

In the last few days I came across a number of stories that I had to share with you– they are that exciting.

  1. “10 Twitter Tips for Nonprofits” by Heather Mansfield of (@changedotorg). The only point I disagree with is Mansfield’s advice that you should provide value to your followers instead of ‘chit-chatting.’ As with any social media platform, I believe it is key to imbue your tweets with a sense of  personality so that you readers feel a personal connection and investment with you as an individual. This is also why I advocate that foundation accounts are headed by a single person whose name is cited. People want to talk to people.
  2. “Nonprofit Groups Outpace Businesses in Adopting Social Networking Tools” by Peter Panepento of The Chronicle of Philanthropy (@philanthropy). Among the findings of the UMass-Dartmouth study are that 89% of nonprofits are using some form of social media and that 57% have blogs. These numbers, which may strike some as surprisingly high, are a logical result of the low barriers to entry of social media in this cut to the bone economy.
  3. Jared Cohen (Sourced from

    Jared Cohen

    “State Department Atwitter Over Young, Jewish Tech Tutor” by Allison Gaudet Yarrow of The Forward (@jdforward). The best part of this article is the Stephen Colbert interview with our subject, Jared Cohen, who points out that 60% of the Middle East’s population is under 30, and that they are the most accessible, impressionable, and those with whom we have the greatest opportunity to connect. Interestingly, Cohen’s own Twitter page is fairly average (@Jared_Cohen). I guess when you are the youngest member of the State Department’s Policy Planning Team, self promotion isn’t the first thing on your mind.

    — Keep Reading for Highlights on Young Jews Connecting Through Twitter and Israeli Billionaires, As Well as Quick Hits & Hot Links —

  4. “Tweets– With Substance: Young Jews Look to Twitter Website to Rediscover Jewish Identity” by Adam Kredo of the Washington Jewish Week. The article examines Twitter’s role in connecting young Jews who feel disenfranchised from formal Jewish communities. The article quotes Lisa Kaneff, who says, “It’s not just a social avenue, it’s a religious and educational avenue, one that I’ve never been exposed to.” Using Twitter, Kaneff enhanced both her on- and offline connections with the Jewish community, providing her with a richer experience overall. As always with social media, Twitter should be used as a tool for building relationships with the ultimate goal of increasing people’s personal investment in each other.
  5. “Morphed: Cheryl Saban’s Journey from Beach Bunny to Philanthropist”
    Cheryl & Haim Saban

    Cheryl & Haim Saban

    by Allison Hoffman of Tablet Magazine, formerly (@tabletmag). Cheryl Saban (@csaban) hasn’t always been the wife of one of Israel’s most prominent billionaires. In previous days, she has been a model, single mother, secretary, children’s store owner, and the bestselling author of a thriller based on her own experience as a survivor of rape. Tablet features this personal look at Saban’s transformation, including her most recent efforts: the establishment of The Women’s Self-Worth Foundation, which will provide women with micro-finance grants in Israel and the US.

Quick Hits

Twitter accounts mentioned in this article:

Links of Interest



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4 Responses to Nonprofits and Social Media: 5 Twitter Highlights for Those in the Know

  1. Ian says:

    Glad you’re back Maya. Excellent post as usual. Very timely and informative. It’s amazing how much talent is on display on the pages of your blog.

  2. Ian says:

    Maya, job hunting in Atlanta second half of July. Yes, back in Israel for the meantime. Amazing how much jobs in the US pay, if you can find one.

    • Maya Norton says:

      So true. Especially amazing (or disturbing) is the disparity in pay between equivalent Israeli and US jobs. Wow, what a difference there is between them.

      ~ Maya

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