Please enjoy Janet Gadeski’s piece for yourself, but in essence she is discussing taking the power of Twitter to what we do in fundraising. What is the power of Twitter? What some argue is the deterioration of the English language (or any language) and our ability to express ourselves, I would argue is actually a very positive and neat evolution of expression. On Twitter – if you didn’t already know – all posts (tweets) have to be 140 characters or less; it’s called microblogging. Yes, sometimes I take shortcuts by typing “U” instead of “You”, and yes, sometimes I use sentence fragments, but that’s just utilizing my precious characters carefully. Moreover, as Gadeski says, it’s about packing a punch in your tweets and turning them into “pithy, memorable” messages, and that’s not easy!
My high school English teacher once quoted Mark Twain (though I may be attributing this to the wrong author) from a letter he’d written to a friend: “I did not have time to write you a short letter, so I wrote you a long one instead”. My teacher quoted this after assigning us a 200-word paper — not exactly tough when I consider the lengthy papers I’ve written before, but as we all know, it’s easier to blather on with no word limit than it is to make a really solid point in a confined space.
When I say bringing the power of Twitter to fundraising, I don’t mean tweeting to your donors, though that’s good, too! I mean working to create short, to-the-point, concise messages.
As Gadeski writes, “Pithy, memorable messages – just what we want as fundraisers. In our accelerated world, even an elevator speech may be too long to remain in the brain. Every day, thousands of messages stream towards your donors, in every medium in the brain. You may be retreating as far as you can from the whole notion of Twitter, but you have to admit that conciseness will lift your messages above that torrent.”
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Written by Maeve Strathy
Maeve is the Founder of What Gives Philanthropy and has been working in educational fundraising for the past 6 years. Click here to learn more about Maeve.