Twitter can be one of the trickiest social media platforms to use. Beginners are sometimes bewildered by Twitter’s unique language full of # and @ symbols. Learning to navigate Twitter means understanding that different people and organizations use the platform in very different ways. Super-users are prolific, tweeting their news and information, observations, and opinions many times a day and interacting with hundreds (or thousands) of followers. Plenty of others use Twitter in a sort of broadcast mode, making sure that people are aware of key program developments, job openings, changes in leadership and other helpful bits of news.
Since traditional media, on the whole, covers nonprofits less frequently than it does for-profit businesses, the nonprofit sector can have trouble reaching its audiences and interested investors, observers and policymakers. Twitter to the rescue!
By selectively following leading nonprofits, it’s possible to stay abreast of nonprofit news and updates. And remember, on Twitter you can remain solely a reader, not a contributor. You don’t have to go on your own personal Twitter binge to take advantage of other people’s news and posts.
Here are several nonprofits and foundations that you can follow on Twitter to inform yourself on Minnesota nonprofit news. This list will get you started; you’ll find that many of Minnesota’s nonprofits are using Twitter to share ideas and information.
@AALFTwinCities – The African American Leadership Forum tweets news, information and event announcements with links to the group’s monthly newsletter.
@MNCompass - Minnesota Compass provides links to accurate and comprehensive demographic data about Minnesotans, which can be used to document social and economic trends.
@FollowMCF – The Minnesota Council on Foundations tweets news and information about the state’s private sector grantmakers.
@GiveMN – The state’s largest web-based platform for donations, GiveMN also produces the annual Give to The Max Day (#GTMD) in Minnesota, and tweets fund-raising advice and news.
@HOTC – HandsOn Twin Cities is the major crossroads for people who are looking for volunteer opportunities and organizations seeking volunteers. HOTC tweets volunteer openings and news.
@MinnesotaRising – Tweeting about the millennial generation in Minnesota, with news about opportunities, meet-ups and policy developments.
@NAFund – The Nonprofits Assistance Fund tweets about financial practices for nonprofit organizations and includes information about upcoming events and webinars. The organization is led by frequent tweeter @KateSBarr.
@PollenMidwest – The local social network tweets job openings, news and information for the civically minded, including corporate and nonprofit news and events.
@SmartGivers – Minnesota’s Charities Review Council tweets information about best practices for the nonprofit sector and the training needed to strengthen organizations’ compliance.
@SmartNonprofits – The Minnesota Council of Nonprofits, the state’s largest membership organization for the sector, tweets about jobs, programs, conferences, grant alerts and other information that nonprofits need to know.
@YNPNTC – The Young Nonprofits Professionals Network, Twin Cities, organizes meet-ups, information sharing and ideas for the next generation of nonprofit leadership.
@BushFoundation – One of the region’s largest foundations tweets about its work and the activities of grantees, Bush Fellows and Bush staff members.
@McKnightFdn – Another of Minnesota’s largest foundations has an increasingly active Twitter feed, with news and updates from the foundation and its grantees.
@MNPartnersTweet – Minnesota Philanthropy Partners, home of the St. Paul, Bigelow, and Mardag foundations, tweets about the Partners’ grantmaking, with news and updates from east metro nonprofits.
@MplsFoundation – The Minneapolis Foundation tweets about its funded programs, information for donors and Minneapolis boosterism news.
@NWAFound – The Northwest Area Foundation tweets about its grants and the ideas that inspire its programming.
@UnitedWayTC – The Greater Twin Cities United Way has an active Twitter feed about giving and volunteering in the region and related public policy issues.
I’m sure to have missed some of your key sources. Please share your ideas and see you on Twitter @Lutman_Sarah. Remember to follow @TCBmag while you’re at it! tcbmag
Sarah Lutman is a St. Paul-based independent consultant and writer for clients in the cultural, media and philanthropic sectors.