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Twittering for Tots: Child Fund International

| Tuesday July 21st, 2009 | 3 Comments

Follow @TheChildFund to Donate Gifts to Kids Around the World
child fund internationalNonprofits have had much success harnessing the power of the social web (specifically, Twitter) in generating awareness for their causes and motivating action. From Stacey Monk’s Tweetsgiving initiative to the multi-location Twestivals, and countless campaigns in between, Twitter has become a viable cause marketing channel for building communities around important social issues and causes. To tap into this viral mecca in promoting their new name, Child Fund International created an online giving program where all users have to do is follow them on Twitter to help children in need.


The campaign officially launched on Friday, July 10th, and in only two weeks’ time, they already have over 1,500 followers with some growing buzz echoing through users’ various networks, tweeting for them to join in the cause:

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“Our primary objective was to launch our new name and drive awareness of our activity. But we also wanted our followers to know how they were making a difference. So the idea of providing a gift from our Gifts of Hope & Love catalog for every 200 followers was born.” said Cynthia Price, Director of Communications. “And then we decided that once we distributed the gifts we would post updates on how the gifts were being used and how they changed lives.”
One of the reasons I really like this campaign is because it passes one of my primary litmus test questions, which is “Is the impact of the campaign clearly communicated to participants?” And in this case, that answer is a resounding “yes.” Not only is their Public Relations Specialist, David Hylton, manning the Twitter account and communicating the results of their giving to followers, Child Fund is also regularly updating their blog and Facebook page with the total number of gifts sent and pictures and stories about the lives they’ve touched, creating emotional synergies with the cause beyond just Twitter chatter.
To kickoff the campaign, they hired CRT/tananka who developed the strategy, and then used Geoff Livingston, the quintessential social change agent 2.0, to be their initial voice and help tap into the blogosphere. Child Fund’s ultimate goal is to create a community around their efforts, using Twitter as a springboard for building ongoing relationships with consumers and creating opportunities to get involved on a deeper level.
Unlike many social media campaigns that end up being overly hyped popularity contests, for Child Fund it’s not just about attaining a high number count of Twitter followers, but using it as a vehicle for exposure and education that engenders a true connection to the cause and an experience that extends well beyond 140 characters.


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  • Joshua

    Be aware that ChildFund International is actually Christian Children’s Fund. My wife and I give a great deal of money to charities, but we are also humanists. We hesitate to give our money to organizations that may be inculcating children (or their parents) in any particular religion.

  • http://twitter.com/ChildFund David Hylton

    Thank you for the post about our Twitter campaign! We greatly appreciate it. Joshua, thank you for your comment. Christian Children’s Fund name change to ChildFund International was completed July 1. For full details on our changes, please visit http://www.ChildFund.org.

  • Jen

    Thanks for chiming in David! I’d be interested to know if there is a religious education component to the charity work.
    I don’t personally mind if charities I donate to have a religious mission at their core, even if it’s not a religion I personally subscribe to, I just like to see transparency about how it’s integrated with the charity work.