Do Grant Pros Tweet?
Grant professionals are on the Twittersphere – sharing, gathering and connecting.
I know! Who knew?
Recently, I found myself proclaiming the joys and advantages of Twitter for grant departments and grant consultants. This is surprising because a few years ago I was doggedly opposed to using Twitter. I mean, why would I want to sign up for another time sucking social media tool when I was already using Linked In and Facebook, right? Wrong!
Don’t get me wrong, you can waste a lot of time on any social media tool.
(Confession: I am hooked on rousing games of WordsFreeTM with my Facebook friends.)
Did you know that foundations and corporate giving programs are big Twitter users?
Even federal agencies and state programs are jumping into the nest!
If you want to build a relationship with a potential funder …wait, let me rephrase that –
You WANT to build a relationship with potential funders and strengthen relationships with existing funders. One way to do that is to follow them on Twitter. You can get a better understanding of their mission, their values and what they are doing now through Twitter than you can by going to a stagnant webpage that has distilled their focus down to a few bullet points.
Take the next step – retweet!
What is the foundation or corporate program promoting today? Join their team by promoting their tweets. You will be appreciated and you will get noticed. Next, tweet about your organization’s programs, events, etc. and include hashtags that you know the funder follows/uses. In most organizations, the person responsible for the organization’s Twitter account is someone who loves networking and communicating. And that, my dear friend, is the very person who can be your best advocate when you go for a grant. A word of caution, don’t hound them on Twitter with direct messages. Tweet about them, for them and about the things your organization does that is aligned with their mission.
How to I use Twitter?
I use Twitter to 1) identify, share and track grant opportunities, 2) build relationships with gurus, and 3) for inspiration! I have used Twitter since 2009 but didn’t use it purposefully until recently, when I started the JM Grants’ Twitter account, @jm_grants. Now I can’t imagine doing my work without it.
Let me give you a great example of how it has made my job easier and enriched by business, my followers and my clients (both organizational clients and mentored grant professionals).
When I come across a grant opportunity I will post a quick tweet that contains the funder’s name, sometimes the project name, the due date and a link to the application. Later, I can go to my Twitter history capture all of my tweets that contain #grantop or #grants and –VOILA- a sortable grants list! You can follow me and do the same thing with my Twitter history. How cool is that?
I could go on and on about the ways that Twitter enhances my professional and personal life. But, I want to hear about your Twitter ‘Hoorays!’ That is, how has Twitter been beneficial for you?
Hope to see you in the Twittersphere!
Jo Miller, GPC
*TTROI – this is not a recognized term, ‘per se’…okay, I made it up!