“Donate Now!” on Twitter?

by Bridget Pooley, Manager of Engagement

Last week Twitter announced the US launch of their new ‘buy’ button, which, when combined with their impressive stats (more than 270M monthly active users send a combined 500M tweets per day) has real potential to shift the way users interact with brands on this social media platform.

While the initial roll out has a narrow focus – it’ll only be available to a select group of mobile users and will consist primarily of limited-edition items – it’s already a step above the hashtag-purchasing on Twitter with Amazon and American Express, which feels cumbersome, not to mention very public, requiring users to tweet a purchase. Twitter will incorporate an authentic and native-looking ‘buy’ button that will lead to shipping and payment pages. They worked with brands such as Fancy and Stripe to build out the platform and promise more partners will follow.


DonorsChoose.org featured this limited edition #backtoschool tee with Mindy Kaling

What I find so unique about the pilot is their selection of brands involved – nineteen of the twenty-eight brands are musicians and just two of the group are commercial brands (Burberry and The Home Depot), the rest are nonprofit organizations. The non-profits selected are varied, too:

The true impact and success of the Twitter buy button remains to be seen for all brands involved, but this is especially true for nonprofits who – unlike (RED) or Glide – don’t already have a commerce component in their existing fundraising strategy. I’m curious to see how this functionality will be used creatively, outside of DonorsChoose’s t-shirt. Perhaps nonprofits will feature discounted tickets to a fundraising event or garner financial support for a timely advocacy campaign (bonus points if it’s around a trending topic)?

I know I’m not the first to think what the numbers would have looked like if ALS Association had a “Donate!” button promoted to Facebook users posting videos with the #IceBucketChallenge tag; would eliminating the step of navigating to the ALS Association’s website to donate have increased their already staggering donation amount?

I, for one, am interested to see how the ‘Buy’ button develops and whether it will become a reliable source of donations for nonprofits.