Give your fundraising tweets the #XFactor!

I have a simple formula for making a fundraising impact with Twitter,

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Something + Twitter = Success

And it doesn’t really matter what the somehting is. By which I mean Twitter is at its most effecive when it is combined with other activty, other media; something else that is going on right now. In this example, it is the X factor.


I’m not the biggest fan of the X Factor, as I believe it possible that Simon Cowell has killed pop music and now he’s doing something unpleasant to its corpse. But my opinions about the “repulsive” Cowell and reality TV aside, the X Factor is a Twitter phenomena that creates an immense amout of conversation, so there is an opportunity there for charities if you can be relevant to the conversations they are having.

I was very impressed the job the Blue Cross did when they were on undercover boss, so when I heard the Lloyd family, who live with Duchenne muscular dystrophy, would feature on the X factor I thought it was an opportunity to raise awareness of the work Muscular Dystrophy Campaign does funding research and supporting people with MD. So that is what I did, and we got some of the most re-tweets we ever have:

X Factor re-tweets

Pleased as I was about this, the real win came months later when I spotted one of our fundraisers tweeting about their Just Giving page and I read some very interesting stuff about why she was fundraising in her story:

You might remember seeing the video on the X factor showing the Lloyd family and 3 brothers affected by this disease. I was inspired by seeing this, and meeting individuals from the charity, to help & raise money for this worthwhile charity.

I got in touch with Jill to find out a bit more:

So I cannot claim that it was all about the tweeting; it was a magic combo of the X Factor, tweeting and some face-to-face contact that got Jill inspired by the work of MDC. But none-the-less, I’m delighted by how the methods the charity are using worked in harmony here to draw in a new supporter by explaining to them what we do and the kind of people we help. Jill could have fundraised for the hospice that was featured in the X Factor or perhaps a Duchenne specific charity, but she didn’t.

I’m putting this down the magic formula of something + Twitter = Success.


Perhaps Simon Cowell ins’t so bad, he did have a hand in this and the awareness really means a lot to a small (ish) charity. So some humble pie for me, but I did learn some things about fundraising and Twitter.

Be relevant

You cant just rock up on Twitter and start asking people for cash on eviction night. Well you can, but it won’t work and it most likely make you look like a spammer. But if you know something is going to be on TV that is related to your cause, the people you support, or the work you are doing; live tweeting during the show is a great opportnity to make connections with people, raise awareness and perhaps fundraise.


When I got back to the office on Monday, I had measures to share. Very important for convincing anyone who thinks social media may not be all its cracked up to be or a bit wishy washy. These people exsist! And sharing your measures with them is a powerful way to get them on board.


This post would not be here if I didnt hear what Jill was saying on Twitter and take the time to read her story on Just Giving. Those sections of Just Giving are a goldmine of great stories – mine that gold and share!


I tweeted about Jill’s fundraising, asked questions and blogged about it, it has all helped me to learn more.


Although I didn’t ask Jill for money, someone from the chariy went to her work and asked for support. This wasn’t an accident, Jill was asked and because she knew about the impact DMD had on the Lloyd family, she wanted to help.

And finally…

I would like to thank the Lloyd Famliy, the X Factor, my charity colleagues, Together4ShortLives and Jill, of course. They all had a hand in this, I just wrote about it.

And don’t forget, you can still sponsor Jill!


Jill’s event was postponed by snow until Sunday 19 February, so she took the opportunity to do a bit more fundraising and thanking her donors on Twitter. This blog also got a mention. Good luck Jill!

She did it!

Well done Jill!


About medavep
I work in the UK charity sector and sometimes I blog about fundraising, digital and consumer experience. Sometimes I just moan.

One Response to Give your fundraising tweets the #XFactor!

  1. Pingback: “But there is no control over what is said” « medavep

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