Twitter’s Manager For Social Innovation On How Social Is Shaping The Future Of Nonprofits

From Fast CoExist:

Claire Diaz-Ortiz was one of Twitter’s early adopters. In 2007, tweeting from a remote orphanage in Kenya with spotty Internet access, she reported on the children she was living with and the creation of her nonprofit Hope Runs, which is dedicated to using running to empower AIDS orphans in Kenya. Twitter’s Creative Director Biz Stone tapped her to come on board as the Manager of Social Innovation in 2009. At Twitter, Diaz-Ortiz manages philanthropic, social good, and cause marketing initiatives, thinking hard about how to help nonprofits and social enterprises make best use of social media to further their missions. Last year, she wrote and released Twitter for Good: Change the World One Tweet at a Time. Most recently she’s been training powerful religious leaders to use Twitter to connect with their congregants en masse.

Why is giving time different than giving money?

I once did a master’s degree in anthropology, and in my work I explored the experiences of international volunteers participating in service learning programs abroad. So, essentially, the (mostly) Westerners who travel to (mostly) developing nations to do volunteer work of some sort. In that work, I explored the intricacies of this relationship: how a community changes, how an international volunteer changes, and if the spending of time in this way (as opposed to the sending of dollars to said community) is a productive tool for positive global change.

I am convinced that time–in both the sense of international volunteer experiences and volunteering in your local soup kitchen–is essential for true change. This time not only dramatically changes the volunteer herself, but helps forge critical cross-cultural relationships that are the backbone of progress.

In short, giving of time is essential.

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