Regular readers will know that NPQ is not especially impressed with contest philanthropy, but here is a new wrinkle on that theme. Some things even we can’t make up. NPQ received a press release on Wednesday from a corporate philanthropy. It read:
“The Deluxe Corporation Foundation is replacing the tedious nature of grant writing with the ‘Short & Tweet’ campaign in which nonprofits can state their case in a mere 140 characters. Through this new Twitter campaign, small nonprofits can be nominated for a chance to receive a $10,000 grant. The ‘Short & Tweet’ Grants Program is a Twitter-based giveaway, through which the Deluxe Corporation Foundation will award $100,000 worth of grants—giving 10 deserving non-profits $10,000 each. The nominated organization must have a primary mission based in economic empowerment, creating tomorrow’s workforce, promoting financial literacy, crisis assistance or the arts. From now until Wednesday, November 4th, anyone can take to Twitter and use the hashtag #DeluxeCares to make a nomination. For more detail on how the application and selection process will work, visit www.deluxecares.com.”
Frankly, we were at a loss for a proper analytical framework, so we turned to our periodic correspondent Phil Anthrop, who spoke to us from a retreat real close to Pocantico.
NPQ: As a longtime critical observer of philanthropy, how would you characterize this innovation in terms of its potential to spark real and lasting change?
Anthrop: In this wild 24/7/365 world, change happens in a jiffy, and then it disappears. Quite frankly, if your foundation doesn’t fund it before it vanishes, you will have missed the critical opportunity of that fleeting moment forever. Forever! Quicker decisions get quicker outcomes, and the movers move on, movingly, ever forward. (Am I making any sense here? Help me, people!)
NPQ: Any advice on how hopeful tweeters might word their messages?
Anthrop: Successful tweet proposals need breviation-passion and IMHO real purpose, delivered with OMFG punch! Include a bank routing number so that they can EFT your grant w/i 15 minutes.
NPQ: Do you think emoji would help or hurt a proposal?
Anthrop: Emoji are doing to tweets what talkies did to the motion picture industry. Emoji deliver nuance, sophistication, and depth that will never be found in text alone. 😉
NPQ: How do you feel about the Deluxe Corporation Foundation in light of this recent development?
Anthrop: This would have been a clever/goofy innovation six years ago, when Twitter started. In 2015…oh wait, let me just text this guy back real quick.
NPQ knows perfectly well that some of our readers will try their hand at this high-stakes tweeting. Just don’t bet the payroll on it, and let us know how it goes.
The initiative is real; Phil Anthrop, only partially so.