21 Community Foundations That Tweet


An increasing number of foundations, including community foundations, are now using Twitter.  I’ve found 21 so far, and I am sure there are more out there.  Below is a list, including links to their twitter profiles.

21 Community Foundations That Tweet

Alaska Community Foundation (Anchorage, AK) @AKCommunity
Baltimore Community Foundation (Baltimore, Maryland) @baltcommfdn
Bridge Builders Community Foundations (Oil City, Pennsylvania) @BBCF
Community Foundation for Calderdale (Halifax, UK) @CalderdaleFound
Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region (Appleton, Wisconsin) @CFFoxValley
Community Foundation of Medicine Hat & Southeastern Alberta (Alberta, Canada) @CFMH
Community Foundation of South East Kansas (Pittsburg, KS) @CFSEK
Crossroads Community Foundation (MetroWest area of Massachusetts) @CCFDN
Grand Rapids Community Foundation (Grand Rapids,MI) @GRCommFound
Greater Kansas City Community Foundation (Kansas City, MO) @gkccf
Gulf Coast Community Foundation of Venice (Venice, FL) @GulfCoastCF
Horizons Foundation (San Francisco, CA) @horizonsfdn
Oshkosh Area Community Foundation (Oshkosh, Wisconsin) @OACF
Pittsburgh Foundation (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) @PittsburghFdn
The Cleveland Foundation (Cleveland, Ohio) @CleveFoundation
The Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo (Buffalo, NY) @CFGB
The Community Foundation for Southwest Washington (Vancouver, WA) @CFSWW
The Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham (Birmingham, AL) @comfoundbham
The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee (Nashville, TN) @CFMT
The Community Foundation Boulder County (Bolder, CO) @CommFound
The Greater Saint John Community Foundation (St. John, New Brunswick) @GSJCF

Community Foundations’ Experiences With Twitter

Trip Sullivan, Communications Officer at the Baltimore Community Foundation (@baltcommfd), described to me how their foundation got started with Twitter:

There had been a lot of buzz over twitter, facebook and blogging among our 40-person staff, and so our Director of Communications tasked us to create a Social Networking Workgroup and invite all those interested to become involved. We’ve had between 6-8 people at meetings, and all departments have been represented.

Anyone in their workgroup is welcome to tweet, and they agreed to a set of guidelines they follow:

All Baltimore Community Foundation Tweets should:

  • be timely
  • spark conversation
  • NOT present BCF or a fellow organization in a negative light
  • be relevant to BCF’s constituency, pertaining specifically to BCF’s: path, donors, grantees, initiatives, or the philanthropic field

Paul Putman (@paultofu), a program officer at The Cleveland Foundation, shared that one of the main reasons he uses Twitter is “to keep a finger on the pulse of what’s happening, both nationally in terms of philanthropy and nonprofit trends and news, as well as locally in terms of following specific nonprofits and people.” He also describes some of the dilemmas he encounters, such as:

  • As a program officer, having to walk a line between tweeting as an individual, while  still being associated with a foundation
  • Never knowing if Twitter followers truly value his contributions, or if they’re just saying that they value them to make him feel good about them, and in turn, their organizations
  • Concerns about tweeting about individual grantees, as he doesn’t want to show favoritism or mislead anyone.

Community Foundations Group on LinkedIn

Lastly, in my search for community foundations that tweet I came across one interesting social media resource for community foundations that I wanted to pass along: Community Foundation Staff Group on LinkedIn “a professional network of community foundation staff throughout the world. Its purpose is to support the connection and networking of peers.”

Please share your comments and experiences with Twitter. If you are a community foundation that tweets and you aren’t on the list (or you know of one), let me know.  As the list grows I will update it.

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Posted by Kris Putnam-Walkerly  © Kris Putnam-Walkerly and Philanthropy411, 2009

Kris is a sought after philanthropy advisor, expert and award-winning author. She has helped over 90 foundations and philanthropists strategically allocate and assess over half a billion dollars in grants and gifts.

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