Dowser is welcoming new writers/contributors; please send us a note at info@dowser.org with a writing sample.

Twitter Roundup – May 6: Nonprofits beware the Ides of May, TED and VisionSpring on the small screen, and guess who won a million bucks from Sam’s Club?

   /   May 7th, 2010News

Search for the hashtag #socent and you’ll find wide-ranging interest in social entrepreneurship on Twitter. Here’s a roundup of a few thought-provoking tweets from the last week:

Chris Anderson (@TEDchris), Curator of TED, the wildly popular conference series devoted to “ideas worth spreading,” spilled some big news last week. He announced the TED Open TV Project, which gives television stations around the world the right to air the talks for free. TedTalks have already been viewed 250 million times since they came online in 2006. Because tickets to TED are limited and expensive, the Open TV Project is a welcome extension of Anderson’s vision to make the talks widely available.

In an event that the The New York Times is dubbing “a doomsday,” one-fifth to one-quarter of U.S. nonprofits (400,000 orgs!) may lose their tax-exempt status at midnight on May 15. Don Kramer (@donkramer), editor and publisher of the Nonprofit Issues Newsletter, is staying cool-headed and providing legal advice to anyone who will listen. Previously, nonprofits that raised under $25,000 per year did not have to file tax returns, but that all changed in 2006—unbeknownst to many small nonprofits that may lose their tax breaks. That would be a crippling blow.

Kiva co-founder and CEO Matt Flannery (@mattflannery) sounds pleased about the $1 million grant the organization won in the Sam’s Club Giving Made Simple competition. 125,000 Sam’s Club members and employees were invited to vote online for their favorite entrepreneurship-based charities; on certain days Twitter users could join in and help double the votes. Kiva’s has about 350,000 followers on Twitter, so maybe that helps account for their success. For more on Kiva, check out our interview with Flannery.

VisionSpring (@VisionSpring) is an organization that helps people (especially women) in the developing world start their own businesses selling reading glasses. This program not only generates income for the vendors, but also for locals who cannot work if they cannot see. Wednesday night, the young company was profiled on CBS News with Katie Couric (@katiecouric). Missed it? No worries, the 3-minute video can be seen here. With this and TEDTalks on television, maybe it’s time we stop calling it the “idiot box”!

That’s all for this week. Did we miss anything great? Let us know in the comments or send us a tweet @DowserDotOrg.

Comments are closed.