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Charity hashtag boost for Twitter

Published 17/04/2015

The hashtag system helps make it easier to donate on Twitter
The hashtag system helps make it easier to donate on Twitter

Twitter users can now donate to charity by tweeting the organisations they want to support using a hashtag and the amount they wish to give.

#Donate is a new social payment platform system created by retail technology company #Pay, which links together a user's Twitter and PayPal accounts so that money can be sent via the social media site.

The company has partnered with the Good Agency to access the charity market - with organisations being asked to register themselves with the service to become active.

Once registered, a charity can send out a tweet with a hashtag linked to #Donate, and followers can reply or retweet using the same hashtag, the charity's Twitter handle and the amount they want to donate. They will then receive a thank you tweet from the charity, which they will be asked to retweet in order to confirm the donation.

On the official website, #Donate describes itself as a "new and exciting technology that lets your supporters donate to you directly through social media platforms like Twitter. #Donated finally removes the barriers of giving through social so you can monetise your social following for the first time."

Some money transfers are already possible via the medium of Twitter, with the Barclays Pingit app supporting the ability for users to send and receive money using just their Twitter handle. It works for users on both iOS and Android.

The hope is that the new scheme will improve activism for charitable causes, coming in the wake of widespread social networking campaigns surrounding trends such as the "no make-up selfie", where social media users were encouraged to post a selfie minus any make-up.

It helped to raise more than £8 million for Cancer Research. In a similar vein, the "ice bucket challenge", which was part of a campaign to raise awareness of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), and was one of the biggest social media campaigns of 2014; with millions taking part - including celebrities such as Will Smith, Victoria Beckham and Matt Damon.

However, the social campaign was criticised on some sides for overshadowing fundraising efforts to fight the disease, with some suggesting taking part became more of a popularity contest, rather than actually donating. #Donate is looking to eliminate this from future campaigns.

"#Donate finally unites social and charitable behaviours into a seamless experience to create a huge leap forward for fundraising in the UK," the campaign says.

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