3 Ways Your Nonprofit Can Use Twitter Lists

Oftentimes, the Twitter feed can be overwhelming – there is a steady stream of information to sift through, and it doesn’t slow down or stop to wait for you to catch up. Twitter lists can help your nonprofit overcome the fast-paced nature of the Twitter feed and can help you curate information and tweets that may be useful or relevant to your nonprofit and its followers.

These lists are curated groups of Twitter users – you can create your own lists or subscribe to lists created by others. Note: Lists are used for reading Tweets only. You cannot send or direct a Tweet to members of a list.

HOW TO: Create a Twitter List

  • Go to your Lists page. (Navigate back to this page via the drop-down menu in the top right navigation bar or by going to your profile page and clicking on Lists.)
  • Click the list icon that says “New list.”
  • Name your list, enter a short description, and select private (only accessible to you) if you would like.
  • Click “Next.” You can start adding people immediately or come back to it later. More details on that below.



While you may have some tried and true methods of curating content to fill your social media schedule, lists can be a great way to search for relevant information to retweet or share with your followers.  A few examples of categories I’ve used to organize lists for Media Cause clients include; key topics, partners, news sources, and blogs. Once you’ve organized these lists and added users, you can select the individual lists and follow tweets only from those individuals, allowing you to hone in on any specific subject matter.

HOW TO: Add or Remove Users From Your Lists

  • On a user’s profile, click the ellipses icon for a menu
  • Select “Add or remove from lists” – you can add both users you follow or those you don’t to a list.
  • Select the list(s) you would like to add the user to or uncheck the lists you’d like to remove the user from.


Lists can be public or private. What does this mean? Public lists allow your nonprofit to spotlight organizations or individuals that your followers may be interested in. Private lists give your nonprofit the opportunity to follow competitors and/or Twitter handles that you may not have a public-facing relationship. This gives you the ability to discreetly follow relevant topics, find inspiration, or keep tabs on how your competitors are utilizing the space. I recommend implementing a mixture of both public and private lists. Many users will seek out public-facing lists to track important content and discover new resources that are recommended by their favorite nonprofit (that’s you). These lists can include your nonprofit’s programs/initiatives (sub-profiles nested under the larger organization), partner organizations that your nonprofit has a relationship with or well-known leaders in the field.

You may also choose to follow lists from other users. Oftentimes, within the nonprofit sector, this feature is used to share lists among an organization’s staff, founders, and volunteers – but following other users’ lists is a great way to support any coalitions or larger movements that your nonprofit may be involved in.

HOW TO: subscribe to/follow other people’s lists

  • Click on “Lists” under the same drop-down menu as the last step when viewing someone’s profile.
  • Select which list you’d like to subscribe to.
  • From the list page, click “Follow” to follow the list. You can follow lists without following the individual users in that list.



Twitter lists offer your nonprofit that little extra edge by boosting your nonprofit’s engagement. Lists are a great way to seek out key influencers in the field and join conversations – introducing your organization to new audiences and, in turn, growing your Twitter following. Keep a list of key influencers – the “dream team” of those you want to build a relationship with on Twitter. Build this list around people who are well-known in your field and whose information is found useful by individuals who are seeking information in the space. Continuing to engage with these key influencers over time will help grab their attention and may influence them to begin following your organization or, even better, engage with and share your nonprofit’s content.

Another great way to use Twitter lists to engage on the platform is to follow those who may be attending upcoming events or conferences that your nonprofit will also be participating in. Leading up to the event, you can reach out to others to introduce your organization and begin to build relationships that will be solidified in person.

HOW TO: view Tweets from a list

  •  Go to your profile page.
  •  Click on the “Lists” tab.
  •  Click on the list you’d like to view.
  • You’ll see a timeline of Tweets from the users included in that list.


Other Twitter for nonprofits resources:

Tips for Nonprofits on Social Media

How to thank nonprofit supporters on social media

Create shareable links for your nonprofit

6 nonprofit social media mistakes to avoid

9 tips for nonprofit social media content marketing

Questions? We’re always here to help! Get in touch.