It's only human nature to try to spread your charities message far and wide. Sometimes that can mean targeting public figures and celebrities on twitter. But are they always the most influential people to target?

It’s only human nature to try and spread your charities message by every means possible, and one of those is using twitter to encourage celebrities to retweet to help raise awareness of your cause and fundraising to their hoards of followers.

Whilst some charities use a targeted approach by asking for support from relevant personalities who are connected to specific causes, others go for the untargeted approach and appeal to any celebrity with a notable fan base for a retweet.

An alternative way to raise your charity’s profile on Twitter and to encourage people to get involved with your cause and encourage their supporters to support you too, is to look for big influencers within your subject area and start a conversation with them about what you’re up to. We’ve rounded up ten individuals using Twitter to raise awareness of a particular issue with great success.

David Barrie

Followers: 3,000+                Influence: Co-operatives
Having co-founded The People’s Supermarket, David Barrie’s feed of tweets focus heavily on the themes of social entrepeneurship. His profile is mainly made up of his own tweets with a selection of retweets from all sorts of people. He appears to be a regular user of the #socent hashtag and uses his Pinterest to document the projects he’s been involved with.

Russell Webster

Followers: 2,100+                Influence: Crime and Justice
Using Twitter and his blog, Russell Webster tweets about current news and discussions within the criminal justice sector. Whilst he tweets about all different issues within the sector, he also pays particular attention to how they relate to digital and social media.

Jonathan Coburn

Followers: 4,000+                Influence: Social Enterprise and co-operatives
The founding Director of Social Value Lab, Jonathan Coburn uses Twitter to share articles about social enterprise, co-operatives and the charity sector in general. Whilst there’s little interaction with his followers, Coburn has developed a strong following because of his links to interesting topical content.

Richard Garside

Followers: 1,100+                Influence: Crime and Justice
Working as the Director of The Centre for Crime and Justice Studies, Richard Garside uses his personal feed to share links to posts about the prison system, general crime topics and other social issues. He interacts with his followers and retweets interesting content.

Mark Brown

Followers: 5,500+                Influence: Mental Health
As the Editor of One in Four magazine, Mark Brown regularly tweets about content from his own publication amongst many others. He uses Twitter to crowdsource information and recommendations and interacts with his followers with retweets and replies.

Dawn Willis

Followers: 11,300+             Influence: Mental Health and Crime and Justice
An active campaigner for change in the Criminal Justice System for offenders with mental health issues, Dawn Willis uses her Twitter feed to raise awareness of mental health. Recent tweets have seen making use of the #mentalhealth hashtag and linking to articles on the subject. As well as using Twitter to start conversations, Willis also has her own blog where she shares information.

Christine Burns

Followers: 3,300+                Influence: Equality
Manchester based Christine Burns uses Twitter as a platform to share LGB&T stories along with comments on a range of social issues. She responds to mentions, retweets interesting content and has a separate podcast devoted to interviews and discussions about equality and diversity in Britain today.

Beth Nicklinson

Followers: 2,700+                Influence: Human and Animal Welfare
The daughter of Tony Nicklinson, Beth Nicklinson was an active supporter of his campaign for the right to die. She still updates her late father’s Twitter account but uses her personal account to highlight all different welfare issues that she’s interested in. She retweets lots of charity messages about animal welfare whilst continuing to support the #righttodie hashtag.

Rosa Sullivan

Followers: 1,700+                Influence: Social Justice and Mental Health
Rosa Sullivan uses Twitter to start discussions about mental health, body image and disability. She retweets comments from other campaigners to raise awareness and tweets her own personal views.

Sue Marsh

Followers: 7,000+                Influence: Disability Rights
Using her Twitter page along with a blog, Sue Marsh talks about current issues affecting disability rights. She gets a huge response from her followers with lots of replies and retweets and her own feed shows her interaction with those interested in disability news and views.

There are many other individuals out there using Twitter to raise awareness of issues and campaigns with a large follower base which charities could make use of. If you know of any other examples then leave a message in the comments or email us at

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