Craigslist founder Craig Newmark announced yesterday that he will donate one dollar to the National Wildlife Federation for every tweet on Twitter that includes the hashtag #Squirrels4Good, up to a total of $5000. Newmark is teaming up with the popular Twitter squirrel @common_squirrel to publicize the campaign.
Mr. Newmark has grown fond of squirrels working in a home office that overlooks a wooded area where squirrels are common. He is using this campaign as an experiment to evaluate the use of social media in raising funds for causes.
I was a little bit uneasy about this campaign when I was told that the National Wildlife Federation has had a marketing partnership with the Scotts Miracle-Gro company, the marketer of lawn and garden chemicals, distributor of consumer Roundup weed killers, and poisoner of birds and other backyard wildlife. However, the NWF canceled the partnership in late January, after news came out about the court case pending over the poisoned bird seed. I still think that the partnership was ill-advised and violated the basic principles that the NWF promotes, but hopefully this will be a lesson learned for the environmental organization.