Savvy nonprofits are tapping social networking groups to raise funds, deploying techniques that helped President Barack Obama win the White House. Last month, some 10,000 people participated in Twestival, a fundraiser organized on Twitter that raised more than $250,000 for clean water in Africa and India. "When you leverage a social network, you can launch smaller, employ the best practices, and gain trust," says Beth Kanter, a new-media consultant.

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