Internet slang serves a purpose on Twitter, where every post is limited to 140 characters. Abbreviations save space, but they can also add meaning beyond their short letters.
Case in point: FTW.
The abbreviation is For The Win. The meaning is deeper than the short phrase. It implies that the effort is behind; the odds are high; the opposing force is strong. Some unusual effort or amazing execution changes the defeat to victory. That effort is scored For The Win.
Give to the Max Day 2013 was the odds-on favorite to crush the previous Minnesota giving record. The campaign had a strong history of progressive growth, and lots of really smart prep work to ensure even more nonprofits reached even more donors than in past years. Unfortunately, the technology behind GiveMN.org failed, and the site wasn’t available for hours during the crucial giving period. That one bad thing could have derailed a lot of good will, and in fact there was some frustration in the nonprofit sector as plans set up for months were hamstrung in failed infrastructure.
The site eventually came back online, and the past record was indeed surpassed, bringing in over $17 million for Minnesota charities. That, however, was not the real “win” for GiveMN.org. The win – snatching compassion from the jaws of frustration – was the response of the GiveMN team.
They did not panic, they did not hide. They admitted this was really hard for everyone, that they were doing everything they could, and they were in the battle with each nonprofit experiencing potential lost donations. Executive Director Dana Nelson did interviews and posted online just what they knew, what they did not know, and what they were doing about it. GiveMN did not leave their nonprofit partners wondering; they brought them in as allies. They committed to find out what is broken and to make whatever changes may be necessary to avoid this problem and build moving forward. Transparency is critical for community organizations, and Next in Nonprofits was happy to retweet congratulations to Dana Nelson and the GiveMN team:
Dana’s question back reflects a long week of people asking questions, but also of GiveMN being ready with open responses.
That response, to use another bit of slang, is full of Win.