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‘Twitter philanthropy’ reveals chasms in social safety net

Associated Press

Practically every minute of every hour, someone sends a tweet to Bill Pulte, a 33-year-old private-equity investor and heir to the mammoth PulteGroup homebuilding company. And, nearly every day, Pulte responds. He sent $500 for a man who sent a video showing his missing teeth. He gave $125 for a woman to pay for gas so she could make the long drive to her brother’s funeral. It’s all part of what Pulte calls “Twitter philanthropy” – a concept of direct giving in which Pulte and others offer immediate financial support to a tiny percentage of people who reach out over social media. Philanthropy experts say Pulte’s generosity is laudable, but question whether his approach will produce any long-term results.


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