Social Media has been in the news a lot, about how it can be used by business to make profits. What is quite often not realised, is that social media can be utilised to enable non profits and charities to raise money for good causes because NGO’s are all about community, and this raises passion and involvement. Some non profits have worked out early that the power and passion that social media evokes in people can be harnessed for the good. Other NGO’s have taken a bit longer to realise that social media can be harnessed effectively because it doesn’t cost money it just takes time, a lot of the supporters of charities and non profits are more than happy to spend the time, devoted to helping their favourite charity make a difference. So to help those supporters on the learning curve here are some tips and examples to get you inspired and started.
“ 20 Social Media Tips and Techniques for Charities, Non-profits, & Philanthropies ” by “Creative Fusion Media” throws a lot of different resources together to assist Non Profits to learn about and use social media, for their causes.
Nine of my Favourites in this blog include
- Create a Niche . Oceana’s blog shows great use of dividing their blog into the specific issues and campaigns they deal with, so that you can very quickly see what the causes are about on the very first page
- Listen, Read and Learn productively using Google alerts and/or Google reader is a great way to access information. Check out Nonprofit Alltop and Fundraising Alltop to check out what kinds of content does well and to hear interesting new and relevant non-profit news.
- Use Social Media Photos. Get a profile on Flickr and create a group for your staff and supporters.
- Get a social media crash course. Chris Brogan’s Fish Where the Fish Are is a great ebook and a quick read that can help introduce you and your team to social media.
- Make it Delicious. Del.icio.us social bookmarking is a great productivity and organizational tool. You can also use it to share info with coworkers, collegues, and funders. The tagging function allows you to separate, segment, and organize your web research and data.
- Utilise Blogs such as WordPress and Typepad to keep the faithful informed, with the latest news and information and resources
- Using Twitter For Generating, Managing and Informing Followers for The Cause. Check out Guy Kawasaki’s tips on getting more Twitter followers, Tweetdeck helps you manage it, and Darren Rowse’s blog Twit Tip educates you all about twitter and being a better twitterer (is that the word? Perhaps a better twitter citizen, or twitter-zen)
- Make Your Own Network or “Tribe”. Make Your Own Social network on Ning. A great example is the Classroom 2.0 group. It only takes 60 seconds.
- Using PR to promote the Cause Using Social Media Of course I mean personal relations (as arcane, trite, or banal as that might sound). You can also network on Peter Shankman’s Help a Reporter Out or Wanna Press (this service just started, so there may be hiccups).
And of course log into one of the top bloggers in the world (Beth Kanter) and she just happens have a blog about non profits which I personally use for inspiration.
Beth’s Non Profit Powerpoint Presentations are on Slideshare
So to wrap it up, once you have learnt some of these skills, you can use it to raise money for your non profit or favourite charity. To inspire you, here is a Post from Mashable by Gradon Tripp that shows how “5 Events That Have Used Social Media for a Good Cause” raise nearly $300,000
But, what we’ve also seen, is social media bringing together people to lend their time to important causes on a global level. By using the sites we LIVE on every day (don’t tell me you haven’t realized you’ve been spending about 30% of your day tweeting)–why not use all of these friends and followers to do something good?
While many people have ideas to start a charitable program or event, actually doing something isn’t as easy. There is planning, event scouting, logistics, food, drink—you name it, it’s tough. Typically, this process can take weeks or months to come together. But, with the help from online communities this process can become even easier, and the results can be nearly instantaneous.
See how (got to love some of these names) Twestival, Tweetsgiving, Tweetathon, Well Wishing and “The Daniella Project” used Twitter to motivate organise and open the pockets of people who cared.
So tell me, what are some of your stories that you can share on how you have used social media for your charity or good cause?