Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Understanding Non Profits

I spent most of last week gathering an impression of the Non Profit philosophy in the US. We’ll be soon working upon a Fundraising Product which would include multiple machineries to popularize the cause for an NPO and subsequently encourage donations. Frankly, the study left me amazed with the innovative methodologies that the NPOs are following for publicity and fundraising. Also, there still are lots of unheralded opportunities that can be utilized to propagate a cause.
I was much interested in the web aspect of these Non Profits which is governed by using the Web 2.0 methods like social media, social bookmarking, SEO etc. This interview clip from the David J Neff (great work mate) made me sit up and take notice of this Non Profit - WEB 2.0 model.

It’s absolutely amazing to find role models on the web and learn from the good work they have put up. For a beginner like me who knows social media but isn’t much aware about the Non Profit concepts, David is brilliant. He keeps things simple and effective. It has been a real education following his work on the web. So here’s what I learnt:
1. Establishing a Web presence.
- To begin with, the tools from Facebook, MySpace or Youtube can help to establish a web presence. This helps to organize a future collaborative reach for any cause. If the person (brand) is active and popular then the chances of the any petition reaching out to a wider audience increases.

2. Promoting specific actions or petitions.
- People check their email when they want to read and write. They log in to Facebook or MySpace when they want to take action. For many, an email petition is an annoyance to be deleted, while Facebook applications are fun, social, and available when you're ready to click a button, add your name to a petition, volunteer a little something about yourself, and compare your responses with friends. If you know and respect their culture, social networking sites can be an effective way to encourage people to take action or spread the word about your cause.

3. Consolidating existing, unofficial social networks related to your cause.
- Joining is more effective than Creating. That’s the mantra for social networking. Wasting time to popularize an ideal petition community may just end up killing your time. There are communities and networks which echo a similar cause and have a sizeable list of followers. It’s wiser to use it instead of creating a new community.

4. Informal outreach that blends the personal and professional.
- Befriending your professional rivals (on the web) and ideating together with them increases the possibilities to network online. This can always be used to help promote a professional cause.

5. Researching VIPs, potential associates, and others.
- Just the way I found David. Tons of information is available on these social networking sites. This is the best way to learn and upgrade knowledge (best practices).

6. Encourage and respond to constituent feedback quickly.
- Social networks are a great way to test your commitment to open communication if you want to get quick and honest feedback. Make it as easy as possible for people to find you and make requests (either within the site, or privately), and make sure you respond quickly, personally, and where appropriate, publicly. This creates a viral effect of dependency for any fellow networker to rely on you for most future assignments.

It’ll be great to know more about Social Media ideas in Non Profits. Ill be writing more on this soon.
Thanks again David for all your online materials.

1 comment:

Dave said...

Hey man! Nawww thank you! Feel free to reach out if you need to talk to any of the people that I know as well at Convio, Blackbaud or Kimbia. I am happy to help.