Web 2.0 Blog – Discovering Innovation Opportunities using Social Media

10 low cost new media ideas for nonprofits.

Posted on: March 13, 2008

This is meant as a 101 intro to new media uses by nonprofits who have not yet ventured beyond their own website.
Increase Visibility
Motivate Sponsors
Engage your Members
1. Make a badge.
A small icon which can be put on on members’ online social networking pages (myspace, facebook etc) and also on your corporate sponsors’ websites.Badges can increase visibility in search engines, enhance your sponsors’ reputations in the community, and your members will feel good about showing their support online.
2. Make your events known and remembered.
Use Meetup.org, upcoming.yahoo.com, evite.com and other similar sites to remind members of events and make events known to the community. Social networking sites such as facebook.com can also be used to post events.
3. Tell your story.
Ask those you helped to write, record or videotape how your organization helped them. This easy to insert or link to your site from a free blog site or youtube.com or dogooder.tv.
4. Provide easy ways for your organizations to collaborate.
PBWiki.com and WikiSpaces.com can be used to share documents on projects and FreeConferenceCall.com can be used to host a free call (though it will not be a local number but people could call in from their cell phones usually without incurring long distance charges).
5. Fundraise from Online Social Networks.
The “Causes” application on facebook makes it easy to collect online donations.
6. Newsletters.
ConstantContact.com is a newsletter tool which can help track whether people are reading or clicking on the newsletter articles. It is a paid service but affordable for mid sized non-profits. Newsletters can be used to demonstrate to both sponsors and members that they are a part of something interesting and active.
7. Blog.
Blog about your events and activities on a free blog site and invite your members to comment on the blogs. The difference between blogs and newsletters is that blogs can go more in depth than newsletters normally would and blogs invite comment which help to keep your members engaged.
8. Participate in Discussions.
Participate or start discussions about causes you care about and encourage your members to jump in. This could be on a social networking site such as facebook or other appropriate discussion venue. Look for places with large audiences. Some of your members will find this a fun and fulfilling way to participate. (I mention facebook a lot because it has 30 million plus users per day).
9. Announce ongoing progress.
If you have activities which have frequent updates from one or more teams of participants, use twitter.com to create a space for your organization and give small frequent progress reports for everyone who wants to to follow. This can build excitement and teamwork.
10. Share Photos of Events.
Create an account on Flickr.com for your organization and post pictures of meetings, events and activities. These can be cross linked from facebook, your newsletter, blog and organization’s website. The same applies for video and YouTube but of course video takes more time to edit and select.

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