May 19, 2014

How nonprofits can extend their reach & build community

bigstock-goals

Sharing with your audience on multiple levels is key

Post by Teddy Hunt

Target audience:  Nonprofits, cause organizations, foundations, NGOs, social enterprises, marketers, managers, general public.

teddy-huntNonprofit organizations have to reach their audiences effectively in order to find supporters and donors for the cause at hand. Social media offers nonprofits the very platform they need to get their voices heard, but going the social media route doesn’t necessarily guarantee success. In order for your nonprofit to extend their social reach, here are a few pointers that’ll help turn your nonprofit into a social media darling.

Get your story out there

As a nonprofit organization, you’re always working on telling your nonprofit’s story to your social media audience in the best way you can. You need to let your followers know what you’re trying to accomplish in a straightforward way while also giving your mission a personal touch.

There are many ways to go about telling your nonprofit’s story, but no matter how detailed you get with your mission, always remember the three w’s: who, what, and why. Who is it your nonprofit is helping, what is your nonprofit doing to accomplish its goals, and why has your nonprofit chosen its charitable field on a personal level? Continue reading

May 24, 2012

7 ways to create a fiercely loyal nonprofit community


Photo by laubarnes on Flickr

Guest post by Sarah Robinson
Fierce Loyalty

The strategies and approaches for community building are changing. And gaining fierce loyalty from your community is becoming increasingly difficult.

There is just so much out there competing for the attention and heart of your members that doing things the same way you’ve always done them will no longer yield the results you are after.

To help you shift your lens on creating and maintaining a nonprofit community, here are seven ways to create a fiercely loyal nonprofit community:

1Decide why you want a community. If the only reasons you can come up with are “so we can ask them for money” and “so we can ask them to volunteer”, hit the pause button. Communities that are created for the sole purpose of being a one-way communication channel don’t last long and they never become Fiercely Loyal.

2Understand the needs of your community. People who want to be part of a community usually have three primary needs: 1) Belonging, 2) Recognition and 3) Safety. Note: Not everyone who supports your organization wants to be a part of a community. Allow them to be individuals.

3Stand for something bold. Taking a bold stand 1) allows you to rise above all the noise in today’s marketplace and 2) attract a very distinct group of people who want to be associated specifically with you and your nonprofit. Continue reading

April 25, 2012

Are you building an engaged community with content?


Image on BigStockPhoto by David523

Or, why your organization needs a content marketing strategy

Target audience: Nonprofits, foundations, NGOs, social enterprises, cause organizations, businesses, Web publishers, educators, journalists.

John HaydonYou understand that there’s more to engagement than simple small talk. You also understand that when folks are truly engaged, they tell their friends about the good work you’re doing, which is much more effective than if you told their friends.

So who’s doing a good job of creating an engaged community with content? Here are three examples:

1The American Cancer Society has created an entire community around achieving victory over cancer by talking about “creating a world with more birthdays.”

2Share Our Strength hopes to end childhood hunger by 2015. This mission is immediate, heartfelt and simply stated. Their people talk about the line they’ve drawn in the sand.

3Epic Change is talking about gratitude – not about their organization – and why you should donate.

Creating a content marketing strategy

Here are a few thoughts on creating a content marketing strategy. Please (and I do mean please) add your ideas in the comments.

  • Understand why they donate. The real reason. Not the one your board talks about.
  • Understand why they tell their friends. Maybe donating to your cause makes them look more altruistic?
  • Know what’s engaging the customers of your competition. Is there something they’re saying that’s not being heard?
  • Talk to your employees. Beyond the paycheck and benefits – what’s the real reason they show up every day at 8:30 am?

Continue reading

January 7, 2011

Social mobile meets Facebook

kiwanjaAnyone who reads the Kiwanja.net blog, or who follows our work with FrontlineSMS, will know there are two main themes that run throughout our work.

First, how do we lower the barriers to entry for NGOs looking to deploy mobile technology in their work? And second, how do we help share information about what mobile means in the developing world to the widest possible audience, i.e. one outside traditional development or technology circles?

A good example of the second theme is our recently launched Mobile Message series running on the National Geographic website. We’re also targeting non-mobile-for-development and non-ICT4D conferences and contributing chapters to books and giving interviews to magazines, which take the message to a new audience. The latest was a piece on mobile innovation for an in-flight magazine for travellers on flights to Africa.

One of our early initiatives was the creation of The Social Mobile Group way back in November 2006. It was the first Facebook group of its kind to focus on the social application of mobiles and mobile technology, and it remains the largest group dedicated to the subject on Facebook today. Continue reading

September 22, 2010

Mobile community: The holy grail of m4d?

Debate-Tweet
 

Where are the best sites for people to stimulate debate around mobile technology?

kiwanjaThe other week I wrote a post on the difficulties of running a “mobile for development” – or m4d – project. I tried to make it challenging, and was hoping to stir up some discussion around the merits of mobile-initiated development projects versus development-initiated mobile projects.

Unless you’re one of the bigger technology blogs – Mashable, TechCrunch, Scobleizer and so on – it’s hit-and-miss whether or not a post will get the traction you’re looking for. Apart from a couple of dozen tweets and a dozen or so comments, the post didn’t generate as much debate as I’d have liked. But it did get me thinking – if these kinds of discussion weren’t taking place here, then where were they taking place?

I’m regularly asked at conferences for hints on the best sites for people to post questions and stimulate debate around mobile technology, and I always struggle to give an answer. It seems crazy that, for a discipline that began to fully emerge probably about seven or eight years ago, there still isn’t a genuinely active, engaging, open online community for people to join and interact with each other.

In order to get a sense of which communities exist, I recently sent out a message to a number of ICT4D and mobile email lists I subscribe to, and posted the odd message on Twitter. Very few people could suggest anything. A few people mentioned email lists that dealt specifically with sectoral issues, such as health, but not specifically with mobile (although mobile was a regular thread in many discussions). Only MobileActive suggested MobileActive, which was a surprise considering its positioning as a global mobile community with over 16,000 “active” members. Continue reading

August 5, 2010

12 awesome platforms for social good

citizen-effect
Jill Foster of Citizen Effect conducts an interview in the Gulf Coast (photo by Geoff Livingston).

 

Vittana, Citizen Effect, Spheresavers among the networks galvanizing change

Target audience: Social change organizations, nonprofits, educators, community organizers, change agents.

Guest post by Katrina Heppler
envisionGood

Social tools come in all shapes and sizes. Yesterday we looked at 6 productivity tools for social change — mostly desktop and cloud-based apps and one cool gadget for your pocket. Today here’s my list of 12 platforms and online communities that are doing an amazing job in promoting social change.

You must have your own favorites (I’ve left off a few of my own, like Change.org and Causes, for example) — please share them in the comments below!

For a different list of 12 community platforms, download our flyer: 12 social action hubs.

 
vittana

Vittana: Send someone to college for $25

1Vittana is an amazing online platform that connects people through lending and helps young people around the world to get access to higher education for the first time. Through Vittana, you can make a loan to a student to help him or her go to college. Vittana reports that their students have a 95% success and repayment rate on their loans. In essence, Vittana is like a “Kiva for worldwide education.” Through online loans from people like you and me, Vittana is building a world where anyone can go to college. Vittana has been recognized as a Pop!Tech Social Innovation Fellow and HuffingtonPost #1 Game Changer in Philanthropy. Follow Vittana on Twitter.

citizen effect

Citizen Effect: Empowering citizen philanthropy

2Citizen Effect empowers citizens to become citizen philanthropists by providing us with the tools and networks we need to work directly with communities in need around the world. Through CitizenEffect, you can create your own project, bring your friends, family and social network together, and raise funds to make a significant impact in the lives of a community in need. You can also find great projects to support that match your interests. Follow Citizen Effect on Twitter.

blissmo

Blissmo: Making sustainability easier

3Blissmo (formerly Spheresavers) is a new platform that aims to make sustainable consumption mainstream by making it cheaper and easier for consumers to buy sustainable. Check out Blissmo (our writeup is here) for deals on products and services from sustainable businesses striving to balance people, planet and profit.

openIDEO

OpenIDEO: Design together for social good

4OpenIDEO is a place where people design together for social good. It’s an online platform for creative thinkers: the veteran designer, the critic, the MBA, the active participant and the creative enthusiast with an idea to share. IDEO, a well-known design firm, developed OpenIDEO as a way to include a broader range of people in the design process to tackle social issues. Follow OpenIDEO on Twitter.

frontline SMS

FrontlineSMS: Text groups of people anywhere

5FrontlineSMS is an award-winning, free, open-source platform that turns a laptop or desktop computer and a mobile phone or modem into a two-way group messaging hub. Since it works anywhere there’s a mobile signal, it doesn’t need the Internet – a major advantage for many grassroots NGOs, especially in the developing world. Once you have the software running on your computer, you can send messages to wide groups of people and collect responses to any questions or surveys you might want to run, all via text message. Follow FrontlineSMS on Twitter.

Global-Giving

Global Giving: Support community-based projects

6Global Giving is an online marketplace that helps nonprofits raise money for grassroots projects and connects individuals and companies to grassroots economic development projects around causes and countries they care about. Through Global Giving, supporters can make direct donations to projects; no social activity or event organization is required to support a cause. Follow Global Giving on Twitter.

seeclickfix

SeeClickFix: Get a local problem fixed

7SeeClickFix is a platform that allows citizens to report non-emergency issues and receive neighborhood alerts, providing a great way to get a local problem fixed. If you have an iPhone, Android or Blackberry mobile phone, you can download SeeClickFix’s free mobile app to report issues taking place in your neighborhood when you are on the go, anytime, anyplace. Follow SeeClickFix on Twitter. Continue reading