December 8, 2009

Social media for social good

Why even small, resource-constrained nonprofits should be using social media

Guest post by Jordan Viator
Nonprofit Live TV

What are some of the ways in which social media can be used to advance the social good? Nonprofit Live TV put the question to Matt Mahan, Nonprofit and Business Development Director of Causes and Carie Lewis, Director of Emerging Media of the Humane Society of the United States.

The 7-minute interview, conducted at the 2009 Convio Summit conference for nonprofits in Austin, Texas, last month, addresses how smaller, resource-constrained nonprofits can be using social media.

Mahan and Lewis give examples of how outreach on Twitter or Facebook can engage support for a cause or organization. When someone’s birthday rolls around, Mahan says, instead of giving them a Starbucks gift certificate or the like, It’s much more meaningful to receive a gift in the name of someone who’s truly deserving. The Causes site has also recently upgraded its partner center to enable nonprofits to interact more actively with their supporters on Facebook. Continue reading

November 9, 2009

MySpace abandons Causes — what does it mean?

myspace-causesAmy Sample WardOn Thursday, administrators of Causes accounts on MySpace received a notice via email stating, “Thank you for the work you’ve done on Causes on MySpace. Due to the lack of activity on MySpace, we’ve decided to focus our efforts on the Causes Application on Facebook.” (See the full message here.) The message indicated that all Causes-related pages and content on MySpace would be taken down at the end of the week.

Causes, of course, is the application that lets individuals, groups and organizations support and raise funds for a particular cause.

Now, I blogged earlier this year about research that indicates very strongly we mirror our offline social barriers and segmentation in our online social networking platforms.  (Visit danah boyd’s website for more information and research on this topic.) Different communities have aligned and adopted different social networks, social media tools, communications platforms, etc. The tools we use often reflect the communities we are in, whether those communities are geographic, ethnic, or otherwise. Continue reading

October 9, 2009

How to build a Facebook community

Old Tractor

Here are 14 ‘levers’ you need to be pulling

John HaydonLike any social tool, Facebook needs to be worked in order to achieve specific marketing, event or fundraising goals. Yes, you need to have a an effective Facebook Page where fans can easily interact (see “11 Quick Tips to Enhance Your Facebook Fan Page” by @franswaa). And yes, you need to have compelling content.

However, even with all this, if you don’t consistently nurture your Facebook relationships, you’ll end up with visitors — potential fans — wondering, “Are they still in business?”

What you get by working your Facebook levers

  • You’ll grow your fan base organically, which means they’ll stick around.
  • You’ll be able to identify your biggest supporters.
  • You’ll stay current on what’s important to your fans (also called “market research”).

Continue reading

October 8, 2009

Giving Challenge: Tap your networks to support a cause

Challenge

Competition lets you win up to $50,000 for your favorite charity

JD LasicaYesterday the Case Foundation, Causes and Parade Publications kicked off the 2009 America’s Giving Challenge. It’s a 30-day nationwide online competition that encourages people to use their personal networks and social media to build cause communities that raise funds and recruit supporters for a nonprofit.

Nonprofits and individuals can get involved in two ways:

1. Champion a cause. Individuals who are passionate about a specific cause can become “cause champions” and will compete to obtain the most donations for their cause through the Causes application on Facebook.

2. Promote, donate or join a cause. All individuals are encouraged to take part in the Giving Challenge by joining, promoting and donating to the causes they care about. Facebook membership is not required to donate to a cause. Just go to Causes.com between now and Nov. 6 to win up to $50,000 for your favorite cause.

Today, for example, causes receiving the most votes so far include the National Inclusion Project, Angel Covers, FACE AIDS, Compassion International and Facilitating Leadership in Youth. I just donated to Think Autism. If you already support a cause on Facebook, opt in your existing cause.

The Case Foundation will award a total of $170,000 to the nonprofit beneficiaries of the causes. $50,000 goes to the cause with the most daily donations over the 30 days (you can donate as often as you’d like — say, as little as $10 — and each donation counts as a vote); second prize is $25,000. To keep people engaged, the sponsors are also awarding $1,000 each day to the cause with the most donations (not the most money raised); second prize is $500. Continue reading

August 27, 2009

How to add a Facebook Page Fanbox to your site

These easy-to-create widgets are a breeze to customize

wwf
John HaydonThe Facebook Page Fanbox is a social widget that converts casual website visitors into fans of your Facebook Page. The Fanbox does this with three key features:

• Streams content from your Facebook Page onto your website.

• Displays your current fans.

• Enables visitors to “become a fan” of your Facebook Page with one mouse click.

Embedding this widget on your website or blog is an absolute must — for any social media strategy. Plus, it’s very easy to create!
Continue reading

August 10, 2009

How to automatically feed your blog posts into Facebook

A video tutorial that takes ‘manual’ out of the process

John HaydonI recently spoke with a non-profit client who I’m working with on social web strategies. At the end of our call, she complained “We’ve been so busy recently. I can barely remember to paste our blog posts onto our Facebook Page.”

When I told her that she could automate the feed, she almost jumped through the phone with joy. I promised her that I’d make this video.

If you don’t have a Facebook Page yet, go watch How to create a Facebook Page in less than four minutes. I’ll wait right here.

This tutorial on how to import your blog posts into your Facebook Page covers the following steps:

  • Adding the notes application to your Facebook Page
  • Adding your blog’s RSS feed to the application
  • Confirming and importing your blog posts

Did I miss anything? Add a comment below.