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 21, 2009

What are fundraising widgets and how can non-profits use them?

Gears Chains and Rust - by Dan Collier - Fotolia.com

John HaydonLast week, Chris Garrett and I gave a Techsoup.org presentation called Measuring Social Media ROI. A participant asked, “What is a widget?,” which Chris and I tried to explain, but only had limited time.

Thinking it might be useful to source the answer from an expert, I invited Eric Schrader of the social fundraising company givezooks! to answer two questions.

What is a fundraising widget?

Eric: A fundraising widget is a portable version of a campaign or personal fundraiser that you can think of as an ad for the fundraiser. And like an ad, it gets placed where potentially interested audiences will see it.

Like successful ads, it’s not good enough to be seen — it needs to move the person to action. Most fundraising widgets do that by letting people know what the fundraiser is for, what the goal is, how much has been raised so far, who else has given, how much it takes to make a specific impact and any number of other things about a fundraiser.

The nice thing about widgets is that once you place them, they update themselves — a widget typically pulls the latest status of the fundraiser from the main fundraiser webpage. Also, clicking on the widget typically will take you to the main fundraiser page.

Givezooks campaign

Why are they important?

Eric: Widgets allow supporters to promote your fundraising on various websites. Whether it’s a supporter’s blog or a corporate sponsor’s website, a non-profit can get exposed to a whole new audience via a widget. Continue reading

October 20, 2008

Social Actions: Toward a philanthropic Web

social actions

JD LasicaI spent this afternoon at a fascinating gathering in San Francisco: Lunch for Social Action Platforms. Hosted by Peter Deitz of Montreal (see my recent interview with him here) and hosted by TechSoup, 33 people got together on two days’ notice to discuss how to work together to make it easy for people to find and act on social causes that they support.

Or, as Deitz put it, how do we make it easy for bloggers and website operators to support the philanthropic Web and enable "micro-philanthropic opportunities"?

Without getting too techie: APIs (application programming interfaces) are making this easier. The goal, said Deitz, is to create "one cloud of action where anyone can tap into and find high-impact actions on causes they care about."

Simply put, today you can visit the Social Actions Lab and create a widget that allows people to take action through your blog. Even with a limited set of microformats (five or six datapoints), anyone can republish excerpts from an article and include a widget with a call to action — letting people not just report on an issue but enlist others to do something about it.

This is potentially very big.

When the next natural disaster hits, we may be able to see which charitable organization online donors are sending their money to. We’ll be able to see how many people contributed, how much they gave, which organizations are raising the most funds, and so on.

"We’re talking about a new format that encourages the spread of actionable opportunities in a way we’ve never experienced," Deitz said. "We’ve been talking about open standards for philanthropic opportunities for a while now, but this is the first time we actually have one."

I’ll be thinking about how to support the philanthropic Web, in my work with Ourmedia and as an individual, in the coming days and weeks. It’s exciting that this is no longer pie in the sky — it’s here, right now.

Postscript: I interviewed Ben Rattray, founder of Change.org, at the session and will try to post our talk soon.