August 21, 2014

My take on the ALS #IceBucketChallenge

Bill Gates
Video still of Bill Gates taking the ALS #IceBucketChallenge (via YouTube)

3 reasons I’ve decided to embrace this campaign — and why you should, too

Target audience: Nonprofits, cause organizations, foundations, NGOs, social enterprises, businesses, educators, journalists, general public.

Caroline AvakianAs you all likely know by now, the ALS #IceBucketChallenge is taking your Facebook news feed by storm. Your friends, colleagues, heck, even your grandmother might have been nominated to dump a bucket of cold water and ice on her head in the name of charity. And in this case, it’s a very good cause. ALS is Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, also referred to as Lou Gehrig’s disease,a neurodegenerative disease characterized by muscle spasticity, rapidly progressive weakness due to muscle atrophy, and difficulty in speaking, swallowing, and breathing.

As a social media consultant working with social causes and nonprofits, I have taken great delight in the virality of this meme all in the name of a disease that gets very little attention and fundraising dollars. Continue reading

March 13, 2013

How to build awareness for your campaign

Nonprofit-Campaign
Photo courtesy of unicefiran (Creative Commons)

Social media, data & messaging are among the key ingredients

Target audience: Nonprofits, cause organizations, foundations, NGOs, social enterprises, social media strategists, educators.

Guest post by Mary Joyce

Whether you run a nonprofit, a social enterprise or a cause organization, it’s likely that at some point you run up against the barrier we’ve all faced: How do I get the word out about this amazing campaign?

Here are seven steps that we’ve found make a good blueprint on how to build visibility and awareness so that you can then move people to take action and create impact.

Identify your targets and supporters

1There are two types of audiences that you most likely need to take action for you to achieve your goal: targets and supporters. Targets are the people who have the direct power to give you what you want. They are often officials who have the authority to make policy changes. The target could be a government minister or the principal of your school. When the target takes action, your goal is achieved. Continue reading

March 12, 2013

Attracting young people to your nonprofit

Volunteers

Use social media to encourage youth volunteerism in your organization

Guest post by Alison Richmond
easyfundraising.co.uk

Young people can be an incredible source of volunteers for nonprofits – they tend to have much more spare time than adults and often see volunteering as a good way to gain work and life experience to add to their resumé. But attracting young people can be difficult.

DoSomething.org released an index toward the end of last year in which they interviewed young people discussing their attitudes toward volunteering. With their suggestions in mind, here are some steps toward attracting young people to your nonprofit. Continue reading

March 11, 2013

The secret behind creating viral content

Uncovering the mystery of virality

Target audience: Nonprofits, cause organizations, foundations, NGOs, social enterprises, businesses, marketers, Web publishers, video producers.

John HaydonThat’s right. A video of goats yelling like humans gets 12 million YouTube views in a month.

When nonprofits ask me how to create viral content, I talk about videos like the one above, which probably makes them wonder why they hired me. Continue reading

March 7, 2013

Crowdshout: Social advocacy made simple

App puts social actions in the palm of your hand

Guest post by Glenn Vander Laan
Co-founder, Crowdshout

Target audience: Nonprofits, cause organizations, foundations, NGOs, social enterprises, educators, activists, general public.

GlennThe idea for Crowdshout hit my business partners and me back in November 2011, a few months following the Arab Spring and during the Occupy Wall Street protests. We realized that despite all of the tools and technology out there to support advocacy, something was missing. The advent of social media and the smartphone was helping to change the world right in front of us, but it was clear to us that all of the puzzle pieces were yet to fall into place to fully enable and empower groups of people.

crowdshout-icon Social media is providing real-time visibility to the social, political and consumer issues that affect us as individuals and as a society. The rapid dissemination of information has changed the game for governments and corporations in both positive and negative ways.

While social media has been embraced as a large part of an overall communication strategy, it can also be used as a powerful weapon by people in reaction to unpopular plans and policies. Institutions must now consider how to react to public opinion — from a Change.org petition, Facebook campaign or a viral video on YouTube.  In addition to this, the portability and capability provided by smartphones to access social media have allowed groups of individuals to communicate and organize very quickly and effectively in support of causes. Continue reading

March 5, 2013

Do Facebook videos or YouTube videos perform better on Facebook?

video-shoot
Photo by wmrice on Flickr (Creative Commons)

The pros and cons of Facebook vs. YouTube videos

Target audience: Nonprofits, cause organizations, foundations, NGOs, social enterprises, businesses, Web publishers, Facebook administrators, marketers.

John HaydonYou have a thriving YouTube channel, and a thriving Facebook Page community.

But should you upload videos to both places? Or, should you upload videos to YouTube and just share the link to the video on your Facebook page? Continue reading