Social networking and Web 2.0 are the latest buzzwords for nonprofits on the technology front. YouTube, Facebook, MySpace, Technorati, what does it all mean, and why should nonprofits bother with all of this stuff anyway?
What’s it got to do with mission?
As few has 10 years ago, the Web was a new channel. Today, the Web has become a platform, said Jo Sullivan, senior vice president of development for the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), during a recent nonprofit direct marketing conference. There are media and cultivation opportunities for nonprofits, as well as user-generated content of all kinds, including audio, video and editorial.
“If your Web site is the face of your organization, then the ‘www.’ can make up the rest of the body parts,” Sullivan said.
Sullivan suggested nonprofits be creative and look for alternatives to build 2.0 components into measurable things they are already doing. Other actions she suggests nonprofits take include:
- Build Web 2.0 toolkits for donors to use, such as toolbars and donation links to post on blogs and personal pages.
- Keep an eye on search engines such as Google and Technorati, to see what people are saying about your organization.
- Work toward new ways to measure the audience, such as a Web survey to see how many more members or supporters have you on their blogs, etc., and flag them. Go back in six months to a year and determine the value of that segment.
- Develop and implement a conversion strategy that would drive Web 2.0 traffic to become registered users on your site and then on to donors. Remember to measure it all the time.