Building Participation through Social Networking


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Your intern won’t stop telling you that your organization needs to get online. “Make a MySpace page! Create a Flickr account!” Or maybe you have started social networking, but can’t help thinking “Why am I here? What do I do now? Is this helping my organization?” Welcome to the new communications landscape and the realities of building participation – from donors to clients to advocates – in the connected age. This session will explore social networking tools (including MySpace, Facebook, blogs and YouTube) that both enhance traditional forms of connection and information exchange, and create relationship-building opportunities that feel entirely new. Attendees can expect to leave this session armed with practical strategies and tactics about how to start using social networking tools to engage in a personal relationship with users by providing something of value.

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Building Participation through Social Networking

  1. 1. Building Participation through Social Networking Minnesota Council of Nonprofits Annual Conference October 3, 2008 Jono Smith Network for Good
  2. 2. About Network for Good • Network for Good is a 501(c)3 nonprofit, founded in 2001 by AOL, Yahoo! & Cisco • Our mission is to make it easier for nonprofits to raise money online, and for people to give online • Network for Good has processed over $200 million in donations for over 30,000 nonprofits. • We manage all of the online fundraising on Facebook and MySpace
  3. 3. Agenda: What I Will Cover “Attendees can expect to leave this session armed with practical strategies and tactics about how to start using social networking tools...” • The “Web 1.0” Stuff – Basic Internet Marketing Strategy for Nonprofits • The “Web 2.0” World – What is it? – What can I achieve? – Selecting and implementing the right strategy & tools • The Case Studies – How TNC engaged a new audience on Flickr – How Kevin Bacon Flipped the Funnel for Nonprofits – What’s the deal with Causes on Facebook?
  4. 4. Reality Check Social networks are not a silver bullet for online fundraising.
  5. 5. First things first • Who has a website? – Can you collect email addresses on your website? – Can you accept online donations on your website? • How does your website engage your audience? – Do you use website design strategically? – Do you provide relevant content? – Do you tell your story through pictures, videos, or podcasts? – Do you have a blog? • How do people find your website? – Do you use email marketing to drive traffic back to your website? – Can people find your website in search engines? – Do your publish your URL on every communication, both online and offline?
  6. 6. Why Online Giving is the Great Equalizer • At Network for Good, 50% the donations go to 1% of charities (excluding crisis giving) • The rest – 25,000 nonprofits – are spread out along the long tail • Small to medium-sized nonprofits account for 70% of giving via Network for Good
  7. 7. The Long Tail of Online Fundraising • Because any nonprofit of any size can do it • Because it’s drastically less expensive and more efficient than conventional fundraising
  8. 8. Who Is Giving Online?* • Online givers are young (38-39 years old) • They are generous -- ($163) • Men and women give online in equal numbers • Virtually all (96%) have given to charity before, but 38% haven’t given online before *Network for Good Study, “The Young and Generous”
  9. 9. Online Fundraising in a Web 2.0 World
  10. 10. Definition Web 2.0 is about people using technologies to get the things they need from each other, rather than from traditional institutions like corporations (or nonprofits!) Adapted from Groundswell by Charlene Li & Josh Bernoff
  11. 11. The 3-step approach to Web 2.0 People • Focus on where people are Objectives • Decide what you want to accomplish (hint: community first, fundraising second) Strategy, Tactics, & Technology • Avoid “random acts of marketing.” • Don’t be just another fool with a tool Adapted from Groundswell by Charlene Li & Josh Bernoff
  12. 12. 4 Strategic Goals for Web 2.0 1. Find people who are passionate about your cause 2. Grow people’s awareness & familiarity with your organization 3. Amplify word-of-mouth & grow your email list 4. Inspire people to visit your website and engage with you
  13. 13. Tools to find supporters and monitor them
  14. 14. Tools to engage a new or existing audience Online photo management & sharing application—has two main goals: 1. We want to help people make their content available to the people who matter to them. 2. We want to enable new ways of organizing photos and video.
  15. 15. The Nature Conservancy Flickr Campaign • Launched an annual digital photography contest on Flickr • Promised winners of contest placement for their photos in the annual member calendar and web site • Ran integrated campaign with e-mail cultivations, search engine ads and social networks to draw in both members and new leads • Allowed entrants to participate solely on Flickr, but also by sending photos directly (w/ opt-out registration for our list) • TNC picked the finalists, but let the public vote on the winners • Never asked for money, only for engagement Source: Jonathon D. Colman: Associate Director, Digital Marketing at The Nature Conservancy
  16. 16. Outcomes • Over 8,500 members of TNC’s photo group on Flickr who have shared nearly 94,000 photos (~11 photos per member) • One of the largest nonprofit groups on Flickr to date • Great, positive feedback from members and new prospects • Coverage for (and many links to) our photo contest in numerous photography and nature picture blogs, discussion boards • Over 10% click-through rate on ads promoting the contest • Over 7,200 new e-members registered • Over 5,000 votes for 2006 contest; over 17,000 votes for 2007 Source: Jonathon D. Colman: Associate Director, Digital Marketing at The Nature Conservancy
  17. 17. Strategy: Person-to-Person Fundraising The process of gathering money and other gifts in kind, by empowering individuals to solicit from and communicate with prospective donors of their own choosing through the use of Web 2.0 (i.e., blogs, widgets, images, video, face-to-face interactions and other social media). Synonyms: group fundraising, personal fundraising, viral fundraising, grassroots fundraising, peer-to-peer fundraising. Source: Peter Deitz, Social Actions, Founder
  18. 18. Fundraising Widgets A person-to-person fundraising widget is an online tool that permits a portion of one webpage to appear on other webpages. These multiple appearances look exactly the same and can be updated from a single source.
  19. 19. Meet the Wired Fundraiser • A wired fundraiser is a word-of- mouth maven who is highly effective at fundraising for a cause in an ever-widening personal sphere of influence online. They are naturals at connecting to others. • They are very good at what they do for a simple reason: people are most likely to give when someone they know asks them (2006 Cone Nonprofit Research).
  20. 20. Personal Motivation: Robin Maxwell “I’m a runner and a tri-athlete, and the mother of two small children, and girl scout leader. I went from being totally normal and healthy to facing a life of paralysis and future disability, and those were really, really dark days, those first two weeks.” --Robin, MS Society Blue Ridge Chapter
  21. 21. Robin’s Story
  22. 22. Why P2P Widgets work How to make it work: Why it works: • Popular • Conversation • Easy • Authentic • Rewarding • Story • Fun • Translates into Action • Cultivate • Tangible
  23. 23. Causes on Facebook The Causes application for Facebook adds the ability to solicit and make donations from within Facebook.
  24. 24. Causes on Facebook • Allows American and Canadian 501(c)(3)s to recruit supporters and fundraise directly on Facebook • Raised $3.2MM for 25,000 charities since June 2007 • 13MM total installs, 5MM monthly active users
  25. 25. Facebook Cause: Love Without Boundaries • Has raised over $150,000 from 4,115 donors. • A small nonprofit with just 3% overhead and an all-volunteer staff, Love Without Boundaries seeks to give medical care to orphans in China in hopes of readying them for adoption. • Their staff, who are older, non- traditional Facebook users, were able to spread the cause through their social network, bringing in thousands of Facebook users who had never before heard of their small nonprofit.
  26. 26. Love Without Boundaries “…every bit of the fundraising was done by people like me, recruiting friends and sending emails. The old model--wooing big donors--requires considerable time and expense, albeit with bigger payoffs.”
  27. 27. Lessons Learned 1. Focus on audience values not your own 2. Choose the right messenger – Think like the Marine Corps: the few, the proud 3. Have faith in your audience 4. Provide a sense of urgency 5. Plug your wired fundraisers into great tools & resources 6. Trust leads to results
  28. 28. Facebook Resources For tips and resources, visit: • Including: • Starting a Cause on Facebook • Everything You Need to Know About Using Facebook as a Nonprofit Marketing Tool
  29. 29. Measurement Ingredients Engagement & Reach Earned Media •Offline media mentions •Page Impressions, Visits, Unique Visitors •Online media mentions •Time Spent, Pages per visitor •Emails opened, click-throughs •Videos viewed, audio plays Search Visibility •Higher search results •Greater search results “share” Word of Mouth •3rd party results •Number of Mentions, Posts, Comments •Recommendations Research •Mentions-per-user •Send This To A Friend •Customer/stakeholder feedback •Inbound links •Product sampling Source: Qui Diaz, Livingston Communications:
  30. 30. 4 Rules for Fundraising & Marketing in a Web 2.0 World • Don’t let your online presence be just a “brochure” website • Go to where people are, using the infinite variety of the Internet • Flip the funnel: Tap into user participation (person- to-person fundraising, wired fundraisers, social media) • Don’t get carried away by the hype; you still need all the offline stuff
  31. 31. Closing Thought… Inspiration + Know how + Tools = Change the World
  32. 32. Contact • Jono Smith, Director of Marketing Network for Good 240.482.3211 • Website: • Learning Center: • LinkedIn:
  33. 33. References • Beth Kanter’s Blog: • Nonprofit Marketing Blog: • The Nature Conservancy: • Peter Dietz/Social Actions: • The Buzz Bin: