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Using My Space To Raise Awareness


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Using My Space To Raise Awareness

  1. 1. How to Use MySpace to Raise Awareness: Three Nonprofit Organization... Your Fundraising Stimulus Plan: Register for a free teleconference » Fundraising Social Networking Web Site 101 Email 101 Donor Databases Nonprofit Marketing Training How to Use MySpace to Raise Awareness: Three Nonprofit Organizations Share Their Experiences Print this Article By Eileen Cruz Coleman: Nov 27, 2007 Average: Your rating: To explore the challenges and benefits of social networks, I interviewed representatives from three nonprofit organizations who are currently using MySpace to raise awareness for their causes. Chris Burley is the Director of Online Campaigns for Defenders of Wildlife, which is dedicated to the Network for Good provides protection of native wild animals and plants in their natural environment. easy and affordable online Tim Fullerton is eAdvocacy Coordinator for Oxfam America, an organization fundraising services. Visit working to end global poverty. And Carie Lewis is Internet Marketing our website to learn more. Manager for The Humane Society of the United States, which works to protect animals in the United States and abroad. Eileen Cruz Coleman: How are you using MySpace? Chris Burley: We [at Defenders of Wildlife] repurpose alerts into blog posts, issue alerts as bulletins to our MySpace friends, and have just started Subscribe to our weekly adding events to the calendar module. We also have code and instructions Online Fundraising & to allow our friends to post a campaign banner ad on their MySpace pages. Nonprofit Marketing Tips Newsletter. Tim Fullerton: [At Oxfam America,] we are using our MySpace page to raise awareness about our work to end poverty and injustice around the Email: world and to engage a larger audience and inform them about our issues. We also partnered with MySpace on the Rock for Darfur campaign, to raise First Name: awareness about our work in Darfur, Sudan. Carie Lewis: [The Humane Society has] a pretty large network of friends on MySpace, which has been assembled mostly through word of mouth. We Last Name: post content that speaks to, and is relevant to, our friends' interests, and don't just re-post press releases. It takes a lot of time, but it gets our friends engaged and interested in making a difference. When we post comments on other people's pages and videos, we include a link to our Web site and to our profile, encouraging others who see the content to be our friends. Our blog is updated almost daily and anything that we want people to take action on or know about right away is bulletined. Since MySpace is the number one site for video, we've recently put all of our videos on the site and feature the most recent or 'hottest' one on our main profile page. We provide code on our page so that others can easily re-post the videos to their profiles. ECC: Have you been successful and if so, how? CB: Like other groups, we offer a site badge to allow our users to help promote one of our campaigns. Specifically, this helps us recruit activists to stop aerial gunning in Alaska. It's far too early to tell, but some of the early results are encouraging: As of last month, about 116 actions for this campaign were directly attributable to our network of about 1,100 friends. In terms of sheer numbers, these are obviously much lower than we generate with our direct email campaigns, but the conversion rate is of 3 5/11/2009 1:40 PM
  2. 2. How to Use MySpace to Raise Awareness: Three Nonprofit Organization... promising. TF: The MySpace page has been extremely successful. In a little over 10 months, our page has over 6,000 friends. We also have had several hundred new signups to our Oxfam America email list from people who were MySpace friends first. There have also been several requests to volunteer with Oxfam from areas of the country where our base is not the strongest - Oklahoma, Utah, and Virginia, for example. It has also driven traffic to the Oxfam America homepage. Some months it is a top-ten referrer. However, fundraising on MySpace is extremely difficult to do. I would suggest looking at MySpace as a tool to drive advocacy support and volunteers. CL: We're still working on adding our newsletter signup to our page, but people have been really responsive with our advocacy campaigns. Whenever we want people to take action on something, we post a bulletin with a direct link to the action on our Web site. After our friends take action, they re-post the bulletin for their friends. We just started a group for one of our campaigns, and plan to do the same for each campaign that we have. This is a great way to target people interested in and passionate about our specific issues, and communicate with them to take action. ECC: Did you have any concerns before launching social network pages and if so, what were they? CL: We had resource concerns regarding care and feeding of the site and monitoring content presented under our organizational brand. For example, [we were concerned about] quot;adultquot; friends, divisive political issues, candidate messaging, and so on. TF: Initially, we were concerned that we would not have the time to maintain the page, but we've learned that it does not take very much to maintain the site and the return has been well worth it. CB: We had concerns about people who disagree with us making inappropriate comments. But we approve all comments before they are posted, with a short turnaround time. We also have problems with inappropriate videos being posted; but our large network of friends and supporters are great about making us aware of them, and then we contact the appropriate authorities at MySpace about the content. ECC: How long have you been using MySpace? CL: Ten months. TF: We launched in January, 2006. CB: We've been using MySpace for nine months, but have been really focused on it for about two months now. In those past two months, we've doubled our friend list and given our page a complete quot;makeover.quot; ECC: What advice would you give others who are thinking about using MySpace to advance their causes? TF: If you're going to start a page, be prepared to update it once or twice a week. Otherwise, people will stop visiting the page. Also, be sure to promote the page to your existing supporters to help get the word out. CL: MySpace (or any other social network for that matter) isn't for everyone. You need to look at your organization and decide if you have the time, resources, and interest - among other things - to really make it work. You can't just create a profile and expect to have tons of friends come flocking to you. You need to be constantly active, promote yourself, and keep the dialogue conversational. Otherwise, people will get bored and just move on and the viral aspect of MySpace (telling friends, reposting of 3 5/11/2009 1:40 PM
  3. 3. How to Use MySpace to Raise Awareness: Three Nonprofit Organization... bulletins, new friend requests) will die off. We have a whole strategy in place for MySpace; it's not just something we thought to do overnight. That being said, for us, MySpace has been a great way to build community and engage animal lovers to take action. It has also been a successful way to get our message out to a hard-to-reach demographic and get them to care. Copyright: Cruz Coleman Associates Source: Related Articles Seven Tips for Running a MySpace Campaign The 10 Commandments of MySpace Advocacy Privacy Policy | Email Us | About | Jobs | Staff | Sitemap | Write For Us! 7920 Norfolk Avenue, Suite 520, Bethesda, MD 20814, United States, 1-888-284-7978 © 2009 Network for Good. All Rights Reserved Site by: imagistic of 3 5/11/2009 1:40 PM