Mar 19, 2010

Your Nonprofit's Facebook Page: Does It Promote Dialogue?

Signing on to other nonprofits'  Facebook pages is one of the best ways to find out what works and what doesn't in this new medium of connecting with supporters and prospective donors.

I've been doing a lot of signing up as a fan lately (for this very purpose), and am noticing a pattern. There are the nonprofits that lecture -- and there are those that also listen. It's the ones that listen that make me feel more drawn in.

The lecture-style FB postings definitely have a place. As is traditional on Facebook and other online forms of communication, they may direct us to interesting videos, alert us to important news or other events plus ways to take action, and generally keep us in touch with their unique area of expertise.

But with so much info being circulated in the online world, this can start to feel like just more of the same. Let's face it, everyone's fascination with themselves, and where they fit into this grand network, comes out on Facebook -- why else would we all take quizzes about which Wizard of Oz character we are, and so forth?

That's why I'm impressed by nonprofits that ask their fans to weigh in on something -- like the National Hospice Foundation, which reaches out to fans with questions like:

 "just heard a lovely story about a hospice team going 'above and beyond' to help a patient have one last phone call with her mother who lived many time zones away and did not have a phone in her home. Can you share stories of extraordinary effort in your hospice experience?"

Check their page out at: http://www.facebook.com/pages/National-Hospice-Foundation/143161142317