Online fundraising: July 2010 Archives

July 22, 2010

Why Get Your Nonprofit on Facebook? The Reasons Are Mounting

Just a few months back, when I posted a new article on Nolo's website called, "Fundraising (or Friendraising) Through Social Networks," the prevailing sentiment seemed to be that no one knew how spending your time to establish a presence for your nonprofit within the social networking world was going to make any money -- but felt that they should probably do so anyway. After all, with 350 million users then on Facebook -- which number has since gone up to 500 million -- being left out of the conversation seemed like a bad idea.

Now, more and more reasons to join up with this, as well as other social networking sites, seem to be emerging. For example, JPMorgan Chase just announced 200 charities that will each receive a portion of a $5 million grant -- chosen solely based on votes by Facebook users.

In another example, Beth Kanter, author of The Networked Nonprofit, offered in her blog today a couple of anecdotes about nonprofits that have parlayed their social networking contacts into new foundation grants and board members. 

I suspect more stories are yet to come. In the meantime, getting started is one of the easier things you'll ever have face in the realm of new technology -- with the added benefit that you'll get to see all your friends' baby pictures. 
July 12, 2010

Fundraising Oops of the Week: The Email That Wasn't Ready for Forwarding!

I recently received a forwarded email from someone I respect, encouraging me to attend an event at, he said, a "great organization."

Here are key portions of the original email. I've changed the organization's acronyms, but only from other acronyms -- collections of letters that gave me no clue as to what the organization was called, much less what it did:

"Please help us get the word out to your Bay Area friends, relations, and colleagues that ABCD will hold an informal gathering in Oakland on [date] at the [location]. . . . ABCD movement leaders will offer an overview and update on our movement's exciting new initiative:  the EFGHI Leadership Institute.

Huh? I kept reading, just to see whether I'd get more information about the organization's mission and why I should support it. Nope: Just descriptions of plans to construct various buildings, and instructions on where I could give online.

If I'd already known about the organization, the email would, I assume, have made sense. But even then, I wonder, would I have been moved to give? How about a little reminder of why their mission and projects are important to me? What's more, the email's writers clearly didn't give even half a thought to the prospect that their well-meaning supporters would forward the email to others. They should have!