Nikki Longo crowdsourcingI am honored to have Tech-Geekista Nikki Longo write the following guest post on power of social media: “In an eye-opening experiment conducted earlier this year, Facebook encouraged its users to become organ donors. The response was nothing short of a miracle, as organ donor registration increased by 3,012 donors on the first day of the campaign. That uptick accounted for a 2000% increase in daily donor registrations.

Today, charitable organizations often use crowdsourcing via social networks like Kickstarter to fund their initiatives. Crowdsourcing in its most basic sense is receiving services, ideas, financial donations, or content by seeking contributions from a large group of people. In recent years, social media has helped nonprofit organizations find that delicate balance of asking for donations in an unobtrusive manner. For charitable organizations, one of the most difficult parts about fundraising efforts is reaching a wide enough audience without feeling like you are simply annoying prospective donors. Social media – whether it is Facebook, Twitter, Crowdsource, Pinterest, or YouTube — is the answer to this quandary.

A study conducted in early 2012 suggests that over 58% of the world uses a social network. Of this 58%, over half — 56% — uses Facebook while 11% logs onto Twitter. Although the number of Twitter users on a global scale is much smaller than the percentage of Facebook users, both figures represent an unprecedented global phenomenon. That is, for the first time, vast amounts of people are logging onto the same social network. For nonprofit organizations, using these social networks to create pages, profiles, and events for their charities is a great way to access this extremely large population of people.

Why Social Media is so Successful

While social media offers a heretofore unseen population of potential donators, there are many characteristics of online media that make these websites even more effective for soliciting donations. The biggest perk to setting up a crowdsourcing operation on a social network is that it is free. Therefore, nonprofits do not need to waste precious operations money on marketing — they can simply use Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube as a cost-effective replacement.

Another great aspect of crowdsourcing via social networking is that users of these platforms are selfless individuals. If they see that a friend or a person that they respect championing a particular nonprofit cause, they are more likely to donate money themselves. And, when these people donate, they will tell their friends to the same. The donation cycle will continue in this manner until your project is funded.

Social Media Consultants

If you are a charitable organization who is struggling to earn donations via social network crowdsourcing, there are social media consultants that can help maximize your company’s reach, as well as its appeal, to Internet users. One of the most reputable organizations in the consulting space today is beCause Global Consulting, a company dedicated to ”bringing causes to life.”  Headed by CEO Nadine B. Hack, beCause has worked with clients as varied as The Coca-Cola Company, AOL/Time Warner, Omnicom Global, Speak Truth to Power, YouthAIDS, and Women Waging Peace.

Along with offering a full spectrum of consulting services (strategic action planning, leadership development, executive coaching, organizational change management, etc.) beCause will help train and develop the officers of your organization to help you better market your cause or initiative, regardless of what sector you’re in. They also will help you manage your social media reputation, create cross-sector partnerships among non-profits, businesses and/or governments, as well as help negotiate and maneuver through socially sensitive negotiations and complex international policies.

If we can make an electric car powered by likes and tweets, then certainly we can help nonprofits reach their goals. When nonprofits win, we all win.”

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Nikki Longo is an east coast girl at heart who does not like to live more than four hours from a coast line. When she’s not writing you can find her at the dog park with her pups or cooking something delicious in her kitchen. Nikki is a firm believer in the act of giving and encourages you to help someone new every day. Find her @NikkiDLongo & about.me/NikkiDLongo

{ 3 comments… add one }

  • Peter Cook (@AcademyOfRock) December 21, 2013, 6:10 pm

    I’ve seen the power that social media has to mobilise causes and put issues on agendas in ways that other approaches do not. It also takes a certain degree of skill (and a little bit of luck) to succeed. Having had a few successes myself I also failed to turn the minds of a badly planned approach by a malaria foundation, whose bosses simply failed to understand and harness the power of this channel. Such a shame.

    Reply
    • Nikki Longo December 23, 2013, 2:54 pm

      Peter, indeed it is a shame. I think as more and more young people enter the nonprofit sector, we’ll see a surge in social media campaigns. It’s how we communicate with each other. It’s how we stay in touch with family and friends from home. It only makes sense that this social media machine be harnessed to promote something other than cat memes.

      Reply
  • Peter Cook December 23, 2013, 3:58 pm

    On the subject of cat memes, I confess to having fallen foul of this by composing a Christmas music ode to our feline friends … I feel vindicated since it is part of a fundraising campaign for a children’s hospice so please forgive the miaows …. ;-)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7zaI63OYP3c

    Anyway, seasons greetings to you, Nadine and your nearest and dearest

    Reply

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