Books: Using Technology to Mobilize Young People
The question isn’t whether or not nonprofits should use new media and technologies to engage new members — but how.
Ben Rigby’s new book, “Mobilizing Generation 2.0: A Practical Guide to Using Web 2.0 Technologies to Recruit, Organize and Engage Youth,” provides organizations and campaigns with a how-to on finding and targeting young supporters, volunteers, members and donors.
The book, presented by Rock the Vote, briefly touches on fundraising, but primarily focuses on friendraising — using new media to engage young people now in the hopes of making them donors later.
Throughout the book, Rigby reviews the most popular Web 2.0 technologies and the ways in which they can be used to recruit, engage and mobilize young people.
“Mobilizing Generation 2.0 describes the intersection of Internet technology, social change and young people,” Rigby writes. “And, if you’re working with or leading an organization that intersects with all three of these areas, this guide should help you do your work more effectively.”
Each chapter explains a technology — including blogging, social networking, photo and video sharing sites, mobile phones and text messaging, widgets and tagging — covering everything from how organizations are using the technology to strategic considerations. The authors says there are a few ways, which are low cost and low effort, to begin using Web 2.0 tools, suggesting that organizations experiment with building social-networking profiles, reading blogs, uploading photos and videos, and designing a virtual-world avatar.
“At times, the technologies enable organizations to dramatically expand their reach, channel collective energy, empower supporters and create new avenues for conversation and persuasion,” Rigby writes. “Using Web 2.0 tools, some organizations have fulfilled their missions more effectively and at lower cost.”
But while it might seem quick and easy to break into some of the new venues for friend- and fundraising, commitment is key to making it work.