Hot … Or Not? My Predictions
I recently picked up an issue of a tabloid magazine and stumbled on a “What’s Hot/What’s Not” list. As I read it, I felt a little out of touch with Hollywood because I’d never heard of the people and trends. I did like the concept, though, and I started to think about what’s hot and what’s not in the world of online fundraising. Here’s what I came up with:
Facebook: Ever since Facebook opened up its platform, the site has garnered even more attention and grown dramatically. If you don’t believe me, I suggest you ask a college student what percentage of her friends are on Facebook and how often she checks her profile. Facebook and other social-networking sites are evolving into communication platforms that nonprofits cannot afford to ignore.
Friendster: One of the first social-networking sites just isn’t as hot as it used to be. Even MySpace has lost some of its luster.
Empowering Constituents: It’s definitely hot to encourage your constituents to create personal pages on your organization’s Web site or to add a widget or a badge to their Facebook profiles. Empower your constituents, and they’ll get to work recruiting new activists, participants (e.g., to your walkathon) and donors on your behalf. It doesn’t get much hotter than that.
Donate Now Buttons: Although “Donate Now” buttons on an organization’s Web site undoubtedly will result in some revenue, they aren’t enough. Nonprofits need to proactively market to constituents.
Video and Photo Campaigns: YouTube and Flickr have made it fun and easy for individuals to share videos and photos. Nonprofits are employing online photo and video campaigns to acquire and engage constituents. American Jewish World Service acquired almost 2,000 new members directly from its online Darfur video landing page and another 8,600 during April 2006 when the video launched. World Wildlife Fund teamed with a number of other nonprofits and their constituents to create an impressive photo mosaic to support a campaign to end the tiger trade.