Briefings One Good Idea: Picture More Donors
Online social-networking applications have emerged as one of the new frontiers for nonprofits. MySpace, Facebook, YouTube and others offer organizations a public stage on which to present their causes, rally support, spur activism and build relationships with constituents and potential donors.
Flickr is a Yahoo!-run, online photo management and sharing application that allows people to make photos — on the Web, their mobile devices and their home computers — available to others in an organized system. It’s a self-described “WD-40 that makes it easy to get photos from one person to another in whatever way they want.”
The application also is useful in nonprofit fundraising and advocacy efforts. Children At Risk Foundation, an organization dedicated to protecting children at risk and work-ing toward their inclusion in mainstream society, held its Reaching for a Star Flickr Xmas Campaign in 2005 and 2006. It takes place on CARF’s Everyone A Changemaker Flickr group — which has more than 1,000 members — and features stories about street and at-risk children written by CARF Founder Gregory J. Smith, with stunning photos of the affected youths throughout.
At the end of each story is a list of CARF’s costs to help the children and this ask: “To cover these monthly expenses only requires 25 members of this group to contribute with just $10 each month, and we will have resolved the financing of this solution. If 300 members contribute with a one-time $10 contribution we will have covered our current annual costs for this case.”
Oxfam America, an affiliate of global antipoverty organization Oxfam International, recently used Flickr for an advocacy outreach to its online supporters for an international campaign it began in October 2006 to encourage Starbucks and other coffee roasters to engage with Ethiopia on a trademarking initiative. Supporters across the globe sent Starbucks e-mails, faxes and postcards, or made phone calls or store visits urging it to sign an agreement that would enable Ethiopians to build the value of their coffees and capture a greater share of the retail price for their farmers.