Social Fundraising Using Facebook Timeline Apps
You may have seen or at least heard about the announcement Facebook made Jan. 18 with the launch of the Timeline apps. Many of you probably first encountered the apps in action by seeing what your friends listen to on Spotify or reading in the Washington Post Social Reader App.
Among the first 60 apps that were announced by Facebook as part of this launch were three apps from developers that provide fundraising tools to the nonprofit sector: Artez Interactive, Causes and FundRazr.
Facebook and other social networks introduce new features regularly. However, I believe that the recent changes to Facebook are significant and will present a very important opportunity for nonprofits to empower people to fundraise and advocate on their behalf.
In fact, it’s quite possible that the direction Facebook is heading with Timeline apps will help Facebook make good on the promise of social media becoming an important, productive and measurable channel for fundraisers.
So what’s the big deal? Why is this announcement potentially so important for fundraisers? Here are five reasons why I think this announcement will make a difference for the nonprofit sector.
The Timeline apps expand beyond the limitations of "Like." The "Like" button is ubiquitous and easy, but it isn’t always necessarily the right sentiment and at times can be passive.
Apps can now use specific verbs as determined by the app developer. These verbs describe what you are doing, not just how you feel. For example:
- Jane Smith donated to the American Lung Association.
- John Martin is fundraising for the Salvation Army.
- Amy is walking to cure cancer.
The verbs are limitless and applied on an app-by-app basis. These verbs/nouns are engaging well beyond "Like," and the action is more likely to draw in your Facebook friends and family to join or support your fundraising activities.
Being uncomfortable asking friends for money is the No. 1 reason that volunteer fundraisers often struggle with fundraising. Asking is hard. No one can appreciate this fact more than professional fundraisers.