You Too Can 2.0!
Facebook and MySpace and Twitter, oh my! While I’m not the yellow brick road to lead you to the Emerald City of social-networking Utopia, I am a real, living, breathing, Facebook-surfing, Gen Y, nonprofit professional. My goal for this column, which will appear bimonthly in FundRaising Success’ Giving 2.0 e-letter, is to help nonprofits understand the who, what and why of Web 2.0. This medium shouldn’t be viewed as a frightening, unknown forest filled with predators, but a world of opportunity to share your message with new demographics in a plethora of innovative, creative ways.
By breaking down the world of Web 2.0, I hope to make social-networking seem less daunting and, I hope, help you to start getting in on the fun! Here are my top five things to think about before venturing into Web 2.0.
1. Get the organization behind your efforts. Start with an internal meeting. You’ll need support from your staff in order to make 2.0 endeavors successful. The Web team needs to understand what direct mail is doing, what television is doing and vice versa. Working in silos will never work with this medium.
2. Understand and establish what Web 2.0 actually is. Think of it as a gateway. It’s a way to gain recognition, knowledge and mission-driven advocates. Notice how I didn’t have the word donations in the above sentence. While I do believe that donations can be driven through this network, I don’t believe that should be the initial goal, and, even more importantly, I believe that you’ll hijack your efforts if you go into this world with fundraising as your main purpose.
3. Start small and build. Start to think about your mission and what makes it special. Find correlations to your mission and the programs it funds in the world today. Once you find topics of current interests that can relate to what your organization does on a daily basis, you can make a connection to what people are talking about on Web 2.0. Locate a social network that emphasizes that aspect of your mission.