4 Ways to Jump Into ‘Fundraising 2.0’

Post by Frank Barry - 4.20.2009 - Follow me on Twitter

What is ‘Fundraising 2.0’ you ask? Simple, fundraising with a new set of tools that allow you to connect with people like never before. These tools are no replacement for in person interactions and stewardship, but they are quite effective at spurring on communication, participation and engagement – Exactly what you want from your supporters, donor, activists and volunteers. See some quick examples here. Some see these tools as a waste of time. I see them as critical to your future fundraising strategy.

Consider adding these four online tools to your current online strategy:


1. Go viral with YouTube Video

We all know online video is one of the best ways to engage people and one of the easiest mediums to spread through the web. Here are a few really great examples of how you could be using video in your next event:  

    • Use video to show progress to those eager to stay close to your event like charity:water has been doing recently for their well drilling project.
    • Talk to supporters who have donated and/or volunteered like 12for12k has continued to do throughout their twelve month initiative.

These types of projects and/or events coupled with video that engages people will help your message easily go viral around the web. An added bonus – YouTube came out with a new feature for nonprofits – you can now embed a “call to action” in your video which will allow you to drive traffic back to your organizations web site. Learn the basics of creating a nonprofit channel and make sure to tag all your event videos with the same ‘tag’ so people can easily find and share your stuff (i.e. athletes4acure09).


2. Join the Twitter micro-blogging community

It’s one of the fastest growing online social networks so don’t miss out (Nielsen says Twitter grew by 1382% in February of 2009 - whoa! The largest demographic is 35-49yr olds – 41%. No more thinking these types of tools are for kids.

This tool makes it simple for you to communicate and connect with others. It’s also a great tool to help your Tribe connect with each other like never before and let’s face it, connecting your Tribe with each other is where the real power lies. Keep in mind that building a following on Twitter doesn’t happen over night. There are many things to consider when using Twitter, but at the core it’s all about building and engaging your Tribe. Here are a few things you could be using Twitter for:

    • Regularly share information about the event
    • Share information, stories, pictures, videos, etc… about specific participants
    • Help local participants connect with each other before the event even starts
    • Promote discussion and connection between participants of events who’s paths may not otherwise cross
    • Gather feedback from previous event attendees

Here's some tips on getting started with Twitter.


3. Share photos with Flickr

Everyone loves to see pictures. It’s a great way to help your event live on and ensure your supporters, volunteers, participants and staff can easily share with others. Help your event take on a life of it’s own with imagery! A few tips that you have to make sure to follow – Create a group (i.e. The American Heart Associations Go Red for Women flickr page) or a photo stream (i.e. The Team Fox Flickr photo stream) to house all your photos and create a ‘tag’ (i.e.  The teamfox Flickr tag) that everyone posting pictures to Flickr knows. This will allow people to easily find your events pictures.


4. Harness the power of the Facebook community

It’s likely you have many supporters, donors, volunteers and participants actively participating or hanging out inside the Facebook walls. Don’t miss out on the ability to easily connect, listen, engage and communicate with each of them through Facebooks tools for nonprofits. Facebook is probably the social network where you can reach the most people and it’s simple to create a ! If you don’t believe me read about how Facebook reached 2 MILLION 200 MILLION users according to Mark Zuckerberg, check out some demographic stats Ian recently shared and once you are convinced check Mark’s post on how you can combine the power of Facebook and personal page fundraising (aka Friendraising).


3 great examples:

  1. Lance Armstrong Foundation
  2. Stand up 2 Cancer
  3. Prostate Cancer Foundation – Athletes for a Cure

5 quick tips to help your organization get started on Facebook:

  1. Create a user account on Facebook
  2. Set up a “Page” as the external facing presence for your organization.
  3. Invite members to spread the word to friends and family.
  4. Use Page updates to keep them informed about events and programs.
  5. Utilize Events and local groups to organize supporters.


Why these four things you ask? Because you already have a cause, mission and/or a purpose that people are on board with. You likely have a fundraising model with both online and offline channels, active campaigns that occur regularly and tools that support your overall strategy and help you raise money. Wrapped up in all this you also have established ways of communicating with people.

What you are missing is the future of fundraising. These tools or tools like them are changing the face of online fundraising, engagement, community and communication. If you don’t jump in and figure what tools will work for you and how to incorporate them into your current strategy then you’ll fall behind the curve.

Some organizations are already deploying and utilizing these tools with a great strategy behind them. Prostate Cancer Foundations Athletes for a cure comes to mind - http://www.athletesforacure.org. Maybe we’ll interview them soon to get a real world example in front of you.


Oh, if all that didn’t make you think at all go check out “Social Media for Social Causes Study: The Results” by Beth Kanter and some others.


Photo credit: Luis Perez

See how Athletes for a Cure is using Social Media [update 5.14.2009] 


What’s your take? Do these tools make sense for your organization? What’s your online cultivation and fundraising strategy? Where am I wrong?

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