Monday, March 9, 2009

Nonprofit Funding and Marketing with Social Media

The outlook for continuation of difficult economic situations around the world certainly doesn't bode well for nonprofit organizations looking for new donors. What's interesting and provides some hope, however, is the confluence of new social media open source tools and mashups, the awareness of these new information sharing and collaboration sources on the Internet across multiple generations, and the transition in intent to use these tools from last year's political campaigns to the new Obama administration.

One experiment underway that deserves close watch is a Loudoun-based nonprofit organization called "paws4people(TM)". In the midst of a full-on social media and internet marketing campaign, that I'm helping to coordinate, this assistance dog foundation is poised to demonstrate maximum utilization of any and all social media capabilities available - in the face of rapidly deteriorating donor funding. They're calling the campaign their "2009 Nonprofit Charity Stimulus Plan" - and it's off to a great start.

The campaign is divided into three "digital asset domains". First is the paws4people Assistance Dog Foundation and activities of the charity itself, with great blogs, tweets, tarpiped social photos and tail-wagging commentary by the still-in-college founder. Second is the core fundraising machine called "charityraffles.org", leveraging Internet online raffles offering cash prizes for donors, along with the philanthropic benefits and write-off. Third is the really interesting part - where the fundraising machine can actually be leveraged and used by other nonprofits to supplement their own income stream - thereby benefiting ALL nonprofits that participate, in addition to paws4people. Called "NPOFundingSolutions", this cooperative social funding opportunity that pays nonprofits for raffle ticket sale referrals will test the usefulness, reach and efficacy of social media and search marketing/branding techniques to shore up the donor base where none may have existed before.

More to come on the strategy and outcomes of this local bellweather initiative; keep an eye on this new social-media, search-engine driven recipe for hope.

1 comment:

Tessa said...

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Ruth

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