Monday, June 8, 2009

Can Nonprofits Really Raise $ Through Social Media? Come and See...

Last week, Mashable - a leading tech blog focused on Web 2.0 and Social Networking news - launched Summer for Social Good - an all social media charitable givLinking campaign to benefit 4 charities.

According to the release, "the Summer for Social Good is the first large scale online charitable campaign to raise funds strictly online through the power of Social Media and the Internet over an extended period. The goal is to use the power of “Social Influence” via Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, blogs and other online media to raise an unprecedented amount for our fund."

From June 1 - August 28 Mashable and others will promote the campaign via their site which according to Technorati logs 5 million page views per month! The hope is also that the campaign will go viral and that folks like you and I will donate and spread the word via our networks. See the widget above. All donations will be processed by Global Giving. To date, $1,140 has been raised.

The 4 charities to benefit from Summer for Social Good include:
I don't know how they were chosen.

I'm excited to see how this campaign unfolds as it will provide additional benchmarks and information regarding the ROI of social media and how nonprofits can best use these channels. Specifically, it will help us all answer the question, "can nonprofits really raise money through these channels or is brand awareness a better "'play.'"

Interested in learning more? Visit Summer of Social Good. You can also follow the campaign as it unfolds on Twitter. FYI, looks like this initative may be just be one in a series of social good campaigns organized by Mashable. Kudos to these bloggers for using their social media powers for good not evil!



igruber said...

Hi Jocelyn-

Nice Post. It is also good to see organizations experimenting with social media to raise money. Over at Blackbaud we have also been wondering how effective online fundraising is with Social Media. We have even been able to create a little bit of data:

Keep up the good work.

Anonymous said...

Another really good question is...Can small nonprofits who don't enjoy the attention of Mashable (or other national voices) raise money using social media? I like this experiment that is going on now, but what about the others that aren't already masters at fund raising? Any help or direction from others would be great...

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Jocelyn said...

Thanks for these great comments! I think most of the key thought leaders in this space think that social media are great for connecting with an audience and building an organization's brand. But fundraising via social media is still an elusive concept. Thus it will be interesting to see how the Summer for Social Good campaign pans out.

The authors of Frogloop - Care2's blog - do a nice job of thinking through the ROI of social media in this post

My advice for smaller nonprofits is to focus on email marketing first as we know that it's possible to raise money via email. This means having your email capture mechanise front and sent on your site, using a reputable Email Services Provider for deployment and building a solid list.

I agree with you Edward that it's important to keep your website fresh so that you show up in Search and give people a reason to come back for more. Using blogging software to power your website can help with this!


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