Judith Freeman of the New Organizing Institute and Liza Sabater of Culture Kitchen joined me on a panel recently at the Fem 2.0 Conference to discuss the importance of incorporating Web 2.0 tools as part of an organization’s communications strategy. We had a lively discussion with several senior nonprofit executives about embracing the Web 2.0 world, without mistaking it for "the solution" to your online advocacy and online fundraising needs. The truth is, Web 2.0 is a buzzword. It’s important to recognize that you will not recruit millions of new people to your organization and raise tons of money just because you have a profile on Facebook, or because your staff Twitters. So if your organization can’t recruit millions of new supporters and raise lots of money, then why is Web 2.0 so important? Here are my top five reasons why every organization should have a solid presence in the Web 2.0 world.
1. You need to be where your target audiences are. Consider it like an interactive 24-hour news cycle. It’s where people go to gather news, resources and discuss issues.
2. It’s a cheap and easy way to connect with your current supporters and engage new ones.
3. The Web 2.0 world is an active hub filled with influentials. If you engage influentials right, they can help your organization spread your message, introduce new people to your organization and blog about it. Also, major news networks and reporters are using online social networks to get interesting story ideas and generate new sources and leads.
4. Find out what people are saying about your organization. Too often, nonprofits don’t step out into the real world to learn how their supporters and the general public really feel about the organization’s mission and latest initiatives.
5. The Web 2.0 world is not going away anytime soon, so don’t fight it. Join it and take advantage of another avenue to reach your organization’s supporters.
During the Fem 2.0 conference, many people asked: “How do you measure the return on investment (ROI) for social networking campaigns.” Justin Perkins of Care2 created a great calculator to help nonprofits estimate the cost and ROI for recruitment and fundraising efforts on social networking sites such as Facebook or MySpace. I encourage you to check it out.
Do you have questions about why your organization should be using Web 2.0 and social media? Great, fire away in the comments section and I will be happy to answer them.
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