The latest edition of FundRaising Success Magazine has a terrific article by Bryan Schoell called Get Your Head Out of the Sand.
Here’s the begining:
People are talking about you online. Ignoring that fact won’t make it go away, so you’d best join in the conversation.
Yesterday, the mother of a sick child Googled the name of a devastating disease. She got thousands of results, but the ones that interested her the most were links to your organization’s Web site; two stories from the national media; a handful of online support groups for patients and their families; a general health Web site with online communities dedicated to the disease; and one site focused exclusively on a heartsick father’s negative experience with an operator on your organization’s support line.
The people who are affected by your mission are talking about you. Your donors and supporters are talking about you. And the people who don’t like you all that much are talking about you, too. If you aren’t involved in those conversations, wherever they’re taking place, you’re missing out on valuable opportunities for constituent care, donor engagement, friendraising and, in some cases, damage control.
Brian goes on to set expectations about the use of social media for nonprofits and lists several helpful do’s and don’ts about using social media. You can read the entire article at Get Your Head Out of the Sand.
I’ve been saying it for years: people are talking about your organization. That’s the whole premise behind the Who’s Telling Your Story? storytelling seminar. Schoell’s article offers lots of tips on how to use the online technology.
The storytelling seminar helps you craft the stories you want to tell. Stories that will work online, in fundraising letters, and in face-to-face solicitations. And makes it far easier for your fans to tell the same type of stories about you.
So don’t bury your head in the sand. Use these social media tools to help your nonprofit’s story get out!
I definitely agree that it’s very important to be vigilant against adopting the ‘ostrich stance’ to any aspect of the internet – it will mean losing out on so many opportunities. It’s amazing – all the creative web strategies you come across if you’re just on the look out for them. The latest one I came across I found at: http://micalendar.ca/online-fundraising-calendar-program.html – they provide you a link for your site where your donors can build personalized calendars that have been customized with your organization’s info.