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Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Ways Nonprofits Are Using the Social Web and Measuring Success

Lots of nonprofit organizations are using the social web to spread the word about their organization, connect with their members better, fundraise on the internet, and communicate news about their issues and events.

An article was recently written on Fundraising Success about
nonprofits using social networking tools.

According to the article and observing how nonprofits are using the social web, these are some ways nonprofits are currently using the social web:

  • Creating a page on MySpace with information about the organization, a form to signup for their e-newsletter, and links to their website
  • Adding friends on MySpace
  • Posting information on MySpace about events, campaigns, and volunteer opportunities on their page, blog, and bulletins
  • Creating groups for their organization and issues on MySpace and Facebook
  • Using Flickr to post photos
  • Having a group or using a tag on Flickr to allow people to share photos from events they have attended for the organization
  • Using a fundraising widget
  • Using Technorati and del.icio.us to find what people are saying about the organization and issues
  • Commenting on blogs to promote the organization

With all these examples, how do you measure success? Before starting to use a new tool, an organization should have a goal and try to reach it. If you have achieved your goal, then it is worth the efforts. Some goals you might have are to increase the number of friends you have each week or to fundraise a certain amount of money with a widget.


Here are some examples of what you can track to measure success:

  • number of friends
  • number of friend requests each day
  • number of visitors that visit your profile
  • number of members in a group
  • seeing if people in your group are discussing your organization and issues with others
  • amount of money raised online

In my opinion, the best way to track success is to look at your referring links in your web statistics. You can see what websites visitors have come from. This is great because you can see if users came from MySpace, del.icio.us., a blog, or other site with a hyperlink. If you have gained lots of new visitors and hits from these tools, then I think it is worth using the social web.

1 comment:

Jessica said...

Emily,

This is a great article about ways in which to justify the use of social media in the non profit sector.

I thought you might be interested in one of my clients, Operation Kids, who is utilizing widget technology and social networking to empower donors and garner support.

Here is a link to their widget if you would like to check it out and possibly embed it:

http://opkids.mediaforge.com/nook/

They are also getting ready to launch their blog, and we are excited to add your blog to our blog roll!

Keep the good posts coming!