Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Social Networking for Nonprofits Article on Nonprofit Times

I just came across an article posted on Nonprofit Times titled Social Networking. It brings up some interesting points about nonprofits and social networking sites.

Here is an excerpt from the article:

"Check out the American Cancer Society (ACS) on the Web portal and you'd think the nonprofit is active in showing videos. If you search for the organization on YouTube, you'll see the cartoon The Flintstones appearing to change directions after smoking. You'll also see that $100,000 was raised during one event at Michigan State University. News regarding colorectal cancer is in one video, and the Relay for Life details are shown in another video.

But Marty Coelho, national managing director for marketing and communication at ACS, isn't using YouTube for Relay for Life. Volunteers took to the net and uploaded more than 120 videos.

Volunteers and donors are flocking to MySpace for personal pages, for photo sharing, and for viewing and uploading videos and social networking in general."

Monday, November 13, 2006

Using Social Media for National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week

This week is National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week. Many communities are holding events for the week. How can they use the social web to share what they accomplished this week?

Here are some ideas of sample events and different ways you can use the social web:
  • Volunteering at Food Banks/Shelters - Take photos of food bank/shelter and volunteers and post it on Flickr. Take a video of volunteers helping out and/or of the food bank/shelter. Post a blog entry about the event.
  • Hunger Awareness Programs- Create an informational video and post it on YouTube. Post a blog entry (or entries) about the informational content presented at the program. Record the presentation as a podcast and/or video.
  • Hearing Homeless People Speak- Post a blog entry about the experience of this homeless person. Record the presentation as a podcast and/or video. Take photos of the program and post it on Flickr.
  • Food Drives/Other Drives- Take photos of items collected and post them on Flickr. Post a blog entry about the drive.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

How Nonprofits Can Use Facebook

The Facebook is a social networking website made up of many different networks. These networks include high schools, colleges, workplaces, and regions.

The Facebook has the potential to be successful in the nonprofit sector and I have already found lots of nonprofit related content on there.

Why the Facebook can work in the nonprofit sector:

Colleges have student organizations who are involved in volunteering and fundraising. There are also student groups of a nonprofit organization. Both college and regional networks hold events such as Relay for Life or Race for the Cure.

They create groups for their organization or event. The groups allow them to announce meetings, have discussions with other members to plan events, and post pictures. Each group is listed in a group category. Nonprofit related categories include Service Groups, Advocacy Organizations, Community Organizations, Non-Profit Organizations, Philanthropic Organizations, and Volunteer Organizations.

In addition to groups, members can post details of events where people can RSVP for an event. Each event must indicate an event type such as causes which you can select fundraiser, protest, or rally.

One feature that makes Facebook unique is being able to select who has access to groups or event listings. It can be open to people in your network (school, region, or workplace) or global (open to everyone). You might be interested in only having it open to your network if it is an event/group that only users in your network would be interested in. For example, you might have a group or event posted for a local Relay For Life event or Race for the Cure. You would only want people locally to see this information. However, you might decide to make it global where all members of the facebook can see how you are marketing your event/organization. The best way for organizations to use the facebook is to make sure their events and groups are global.

Most of the groups and events on the Facebook are created by supporters of an organization or cause.

How do members learn about groups and events?

Members can learn about groups and events by searching Facebook and joining the group or event lists. They can also be invited to a group or event list.

Another way members can learn about these are through their friends. Depending on the user settings, users can see what groups their friends have joined and what events they plan to attend by reading their mini-feed.

Examples of Nonprofit Related Content on the Facebook

  • 860, 170 members are part of the Join to support Breast Cancer Awareness Month group in the global network
  • The World Education and Development Fund, an organization who transforms lives by supporting high-quality education for impoverished communities in Latin America, held an event at Babson College. This organization also has a group on the Facebook.
  • November 4th was International Day of Action on Climate Change and a Walk Against Warming was held in Australia. This was posted as an event on the Facebook in the global network. The page for the event has the logo of the walk posted as the event picture.
  • There is a campus group for UNICEF at Indiana University. They started a group on the Facebook to announce news and meetings.
  • A global group was created for Action In Africa, an organization at a high school in Palo Alto, CA.
  • A global group was created for Advocates for Grassroots Development in Uganda (AGRADU), a UNC student initiative aiming to support indigenous grassroots efforts at community building and economic development in Uganda.
  • The president and founder of Books All Around, a national literacy initiative, created a global group for the organization.
  • created a global group called "I am an Idealist".
  • About 1, 750 members joined the global group for The Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN).
  • There are lots of groups and events listed for Campus/Regional Relay for Life and Race for the Cure events.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Tagging to Help Teachers

Last week I participated in the Wiki Session of the K12 Online Conference. In this session, participants were asked to sign up for a subject and then given a topic to work on in teams. My topic was Tagging To Help Teachers.

I was excited to have this topic for two reasons:

  1. I have already started researching how tagging is used in education. In April 2005, I wrote a blog entry titled Tagging with for Educators. This was a very basic introduction to and how educators can use it. Now tagging seems to be used more in education and written about on different websites.
  2. I am also interested in the use of tagging in the nonprofit sector. In May 2006, there was a presentation at NetSquared on tagging. I participated in the tagging session in the remote conference and my notes are found here. After participating in this, I started compiling a list of websites that explained tagging. I also started researching information about tags being used in different industries. I think since tagging is very new, it is important to learn how it is used in different types of places.

Since I already had some knowledge about this topic, I contributed alot to the wiki, which ended up coming in 3rd place in the event.

I contributed content to the following sections:

  • Benefits of Tagging for Educators
  • How Can Teachers Use Tagging
  • Benefits of Tagging Standards
  • Proposal for Standards
  • Websites Using Tags

I found a great article on eSchool News titled For some educators, tagging is 'it' . This helped me with content for the first two sections I worked on.

I added alot of content to the standards sections and came up with the idea for the proposal for standards. The basic idea was to include at least 3 tags in each resource.

The 3 tags are:

  • Grade Level: Kindergarten, 1stGrade ......12thGrade
  • Subject: Use a broad subject like Math or Science. High School teachers might want to be more specifc and add another tag for the subject like Algebra, Geometry, Biology, or Chemistry.
  • Specific Tag: Add another tag that describes the resource in more detail. For example, you tag a site about adding fractions. You can use addition, fractions, or both.

An example of this tagging standard is :
11thGrade Math Algebra Addition Fractions

To find resources that are tagged with all 5 tags you would use

For more information, you can check out the wiki.