One of the great inspirations for writing We First was the meaningful work being done by non-profits. The goal of the book was to help explain the most effective ways to leverage social technology to aid their community building, fund-raising and awareness campaigns whether you’re a foundation, NGO, or small charity. Central to its thesis is the belief that social media is improving the opportunities for consumers to partner with brands to build a better world, and these dynamics apply equally to non-profits and their supporters.
With this in mind, there is perhaps no more important social media platform than Facebook. The advantages it offers non-profit leaders are several:
1. In today’s social business marketplace Facebook is one of the best places for nonprofits to be discovered and connect with a larger audience on the basis of shared values. So to get started, a non-profit should launch a Facebook page and invite your existing real world community to connect your cause and their networks. The exponential power of these connections can provide greater visibility faster than nearly any other medium.
2. Social networks are ubiquitous, inexpensive (when compared to other media), and available 24/7/365. This allows a non-profit to leverage every hour of the day to share content, build their community or fund raise.
3. By virtue of the intimacy they facilitate, social networks are precisely the places where people are free to be empathic. I put it this way – social technology is teaching us to be human again, meaning that when people connect with each other over social media, what they engage is their shared humanity. By linking with friends and ultimately strangers and building those relationships, social media is reweaving the social fabric that can then be used to scale your non-profit efforts.
4. As anyone involved in nonprofit world will tell you, your success and longevity turns on the depth of the relationship with your supporters and donors, and there is no better way to establish and maintain this than on platforms such as Facebook. Through creating, distributing and curating content you can engage your community far more easily than using other mediums and avoid community attrition or donor fatigue.
5. Finally, as Facebook offers greater value to brands and consumers through tools like Facebook Credits or Sponsored Pages, they are also opening the door to myriad new ways to raise awareness and funds in partnership with for profit brands and consumers.
As such, platforms such as Facebook enable non-profit to deepen their community relationships, expand their fundraising reach and become more effective storytellers – all of which are critical to launching and maintaining a successful for-profit or non-profit brand. We First seeks to help non-profits do just that by examining how they can best use the latest in mobile, gaming and social technology as well as inspiring for profit brands to partner with non-profit in order to more effectively build communities themselves.
Click here to order your copy of We First and please share it with other non-profit leaders. With platforms such as Facebook at our disposal, there has never been a better time to build the world we want.
What other ways do you suggest non-profits use Facebook? What strategies have worked well for you?
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Simon Mainwaring is founder of We First, a social branding consulting firm that helps companies, non-profits and individuals use social media to build communities, profits and positive impact.