Thursday, December 20, 2007

Ideas for getting started on Web 2.0

If nonprofits are serious about reaching a newer and younger audience (read: donors), they should become familiar with a little thing called Web 2.0. The phrase is commonly used to describe the next generation of Web-based communities and services, such as social networking sites like Facebook and MySpace, as well as other programs that help users share content.
But what does this do for nonprofits? Nonprofits can use social networks to gain access to new donors and advocates, said Marc Sirkin, chief marking officer at the New York City-based International Rescue Committee (IRC), during a recent direct marketing conference.

Social networks can drive donations, petition signatures and increase newsletter subscribers. While it may be hard to get any type of data to measure success of some Web 2.0 efforts, he said, a nonprofit can track referral traffic, as well as specific conversions, whether it's through donations, petition signatures or newsletter sign-up.

For nonprofits just getting started in Web 2.0, Sirkin offered some best practices for beginners:
  • First, jump right in and get started, what are you waiting for? Feel free to learn on your own and set up your own profile.
  • Don't worry too much about tracking at first.
  • Start with re-posting some of your existing content on the Web to your social network page, such as images and video.