This year’s Nonprofit Technology Conference (NTC) was one for the record books. CiviCRM was a buzz, making open-source software the hero for a multitude of constituent management woes. Speaking of CRMs, have you ever heard of a SocialCRM, yep…it’s coming people! And of course there was Google, never one to show up empty handed, launching “Google for Nonprofits” with the most adorable chocolate bars in tow. There were so many new, and often misspelled, online fund-raising technologies being discussed that many might have walked away a tad overwhelmed.
So what’s an organization to do? What is the best way to raise money online?
One word – VIDEO. And let me tell you why…
While meandering around NTC, a session caught my eye called, “Videos that Raise Money” (See3 Communications). I like videos, and I like helping our nonprofit clients raise money so I figured this would be a win/win situation. Then BAM…statistics were thrown right in my face:
“In December 2010 ComScore reported that 85% of US internet users watched online video, 88.6 million people watched online video on an average single day and the average American spent more than 14 hours watching online video (ComScore, February 2011)”
Geez, whatever happened to playing outside, but I digress…
This data cannot be ignored, and with all of the inexpensive ways to produce videos, nonprofits need to utilize this growing audience to increase awareness and of course, increase online donations.
Ok, so where should an organization begin? According to the guys over at See3, fund-raising has a life cycle and video becomes increasingly relevant during each stage.
Video Fund-raising Life Cycle
Awareness & Identification
Get people to think about the problem and how your organization is dealing with it; and remember, simplicity can force someone to listen.
In keeping with the feel good’ giving spirit of the season’ we want to help a non-profit with their web marketing efforts. We want to help an organization focused on doing good to do even more good by giving away 5 copies of â€œThe Networked Non-Profitâ€ as well as a half day â€œSocial Media Book Campâ€ Training.
The Networked Nonprofit
Beth Kanter’s blog describes Networked Nonprofits as:
â€œâ€¦ simple and transparent organizations. They are easy for outsiders to get in and insiders to get out. They engage people to shape and share their work in order to raise awareness of social issues, organize communities to provide services or advocate for legislation. In the long run, they are helping to make the world a safer, fairer, healthier place to live.â€
For those who have not heard of NetSquared before:
NetSquared is focused on the intersection of technology and social impact. We create opportunities for all those involved in creating change to connect: whether you are a nonprofit or a foundation, a designer or a developer, a changemaker or an entrepreneur.
The Houston NetSquared Meetup is focused on â€œSocial changemakers and technological forerunners coming together at Net Tuesday events to mix, swap stories and ideas, build new relationships, and reinforce the online NetSquared community.â€
Ryan (Ryan Marsh, president of the Layla Grace Foundation) speaks geek and can talk to the more technical challenges facing online non-profit organizations from a technology and a human perspective.
Having spent a lot of time over the last 15 years involved with Non-Profits, I can say the way they function has changed substantially over the last 3-5 years with society’s rapid adoption of new technology and the introduction of Social Media into the mix. In order for a NPO to stay viable, I believe they have to passionately embrace technology and the social-sphere in order to overcome challenges, meet goals, and, most importantly in today’s economy, do more with a LOT less.
The Layla Grace Foundation was founded by Ryan and Shanna Marsh in April 2010 in honor of their daughter Layla Grace Marsh who gained her eternal wings on March 9, 2010. You can learn more about the foundation at their site: http://laylagrace.org/ . With more than 16 thousand Facebook Fans, I was keen to hear what a very successful and VERY young Non-Profit had to say about the technology choices they had made.
Ryan did a wonderful job of balancing the very tender topic of childhood cancer with talking about the tech tools the Layla Grace Foundation has used to serve their mission:
“The Layla Grace Children’s Cancer Research Foundation is a non-profit organization focused on the discovery of new treatment options for children with high-risk cancer. We empower parents with the tools to become effective advocates for their children and raise public consciousness about our cause.”
In fact, Ryan offered up such a phenomenal top 10 list for Non-Profit Technology choices’ I was taking notes like a mad woman in order to be able to share them here. What I really like about this list is that it came from someone who has a history in the Tech Industry and has also tested, evaluated, tried and failed fast with a lot of the technology options out there today. This is a tried and true list of options that have floated to the top of the list for a functioning Non-Profit Organization and it can save other organization out there a lot of time and money.
So, without further ado, here is the Non-Profit Top 10 Tech Tools Recommended by the Layla Grace Foundation:
Tour de Pink is the first bike ride in Texas solely benefiting breast cancer. The event is held annually in order to raise money for the Pink Ribbons Project‘ in motion to fight breast cancer through awareness and education programs.
Wheels young and old will be lining up, Sunday, September 13th at Prairie View A&M University just outside Houston, TX. Routes are available for all levels and in addition to the registration fee, each cyclist is required to raise $100 in pledges from family and friends.
I’m going to be quite frankâ€¦this is your chance to ride for all the boobies across the world! You will not only help to save livesâ€¦but you will be supporting a beautiful cause and that my friends, is priceless.
So dig those fuchsia lycras out of storage and WD-40 the Big Tikeâ€¦it’s time to lock-load-n-ride.