Non-Profit IT News

4 kinds of Facebook ad types compared

Socialbrite Blog - Wed, 02/06/2013 - 06:06


Understand the nuances of Facebook ads to find the best fit for your objectives

Target audience: Nonprofits, NGOs, cause organizations, social enterprises, businesses, Web publishers, bloggers, social media managers, individuals.

John HaydonFacebook ads differ from almost every other type of Internet ad in at least two important ways:

1) Facebook ads target the interests expressed by users in their profile details, the pages and groups they like, and updates they post on their Timeline (new job, new relationship, new baby, etc.).

2) Facebook ads also scale word-of-mouth marketing to a massive degree by leveraging the recommendations between friends – a network of 140 billion connections Facebook calls the “social graph.”

Nonprofits and other organizations considering Facebook ads can look at this summary of four different types of ads, with an example of each, plus a handy chart at the end of this post:

Marketplace ads


1A Marketplace ad is an ad located in the right-hand sidebar of Facebook on desktop browsers (not available on mobile devices).

Marketplace ads allow you to include a headline, body copy and image. If you’re promoting a Facebook page, a call to action for liking the page appears below the ad.

Marketplace ads can be targeted to any subset of Facebook users.

Sponsored Stories


2A Sponsored Story is a story about a page, event or app that appears in the news feed (Web and mobile). The content for Sponsored Stories is derived from stories generated from people who talk about your page or RSVP to your event.

For example, if you’re advertising an event, stories about people RSVPing to the event would appear as a Sponsored Story in the news feed.

Page post ads


3Page Post ads are posts from your Facebook page that you can promote to existing fans, friends of fans and even non-fans. These ads appear in the news feed and in the sidebar of Facebook (on the Web).

The main difference between Page Post ads and Sponsored Stories is that Page Post ads can be shown to anyone on Facebook, regardless of their connection to your page.

Promoted Posts


4Promoted Posts are Facebook’s answer to the novice marketer who may not have any experience using Facebook ads or those who just prefer to advertise in the simplest way possible.

Promoted Posts are Facebook page updates that you can promote to existing fans or fans and their friends, simply by using the “Promote” feature located under every update on your Timeline.

The other main difference is that you only pay for reach based on a flat rate for various different ranges of people. In many cases, Promoted Posts seem to have the highest click-through rate of all ad types.

An explanation of all four Facebook ad types

FB Ad Chart
Click here for a larger downloadable version

Advertising objectives

Before you spend any money on Facebook ads, you need to determine what your goals and objectives are.

  • Do you want more Facebook page fans?
  • Do you want more exposure for your page posts?
  • How will you use ads to build your email list?
  • Who are you trying to reach and what do you want them to do?

Having very clear answers to these questions will help you spend your ad money wisely.

Which Facebook ads have you tried for your nonprofit? Did they work?

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John Haydon delivers social web strategy solutions for “the quick, the smart, and the slightly manic.” Curious? Then connect up: Contact John by email, see his profile page, visit the John Haydon blog, follow him on Twitter and Google Plus or leave a comment.

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 UnportedThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported.

Categories: Non-Profit IT News

Create a social media policy for your nonprofit

Socialbrite Blog - Tue, 02/05/2013 - 06:31


Draft a comprehensive set of guidelines to cover all of your social media bases

Target audience: Nonprofits, cause organizations, foundations, NGOs, social enterprises, businesses, educators. Note: Socialbrite has created social media policies for a number of nonprofit clients.

Guest post by Andrea Berry and Ben Stuart

As nonprofits have increasingly turned to social media, policies to govern their use have become the new frontier. It can be difficult for organizations to find examples that fit their needs. A good social media policy will provide clear guidelines as to what staff should and shouldn’t do when posting and interacting with the community on a day-to-day basis, freeing them up to think more strategically. But what’s involved in creating one?

A good social media campaign or engagement strategy can help your organization fulfill its mission, and there are many examples of nonprofits using these tools successfully for everything from fundraising and volunteer recruitment to building awareness. But there are also examples of organizations that have encountered pitfalls along the way to an effective social media presence.

How do you avoid such a fate? By developing a policy that provides guidelines for how and when to use social media, you can save staff time, improve the effectiveness of your efforts, and limit the risk of other potential problems before they arise.

What your policy covers, and to what to extent, will vary based on your particular needs, but the foundation is the same. Let’s look at the different components one at a time.

Defining policy within your organization

What should your social media policy say and do? That’s going to depend on your organization’s particular needs. For some nonprofits, a policy should spell out what staff can and cannot do on different social media channels by creating strategically defined roles governed by hard-and-fast rules. For others, a policy is a vision statement that guides staff, but empowers them to make decisions for themselves.

Before you write the plan, think about who is going to follow the policy, whether it fits into a larger plan and whether existing employee policies are affected

Which is right for your organization will depend on whether your day-to-day work includes legal risks, privacy concerns, or other potentially risky situations. Do you have lawyers sign off on all policy documents? Do they take the lead in drafting policy? If not, informal guidelines — or something in between — might be a better fit.

Before you write the plan, think about who is going to follow the policy and whether it fits into a larger plan, like an employee handbook. Existing policies could influence your guidelines for social media, so give some thought to whether they need to match with regard to style.

As an example of this, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, a global humanitarian organization, built its policy around its strengths—the volunteers who carry out the day-to-day work in the field. Many of those people have their own social media presences on Twitter or Facebook or blogs. The goal was to embrace the nature of volunteerism and empower people rather than restricting them. The organization could not guide what its volunteers said online, but it could ask them to think about what the organization would do and make suggestions.

Similarly, your social media policy is your opportunity to guide staff toward a better fit you’re your organization’s brand and values presence on social media. Some guidelines should be broad — for example, encouraging people to add value and be passionate about what they say — while others may more specific, like requiring staff to use a disclaimer distinguishing their own personal views from those of the organization.

Identifying and incorporating values

corporate values
Photo courtesy of newsusacontent via Creative Commons

The process of developing a social media policy gives you the opportunity to reflect on and organize your external voice and communication values. Think of your social media presence as an interactive extension of your organization. It’s often the first and easiest way for stakeholders to learn about you and comment on, share, and applaud your actions — and sometimes, criticize them.

Start with your organization’s mission, and identify a short list of values central to the work you do. Examples might include friendliness, collaboration, integrity or sustainability. Defining your core values helps ensure that you incorporate them into your social media guidelines — for example, if “responsiveness” is a core value for your organization, it makes sense to focus on listening to what others are saying in your community and make it a priority to respond in a quick and informative manner.

Assigning roles

Who will be the person interacting with your community through social media? Who maintains the Twitter feed, and who posts to Facebook? Is it one person, or several? Who is responsible for finding content? Well-defined roles and responsibilities among staff will help to eliminate the ambiguity that can often come with social media content creation.

Some staff may have great stories to tell, but don’t know how or if they should post them. Remember, social media works best when it is current, active and responsive — it’s easier to allow for that when everyone is clear about who can post, when and how often. It’s often easier to keep content organized if the social media strategy is owned by an individual or small group.

Creating and sharing content

Screen Shot 2013-01-23 at 8.53.35 PM

Whether you’re posting about your organization’s work or events, or sharing interesting information related to your field, there are plenty of topics to post about. Use your policy to narrow your focus to fit with your core values or organizational goals. There’s a lot of content floating around the internet. By finding your niche and creating or sharing mission-related content, you’re more likely to draw people in and entice them to return, and more likely to find the right audience for your nonprofit.

This is also the time to consider what types of content should never be posted, or posted only with approval. This can be as simple as maintaining a certain image for your organization, or as complex as protecting it from legal problems. For example, health-related nonprofits subject to the Health Information Portability and Accountability ACT (HIPAA) should make sure health records and information that might inadvertently identify patients or clients is protected. Other 501(c)3 organizations might be concerned with activities that could be considered lobbying as they could endanger the foundation’s nonprofit status.

If your nonprofit is concerned with such issues, a conservative policy can make sure no one oversteps the bounds. A good policy that defines what can and can’t be posted can help prevent problems from arising.

Monitoring conversations and responding to comments

Social media is a two-way conversation so your policy should not just inform external communications—what your organization says, and how you say it — but how you deal with what people say to, and about, you. Creating and publishing content means it’s open to comments, both good and bad, and can be shared with other networks, often without your knowledge. How do you control your reputation and your brand?

You could choose to disable comments on your Facebook page, but then you’d miss out on one of social media’s greatest benefits. Instead, develop a strategy for monitoring and responding to comments, both positive and negative. Who will respond? Will you do it public or take the discussion offline? Every comment is an opportunity to further craft your organization’s personality and reputation and build relationships. Responding thoughtfully can turn a bad situation into a positive “customer service” moment and publicly correct misinformation.

If you receive a customer service complaint, determine who will handle it and what they will say

A good way to develop a response policy is to practice with a series of hypothetical situations. How will you respond to posts that contain inaccurate information, vulgar or inflammatory language, or information that purposely or inadvertently identifies clients in a way that breaches their privacy?

Answering hypothetical questions will prepare you for real ones.

There are general guidelines to start with. If you receive a complaint you can turn into a customer service moment, or a post with misinformation in it, you should take the opportunity to respond. Determine who will do so, and what they will say. Consider removing comments that will damage your community or that include vulgar or inflammatory language. Some negative posts are better left unanswered, especially if a response is likely to incite the poster into further action.

Don’t just reply to negative comments — be a part of the conversation and reply to positive or neutral comments to create a rich, informative environment for your audience. Answer questions that arise, invite others into the conversation, and thank people for participating. Your responses put a human quality to your content and can create a feeling of goodwill in your community. Let your organization’s core values and mission inform your response policy.

Protecting privacy

In an era where sharing content is so easy, and even encouraged, privacy concerns seem to be often overlooked or ignored. Part of the problem lies with the tools — new privacy complaints about Facebook and Twitter seem to pop up all the time — but it’s important to review your organization’s privacy and permissions policies, especially if you work in areas like healthcare or children’s services.

Start by examining your existing policies for relevant information. When can you use photos of children or names of clients, and do you need their permission? Update your policies and waiver forms to include the social media channels you plan to use — there’s a big difference between getting someone’s permission to use their photo on a brochure, and using that same photo in a blog post or on your Facebook page. Photos or videos posted on social media can be widely shared, and often will.

Protecting rights to content CAPTION

Photo by Giuli-O via Creative Commons

This is also the time to look at how you attribute the content you share, and how you copyright the content you create. Weigh the value of keeping complete control of your content against the value of sharing. Some nonprofits copyright all material and ask permission for others to share it, while others adopt a more open approach that lets others repost freely. The latter, called a Creative Commons license, lets you maintain some control over how your content is used by setting guidelines for attribution and whether other users can modify your content or use it for commercial use. (See the Creative Commons website to learn more.)

Which approach is right for you? Again, this decision should be informed by your organization’s nature, and whether you’re concerned with legal issues or interested in being open. Remember, this is a two-way street — make sure you follow the rules and ask permission before reposting content you did not create, if necessary. It’s OK to link to something as long as you don’t pass the content off as your own, but do not assume anything you find online is free to repost. How can you craft your policy to ensure that you are respecting copyright restrictions?

Finding and enforcing the line between personal and professional

Social media lets you put a human face on your organization, making it easier to connect with constituents who, in turn, can become champions for your cause. In many cases, you want your social media presence to be as personal as possible. But you can run into problems when the line between the personal lives of your staff and your organization’s goals is blurred.

What type of personal information can be posted to your organization’s social media channels? Do you only allow mission-related posts, or can staff express personal opinions or share information about major life events, such as weddings and birthdays? Defining the boundaries in advance can prevent inadvertent problems, but make sure your staff understands how the policy relates to their own, personal social media use. If they link to your organization’s page, or speak about the inner workings of your nonprofit on their personal pages, their audience might not distinguish their personal posts from your organization’s posts.

There’s a fine line to walk here — you can’t enforce regulations for what staff do in their free time, but you can encourage them to adhere to organizational best practices and to represent your nonprofit’s culture and goals. The legal boundaries in this area are evolving almost as fast as the technology itself. If you have concerns about this aspect of your policy, it might be worth contacting your lawyer to make sure you define the risks and find the appropriate way to prevent them.

Even if staff don’t self-identify as employees on their Twitter feeds or Facebook pages, in most cases, a good number of people still know where they work. To address that, your policy might train staff on the effective use of social media, and ask them to adopt strict privacy settings on personal pages. You might also encourage a “What would your mother think?” approach to posts. Each organization should decide whether it’s necessary to dictate how personal pages reflect upon the nonprofit as a whole, and make it clear to employees what that separation is.

Creating your policy

You can’t foresee or protect against all possibilities, but being proactive and thoughtful when creating a policy can help ensure that your organization gets the most benefit out of its social media efforts while avoiding many of the problems. The return on your efforts is likely to be worth the extra consideration.

So how do you go about crafting an appropriate policy? Start by identifying your team, and make sure all the right stakeholder groups are represented. Ask and answer the questions identified here to help get the conversation started, but don’t hesitate to ask other questions specific to your organization’s work and goals. Your policy should ultimately fit your own use of social media, and your own needs.

Andrea Berry and Ben Stuart are on the staff of Idealware, where this article orginally appeared under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 License. Idealware is a resource center to help nonprofits make smart software decisions. Related

Directory of social media policies (Socialbrite)

• Sort out your team’s social media roles (Socialbrite)

• Does your nonprofit have a Dilbert social media policy? (Socialbrite)

• Finally! An enlightened social media policy (Socialbrite)

Categories: Non-Profit IT News

Gay Rights Debate Consumes Boy Scouts' Facebook Page

Social Good @ Mashable - Mon, 02/04/2013 - 16:12

A fierce debate over gay rights has gripped the Boy Scouts of America's Facebook profile as its leaders meet this week to decide whether to reverse their ban on gay members.

More than 4,000 replies have been sent in response to the Scouts' latest Facebook post — a simple message providing contact details for those who want to have their voice heard regarding the organization's vote.

The debate over whether to change that policy centers around a struggle between religious teachings and discrimination based on sexual preference

Categories: Non-Profit IT News

19 ways to engage your nonprofit’s Facebook fans

Socialbrite Blog - Mon, 02/04/2013 - 06:03

Screen Shot 2013-02-03 at 3.10.02 PM

Get your Facebook page buzzing by using these tactics

Target audience: Nonprofits, cause organizations, foundations, NGOs, social enterprises, businesses, Facebook administrators.

John HaydonIf you’re like most busy nonprofit professionals, you make your best effort to have an organized content strategy on Facebook. Still, there are times when you get buried with other projects and simply have no idea what to post on your Facebook page.

Here are 19 quick Facebook page post ideas that you can use right now to get your page buzzing.

  1. Ask a fill-in-the-blank question about the specific area of your cause. Begin the prompt with “Fill in the Blank:”
  2. Ask a multiple-choice question related to a specific area of your cause. Begin the update with “Quick Poll” and then write the choices on separate lines (A, B, C).
  3. Cap that! Ask fans to caption a photo. Post an unusual photo (that has to do with your cause) and ask your Facebook fans to come up with a caption. Tell them that the best answer wins an Einstein award.
  4. Play the elephant game. Crop a small section from a photo, post it on your page and ask fans to guess what it is. For example, a dog shelter can post a picture of the dogs ear and ask fans to guess what breed the dog it is.
  5. Let Google Analytics help you. Post a picture from your one of your top viewed Web pages and post it with a comment or excerpt from the article.
  6. Let aliens abduct your page. The Alliance Theatre in Atlanta did a show that involved a tiny alien. In December they dressed it up as Santa and shared it on their page.
  7. Survival for Blondes

  8. Isn’t that Pinteresting? Post a picture from one of your Pinterest boards that’s received the most repins. For inspiration, see what Survival for Blondes does.
  9. Play and edge. Ask a question about a topic where people have strong opinions one way or the other. For example, “Yes or No: Do you think we should ban assault rifles in the United States?
  10. Supporter love. Post a picture of one of your top volunteers in action and share something really great that he or she did recently.
  11. Let locals know that you care. If you notice a news article about a tragedy in a specific city, target an update to that location letting those fans know that your organization cares.
  12. Post a fun fact related to your cause. “Did you know that…?”
  13. Share a post from George Takei’s page. You won’t go wrong there, unless your organization leans more conservative.
  14. What the FAQ? Post the answer to the most common question you get asked at events.
  15. Ask your supporters for ideas. If you have an event coming up, ask your Facebook fans what they’d like to see to make it memorable, different and amazing.
  16. Share your work life. Snap a quick picture of a peculiar item in your office and share it on Facebook with a comment. Or take a picture of staff doing cool and interesting things.
  17. Share a post from a partner page. Your sponsors spend a lot of resources to support your nonprofit. Make a point of regularly promoting their agenda to your fans.
  18. Try conditional sharing. Post a compelling photo related your cause and ask people to share if they’ve been affected by the same issue.
  19. Learn from the best. Post a similar updates to one of the top ones from your competitors.
  20. Steal success. Oscar Wilde said, “talent borrows, genius steals.” An example Jeremy from The Dundee Hills Winegrowers Association shared is the someecards ecards site. If you see one that is already getting a ton of likes and shares, go ahead and post it as your own (with proper credit).

Bonus: Here are 16 ideas to get more comments on your Facebook page using text.

Do you have a creative example of a Facebook update that worked for your nonprofit’s Facebook page? Don’t be shy — share your example below!


16 ways to get more comments on your Facebook Page (Socialbrite)

• 27 ways to increase engagement on your Facebook page (Socialbrite)

Facebook tools and tutorials (Socialbrite)John Haydon delivers social web strategy solutions for “the quick, the smart, and the slightly manic.” Curious? Then connect up: Contact John by email, see his profile page, visit the John Haydon blog, follow him on Twitter and Google Plus or leave a comment.

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 UnportedThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported.

Categories: Non-Profit IT News

Homeless People Anchor the Weather in Striking Awareness Campaign

Social Good @ Mashable - Fri, 02/01/2013 - 21:59

It's been a very cold winter — especially for the homeless

In a new campaign called "Days of Hope," people who are homeless stand in place of TV weathermen to bring awareness to the harsh impact of the cold winter in Europe, Osocio reports. Real men and women are invited from the streets to read the weather. When they're done presenting, they can ask the audience to make donations to local charities.

The above news cast is from Romania, a similar weather program is running in Russia, and more will soon roll out in Germany, Poland and Switzerland

Categories: Non-Profit IT News

Facebook Campaign Rescues 'Gay Bulldog' From Execution

Social Good @ Mashable - Fri, 02/01/2013 - 20:32

A male bulldog was saved from execution earlier this week after a clamorous Facebook campaign jumped to its defense

According to the Daily Dot, the dog — pictured here — was returned to the Tennessee shelter where it was purchased after its owner found it snuggling over another male dog, which led her to believe it was gay.

Facebook user Jackson TN Euthanasia posted about the dog last week:

"He hunched over another male dog so his owner threw him away bc he refuses to have a ‘gay’ dog! Even if that weren't the most assinine [sic] thing I've ever heard, its still discrimination! Don't let this gorgeous dog die bc his owner is ignorant of normal dog behavior!"

Categories: Non-Profit IT News

Nonprofit & social change calendar: February 2013

Socialbrite Blog - Fri, 02/01/2013 - 06:31

A scene from last year’s Wisdom 2.0 conference (Photo by Mari Smith).

Plan for the month’s top conferences & events

JD LasicaIt’s the the dead of winter, but the conference season is heating up, with a number of conferences in the nonprofit/social change sector worth attending.

I’ll be attending the Marin Nonprofit Forum on Valentine’s Day (awww) and following these events as well: Social Enterprise, Media That Matters, Wisdom 2.0, TED and the Nonprofit Communication Workshop. Are you attending any of these?

For the full year, see our Calendar of 2012 nonprofit and social change conferences. If you’re interested in social media, tech and marketing conferences, see this month’s calendar on our sister site,

If you know of other events, please share by adding the info in the comments below. Hope to see you at one of these!

Conference Date Place February Washington Nonprofit Conference Feb. 7-8 Washington, DC The Washington Nonprofit Conference is an annual two-day event where more than 800 fundraising and marketing professional in the nonprofit and commercial sectors gather to exchange innovative marketing and fundraising ideas, generate insightful solutions and think creatively. The conference hopes to offer a platform for improving public awareness and receptivity to direct and interactive market-driven philanthropy. nonprofitconference Social Enterprise Feb. 9-10 Boston This year’s theme at the Social Enterprise conference at Harvard is Create. Connect. Commit. The gathering’s organizers hope to catalyze a forum to create, to enable individuals and organizations to connect and to inspire one another to commit. Jacqueline Novogratz Marin Nonprofit Forum Feb. 14 San Rafael, Calif. The Center for Volunteer and Nonprofit Leadership in Marin brings together experts and practitioners for learning and reflection by convening the bi-annual Marin Nonprofit Conference and issue-based Forums. This year’s Nonprofit Forum will identify what we have in common and how we can tell that story in a way that builds partnerships with donors and clients. Media That Matters Feb. 15 Washington, DC Media That Matters (not to be confused with the long-running Media That Matters in B.C.) is an annual conference presented by the Center for Social Media at American University. It’s designed for established and aspiring filmmakers, nonprofit communications leaders, funders and students who want to learn and share cutting-edge practices to make their media matter. mediathatmatters Strategic Co-Funding: A Grantmaker Convening Feb. 21 Washington, DC Grantmakers for Effective Organizations brings together a group of 150 grantmakers to explore different approaches to strategic co-funding. This daylong convening will offer participants opportunities to deepen their knowledge and advance their practice around key areas such as building trust; developing joint strategies, goals and common processes and more. GEO Wisdom 2.0 Feb. 21-24 San Francisco Join Twitter co-founders Evan Williams and Biz Stone, Huffington Post founder Arianna Huffington, LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner, author Marianne Williamson and others at Wisdom 2.0, and explore the great challenge of our age: to not only live connected to one another through technology, but to do so in ways that are beneficial to our own well-being, effective in our work and useful to the world. This conference brings together people from the worlds of tech, business, spirituality, wellness and more. Arianna Huffington ACM: Computer Supported Cooperative Work Feb. 23-27 San Antonio, Texas CSCW is the premier venue for presenting research in the design and use of technologies that affect groups, organizations, communities and networks. Bringing together top researchers and practitioners from academia and industry in the area of social computing, CSCW 2013 will build on this strong history with venues including papers, workshops, panels, a Doctoral Colloquium and more. TED Feb. 25-Mar 1 Long Beach, Calif. The best moments at TED have often come from unexpected places. But this year, the organizers are pushing that to a new level, staging a global talent search to bring together the most remarkable lineup in TED’s history. This year’s theme: The Young. The Wise. The Undiscovered. TED2013 TEDActive Feb.25-Mar 1 Palm Springs, Calif. TEDActive is a curated community of 700 curious and energetic leaders who share an immersive week of TEDTalks (mainly through video links) and surprising experiences designed to inspire conversation, exchange and immediate action around ideas worth spreading. TEDActive provides a journey through critical conversation, joyful exchange and deep thought. TEDActive Nonprofit Communication Workshop Feb. 28 Bentonville, Ark. The Center for Nonprofit Communication at Drury University presents a one-day conference for nonprofit organizations, The Nonprofit Communication Workshop, that will provide nonprofit professionals with strategies for improving communication and creating stronger connections with donors, volunteers, businesses and the community. nonprofit-communication

JD Lasica works with nonprofits, social change organizations and businesses on social media strategies. See his profile, visit his business blog, contact JD or follow him on Twitter or Google Plus.

Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 UnportedThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported.

Categories: Non-Profit IT News

Here's How Data Can Solve the World's Most Challenging Problems

Social Good @ Mashable - Thu, 01/31/2013 - 19:26

Swedish academic and Gapminder Foundation co-founder Hans Rosling says data doesn't always back up our conceptions about the world. In the video above, Rosling explains that our ideas about developed and developing countries largely reflect the reality of fifty years ago, rather than today

The video, The River of Myth, was released to coincide with Bill Gates' annual letter, and shares its emphasis on the power of measuring to achieve progress

Rosling begins by examining the huge gap between child mortality rates in developed and developing countries fifty years ago, in 1963. By 1990, many countries had made progress, while others, such as Ethiopia, had hardly moved. In the last decade, however, Ethiopia caught up significantly. Rosling says that the East African nation's rapid progress can be an example for the countries where child mortality rates are still crippling

Categories: Non-Profit IT News

Text Messaging Brings African Voices to World Leaders at the UN

Social Good @ Mashable - Thu, 01/31/2013 - 17:45

Text messaging is giving Africans the opportunity to make their voices heard by world leaders in a new campaign that kicked off Wednesday.

Poverty fighting organization One launched its "You Choose" pilot program in South Africa, Malawi and Zambia, hoping to give Africans from those countries a voice at the U.N. when post-2015 development goals are considered in March

The Millenium Development Goals, created to help lift the world's poorest from extreme poverty, were established in 2000 and are set to expire in 2015. As U.N. leaders gather to create a new set of goals, One hopes it can bring the priorities of the world's poorest to the negotiation tables.

Categories: Non-Profit IT News

'World of Warcraft' Players Raise $2.3M for Sandy Relief

Social Good @ Mashable - Wed, 01/30/2013 - 21:56

World of Warcraft players have raised more than $2.3 million for Hurricane Sandy victims, after embarking on a real-life quest to help with relief efforts last month.

Blizzard, the company behind WoW, announced that the funds will go toward supporting the American Red Cross' Sandy relief initiative.

Throughout December, players contributed by virtually adopting the "Cinder Kitten," available in Blizzard's pet store, for $10. For more on WoW's charitable efforts, watch the video, above

WoW players, did you purchase the Cinder Kitten? Tell us in the comments below

Categories: Non-Profit IT News

Experience Human Trafficking Through MTV's Digital 'Backstory'

Social Good @ Mashable - Wed, 01/30/2013 - 20:33

MTV's college station, mtvU, launched a digital experience Wednesday, created to teach students about the harsh realities of human trafficking

"The Backstory," the video experience, is the latest component of mtvU's Against Our Will campaign, which unites students in the growing movement to end modern-day slavery. The interactive site was inspired by four James Madison University students who won mtvU's Against Our Will Challenge, which calls for students to innovate with digital tools to spread awareness for modern slavery. The Backstory puts you in the position of a victim of sex trafficking or labor trafficking victim. After completing the experience, you'll learn ways to get involved with the ongoing fight to end human trafficking.

Categories: Non-Profit IT News

10 Key Takeaways From Bill Gates' Annual Letter

Social Good @ Mashable - Wed, 01/30/2013 - 17:53

Bill Gates' 2013 Annual Letter highlighted the power of data and measurement to help lift the world's most needy up from poverty

This year's letter was presented through an interactive experience fit with shareable quotations, embedded films and infographics. You can also view photos of Gates and his wife Melinda's work around the world, from meeting with high school students in Denver to visiting agricultural facilities in Ethiopia

"In previous annual letters, I've focused a lot on the power of innovation to reduce hunger, poverty, and disease," Gates writes, explaining this year's focus. "But any innovation — whether it's a new vaccine or an improved seed — can't have an impact unless it reaches the people who will benefit from it. That's why in this year's letter I discuss how innovations in measurement are critical to finding new, effective ways to deliver these tools and services to the clinics, family farms, and classrooms that need them."

Categories: Non-Profit IT News

'LinkedIn for Social Good' Moves Your Career Forward While Giving Back

Social Good @ Mashable - Tue, 01/29/2013 - 20:32

Eight months ago, Jason Nicosia found himself at a charity event in New Orleans that was raising money for the Louisiana Technology Council by auctioning lunch meetings. At the time, Nicosia was working as a sales representative for a billing software company and recognized purchasing some facetime with high-power execs presented a great opportunity.

"These guys were my ideal clients and this was a lot easier than getting a meeting otherwise," Nicosia told Mashable. "So I took the company credit card and spent a couple thousand dollars."

Categories: Non-Profit IT News

A messaging calendar is not a content calendar

Socialbrite Blog - Tue, 01/29/2013 - 06:31

An editorial calendar, or content calendar — not to be confused with a messaging calendar.

Your strategy begins with a single step: Planning

Target audience: Nonprofits, cause organizations, foundations, NGOs, social enterprises, businesses, general public.

JD LasicaYou can’t be blamed if you’re a little confused by recent discussions in the nonprofit world about the need to create a content calendar. Yes, it’s true, a meaningful strategy for your organization starts with planning.

But what exactly is a content calendar?

There are no hard and fast rules about this. But I thought it would be helpful to nonprofits and other organizations, which often survive day by day, to get granular about what exactly should go into these planning documents.

Our former Socialbrite partner Debra Askanse wrote the other day about the need for planning and messaging to inform your nonprofit’s content creation, resulting in a content calendar. And another former Socialbrite partner, Beth Kanter, recently featured a blog post about the need for an editorial calendar.

But what does this calendar look like?

Start with messaging and support it with content

In my strategy webinars at CharityHowTo, I suggest that nonprofits think about maintaining two separate documents:

A messaging/planning calendar

1Call it a messaging calendar, planing calendar or events calendar — it doesn’t matter what term you use. And chances are your nonprofit may not be doing any of these, if the polls I conduct during my CharityHowTo webinars are a gauge. But let’s simplify things by calling it a messaging calendar.

events-calendarYour organization’s messaging calendar should derive from two sources:

• an annual list of outside events: national and global holidays like Martin Luther King Jr. Day, important landmarks like the 40th anniversary of Roe vs. Wade;

• internal events your nonprofit or your partners are planning, like your big spring fundraiser or that community job fair in the fall.

Begin each year with a messaging calendar of major national and international events. Localize it with events your nonprofit is putting on or that are happening in your state, like Give to the Max Day. Then update it regularly throughout the year when you add new events or plan new campaigns. Use the calendar as a calendar (in Outlook, Google Calendar, etc.), buttressed by an internal Word document spelling out what each department will be doing to support an internal campaign. And while your messaging calendar should live in marketing/communications, other departments should be able to contribute to this master planning document. It should also feed into your content calendar (see No. 2 below).

Optionally, such a document can also be used to create a public events calendar or community calendar for your online community (eg., both MLK Day and your fundraiser), but it should not be used to publicly expose your internal planning (eg., all depts. will support a Back to School theme in our external communications for the month of August). Here’s the external events calendar we created for SF Goodwill using a WordPress calendar plug-in.

A content/editorial calendar

2Your content or editorial calendar (see image at top) is not the same as the messaging calendar. Nonprofits need to create content to be relevant and to found on Google, and you need one person — call her an editor if you’d like — who’s in charge of a master content calendar for your organization. Such a document should list all the planned blog posts or new content your nonprofit is planning to run for the next several months on your blog, blogs or website. That, my friends, is your content calendar. It consists of a combination of external events and internal events fed from your messaging calendar as well as other story ideas contributed by your nonprofit’s employees or content partners.

What does it look like? Usually it’s a spreadsheet maintained by communications/marketing consisting of:

• the topic of the blog post or new content
• author
• which online channel (if your nonprofit has more than one)
• due date or publication date
• accompanying photos, video or other media
• how it’ll be supported on Facebook and Twitter
• notes that your team should know about.

We recommend making it available on the intranet so folks can contribute story ideas to it.

That, folks, is your real content calendar, not simply a listing of holidays or fundraisers.

So: Your messaging calendar notes that Jan. 21, 2013, is MLK Jr. Day/National Day of Service. Your content calendar has someone down for writing a blog post on the importance of volunteerism — in advance of Jan. 21.

As I said at the top, there’s no one right way to do this. So, be creative — do what works for you!

How does your nonprofit handle planning? Do you have a planning calendar, a content calendar, a single integrated planning document or none of the above? Tell us in the comments!JD Lasica works with nonprofits, social change organizations and businesses on social media strategies. See his profile, visit his business blog, contact JD or follow him on Twitter or Google Plus.

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Categories: Non-Profit IT News

Facebook Partners With Suicide Prevention Group for Research Project

Social Good @ Mashable - Mon, 01/28/2013 - 17:21

Facebook has announced its partnership with suicide prevention group to monitor what they're calling "suicide warning signs" posted through social media.

Essentially, the site will research the online behaviors of suicide victims in the months leading up to their deaths. The initial goal, the company said, is to provide researchers at Save with patterns to help detect potential suicides as early as possible

Renewed public interest in the issue was triggered after the apparent suicide of Internet activist Aaron Swartz on Jan. 11.

Categories: Non-Profit IT News

8 steps to prepare your Facebook page for Graph Search

Socialbrite Blog - Mon, 01/28/2013 - 06:31


Connect your organization through Facebook Graph Search

Target audience: Nonprofits, NGOs, cause organizations, social enterprises, businesses, Web publishers, bloggers, social media managers, anyone with a Facebook Page.

John HaydonFacebook’s new Graph Search is very different from Google search. With Graph Search, you combine keyword searches with friends who’ve shared content on Facebook related to that search.

For example, here’s a search of friends who like The Ellie Fund and live in Boston:


Graph Search also allows people to discover your organization through different keyword / network search combinations:


Facebook Page SEO isn’t new

Google has been indexing Facebook Pages for quite some time now, so Facebook Page SEO (search engine optimization) isn’t anything new.

Both Google’s and Facebook’s search algorithms consider your page name, category, vanity URL and keywords within your About tab.

What is new is the combination of keyword, category and connection (as shown in the examples above) – and the way Graph Search suggestions influence how searches are conducted.

Here are eight steps to optimizing your Facebook Page for both Google and Facebook’s Graph search:

Tweak your page category


1Make sure you’ve selected the best possible category for your page. You can edit your category by going into your Basic Information admin panel, as shown above.

Tweak your page sub-categories

2If you have a Facebook Place (local Place or Business), you can add up to three sub-categories. These can be added / updated within your Basic Information admin panel (as shown above).

Complete your address

3Graph search will allow users to search for local nonprofits their friends like, so make sure your address is complete and current.

Complete your About section

4The information you share in your About section will help people find your page in search. Particularly if you put keywords at the beginning of specific fields.

Do not start off with, “We are a 501(c)3 organization…” People don’t search for 501(c)3 when they’re looking for services and resources for breast cancer patients.

Tag your photos

5Photos are a primary content type displayed in Graph Search results. Make sure you tag each photo with your page name and any location associated with the photo.

Pay attention to photo descriptions


6Devote a few seconds to filling in photo descriptions. For instance, guess which keywords are in the description of each photo this search result?

Create a username


7If you haven’t done so already, create a custom URL (username) for your page that includes the name of your organization. For example, should be shortened to This will improve your SEO on both Facebook and Google.

Continue creating killer content

8Remember, like Google, Facebook wants to display the best results at the top of a search. And parsing out great content on Facebook has always been done by looking at how much people have talked about that specific photo, video or text update.

Questions? Tips? Share them in the comments section below!

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John Haydon delivers social web strategy solutions for “the quick, the smart, and the slightly manic.” Curious? Then connect up: Contact John by email, see his profile page, visit the John Haydon blog, follow him on Twitter and Google Plus or leave a comment.

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Categories: Non-Profit IT News

How Social Media Can Reunite Lost Children With Their Families

Social Good @ Mashable - Fri, 01/25/2013 - 18:30

In November 2011, Tony Loftis's 13-year-old daughter ran away from their suburban hometown of Wayland, Mass. She was last seen boarding a Peter Pan bus to New York from downtown Boston, and Loftis assumed she'd headed to Brooklyn where his daughter had frequently visited family

Not a stranger to social media, Loftis took it upon himself to spread word that he was looking for his daughter on email, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn

"We tweeted the heck out of it," Loftis told Mashable

After a few days, Loftis' story was picked up by The Huffington Post, the New York Daily News, the Boston Herald and four TV stations. On day 12, following a live TV appearance, Loftis received word his daughter had been found living with a sexual predator in Jersey City.

Categories: Non-Profit IT News

Internet Applauds Waiter for Defending Child With Special Needs

Social Good @ Mashable - Thu, 01/24/2013 - 16:20

Restaurant patrons often have picky requests for waiters, like moving tables because of a draft or ordering a rare — but not too rare — steak. But those fussy needs don't compare to those of a party of four at Laurenzo's steakhouse in Houston, Texas, who told a waiter, "Special needs kids should be kept in special places."

The Laurenzo's waiter, Michael Garcia, refused to serve the party, who complained that they'd been seated next to a family with a son who has Down syndrome. The customers were moved out of his section and subsequently left the restaurant. Garcia is now being showered with love on Facebook for standing up to the insensitive customers.

Categories: Non-Profit IT News

Viral Campaign Lands Inspiring Kid on 'SportsCenter' Top 10 Plays

Social Good @ Mashable - Thu, 01/24/2013 - 14:37

Owen Groesser won Twitter and SportsCenter at the same time as his improbable, inspiring sports story took the web by storm Wednesday night

Who's that, you say?

Groesser isn't some NBA rookie or NHL hotshot. He's a middle schooler with Down Syndrome, from Rochester, Mich. He's a member of his school's basketball team, but reportedly had not played a minute all season

Until Wednesday

SEE ALSO: How Facebook Inspired One Woman's Incredible 'Tough Mudder'

Coaches inserted him during the squad's final game of the season, and he made the most of his opportunity — to say the least. Owen promptly sank a pair of three-pointers to wild applause from the crowd and celebration from his teammates. One of the shots was caught on video, and that launched what would become a viral campaign to spread Owen's story far and wide

Categories: Non-Profit IT News

Five tips to create powerful infographics

Socialbrite Blog - Wed, 01/23/2013 - 06:32

How nonprofits can use infographics to demonstrate supporters’ impact

Target audience: Nonprofits, NGOs, cause organizations, social enterprises, businesses, Web publishers, bloggers, social media managers, individuals.

John HaydonPeople support your organization for one reason: They view your organization as the agent of change they seek.

If they had the resources, they’d make the changes they desire by themselves. But they don’t, which is why you’re in their lives.

So when you tell the story of your cause, you need to show how supporters ultimately create the outcomes.

Nonprofit storytelling with infographics

One powerful way to do this is with a set of infographics like the Best Friends Animal Society created.

What’s really great about this infographic is that it’s broken down into five separate infographics, which makes the information even more digestible.

Five tips for creating powerful infographics

Best Friends Animal Society does a number of things right with their infographic. Here are a few:

  1. Keep it simple. The information should be instantly understood through pictures and words.
  2. Make it beautiful. No one wants to share an infographic that’s ugly. Make sure you spend the money and hire a graphic artist who can create a beautiful infographic. (Here are a few tools to create infographics.)
  3. Make it easily shareable. Users should be able to share your infographic with one mouse click on Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter. If you use WordPress for your website, you’ll find a number of plug-ins that will add a sharing feature to images.
  4. Put it everywhere. Make sure you post your infographic on your Facebook page, your Pinterest board, and even Instagram. This allows people who call these places their home to easily see it.
  5. Promote it. Just because you build it doesn’t mean people will come. You need to have a marketing communications plan that uses your biggest assets, like your email list, to promotes the infographic.

Have you seen an effective infographic about a cause? Let us know in the comments section below!

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John Haydon delivers social web strategy solutions for “the quick, the smart, and the slightly manic.” Curious? Then connect up: Contact John by email, see his profile page, visit the John Haydon blog, follow him on Twitter and Google Plus or leave a comment.

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Categories: Non-Profit IT News