The Human Equation: Giving Back Internet Style

Dec 3, 2007 - 12:26 pm 0 by
Filed Under SES Chicago 2007

Moderator: Greg Jarboe, President and Co-Founder, SEO-PR Speakers: Darian Rodriquez Heyman, Executive Director, Craigslist Foundation Ben Rattray, Founder & CEO, Nan Dawkins, Founder, RedBoots Digital, Serengeti Communications Darian Rodriquez Heyman They take the name and spirit of Craiglist into the community sector via online and in person. They have a non-profit bootcamp. Work with over 150 partner organizations. Calling their new project “entry point” which is a redesign to their website that launches in January. Traditionally it was about push but now it’s turning into push back. Its more than receiving information and pulling what I want but now it’s about giving back like youtube for example. Ben Rattray $220 billion given by individuals in 2006 $50 billion spent on fundraising Can the internet change this? The aim was to make it easier than ever to give Donation portals Nonprofit websites But unrealized expectations Only 3% of current giving is online Why? Donations are not like commerce * People don’t go around looking to donate * People need to be asked Failed to address core problems * Impersonal * No idea about quality of organization * No idea where money goes * No sense of impact * Not treated as valued member of community Overcoming barriers to giving * Peer-to-peer connections * Personalized communication to donors (unique advantage in terms of having evangelists to communicate for them) * Collective action & magnified impact * Status of Web 2.0 Adoption * Many organizations excited & dedicating resources * Focused primarily on MySpace and Facebook * The bottom line: budding interest, but not fully embraced

Future * Deep Integration - Building communities around organizations

Most of the donors aren’t on the Myspace and Facebook’s but the problem is that it’s hard to build a discreet community on a single organization. Its important to find an in between where non-profits can brand, capture data, and directly communicate with their supporters through one space. Branding is very important in doing so (Flickr, Yelp etc..) You need a sufficient amount of content and a large user-base in order to bring people back. That makes building your own social network tough. It's worse to build a social network for your brand that has little to no activity for your brand than to have none at all. Start out by using Facebook and sites that are already out there. Nan Dawkins Early Web 1.0 non profit sites just told people its all about me. Nonprofits and web 1.5 got people more involved to take an action. They are using social media channels to drive people to do the same things as before (donate, take action) so its still all about me as an organization telling you what to do. People are now creating content and pushing causes with absolutely no affiliation or organization. Woman raised $2 million dollars off 1 YouTube video and blog ( When you have a social network that is based loosely around your cause they tend to work well but the narrower you get, the tougher it becomes. In a web 2.0 world: Companies no longer own their brands NPO’s no longer own the cause No longer control the message .... Its really a partnership now * You are no in control of the message * The cause comes before the brand * Focus on creating/facilitating evangelists (not just donors) * Pay Attention: What interests them, what motivations them, what are they doing because they want to? * Help Them Can I use Web 2.0 for fundraising? You can but you’re only focusing on the tip of the iceberg.

Contributed by: Justin Davy is a search engine marketing specialist for the E.W. Scripps Company and a guest writer for SER.


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