Laura AA (as she calls herself) wrote a great book called Giving 2.0: Transform Your Giving and Our World.
There are two key takeaway messages in the book:
- “It’s not about how much you give; it’s about how you give.”
- “A philanthropist is anyone who gives anything – time, money, expertise, passion, networks – in any amount to create a better world.”
These two messages hold powerful lessons for nonprofits trying to build successful online communities.
When building your own online community, consider the lessons from Giving 2.0:
- Be open-minded. Not everyone is going to become your biggest online advocate.
- Don’t go by Klout score alone. A supporter doesn’t have to have 15,000 Twitter followers or 4,000 Facebook friends to have influence over a significant amount of people.
- Just because someone is influential does not mean that your cause will resonate with them. Think about how you cultivate major donors – a strategy that just includes contacting all the rick people in town is faulty and will get you blacklisted. Be strategic in who you contact to promote your nonprofit online and make sure it’s an appropriate fit.
- Cultivate your current online advocates and thoughtfully create others. This is what Laura is really talking about in her book – developing a new generation of advocates for giving, for standing up, for getting involved.
- Actively look everywhere for people who are passionate about your cause. Don’t ask them for their bank statement or their Twitter follower count. Engage them where they are.
- Identify and acknowledge the special people. You know, the ones who always comment on your blog (genuinely and with value) and share your Facebook posts. They might only have 45 LinkedIn connections, but their passion and interest is authentic and real – and often contagious.
- See what you can do to find your offline community and entice them to join you online.
It’s a shame that the online communities for Giving 2.0 are not more robust (they have a Facebook page without a cover photo or any posts this year and no blog articles published since December 2011).
Try this – start your own conversation about the Giving 2.0 principles on your Facebook page, Twitter feed or LinkedIn Group! This kind of discussion is perfect for social networking sites. I guarantee that your supporters will have a lot to say.
How do you give? Do you think nonprofits can be more open-minded?