When I saw the words "nonprofit widget," I had a senior moment. I remembered that almost a year ago I was working on screencast about widgets for nonprofits to build community and had set up a wikispace called nonprofit widgets. Today, I came across an interesting post from John Bell of Digital Influence Mapping Project blog has an interesting idea, nonprofitwidget.org:
Non-profits need to engage their brand ambassadors now. We need nonprofitwidget.org to emerge not as just another clearinghouse (like widgetbox) but as a toolbox for promotion and measurement for nonprofits who would use this type of resource.
Here's how nonprofitwidget.org can work:
- All nonprofits can publish their widgets in this directory which features all of the requisite download and embed protocols to relieve the necessity of too much technical knowledge.
- A directory of developers with rating systems would help nonprofits connect with folks to build the widgets.
- A promotion toolbox will give the nonprofit staff a set of procedures and tools to help promote their widgets
- A voluntary "membership" link will allow all of the folks who are using the widget to remain connected.
- Each widget "page" would feature and aggregate set of links to the blogs who feature that widget thus sending some link love back to those who publish the widget.
Unlike advertisers who will wrestle with how to measure the use of widgets in terms they are used to (online advertising - see this WaPo article from Saturday), nonprofits have everything to gain by activating their greatest asset - their supporters and fans.
I think that slapping up a widget and not having strategy doesn't work. Great to have the tools, but you need a strategy. Also, you need to find your inner super activist or connect with someone who is already an evangelist for your cause or organization and is a super activist on social networking sites that have people who may be interested in your cause.