NTEN hosts regular "Ask the Expert" chats with people in the nonprofit technology field on a variety of topics. It's an hour on the phone and in a chat room where people get to ask their questions and the expert answers.
Today, the call was with Joe Green from Causes and the session was billed as "Does Slacktivism Lead To Real World Results? Ask Joe Green of Causes at NTEN Session." There was the usual mix of strategy and in the weeds tactical questions. I had a few of both.
Here's four insights that I learned:
1. Connecting Facebook Pages with Causes
Many nonprofits have Fan Pages and Causes and curious about how to best integrate the two. One way is to add a TAB on your Facebook Page for your Cause. There wasn't a link for step by steps, so I fiddled with it while listening to the phone call. Here's how:
To add your Cause to your Fan Page as a tab
1.) Click on Edit Page
2.) Look for more applications and click on the pen and "browse applications"
3.) Search for Causes and click thru to app home page
4.) Click on add to my page
5.) Go back to your fan page - and click on + after the tabs, select causes from the drop down list
That's just for starters. What are some of the other ways you can weave together the two? What works what doesn't?
2. Encouraging and Working with volunteers who set up a Cause
Many nonprofits that are just getting onto Facebook quickly discover that someone (a volunteer or a fan) might have set up a Cause for their organization, but after a while lost interest and it went dormant. It looks like some organizations have had luck taking it over (see this case study about the Lupus Foundation). I like the proactive approach. The video above is from World Visions is an example of encouraging their volunteers to set up a Cause for their organization as part of a coordinated campaign.
How has your organization worked with volunteers who have set up Causes on your organization's behalf?
3. Green talked about the audience they reach through Causes is typically younger and are often first time donors. I wanted to know what they knew or have about these donors philanthropic behavior. Do they tend to give to "issues or causes" versus organizations? How loyal are they?
Causes is less organizationally siloed compared to direct mail. The entry point for direct mail is the organization, that mail piece. There isn't a set of other options. On Causes, it is more a marketplace dynamic because the potential donor can see many other options. A lot of people are new donors and haven't been engaged before. This is their point of entry. For better or worse, brand equity is less important on Causes. What's most important is how you communicate about what we do? For example, look at charity:water and how it does it communications.
What you learned about donor behavior vis Causes? How has this informed your strategy?
4. Better analytics are coming real soon now?
Green didn't want to commit to a specific date, but mentioned that there would be some new and improved analytics data available where you can slice and dice the data by ladder of engagement (joined, didn't donate) and click through rates. Being a little bit of a metrics geek, I'd love to see something like Facebook Insights Tool.
What I didn't hear was an unpacking of the Slacktivism - specifically the philosophical points raised in the article:
Of course, the ideal case here is when
one's participation in digital activism doesn't subtract from -- and
instead enhances -- one's eagerness to participate in real-life campaigns.
However, it's also quite possible that a significant portion of the
activist population would be morally content with the "slacktivist"
option alone, preferring not to get too close to more dangerous
activities that are likely to get them in trouble with authorities.
So should we be more careful when discussing the success of most
digital activism campaigns, since they may also have unanticipated
adverse effects on more effective forms of enacting political and
social change? (Of course, the relative effectiveness of one type of
activism over another is a matter of great contention too.)
Most people on the call were focused on learning more about improving their Causes strategy as well as specific tactical tips. Frank Barry contributed an awesome guest post last month called: Four Tips for Nonprofit Success on Facebook. He suggested the following resources:
More Resources (I’d go through them in this order):
- Nonprofits on Facebook by Facebook
- Facebook Pages FAQ by Facebook [Update: Added on 5.26.2009]
- Why You Need to have a Strategy before you make a Facebook Fan Page NOW! By Jeremiah Owyang
- Pages, Groups, and Causes: How are they different? by Facebook
- Facebook Groups and Pages – Features, Benefits And Killer Tips by John Haydon
- How To Create A Powerful And Engaging Facebook Page by John Haydon
- How To Develop A Facebook Page That Attracts Millions of Fans by All Facebook
- So You Want a Facebook Fan Page? by Beth Kanter
- How To Create and Promote Your Facebook Fan Page by Mari Smith
- Five Lessons Celebrities Can Teach Us About Facebook Fan Pages from Mashable
More on Social Media Strategy for Nonprofits:
- Social Media Strategy: LIVESTRONG and the Summer of Social Good
- Social Media Strategy: United Methodist Church and 10THOUSANDDOORS
- Social Media Strategy: 12for12k Challenge with Danny Brown
- Social Media Strategy: Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles
- Social Media Strategy: Athletes for a Cure