Thursday, January 10, 2008

Best practices for non-profits using web2.0

Though I dislike the word 'best practices' as it seems to close down alternatives, I found a good blogpost by the name of best practices for non-profits using web2.0 by Alexandra Samuel. Thanks to Brice Royer to send it to the members of Non-profit Web 2.0 facebook group.

Some of the best practices mentioned by Alexandra:
  1. Focus your site on a particular goal or conversation, rather than a general mandate. For example, the UN Foundation has had a dazzling success with its Nothing But Nets site, which focuses specifically on providing malaria nets to kids in the developing world.
  2. Invite your community to make contributions other than money. Non-profits often experience "donor fatigue" because so much of their public interactions hinge on asking for money.
  3. Play nicely with other non-profit (and for-profit) organizations. The web is just that: a web of interconnections. Succeeding in an internetworked environment means working effectively with others, colllaborating, and interacting -- it's not just about getting your own message out there.
  4. Don't feel that web 2.0 means building your own online community. In fact, it's a lot easier to ease into the web 2.0 culture by making effective use of existing web tools -- whether that means fostering internal collaboration by choosing a common tag to use when storing your favorite web sites, or creating an iGoogle page that lets you constantly see the latest news in your key issue areas, or creating a photo-based petition on Flickr (check out the Oxfam example).
  5. Be gentle with yourself, and your colleagues. It's a big challenge for most non-profits to shift from message delivery to conversation, or from approaching your members as donors to seeing them as content contributors.
  6. Stay current with how other non-profits are using web 2.0, and learn from their experiences. A great way of doing that is to track the "nptech" tag on del.ici.ous, and NetSquared.

What resonates with me is the shift in thinking about having one website or building your own site, versus using multiple tools and sites. Yet, it can still be useful to have a space where these distributed things are gathered. (almost like a notice board!)

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