by David Tandet

Came across a terrific item by Emily (Emily’s World) on how non-profits can use the social web to spread the word.

Believe it or not, the whole concept of simply “getting the message out” is not as much of a no-brainer as it might first appear. That’s because a lot of people are still not used to surfing the internet for everything from news to entertainment.

For an organization that’s used to catching the attention of funding sources in grant proposals and brick and mortar fundraisers, something like a blog entry or Facebook account might not always seem like a direct connection to necessary money.

Well have no doubt: a YouTube broadcast might be just the eye-catcher needed in this world of grants and donations that right now seem to be spread all too slim.

And how about viral marketing in general to raise money for non-profits? Non-profits not using it — great wired potential funding sources, that is — are losing it.

As Emily puts it, “Wired Fundraisers are regular people with a cause and a keyboard, and they are proving highly effective at fundraising for their favorite charity in an ever-widening personal sphere of influence online.”

Not incidentally, social networking — Jonathan O’Brien mentions in Right Before You Write — can be part of the mix when it comes to two-way communication between the community being served by a program and those setting up or implementing that program.

Another point to consider: larger non-profits often walk a fine line between informing the public and making sure they don’t look like they’re spending more than they should on public relations expenses. Well it only takes some time and web skills to get the wired word out.

Here are Emily’s ways (updated by DT) non-profits can spread the word using the social web:

• Write an entry on the organization’s blog.
• Post a message on your group on Facebook.
• Share a video on Vimeo.
• Link to YouTube.
• Include a video on the webpage for the fundraiser.
• Come up with keywords/tags to describe your fundraiser. Tag it on del.icio.us and other social bookmaking sites.
• Encourage members/supporters to spread the word about the fundraiser by posting a blog entry, sharing the link on Facebook, and keep the link updated; send e-mails – and encourage members/supporters – to send emails to contacts.

Get wired and get the funds your non-profit needs.

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Post filed under Grant Writing, Marketing Communications, Online Social Networking, Reputation, Sales Gold, Writing Tips.