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This is Part 2 of my interview with Amy Sample Ward. You should really go back and read Part 1, if you haven’t yet.

Amy Sample Ward

What’s next on the horizon for nonprofits fundraising online?

There’s a lot going on focused around the individuals or “free agents” in your community that want to fundraise or create campaigns that benefit your organization, but aren’t created by or carried out by your staff. Various platforms and services offer ways that people can fundraise for organizations in all kinds of ways (among the new tools are JustGiving’s new facebook application).

Mobile donations are always getting far more use and publicity after their use by American Red Cross and others in disaster response efforts.

These are two very different directions: the first requires organizations to prepare for communities to lead; the second is a more traditional approach to fundraising, but using a different mechanism to capture donations. I would encourage all organizations to explore the best ways to provide for free agent fundraisers that may emerge from the community. Mobile fundraising though is not necessarily right for every organization or every campaign as it depends on the capacity, purpose and larger effort that it fits into.

What is one quick thing that a nonprofit development office could do in the last ten minutes of their day, just to get started?

Setting up a listening dashboard is a great way to start finding conversations and news as well as identifying who’s talking about your sector, issues, and programs. For a development team, this can mean finding potential funders and partners, as well as getting a finger on the pulse of what’s going on online. Netvibes is a free and easy tool to use and I’ve put up a step by step guide to building a listening dashboard too. (You can also check out my public RSS reader on nonprofit technology at http://netvibes.com/amysampleward.org – and let me know if there are blogs or feeds I should add!)

Once you have your dashboard set up, you can start your day and end your day with a quick 10 minute review of the latest content, comments, and stories.

What do you think of Corporate Social Responsibility and Web 2.0? How is it changing? Is it becoming more “authentic” (allowing real people to blog for companies and talk about their impact) or more “corporate” (anonymous postings)?

What I think you are asking is how CSR departments are using social media; I’d argue that a communication tool wouldn’t make the specific CSR efforts/funds more authentic or more corporate.

I think that, like everyone else, CSR department staff are using social media to tell the story of their work and impact—as they should. The struggle that I see is similar to that in nonprofit organizations: do you tell the story from the perspective of “hey, funders, look at our impact” or do you let those you have served and supported say “hey, world, this is my story.”

Whether it is a company’s CSR program or a nonprofit organization, using social media to join in the conversations that are already happening is crucial. People are talking about you, and you are talking about yourself – best to bring those into one conversation where both sides can learn, new programs/policies/services can emerge, and real exchange can happen. The “authenticity” of messages is much easier to achieve with social media because you have a profile (with a name and a picture) or a video with people talking, etc. You can be a person, and not a brand or a name or an organization – and that is where the real power lies.

Thank you Amy, for a very informative interview!

What questions do you have after reading this? What would you like to know more about?

Please leave a comment.

Thank you!