Saturday, January 31, 2009

Facebook and Fundraising

I have mentioned I work for a technology company. It is actually an agency that assists nonprofit organizations in their online communication and fund raising efforts. So about a year ago, the hermit stuck his foot out of his shell and dipped his big toe in to the wide, facebook ocean.

The abuse your psyche takes while adopting facebook behavior is subject matter for another post. I just want to mention one of the transitional states that happened for me, and what propelled me into an advocate for the tool.

I joined facebook about a week before the video application was added. As soon as I saw that you could send private and public video messages to your friends walls and inboxes, facebook felt much better to me. I can't tell you the number of facebook friends who were so excited to get video messages. Especially in those early days, it was the only thing that kept me using the tool.

Then I was asked to pledge a dollar amount for this non profit group that I really cared about. In the process of figuring out how I would meet my pledge, I decided to use my facebook network. At the time I sent out this video, I had about 330 "facebook friends."

I reached my stated pledge goal within four days. By the time the day of the event came, we had raised 180% of my pledge, just using facebook.

There are dozens of little observations that can be made and applied to fund raising strategies that I could share with you from that little experience. However, at the end of the day, I really just applied sound fund raising principles and applied them to the facebook distribution channel.
I owned facebook on this one.
I honestly was able to do this without facebook owning me.

So the hermit comes late to the party, flirts with technology from a distance, and then is able to use the tool (without my facebook friends being used I didn't get punched in the throat one time!) and not be owned by the technology.

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