Thursday, December 2, 2010

Do You Know Who Your Friends Are?

Today, in a generation where social media dominates, knowing who your friends are has a whole new meaning.  Although the types of social media vary from Facebook, Twitter, You Tube, Linkedin and Flickr, to name a few, the medium is still the message.  Social media is how people are communicating in 2010. 

As a family who has a need your greatest resource is your community.  Your physical community is essential and will always be very important, but don't underestimate how powerful your virtual community can be in assisting you in meeting your goals.

Lets use, as an example, the site Facebook.  The general concept with Facebook is that you accept "friends" into your community. This site is a place for you to share.  It is likely your friends would know that you have a child with a special need, but they may not be aware of the challenges you have to support your child in daily living.  Fundraising for an accessible van is one of those challenges. 

In your efforts to raise funds, social media can be used to announce upcoming events, report on goals met, share pictures or video and make requests.  A simple status update or tweet of  "does anyone want to sponsor our fundraiser through a casual day at work?" OR "please tell your friends about our event this weekend" can yield a number of responses.

Social media can also be used together. Post great YouTube video on Facebook, or set up an account for your project and invite people to follow it.  You can set up a PayPal account on your Facebook page for Internet based fundraisers. The creative options are endless,but there are a few things to remember:

1) Only share information you truly want public.  Learn the privacy sharing settings.
2) Make sure if your child is old enough, they agree to the information about them you are posting.
3) Get consent from any organization, individuals whose identity you share on your site.
4) Always practice respect in what and how you communicate.
6) Success is not based on how many followers you have, but how much movement there is.  You want fans or followers who will forward your information along.
7) Be transparent.  Share your message and your goals ahead of time.  That means you need to know what they are before you start a conversation about fundraising!

I look forward to sharing with you, in future posts, real examples of successful uses of social media in fundraising.

I would love to hear from you if you currently use social media as a family or if you know of good examples in which social media has been used for fundraising.

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