Cause-Based Viral Marketing: How Your Nonprofit Can Maximize Social Networking Tools

Fiberoptics

Mastering Viral Marketing to Promote Your Cause

You work for a small to mid-sized nonprofit organization. Your demand is steady, your employees happy, and your finances good. But you know you can do better. What can you do to further promote your cause?

The answer is viral marketing.

Wikipedia describes viral marketing as follows:

“Viral marketing and viral advertising refer to marketing techniques that use pre-existing social networks to produce increases in brand awareness through self-replicating viral processes, analogous to the spread of pathological or computer viruses.”

Nonprofit (and profit) organizations can use viral fundraising to promote the reach of their organization, the power of their brand, and the impact of their cause by using existing social network technologies.

For a simple analogy, think of viral marketing along the lines of gossip. Tell one family member about a new boyfriend or girlfriend and you can guarantee a distant cousin you haven’t heard from in months will be calling within days. Your mother tells your aunt, who tells your uncle and cousins, who tell your grandparents, and on. Soon everyone knows.

Viral marketing follows the same exponential principle: direct contact with 10 people will lead eventually lead to a thousand. The key is to use an established networking platform so that your organization can do the basic promotion and the proficiency of the application will do the rest.

Best Practices in Viral Fundraising

Today’s Wall Street Journal article entitled “A New Generation Reinvents Philanthropy” lists five best practice models for viral fundraising:

  1. Kiva.org allows internet lenders to offer interest-free microfinance loans to entrepreneurs in developing countries. Impact: almost 90,000 lenders have loaned $10 million since the fall of 2005
  2. Project Agape enables Facebook users to create online communities for their favorite causes. Impact: 2.5 million users raised $300,000 since May 2007
  3. MySpace Impact Awards allow users to vote on charities that used MySpace to their greatest advantage. The winning charity is awarded $10,000. Note the beauty of this endeavor in that it promotes nonprofit philanthropy while forwarding its own branding

  1. SixDegrees.org cleverly leverages the theory that everyone in the world is connected by six degrees of separation (or Kevin Bacon) by having users create “charity badges” to promote their personal causes using click-throughs, thus raising money for their nonprofits of choice. Impact: 6,000 users have raised $740,000 since January 2007
  2. DonorsChoose.org promises thrills through its “Blogger Challenge” as users take on dares if certain amounts of money are raised. (I couldn’t find a link for this on their site, but its efficacy is nonprofit legend and I believe it to be true.) More importantly DonorsChoose.org provide visitors with a nationwide menu of giving through classroom wish lists posted by public school teachers. Impact: $13 million has benefited 621,000 children ($3 million has been raised in 2007 to date). Note how effective their graphics are for conveying the impact that donors have to the organization. Learn from this!

Why Viral Marketing is So Effective

Viral marketing’s success is based on the fact that it uses established social networking platforms to accomplish its task. People involved in MySpace, Facebook, Friendster are seeking connectivity and interactivity. Viral marketing harnesses this desire and uses it for its own ends.

An additional reason that viral fundraising is so successful is that it is transparent and accountable. A well organized website shows an exact pathway to how money is spent and whom it benefits without the politics or barriers to entry of an offline organization.

It also allows money to be raised in small increments with minimal overhead for optimal impact. Combining resources in this manner can have an amazing effect that never before possible in human history.

Best Practice Highlight: Kiva.org

Let’s take a closer look at Kiva.org to understand a master in viral fundraising. Kiva.org has shifted the model of the Grameen Bank online by taking global connectivity and internet philanthropy to an evolutionary level. You aren’t going to see a more transparent or user friendly business model than Kiva’s portfolio of entrepreneurs.

Each entrepreneur’s page features personal photos, the loan amount requested as well as a tally of how much has been raised, a timeframe for recompense, a profile of the field partners, current lenders, and similar concurrent endeavors seeking support. It even includes an embedding code for users’ personal promotion.

Taking Action

The time has come for nonprofit organizations to harness the power of the internet and maximize their cause and brand promotion through use of the world wide web.

We have passed the age when a static homepage is sufficient to represent a professional image. Interactivity is the key to an effective web presence, whether it means actively updating your press release section, running a blog, or regularly updating donors and contacts on organizational achievements.

Viral fundraising and marketing through social networking have the symbiotic effect of maximizing users’ feelings of connectivity with the organization and giving them a feeling of ownership with the cause.

Here’s the bottom line: social networking tools are the paradigm for the web’s current capabilities. Any nonprofit organization serious about creating meaningful social change and promoting the reach of their organization will take simple measures to learn and activate viral fundraising for cause-based marketing.

I am confident in our abilities as nonprofit leaders to take these essential steps in advancing nonprofit practice. Go forth and network!

About these ads

59 Responses to Cause-Based Viral Marketing: How Your Nonprofit Can Maximize Social Networking Tools

  1. [...] post by The New Jew: Blogging Jewish Philanthropy Posted in Finance Blog | Trackback | del.icio.us | Top Of [...]

  2. [...] following up on yesterday’s post about viral marketing and social networks, today I’d like to talk about e-mail communication and [...]

  3. [...] “Cause-Based Viral Marketing: How Your Nonprofit Can Maximize Social Networking Tools” [...]

  4. [...] “Caused-Based Viral Marketing: How Your Nonprofit Can Maximize Social Networking Tools” [...]

  5. [...] Cause-Based Viral Marketing: How Your Nonprofit Can Maximize Social Networking Tools by Maya Norton Nonprofit (and profit) organizations can use viral fundraising to promote the reach of their organization, the power of their brand, and the impact of their cause by using existing social network technologies. For a simple analogy, think of viral marketing along the lines of gossip. Tell one family member about a new boyfriend or girlfriend and you can guarantee a distant cousin you haven’t heard from in months will be calling within days. Your mother tells your aunt, who tells your uncle and cousins, who tell your grandparents, and on. Soon everyone knows. Viral marketing follows the same exponential principle: direct contact with 10 people will lead eventually lead to a thousand. The key is to use an established networking platform so that your organization can do the basic promotion and the proficiency of the application will do the rest. [...]

  6. [...] “Cause-Based Viral Marketing: How Your Nonprofit Can Maximize Social Networking Tools” [...]

  7. [...] Cause-Based Viral Marketing: How Your Nonprofit Can Maximize Social Networking Tools by Maya Norton [...]

  8. [...] purpose. They start to have a feeling of ownership with the cause. TheNewJew blog talks more about maximizing social networking tools.For more information contact the [...]

  9. The style of writing is quite familiar . Have you written guest posts for other blogs?

  10. [...] “Cause-Based Viral Marketing: How Your Nonprofit Can Maximize Social Networking Tools” (one of my first blog entries; still a favorite) [...]

  11. Wedding Toasts Father of the Bride…

    [...]Cause-Based Viral Marketing: How Your Nonprofit Can Maximize Social Networking Tools « The New Jew[...]…

  12. adaptacja says:

    adaptacja…

    [...]Cause-Based Viral Marketing: How Your Nonprofit Can Maximize Social Networking Tools « The New Jew[...]…

  13. strategies for online marketing…

    [...]Cause-Based Viral Marketing: How Your Nonprofit Can Maximize Social Networking Tools « The New Jew[...]…

  14. Fern says:

    Hurrah! Finally I got a blog from where I be able to actually get useful facts concerning my study and knowledge.

  15. Wow, this piece of writing is fastidious, my sister is analyzing such
    things, thus I am going to tell her.

  16. I’ll right away snatch your rss feed as I can not in finding your e-mail subscription hyperlink or e-newsletter service. Do you’ve any?

    Please permit me understand in order that I
    could subscribe. Thanks.

  17. Great blog here! Also your site loads up very fast! What web host are you with?
    Can I get your affiliate link to your web host? I wish
    my web site loaded up as quickly as yours lol

  18. Nice blog here! Additionally your website truly loads up quick!
    What web host are you with? Can I have the url for your host?
    I desire my site loaded up as fast as yours lol

  19. I have read some excellent stuff here. Certainly worth bookmarking for revisiting.
    I surprise how much effort you set to create the sort of Magnificent informative web
    site.

  20. Wow, superb blog layout! How long have you been blogging
    for? you made blogging look easy. The overall look of your website is excellent, let alone the content!

  21. Nice post. I learn something totally new and challenging on
    blogs I stumbleupon every day. It will always be exciting to read
    through content from other writers and use
    something from their websites.

  22. You can definitely see your enthusiasm within the article you write.

    The sector hopes for even more passionate writers like you who are not afraid
    to mention how they believe. At all times go after your
    heart.

  23. Patrick says:

    Wonderful article! We will be linking to this particularly great article on our website.

    Keep up the great writing.

  24. Excellent blog here! Also your site actually loads up very fast!
    What hosting provider are you signed up with? Can I have the url to your host?
    I desire my web site loaded up as fast as yours lol

  25. More guff about earn money fast.

  26. Hi! I know this is kinda off topic however ,
    I’d figured I’d ask. Would you be interested in exchanging links or maybe
    guest authoring a blog post or vice-versa? My
    website addresses a lot of the same topics as yours and I believe we could greatly benefit from each other.
    If you are interested feel free to shoot me an e-mail.
    I look forward to hearing from you! Wonderful blog by the
    way!

  27. May I just say what a relief to uncover somebody that actually knows what they’re discussing over the internet. You certainly know how to bring an issue to light and make it important. More people have to read this and understand this side of the story. I was surprised you are not more popular given that you certainly have the gift.

  28. Thank you for any other informative website. The place
    else may just I am getting that type of information written in such a perfect manner?
    I’ve a venture that I’m simply now running on, and
    I have been at the glance out for such info.

  29. Why viewers still make use of to read news papers when in this technological
    world the whole thing is accessible on web?

  30. Hurrah! At last I got a website from where I be able to in fact obtain valuable data concerning
    my study and knowledge.

  31. Bernadine says:

    Awesome! Its actually remarkable entry, I have got much clear idea
    about from this content.

  32. Donnie says:

    It’s perfect time to make some plans for the future and it is time to be happy. I’ve
    read this post and if I could I wish to suggest you few interesting things or advice.
    Perhaps you can write next articles referring to this article.
    I desire to read even more things about it!

  33. I have read so many articles or reviews concerning the blogger
    lovers but this editorial is genuinely a good content, keep it up.

  34. Harry says:

    Hello! I could have sworn I’ve been to this site before but after checking through some of the post I realized it’s new to
    me. Nonetheless, I’m definitely glad I found it and I’ll be book-marking and checking back frequently!

  35. Heya i’m for the first time here. I found this board and I find It truly useful & it helped me out much. I hope to give something back and help others like you aided me.

  36. best loan says:

    Great website. Plenty of useful information here.

    I’m sending it to some acquaintances ans also sharing in delicious. And certainly, thanks in your sweat!

  37. I do trust all the concepts you’ve introduced on your post. They are really convincing and can definitely work. Still, the posts are too brief for starters. May just you please lengthen them a bit from next time? Thank you for the post.

  38. best loan says:

    I’m impressed, I must say. Rarely do I come across a blog that’s both
    educative and entertaining, and without a doubt, you have hit the nail on the head.
    The problem is something which too few people are speaking
    intelligently about. I am very happy I came across
    this in my search for something concerning this.

  39. Simply desire to say your article is as surprising.
    The clarity in your publication is simply cool and that i could suppose you’re a professional in this subject. Well along with your permission allow me to clutch your RSS feed to stay updated with impending post. Thank you 1,000,000 and please carry on the gratifying work.

  40. I’ve got to get it done cus I won’t have the opportunity to get it done other wise!

  41. This has caused me to contemplate if there’s a couple of ways I could do things in a more focused manner.

  42. Lionel says:

    Do not fink I understand this 2 b honest. Myt have to go other place 2
    for help.

  43. Wow! After all I got a web site from where I can actually take valuable data
    regarding my study and knowledge.

  44. Mowed both front and back lawns, it’s about time for a pleasurable evening browsing the stuff on here… might have to pop to the tip later with some garbage though.

  45. I’ve seen so many thoughts on this that I couldn’t be more puzzled.

  46. Terrific web page you possess there.

  47. Orville says:

    Thanks for finally writing about >Cause-Based Viral Marketing: How Your Nonprofit
    Can Maximize Social Networking Tools | The New Jew <Liked it!

  48. The stats are close to meaningless, which means the results don’t make sense either.

  49. Gerald says:

    Woah! I’m really loving the template/theme of this site. It’s simple, yet effective.
    A lot of times it’s hard to get that “perfect balance” between usability and visual appeal. I must say that you’ve done a
    amazing job with this. Additionally, the blog loads very fast for me on Firefox.
    Excellent Blog!

  50. Claire says:

    Way cool! Some very valid points! I appreciate you penning this write-up and the rest of the site is extremely
    good.

  51. webpage says:

    WOW just what I was searching for. Came here by searching for check

  52. This website definitely has all of the information I wanted about this subject and didn’t know who to ask.

  53. I like the valuable data people offer your articles. I am going to book mark your website look all over again listed here generally. I’m somewhat certain We are told lots of innovative things the following! Good luck for the next!

  54. The bananas and peaches give it flavor, the yogurt adds a little “weight” to it without making it heavy.
    You Simply Have to Start Drinking Healthy Smoothies.
    They keep the immune system healthy and strong as they ward off
    infections and heal cuts and wounds.

  55. This article will assist the internet people for building up new website or even a weblog from start to end.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 26 other followers

%d bloggers like this: