Social Networking Series for Nonprofits- Facebook and Myspace

College Park, MD (July 7, 2007)- If you want to reach out to high school and college students, then social networking sites are some of the best tools for the job. Nonprofit organizations are increasingly taking advantage of free social networking sites to manage and grow their networks, build a base, and reach a broader coalition. In fact, social networking sites are growing in popularity with an ever-widening demographic.

Sites such as Facebook and Myspace are free websites that allow people to share information and find organizations and individuals with similar interests. Typically, these contacts are referred to as your “friends.” With such sites, you can post photos, create groups, send invitations to your events, and write messages to other members. They are a way to stay in contact with existing friends and meet new ones by creating a network of contacts. Best of all, creating and maintaining a simple account is very easy!
Facebook Challenge
Looking to connect with peers and volunteers? Try Facebook… 14 million people did last month! This networking site is a great way to reach youth and engage new audiences in your mission. Accounts are free and pages are easy to design and update. Contact ACT if you need help setting up a Page. And here’s another reason to create a Page…
Recruit the most Fans to ACT’s Page and we’ll feature you as a Super Fan!
Some of the ways in which these sites can help nonprofits include:
* Advertise your organization
* Raise awareness of your mission
* Increase traffic to your website
* Publicize upcoming events
* Keep volunteers engaged between events
* Recruit new members and volunteers
* Reach out to youth
* Celebrate successes
* Share information with other nonprofits
* Form coalitions and partnerships with other organizations
Social networking websites may be worthwhile even if you only log on once every few weeks to announce a volunteer opportunity, press release, or fundraiser. If you do not have the time to devote to frequent page maintenance, don’t worry. You can still set up an account to serve as a hub and allow your friends to find each other through your profile.
Think of social network sites as a means of advertising. Sure, the more time and money you invest, the better your returns, but, because profiles are free and basic setup takes very little time, there is almost no reason you should not at least setup a profile. Later you can determine how much time to invest in it.
The success of sites such as Facebook and MySpace is due to the access it gives you to your friends, your friends’ friends, their friends, and so on. To start adding friends, first you have to create a profile for your organization. This is easy to do by following these instructions.
This tutorial is meant to be a basic guide to help you set up a Myspace account and take advantage of its most powerful tools for nonprofit outreach, volunteer recruitment, member action alerts, and image building. This document contains links to online articles documenting how nonprofits have taken advantage of social network websites, what has worked in the past, and what to expect from a new account. Good luck and welcome to Web 2.0!
Related Resources:
Facebook Group- Stay in touch with ACT updates and news.
Facebook Page- Show your support for ACT by becoming a Fan
Myspace- Add ACT as a friend (a_c_trees)
Facebook Tutorial- A Basic Introduction for Nonprofit Use
Myspace Tutorial- A Basic Introduction for Nonprofit Use