Post: The Net for a Nonprofit

tags: action, nonprofit, social media

Last spring I attended the NetSquared conference, a competition for nonprofits using the net. The projects were fabulous, with MapLight winning first prize. As part of each project’s pitch, we heard what these organizations, some fledgling, some established, needed.

One item that came up again and again among the projects was “we need a website.”

That meant many things, of course. Freecycle had outgrown Yahoo Groups, and was looking for a way to help their re-users offer items online. Younger organizations were looking for a way to get the word out to their constituents, or to track issues moving through congress.

For many of these organizations, though, an online presence meant some way of bringing folks together to swap stories, to trade tips. A place online to engage a community.

What many of these organizations did not realize is that there are lots of options for building — or leveraging existing — online communities. And that today the challenges of engaging supporters online tend to be social rather than technical.

And there’s lots of good advice out there.