There is a lot of buzz right now about nonprofits using social networking. In reality, it is in an infant stage as far as fundraising goes. But if you are interested and have someone with the time to give to it here are some tips for setting up a MySpace presence. Going through the process will make you think about your organization in a different way than you do for websites. Remember the idea is to develop a social network - and yes they are mostly young people. In general, there are not big donor opportunities but you will attract a new crowd into your network that you may be able to activate at a new way.
1. Use your nonprofit official logo in the default picture block.
2. Make sure you have links to your website and blog. Have a eNewsletter sign-up. Create and embed a fundraising widget on to your MySpace profile and link to make a fundraising widget for your organization (such as sixdegrees.org)
3. Provide links to websites or MySpace pages of your major supporters including churches, boy scouts, local Rotary, etc.
4. Get as many of your donors as possible to become your friends. You want their face on your site and your logo on their site. List your donors as your top friends.
5. Use your MySpace blog area to start a fundraising campaign. Be cognizant of who is listed as your friends and who might visit your MySpace page. Design your fundraising appeals around that constituency.
My personal opinion is that using My Space should be about building a network first and fundraising second. Try to be educational about your organization and its cause but not a billboard for fundraising.
Don't be afraid to try new things with MySpace. Check out some of the large successful MySpace pages and see what they are doing. Remember they have lots of resources dedicated to this that is not going to be cost effective for you, but you will be able to pick up good clues by checking them out.
Marion Conway Consulting