Sunday, February 20, 2011

Facebook As A Social Media Tool For Non-Governmental Organizations

A few days back the president of an Indian non-governmental organization, that works for the welfare of women, approached me and asked me if I can create a web site for sharing their activities. The purpose of the web site, she said, is to share what they do with their members, attract young members and present a professional image to donors and the community.

After thinking about it for a while, I suggested that they should go for a facebook page rather than a web site and associated email. This will save them money, spare them the administration overhead and introduce them to social media marketing.

After creating the facebook page and training them on updating the page, I realized that other NGOs might benefit from what I did. So here are the details. Since there is no money involved, this can be done from any country and by anyone who has an internet connection. Since 500 million people know how to use facebook, your users and admins will require little or no training.

1. I created a free email address for them using Gmail.
2. I used that email address to create a facebook account for the organization.
3. I created a facebook page and added the contact details and mission details.

It takes 30 minutes to do this and, I believe, is a good way to provide a Web 2.0 presence for non-governmental organizations who do not have a web presence.

Here is the page if you are interested in taking a look. http://www.facebook.com/pages/Kasturiba-Mathar-Sangham/129727327096178

Some useful things that any non-governmental organization can use a facebook page for.
1. They can put their contact and information there. Here is an example
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Kasturiba-Mathar-Sangham/129727327096178?sk=info
2. They can post regular updates on their activities. Here is an example
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Kasturiba-Mathar-Sangham/129727327096178?sk=wall
3. They can post photos of their events.
4. Once they login they can see the number of views on every post, right from the page.
5. They can have an idea about how fans they have and who their fans are.

If you have experience with using Facebook or other social media, tools for promoting non-profit organizations, please let me know your thoughts. I will appreciate it.

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