Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Social Philanthropy: Raising Money on YouTube and Twitter

by Amy Sample Ward
The Nonprofit Times

Money is always a hot topic of conversation at SXSW from new start-ups looking for venture funds to nonprofits looking for philanthropic support, all for innovative ways of changing and shaping our communities and the world. One panel, moderated by Cheryl Contee of Fission Strategy, focused on the conversation from the social philanthropy perspective; that is, what are various kinds of organizations doing to raise money though socially engaged channels like YouTube and Twitter. Contee framed the conversation with a great question, asking if we see social media as democratizing voices, giving anyone with connection to the Internet the ability to share a message, how do those same tools make money just as freely accessible?

Ramya Raghavan, Nonprofits and Activism Manager at Google/YouTube, says that she sees two trends in the future of online giving through video. The first is engaging a donor at the first step and keeping them engaged. Many people donate online yet have no long-term connection to the nonprofit organization or project. "We are seeing people through YouTube create a long term relationship with donors. Like charity:water's thank you campaign: they came out with a series of personalized 'thank you' videos to their donors and are showcasing their staff in these videos." The second trend is live-streaming, where video is both a real-time feed and experience as well as an archived resource to be replayed. Last month, the American Foundation for Equal Rights live-streamed "8", a play featuring George Clooney, Martin Sheen, and Jane Lynch, about California's Proposition 8 trial. It had hundreds of thousands of live viewers. Certainly having celebrities helps generate views, but it is just an example of what you can do with live-streaming.

Read the rest of The Nonprofit Times article.

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