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Social media will increase donations for NGOs: expert

12 December 2012

Ashok Kumar/OneWorld South Asia

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Indian NGOs pick up the fine aspects of social media and how this can leverage their work and create visibility in a networked world.

Heather Mansfield, the principal blogger at Nonprofit Tech 2.0 and author of ‘Social Media for Social Good: A How-To Guide for Nonprofits’ said that social media has and will continue to increase online donations for NGOs. “There is a maths to social media. As your communities, NGOs grow on social networks, so does your online donor community,” she said. Mansfield was speaking at a workshop on ‘Social Media for Social Good’ in New Delhi. The workshop was conducted by Nasscom Foundation in collaboration with Microsoft.

“The biggest and the universal challenge for NGOs all over the world is capacity. There is not a dedicated staff person who has the time to invest in the dynamics of social media. It requires time to run a Facebook page, to study Twitter, to learn YouTube.  So, it makes sense if the Nonprofits are geared up to meet the latest challenges in tapping the resources of social media in an efficient way,” Mansfield explained.

Rita Soni, CEO of Nasscom Foundation, said: “Social media in India is in the purview of individuals. Nonprofits on the other hand are engaged in the development of the entire nation. So, the purpose is to engage NGOs to help them build their capacities in implementing their mission by leveraging the tools of social media like Pinterest, LinkedIn, YouTube, Flickr, Tumblr, Myspace.”

Rahul Gupta from an NGO, Teach Your Child Foundation, who attended the workshop said, the six crore users of Facebook in India make it a significant platform for showcasing the visibility of an organisation. “There is a lot of maths and analytics which drives the content on Facebook and learning about these things in detail has given me a new insight about how to increase the followers,” he said.

Hitika Ahuja from a Delhi-based NGO, Operation ASHA, that works on eradicating tuberculosis, said that many people associated with their organisation including donors and interns are regular on social media. “This workshop educated me on certain specifics like using colon while updating Facebook, which shall be helpful in giving better exposure to our content. Also there were certain doubts which have been cleared now which has made me more confident about using social media,” Ahuja said.

Rex Joshua from another NGO, Restless Development, a youth-led development agency working in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu said that social media is very crucial for efficient communication with the external world. “Our work which has been confined to one state will be showcased to many more people which will help us in the better positioning of our brand,” he said.

The workshop deliberated on subjects like how social media has changed the way non-profit organisations communicate with supporters and donors with better websites and newsletter designs, and empowered ‘Donate Now’ campaigns.

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