3 Facebook Apps That Nonprofits Need in 2012
With the recent announcement that digital calendar service DateKeeper.org has created its first ever Facebook application, there has been much speculation on the growing influence that social media has in allowing nonprofits to both market and organize their efforts. With more than 700,000 million users worldwide and an evolutionary ethos that continues to innovate, the site is providing the ideal platform from which nonprofits can reach out and improve their interactions with potential followers.
Given this and the fact that 89 percent of nonprofits now boast a significant presence on Facebook, it is clear that the market-leading social media resource is central to raising funds, awareness, and ultimately empowering supporters to help achieve social change.
The invention of new and creative applications like DateKeeper.org are crucial to this burgeoning relationship between Facebook and charitable organizations. Each offers additional benefits and opportunities for growth. So what are the three Facebook apps to look out for in 2012?
Timeline Apps: Improving the Depth of Understanding Between Nonprofits and Followers
In January of this year, and after months of speculation, Facebook finally introduced Timeline apps to the users interface. This innovation is essentially an extension of the social media giants Open Graph technology, which was developed to connect friends, consumers, and organizations through real-time and relevant online interactions. So brands and charitable organizations now have the opportunity to develop their own unique timeline application, which can be added by users and serves to update their profile every time that they take an action relevant to the app in question.
While this has provided nonprofits with an outstanding opportunity to develop a greater understanding of their followers, it also allows them to benefit from real-time pledges and support. Facebook’s very own nonprofit resource, Causes.com, was one of the first to develop a timeline application to capitalize on this, having already incorporated a number of new actions to help define each user and the nature of their support. So while this new app allows for real-time pledges and donations from a global network of supporters, it also assists individual nonprofits in evaluating their audience and the role that they play in raising funds and awareness.
Involver Apps: Showcasing the Importance of an Integrated Social Media Presence
The greatest strength of Facebook is its ability to recognize the evolving market trends, including the increasing need for nonprofits to create an integrated social media profile. One of the greatest examples of this heralded the incorporation of the Involver applications, which were introduced in 2009 and are continuing to maximize the level of exposure that nonprofits are able to receive. Today, there remain more than 24 individual applications accessible to nonprofits that offer the option to customize their Facebook page and create tabs for Twitter, YouTube, and Flickr.
For nonprofits such as Greenpeace and Water.org, this and similar applications have helped them to create a vast and integrated audio visual social media presence. Through Involver apps, individual tweets, promotional videos, and engaging imagery can be developed and shared within a single online space, so that followers can keep in touch with a specific cause or campaign simply by accessing their Facebook account. Given the importance of audio visual tools in improving the level of interaction between nonprofits and benefactors, Involver apps are more relevant today than ever.
FundRazr: A Multi-Purpose App for Nonprofits
As the creation of the Datekeeper.org application proves, Facebook is now clearly perceived as the ideal medium through which to market and organize events. FundRazr is a multipurpose app that also has the potential to assist in organizing events, despite being primarily a fundraising tool that can be accessed by nonprofits across the globe. It is a unique application in terms of its accessibility to organizations outside of the U.S. and Australia, and therefore, is ideally suited to the global community of Facebook users.
More importantly, FundRazr is an easy-to-install and utilize app that helps to create innovative fundraising campaigns and improved methods of communication. Save the Children have used FundRazr to drive many of its individual projects, and its recent Operation Sharecraft 2012 campaign has been established to raise $1 million and ease the hunger crisis in East Africa. Featuring various videos and livestream events that tap into the competitive element amongst donors and encourages them to create their own unique sub-fundraisers, the project has the potential to go viral and achieve its aspirations ahead of time.
The Bottom Line for Nonprofits
These applications all offer something unique to nonprofits, and more importantly assist them in creating innovative and integrated campaigns that reach a wide audience. So while Facebook remains integral to the success of any social media campaign or charitable venture in 2012, it is important that nonprofits maximize apps that incorporate other resources and deliver the best possible experience to volunteers, benefactors, and potential beneficiaries.
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