- Social Media
- Active Citizenship
- Good Giving
- Corporate Responsibility
- Be Fearless
It's hard to believe that when we launched our first America's Giving Challenge in 2007, social media was a somewhat new phenomenon, largely comprised of early adopters to technology, Facebook had only a fraction of the more than 250 million users it has today, and Twitter was not yet on the radar screen for most of the online community.
From our very first experiences with social media prior to the Challenge launch, we recognized the powerful potential to bring communities together around issues for which they shared a passion. More importantly, we understood that organizations (whether nonprofit or for-profit) that were early to the game in leveraging this new, innovative technology, could benefit greatly. Our desired outcomes for America's Giving Challenge in 2007 were not just about getting individuals to give to causes they cared about through this new technology, but also to galvanize nonprofit organizations to get up to speed and develop expertise in this exciting, new marketing and outreach front.
As we look forward to launching the next America's Giving Challenge this fall, we believe that the prospects for robust participation by nonprofits are better today than they were in the first challenge, and we are heartened to see that nonprofits have embraced the rapid growth in social media with enthusiasm. In fact, some research has shown that nonprofits are adopting social media tools at a faster rate than the Fortune 500, and we've seen numerous online fundraising contests and challenges benefiting various nonprofits in the last year and a half.
Yet there are still many, many nonprofit organizations that continue to struggle with how to harness these tools in a more strategic manner to drive real results, including increased awareness, donations and engagement. That's why we're very excited to announce today the upcoming launch of our "Gear Up for Giving" initiative - a month-long series of trainings designed to help nonprofits understand how to best leverage social media to help raise money and awareness.
Gear Up for Giving, which will officially launch next week, will offer access to some of the best-known experts on leveraging social media for social good, including Beth Kanter, Allison Fine, Katya Andresen, Geoff Livingston and Holly Ross, among others.In addition, we've compiled some of the best resources we feel the web has to offer for helping nonprofits navigate the world of social media. All of the trainings, resources, Q&A sessions will be free and available to any nonprofit or individual.
The economic climate is taking a toll on nonprofits, as evidenced in a recent report from the National Council of Nonprofits, which found that these organizations are struggling to meet a growing demand for their services while their operating costs continue to rise and revenues fall. As organizations recognize that they can no longer rely solely on large philanthropic and corporate dollars, our hope is that Gear Up for Giving will help them develop new ways to enhance their individual giving strategies and put those learnings to practice right away with the next America’s Giving Challenge.
You can stay tuned for more details in the coming days and weeks through our blog and RSS, Twitter, Facebook, and email communications. In the meantime, please be sure to check out the Gear Up for Giving schedule, and mark your calendars for the great sessions we have coming up.