Whether you use Flickr, RSS, wikis, blogs, or YouTube, it is important to explore the opportunities that this next generation of Internet tools will bring to nonprofits
Charleston, SC (Vocus) May 27, 2008 -–
Blackbaud, Inc. (Nasdaq: BLKB) recently held the Blackbaud Interactive Internet Symposium in New York City with a focus on social networking, Web 2.0, email best practices, and building grassroots support online.
Andrew Mosawi, Blackbaud’s vice president of international business development, kicked off the one-day event on May 22 with his session, “Web 2.0 – A Buzzword Demystified,” focusing on how nonprofits can take advantage of the ever-evolving social media trends and the tools that support them. “Whether you use Flickr, RSS, wikis, blogs, or YouTube, it is important to explore the opportunities that this next generation of Internet tools will bring to nonprofits,” said Mosawi. “The challenge is in balancing social media with traditional fundraising and adding a new layer to the pyramid – the non-financial level that focuses on engagement.”
Marlowe D’Oriano and Cliff Bryant from the Virginia-based Physicians for Peace attended the event to learn more about emerging tools and techniques. “Blackbaud’s Internet Symposium covered a range of useful topics, from where to start with an online presence and marketing to the potential for where nonprofits can go in the future,” said D’Oriano. “This really helped us gauge that we are on the right track and gave us some ideas for what we can do to refine our strategy.”
Physicians for Peace recently launched a monthly video series at http://www.youtube.com/pfpvideo to raise awareness about the organization. “You have to have the content first, but once you have the content, you still have the challenge of reaching as many people as possible,” said Bryant. “We need to communicate in new channels to build relationships with the next generation of donors. Knowing their online behavior is important, and the speakers covered that a lot today in the different sessions.”
Other sessions included “The Right Message, The Right People, The Right Time – Making the Most of Email Marketing,” presented by Allison Van Diest, Blackbaud’s Internet solutions product marketing manager; “The Power of Integration – The True Story of TrueCRM,” featuring Nora Isaac, The ALS Association, Greater Philadelphia Chapter’s senior information technology manager; “Online Communications – Pipeline to More Revenue,” presented by Tim O’Leary, McPherson Associates’ vice president; and “What Social Networks Should be Doing for You,” presented by Steve MacLaughlin, Blackbaud’s director of Internet solutions.
Reaffirming the sentiment of the day, MacLaughlin advised the crowd to focus on building relationships and connections, instead of heading straight to the monetization. “Once you interact with an organization online, no matter how small the action, you’re more likely to engage at a more meaningful level,” said MacLaughlin. “It’s much easier to build the momentum of permission if you give people an opportunity to interact on their own terms first.”
For more information about the Blackbaud Interactive Internet Symposium, or to watch a video about how the The ALS Association, Greater Philadelphia Chapter is taking online fundraising to a new level, visit http://www.blackbaud.com/bb/netsymposium/2008.aspx.
Blackbaud is the leading global provider of software and services designed specifically for nonprofit organizations, enabling them to improve operational efficiency, build strong relationships, and raise more money to support their missions. Approximately 19,000 organizations — including the American Red Cross, Dartmouth College, the WGBH Educational Foundation, Episcopal High School, Lincoln Center, Cancer Research UK, Special Olympics, and Arthritis Foundation — use one or more of Blackbaud products and services for fundraising, constituent relationship management, financial management, direct marketing, school administration, ticketing, business intelligence, website management, prospect research, consulting, and analytics. Since 1981, Blackbaud’s sole focus and expertise has been partnering with nonprofits and providing them the solutions they need to make a difference in their local communities and worldwide. Headquartered in the United States, Blackbaud also has operations in Canada, the United Kingdom, and Australia. For more information, visit http://www.blackbaud.com.