In the era of the Internet, non-profits need to be online and take advantage of the latest advances in technology, just as a business would, in order to give its recipients the best services possible. Technology helps give organizations the opportunity to reach out to, and help, more people than ever imagined in the past. These are just a few of the ways technology is helping non-profits.
Take a huge non-profit, like the Humane Society of America. It has a first-class web site with everything you need to know about their mission, and more. Website specifics that help to spread the word include:
- Videos: Organizations use videos on their websites or a link to a YouTube Channel to illustrate their mission, who they are trying to help, how they do it and why. Here is where non-profits can tie in celebrities who are supporters of the cause, to hopefully entice new donors to join.
- Blogs and Newsletters: Blogs allow authorities in the field share their expertise while newsletters keep supporters up to date on the organization’s progress.
- FAQs: Having a list of FAQs is a good idea for a non-profit so any interested party can get information about the cause. A contact email should be added if there are additional questions that were not included in the FAQ section.
An online donation section is used by the Humane Society, Michael J Fox’s Parkinson’s site and many more. This is ideal for non-profits because it is so easy for a donor to click, and send money for support. Most sites have pre-set amounts ($25, $50, $100 etc) for selection, but there are spots available for donors to type in any amount they choose. This is such a great innovation for non-profits because it cuts down on the dependency of mail, phone and fund raisers for solicitation.
Non-profits are jumping on the social media bandwagon like everyone else. This is an excellent platform for an organization to gain followers that will receive their mission message every time they log on. Hashtags are a great way to draw attention to a cause on Twitter or Facebook, such as the Humane Society’s recent #Spayday to bring attention to neutering animals to control the population. It is also a great way to create events and invite people, such as an animal cruelty fundraiser or a 5K where the proceeds go to the organization.
With all of the above technological advances being used by non-profits, it is easier than ever to recruit volunteers. Viewing videos on the web sites and social media posts and Tweets will attract those who want to help. Email and social media also makes it simple to reach someone, and not have to meet face-to-face for an initial visit. It makes it much more efficient than having to make a ton of calls or wait for replies to mailers. With video conferencing and chats, it is possible to recruit volunteers or donors from anywhere in the world, and not have to leave your home office.