The new Internet is all about sharing, and nonprofits are just the types of organizations that should be shared. You have messages that people want to associate themselves with. You have missions that people want to support. There are a lot of organizations out there competing for donor funding; but, the more visible you are, the more likely you'll come to mind when people are making their giving decisions. The old Internet was about broadcasting your message from your web site and sharing links with friendly organizations in the same field in hopes that your audience would find you. It was about providing information and content to people who had heard about you through your offline marketing efforts and wanted to learn more. The new Internet is about ubiquity. It's about reaching new audiences through web sites that have little or nothing to do with your organization -- web sites that anyone might use for their own personal networking, knowledge-finding, or media-sharing. The best part is that, particularly as a nonprofit, you can usually sign up just like anyone else and use these sites for free! Check out this one-pager from NPower NY and Seth Godin
for six quick ideas to get started. Depending on your organization, you may also want to start a group on MySpace
or post a photo library in Flickr
. It's necessary to relinquish some control over context,* but once you get past that, you can use it to draw people back to your site (where they can see your content in context). Better to have them see it somewhere else than not at all. *Relinquishing control over context does not mean that you give up your copyright. Check the terms of service on any of these sites before you submit -- but, most allow you to retain full copyright over your original materials.