The Internet is essentially one the greatest resources of all time. Hey, where else could you find a funny video, video chat with your Grandma, find a job, and manage your finances without leaving your chair?
But while you may reap the benefits of the most powerful source of information, the Internet is doing good things for more than just consumers. Nonprofits have been able to harness the power of the Internet to gain exposure, raise money and even find volunteers.
Here are some of the ways nonprofits are making the world a better place all thanks to the Internet.
It’s a no-brainer for brands and individuals to use sites like IndieGogo and Kickstarter, both websites dedicated to crowdfunding various projects. And while many projects are for profit, there are plenty of charity campaigns, like the Parkinson’s Institute and Clinical Center, which teamed up with The Draper Foundation to match all donated funds online. The Center also took part in #GivingTuesday, a Twitter campaign that followed Black Friday and Cyber Monday as a way for volunteers and benefactors give back.
Did someone say “Kony?” While there’s much debate surrounding the Invisible Children, Inc. ploy to make Joseph Kony the most recognizable name online, there’s one thing critics can agree on – it worked. By creating a viral marketing campaign, complete with a video, social media accounts and specific actions, Invisible Children created a media hailstorm and raised major awareness, a cue other nonprofits can take and use in their own organizations.
Let’s face it: people are more likely to donate time and money when they know more about an organization. Take it from Housing Works, a nonprofit dedicated to AIDS service and advocacy. The Housing Works website is a treasure trove of information, from personal stories to calendars, ways to help and service description. Getting to know the nonprofit often means more support.
The Internet has made it possible for volunteers to help in various capacities, whether they’re nearby or far away. Sites like HelpFromHome.com allow “micro” volunteers to choose from projects they can do remotely, which cuts down on recruitment costs and allows volunteers to pitch in for their favorite causes, no matter the locale. It’s a smart solution to the never-ending personnel problem, opening up the field for nonprofits like the RSPCA, which needs volunteers for data entry and administration work online.
The Internet may be a place for debate and a haven for trolls, but it’s also the perfect place to spread the word and raise awareness for your favorite nonprofit organizations. With literally hundreds of thousands of causes that deserve your time, money and effort, it’s awesome to see online success – and a way to bring online communities together.