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From the Social Era to the Community Era: IDEAL for Non-Profits

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Author: Steve Raack, CEO [ n e w k l e u s ] 

Recently I wrote an article entitled Hope is Not a Method for Success - Especially with Social Media.

In that article I discussed my thoughts on the evolution from the Google era to the Social era to the Community era. It highlights that the Social era engagement challenges are impacted by content saturation and pay-to-play social platforms. It also highlights the impact that the Social era has had on the acquisition to sale process.

Unfortunately some of the bigger industry losers in the Social era have been non-profits. I believe however, that the Community era brings much better opportunity.

NON-PROFITS

Many non-profits operate with conscience leadership, focused on social improvements. The cause is more important than any one individual. There is typically a personal connection to why individuals are passionate about the non-profit they are serving.

In the Social era, the declining social media engagement issues greatly impact non-profit reach. Take for instance, Autism Speaks on Facebook. They have over 1.7 Million followers of their Facebook page, yet many posts receive less than 1,000 Likes. Some posts receive 6,000 Likes, but those are few and far between. Even at 6,000 Likes though, that is a .35% reach of their total Follower base. Ugh.

This is both sad and frustrating, especially since the major social platform algorithms treat non-profits the same as they treat global for-profits. Many non-profits lack funding to boost posts and pay for ads. Many non-profits have small teams or use volunteers to help operationally.

If billion dollar, global brands with massive resources and capital are having engagement issues in the Social era, think about the thousands of small non-profits.

In the Community era however, the potential for direct connections increase.

Non-profits need to band together for the greater good. Bring people together in a digital community which shares common interests, common goals, common stories and common brands.

Today, location does not matter. We are all connected digitally through our smartphones. There is no reason why non-profits in Miami shouldn't be working with similar organizations in Seattle or Paris or Buenos Aires or Tokyo or Cairo or etc.

"Where are you from?" is only used as small talk to get acquainted, because location no longer matters.

EPILEPSY AWARENESS EXAMPLE

One focused digital destination for something like epilepsy awareness is ideal. November is National Epilepsy Awareness Month in the USA, yet most people are unaware. Even those who have family members and friends with epilepsy are not aware of the great programs / campaigns / education happening right now. Why?

Go to Twitter and type in epilepsy awareness (or click this link).

You'll see a scrollable list of Twitter accounts for this topic. Some connected with others and working together, some on their own. Some focused on education, some focused on products, some telling stories. They span the gamut related to epilepsy, which is great. And, the list is global, but the community is highly fragmented.

It's a very big community. 1 in 26 people will be diagnosed with epilepsy in their lifetimes. With numbers like that, it's very important that people know what to do if someone close to them has a seizure, and know what a seizure is and is not.

In the Community era, what if all of those individuals, brands and non-profits had their own digital destination? A place there they could interact as a community, rather than have their content get lost in a relatively worthless Twitter hashtag campaigns. Or get lost because the organizations don't have the money to boost posts on Facebook.

  • A single digital destination for epilepsy awareness
  • A single digital destination for people, brands and organizations to interact
  • A single digital destination to share stories of inspiration, educate others, build bonds regardless of race, economic situation or location
  • A single digital destination where the high-value content can be shared to others via text, email and on other social channels

An epilepsy awareness digital community will be powerful. No algorithms, no selfies, no paid ads. Just value added content supporting the cause this community cares about the most. A place where authentic relationships are built, causes move forward, education happens on a grand scale and donations are gathered for ongoing improvement.

Epilepsy Awareness is one community among many that would benefit. What about Autism, ADD / ADHD, Downs Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, childhood cancer, etc.? Digital communities are powerful.

In the Community era, non-profits have tremendous potential to join together and make positive differences around the world.