Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Extend Your NGO's Reach With Wikipedia

Since I'm old, I remember the days when school report projects involved trips to the library and waiting and waiting for the volume of the Encyclopedia Britannica I needed to be freed up.

In these internet days, knowledge is just a Google search away, but a lot of people prefer to look up their subject on Wikipedia. Not that it doesn't have its problems: there have been instances where unscrupulous folk have edited entries for their own gain and you have to be careful to look for supporting data and information on any subject, because, you know, some things in the entry might be wrong.

That said, Wikipedia is still a great resource, particularly for people short on time and resources. It can even help your small nonprofit with outreach. How? you ask. Well, let this article on Just Giving tell you.

Three Ways Charities Can Make the Most of Wikipedia

Just Giving provides three ideas. One of them is applying to Wikipedia Foundation for a grant. I'm not going to address that because only you know if your small NGO meets their criteria and should apply. But if you qualify and haven't applied, you might want to reconsider.

To reach more people, they also recommend:

  • Editing an article on your NGO. And I'll add, if there isn't one, you should add one. Besides being available to others who might be referred to it via another article, it's also a good resource for you to be able to point to when you need an easy to access description of the work you do.

  • Edit articles related to your mission. For example, if you serve disabled children, you might want to look up related articles on Wikipedia to see if there are points of information or studies you can add to educate others.

Finally, they advise donating images and videos to Wikipedia Commons. This is a great idea. The images you upload will be available not only for the articles they help to illustrate, but also to the entire internet. With attribution, you can extend your reach on blogs and other writings. Naturally, you don't want to flood Wikipedia Commons with your images - spamming for a good cause is still spamming.

Read the entire article here, which also gives great pointers on avoiding being a spammer as well as appropriately posting images and citing sources. And Wikipedia tells you how to become a Wikipedia editor.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Turn Your Unopened Emails Into Opportunity For Engagement

Most times you're so busy, you probably are just glad you got the letter out to your small nonprofit's email subscribers. But you could be missing a chance to connect - to deepen your relationship with them.

Rather than just reviewing the data on opens and clicks you get from your outgoing news, take a good look at the information on who is not opening your email and send those subscribers a targeted email. Tell them you've noticed they haven't been responding. Ask them if they need to change the frequency or type of email they get from you. Ask if there's something they'd like to see that you aren't showing them. Give them links and a name with email address to follow up with if they want to.

Show them that they are important to you and you might start seeing their email addresses move from 'unopened' to 'opened' and 'clicked through'.


Nonprofit Tech for Good is again offering free webinars on using data and best practices. They're a good resource - take advantage.