G+ Hangouts allow you to gather together as many as ten people (including you) in a virtual room with video and have a chat.
- Think of being able to get your team in a room no matter where they are (there's a Google Hangout app for smartphones and tables).
- Think of being able to get some of your board members in a virtual room for a quick decision or consensus.
- Think about getting some of your volunteers or community members in a room to talk about issues or direction.
- Think about increasing interaction with stakeholders and donors, clients, local business people...
And it's completely free except for having to have a G+ account.
Google is also experimenting with filming hangouts. I was recently part of a group filmed in a vegetable gardening segment with Shawna Coronado. And Google is using Hangouts as part of their coverage of the Republican and Democratic Conventions, where experts and folks off the street can have a live say about what's happening. Television and journalists are taking note.
With a little experience, you will probably find other great uses for it.
Learn About Google+ Hangouts:
Two ways to Use Google+ Hangouts
Why Google Hangouts are Television's Next Frontier
About Hangouts (Google Support)
And if you're wondering what I look/sound like on a Hangout, see Shawna's video here
By The Way
My Big Duck newsletter had a great story about an innovative way to use celebrities to raise awareness and cash for Malaria No More and the Global Poverty Project. This is a terrific example about how the internet and social media can help reach out to people who might not necessarily warm to your cause and convince them to donate just the same.