Spinning a 2.0 Web of Social Change At SES

At today’s SES Chicago session, “Social Responsibility in a 2.0 World,” dynamic speakers passionately reiterated that, while technology changes, so must the way we give back to the community.  Speakers covered topics surrounding corporate social responsibility, blended value models and encouraged nonprofits to fully embrace their relationship with the 2.0 Web World.

What are corporate responsibilities in this ever changing technical world? What opportunities exist for nonprofits to utilize the web to affect communities quickly and broadly.  Introductions where made by moderator Amanda Watlington, Owner, Searching for Profit. This session was an intimate conversation about an ultimate subject. An initial survey of the audience yielded a demographic of SEOs, Search Engine representatives and nonprofit constituents.

The first speaker was Jamie Welsh, Founder & CEO of 10% Solution, a for profit consulting firm that specializes in helping corporations find their zen in giving to areas such as green sustainability, volunteerism, charitable giving and helping people.

While charitable giving is a great and honorable concept, most corporations are about 5 – 10 years behind the curve worldwide.   In the effort to help companies reach gold standard, i.e giving 110%, Jamie pointed out that company transparency is a must.  Companies must have a clear idea of who they are and what the are doing.  As it turns out, 90% of them think that giving is important and want their companies to support charities.  Of those 90%, 64% want to see 3rd party validation for the efforts.  It’s all about transparency.

Let’s first examine what not to do. No “Green washing.” If you say you are green, than walk the walk.  If you don’t, you will be called out in this 2.0 world as bloggers and users will challenge you. No “giving washing.”  Don’t give $100,000 and then spend $200,000 to advertise it.  People talk online quickly and boldly. The safest route is to do what you say you are doing.

After outlining things not to do, Jaime outlined what corporations can do.  First, take a step back and have internal dialogue with personnel.  Figure out the DNA of the company so that all will support the efforts.  As in any good strategic plan, figure out who the company is and then strategize around that reality and what it means to the company.  Next, utilize tools already in place to find causes or organization to support such as:
http://www.goodtube.org/ which is Youtube for nonprofits.

The next speaker was Nicci Noble, National Electronic Fund Raising Specialist for Salvation Army whose advice to nonprofits is to “use technology.”  Through the building of relationships, organizations can find fundraisers which is preferable to one off gifts.

Where do you find fundraisers?….Surprise!  The Web!  For within these cyper walls lie “social stream after social stream, People giving to people.”  Her advice for non profits is that “one must ask.”

The simple math is (# of people) X (% of who fund-raise) X (# of people they ask) X (% who give X avg. gift) = $ raise.  The moral to the computation is to work in teams and then funnel to individual on lots of different sites.  Besides filling our basket of morals, the computation also provides conversion tracking to show results.

Yet another benefit of using the web is that it reduces direct mail marketing which in turn shows a non profit’s greener side.

Presently, nonprofits need to be brought to the web kicking and screaming.  Unfortunately, missed opportunities on the web translates to missed opportunities for positive social change.

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