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GoLightly, ASI Combine for Non-Profit Social Networking

August 18, 2008

GoLightly, a vendor of Web 2.0 software, and Advanced Solutions International, a vendor of Web-based products for associations and non-profits, have announced a partnership with to launch Social Networking for iMIS, an integrated, online community platform with collaboration and communications capabilities.
 
The product is billed as allowing not-for-profit organizations to create online communities for members, donors and other constituents.
 
By allowing real-time communications and collaboration with Social Networking for iMIS, organizations can "garner and apply constituent feedback, boost participant retention and acquisition, appeal to younger audiences, and extend the value and reach of conferences and meetings."
 
The tool is designed to integrate with iMIS, so "information within existing databases can be retrieved and shared," GoLightly officials say.
 
Not-for-profits have a driving need to mobilize their constituents and strengthen their organizations, and many feel that online communities are a good mechanism for that.
 
Some of the tools included in the product help with groups to let participants create, categorize and lead workgroups or interest groups, as well as use group e-mail lists, resource libraries and wiki notepads.
 
There's tagging and tag (News - Alert) clouds to let users highlight and search for community content, and social networking and network visibility tools so organizations can give users the ability to find participants with similar interests or concerns, and network within the not-for-profit environment.
 
GoLightly sells online community products for corporate enterprises, associations, and non-profits. Their services are delivered as a suite, including groups, e-mail lists, forums, libraries, blogs, member directories and wikis.
 
In February, ASI released a set of best practices for using online tools - particularly peer-to-peer fundraising applications - to "increase donor participation, reach new donors, and reduce campaign launch time overhead."
 
Peer-to-peer fundraising technology lets an organization create and launch event Web sites for participants to register, donate and build their own networks. Donors can create personalized campaign Web pages in minutes, with no technical skill required, while the overall campaign look and feel is maintained. Integrated e-mail, donation capture, tax receipt generation and real-time leader board technology lets donors communicate to measure their efforts, and expand their own networks in support of a nonprofit's cause.
 
First among these best practices is to "integrate peer-to-peer fundraising into your current fundraising strategies." Inventory your current communications tactics such as e-mail, physical mailers and Web sites, and examine the messaging. Through peer-to-peer campaigns, you maintain the core messaging but enable your donors to personalize the message for their own networking and recruitment efforts.
 
Secondly, "introduce online events to the list of ways a donor can help." A-thon-based events can be launched and managed online far quicker, with less overhead cost, than multi-location physical events.
 
And thirdly, "identify campaign 'champions' and give them the tools to expand the donor network." Take the time to find your top supporters, reach out to them first and show them how to use peer-to-peer tools.
 
They also recommend that you "create friendly competition and build individual and team incentives into your campaigns." Create accurate, real-time responsive leader boards that allow campaign champions to see how their fundraising efforts stack up against fellow champions.
 
Don’t forget to check out TMCnet’s White Paper Library, which provides a selection of in-depth information on relevant topics affecting the IP Communications industry. The library offers white papers, case studies and other documents which are free to registered users. Today’s featured white paper is ApplianX IP Gateway as a VoIP-Enabled Programmable Switch, brought to you by Aculab (News - Alert).
 

David Sims is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of David�s articles, please visit his columnist page. He also blogs for TMCnet here.

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