Revised with new information as of August 22, 2011


 
Mission-Based Groups:
Use Your Web Site to Show Your Accountability and
To Teach Others About the Nonprofit / NGO / Charity Sector!

 
The number and tone of media stories regarding mission-based organizations/civil society and how they spent contributions in the wake of September 11, 2001, the tsunami in Asia, Hurricane Katrina, recovery efforts in Haiti and various other disasters over the last 10 years have done little to help such organizations better serve people in need. Rather, by concentrating on the few bad cases, or by misrepresenting administrative expenses as somehow completely unnecessary, these media stories have made potential supporters quite suspicious of all charities, and those these organization's serve pay the ultimate price.

There has never been a better time for not-for-profit organizations, non-governmental organizations/NGOs, grass roots organizations, schools, and other mission-based organizations to use technology to show their transparency and credibility, and to teach the media and general public about the resources and expertise needed to address critical human and environmental needs.

Make sure that your organization's web site CLEARLY states:

That's the minimum you must do to establish your organization as credible and accountable. But there's even more you can do :

Also, on your web site, in presentations, and in your funding proposals, TALK ABOUT THE DIFFERENCE TECH MAKES in your organization's work. Be as graphic and detailed as possible. How does the copy machine help meet your organization's goals and serve more people? What about computers and Internet access for all staff? What software is used by staff to help your nonprofit reach its goals, and why is it fundamental to your organization's success?

Let the public (and, hopefully, the media) understand that administrative activities are absolutely essential to help your organization serve even more people, do even more with donations, and engage in even more activities to meet the stated mission of the organization.

In addition: track your online profile. For instance, go to Google or any other online directory system and search for your organization's name, the name of your organization's executive director, your web address, or key phrases, such as:

Doing these kind of searches can help you to see how easy it is for someone looking to volunteer with, donate to or contact an organization with a particular focus to be able to find you online. It also will give you an idea of how many web sites are linked to your organization's site, and what the media and other publications may have said about the head of your organization. You may find criticism or praise from a volunteer, donor, or client about your organization that you will want to address.

Also see:

 
See more resources re: Outreach & Engagement, With and Without Technology
 

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