Will organisations use Facebook here in the UK?

Newspapers and radio seem to be covering the growth of Facebook almost daily, the social utility networking tool which enables you to connect with friends and join in with interest groups.

How many voluntary and community organisations here in the UK are using Facebook as a tool to connect and share good practice with others?
Paul Webster from the ICT Hub has been pondering how we can get more involvement and participation with social media and networking tools amongst the nonprofit sector here in the UK. I look forward to seeing his ideas as they unfold.
Later in this article, there’s a useful link to a new group especially for nonprofit organisations using Facebook in the UK.

I use Facebook to connect with like minded colleagues and old friends and also as a resource to ‘micro-blog’ useful news and websites of interest. I wrote about my early experiences of Facebook in an article back in August which has some useful links to adopting tools like Facebook within your organisation.

Yesterday, the Newsweek website published an article about Facebook-ing Philanthropy – A viral application on the popular social networking site hints at the future of giving. It details the growth in nonprofits using Facebook as a way to reach and connect with supporters using Facebooks ‘Cause’ application.

An excerpt from the article about the power of Facebook for nonprofits:

Since the Causes application launched, 27,000 Facebook Causes have been created to benefit 12,000 pre-existing nonprofit organizations, charities, relief groups, churches and political parties. “The Facebook generation wears their causes like the way they wear their favorite fashion,” says Tom Watson, publisher of onPhilanthropy.com. It’s a statement of who they are, he says.

It’s certainly not about raising huge amounts of money, at least not yet. The Support the Campaign for Breast Cancer Research cause has raised barely two cents from each of its 2 million subscribers; the Save Darfur Coalition cause, which has more than 600,000 members, has raised barely $45,000. But that may be beside the point, say those who have launched causes on Facebook. “We wouldn’t necessarily gauge someone’s value to the advocacy movement based on what they’ve given,” says Save Darfur’s Allyn Brooks-LaSure. “This is a powerful mechanism to engage this critical population. They inform their community, attend events, volunteer. It’s not something you can measure by looking at a ledger.” Even if you’ve given a pittance to Save Darfur on Facebook, your whole network gets pinged, perhaps making them aware of a cause that they may not have been exposed to otherwise.

Over here in the UK, we’re slowly beginning to integrate social networking tools like Facebook into our everyday lives. Soon more nonprofit organisations from the UK may be creating their own groups and causes, helping to share awareness and in the long term increase supporters and fundraising.

One new group which has recently been set up on Facebook is the Volresource group set up to look at (UK) third sector support groups on Facebook, and possibly other social networking sites. The group asks you add information on other Facebook groups, applications etc which are relevant to voluntary sector workers, volunteers or trustees. If you are a user of Facebook (it’s free and quick to sign up) and want join the group or add useful links that have helped your organiastion on Facebook, visit the group’s page at: Volresource Facebook Group

Volresource’s main website can be found at Volresource.org.uk.

Do you use Facebook or other social networking tools to promote the work of your organisation or share and connect with others? If so, I’d love to hear from you. Leave a comment.