February 13-17 is Social Media Week in cities around the world. We’ll share some learnings from events held in Toronto throughout the week.

Canada is one of the most connected countries when it comes to social media – over 50 per cent of Canadians have at least one social media profile.

 

What does this mean for non-profit organizations such as the Canadian Red Cross? For non-profits, it means an opportunity to reach and engage new audiences, and, in some cases, assist with fundraising (crowdfunding) and even finding volunteers (crowdsourcing).

 

This was the topic of a Social Media Week event I attended Wednesday in Toronto, which provided examples of how non-profit organizations are using social media tools to crowdfund and/or crowdsource.

 

Many organizations are creating tools and apps to help people fundraise or donate in an easy and fun way. Last October, TELUS had a “Celebrate your Breast Friends” app on its Facebook page. For each person who created a pink photo gallery of their friends, TELUS donated $1 to breast cancer research.

 

The Canadian Red Cross has also been using social media tools for donations. In 2010, we released an iPhone app for exactly that purpose.  

 

Social media is also a great tool when it comes to finding volunteers. The mobile company Koodo launched a project last fall to help non-profits connect with potential virtual volunteers. The project, called KoodoNation (http://www.koodonation.com), is a mirco-volunteering site in which anyone across the country can sign-up to help a non-profit with small tasks called “challenges.” Some of the challenges could be reviewing a website, creating a QR code or a new logo for an organization or translating a document from English to French.

 

The beauty of the site is that the volunteers can help anywhere at anytime from their computer – perfect for people who want to help but have difficulty finding spare time to do so.

 

Since launching last October, the site has registered more than 2,800 micro-volunteers, and more than 167 non-profits. To date, 131 challenges have been completed.

 

Have you tried any of these tools or any other ones? We would love to hear your thoughts!