Earlier this year we saw a swell of geosocial media applications explode onto the scene. Fourquare, Gowalla and most recently Facebook Places. But how can you use these geosocial media applications for your cause? First let’s go over the Cliff’s Notes version of what they do and how they work. The consumer/constituent/potential donor downloads the application. When they go to a place or perform a social action, they ‘check-in’ to it via the application and earn social badges. The social badges can be monetized to get freebies or discounts, or they can just be for social stature. In any case, it’s a reward, virtual or tangible doesn’t really matter.
So how can you use it for your non-profit cause?
There are many ways to skin a cat as they say and no exception here. Let’s say your non-profit cause is a nursing home and you have several locations. You can mobilize family and friends who check-in to each location and visit a loved one or mobilize volunteers to perform visits with the elderly. You set the goals for each badge. Make it fun and have a photo or the name of the person who becomes Mayor of Visiting, or some form of recognition.
What if your cause is something in the green nature, like green energy or eco-friendly. You could set it up so that each eco/green social action someone does could count towards each social badge. Perhaps there is a reward for being Mayor of Green Energy. Now, there is some level of dishonesty so you have to be careful. Besides, there are ways to legitimize those who try to fraud the system, but I’m not really sure it’s worth the effort if you are not giving away anything tangible. No harm, no foul.