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Every Saturday I post about one non-profit organization that is exploring the use of social media for their advocacy efforts. As I said in the first post that I made on this topic:

I am in awe of the immense power of social media in terms of how any given individual, with access to a computer, can reach out to the world. It is an incredible marketing asset and we are yet but dipping our toes in the water of this mighty ocean. I am particularly interested in the way Facebook, Twitter, blogs and websites are going to help non-profit organizations and NGOs. Social media, with its person to person contact and the emphasis on a network of friends and family, is a match made-in-heaven for non-profits as a marketing tool. So, every week I spotlight one non-profit that is making marked strides in harnessing the potential of social media in their outreach efforts. My spotlight is intended as a show of appreciation for what an organization is doing in terms of using social media. I will add some minor suggestions as an end-user, in cases where I have any, and these are meant purely as friendly feedback and I hope they are taken as such.

It gives me great pleasure to write today about Voices for America’s Children. I have been looking to find an organization focusing on children and, must admit that, I was feeling a little worried that I could not readily find one that had engaged with social media. Today, I was happy to find this non-profit whose mission statement reads, “Voices fights for child policies that give American children better health, education, stability, and preparation for success in life.”

I really appreciate Voices for America’s Children’s multi-pronged use of social media tools as they have a strong website, a blog, a Facebook profile and Twitter and YouTube accounts. Here are the features that I feel are worth a special mention:

  • The website is informative and well-laid out allowing visitors to engage at different levels. The ‘Make a Donation’ button in an eye-catching color is a nice touch.
  • The blog is frequently updated and the tags cover many of the organization’s key areas of interest; the blog comes across as a source of meaningful information rather than a add-on accessory.
  • The Facebook profile also shows active engagement in that there are regular status updates.
  • The Twitter profile shows that they have 644 followers.
  • Their use of YouTube is particularly exciting as they have used the power of video to make a human connection with the weighty matters they address such as children’s hunger.

Some thoughts on where they can make some changes:

  • I cannot emphasize enough the importance of keyword density in websites because it took me determined effort to find the right words to find an organization working with children. It should be a little easier for motivated folks to find a agency that is so involved in children’s issues.
  • It may be worth considering moving up the Stay Connected section on the side bar of the website to give more prominence to the organizations multiple advocacy platforms. This may help increase the followers on Facebook and Twitter.
  • Voices needs to increase their Tweet or re-Tweet count to use that space better.
  • The Flickr photos felt a little repetitive because they are focused on different people addressing an audience. Some more photos such as those of the rally as seen on Facebook and other out-in-the-field shots may make for an interesting variety.

I get the impression that Voices is less than a year old in stepping onto the Web 2.0 stage. This 25-year old organization is being proactive in utilizing emerging media for advocacy efforts.  I appreciate their initiatives and wish them continued meaningful engagement with social media.

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