Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Web 2.0 and College Development

This post contains the conent of a handout we plan to give to the College Development office in a few weeks to help them discover the wonderful tools available to help them with fundraising and alumni relations. I wanted to put this on my blog so that I can give links. I'm so used to providing links, it's hard to create a traditional paper handout, but I want to be able to leave them with something physical in their hands. I have linked to my own accounts where I could to provide better examples (not out of narcissism). So, here goes:

First, what is Web 2.0?

  • Web 2.0 is also known as Social Media
  • Media is no longer just controlled by professional journalists, producers, editors and publishers!
  • Includes: blogs, social networking sites, social bookmarking, photo sharing, podcasts, video sharing, RSS, wikis, and much more!
  • Well-known sites include YouTube, Facebook, MySpace, Flickr, Blogger, del.icio.us, Linkedin, Google Docs, SlideShare, Second Life
  • All of these tools are free or very cheap
  • Allows for mass participation through comments, ratings, tags, and messages. This leads to engaged users!
  • The sky is the limit…

How can these tools be used in college advancement?

  • Use them to engage (recent) alumni… engaged alumni are more likely to donate!
  • Social networking
    • Set up Facebook groups for each graduation class so people can find their friends when they leave
    • Set up virtual “events” such as “Give $10 to Lycoming’s annual fund by midnight on September 10, 2008!”
    • Set up “causes” – everything that happens on Facebook appears on their friends’ blogs. If someone supports Lyco’s cause, their friends will know!
  • Use fundraising “widgets” to show on your Web site and in Facebook how close you are to your goal. See ChipIn for an example of what this looks like.
  • Ask alumni to submit brief videos about their post-Lyco life. You can post these individually or mash them together. You can come up with a more specific or creative prompt to give them if desired.
  • Start an annual campaign blog so people know how the campaign is going… transparency is a big part of Web 2.0.
  • Collect Web addresses for the blogs or homepages of alumni (with their consent, of course) and post them together on the Web for other alumni to find.
  • Miami University of Ohio has created their own version of Facebook where alumni can update their contact information and get in touch with old friends. See me if you want a demonstration, though this would not be an inexpensive option. Still you may see things to incorporate within Facebook.
  • Vassar and some other schools have created community blogs where all alumni can post news.
  • One person suggested to avoid old-school terminology like “Make a gift.” Instead, base wording around supporting the cause. His example was “Vassar fosters some of the world’s best change-makers. Support the next generation. Donate Today.”


  • Blogs – short for “Web log,” this is a Web site with frequently updated content. Each news “story” (whether it’s about current events, what you did on Friday, or career information) is called a “post.” The site is arranged with the most recent post first, with older posts following. Example, Vassar's Mads
  • Social networking sites –these allow social networks to be visible to others. People create profiles, then can ask other people with profiles to become friends. They can send each other messages, share photos, post blog entries, make career connections, and much more, all on these sites. There are specialized sites such as Shelfari that allow for social networking in a particular nitch (in this case, books). Example: MySpace and Facebook
  • Social bookmarking – this is like your favorite Web sites saved in Internet Explorer, but saved on a Web server. You can then “tag” them (label each site link with keywords) and share them with others. Example: del.icio.us
  • Photo sharing – people can then organize their photos, add “tags” to organize their photos, create groups with other users, and can see each other’s photos. Example: Flickr
  • Podcasts – these are audio clips on any given topic. Example: Grammar Girl, where a woman explains different aspects of English grammar in a way people like me can understand.
  • Video sharing – this is pretty self-explanatory. Anyone can create a video and post it for the world to see. Example: YouTube
  • RSS – stands for “really simple syndication.” This is a way for a person to be notified when a site with frequently updated content like a newsletter or blog has something new on it. This is set up on the user’s end through their browser or a site such as Bloglines.
  • Wikis – this is a way for a group of people to create a Web site collaboratively with no Web development knowledge. Example: Wikipedia
  • Tags – many Web 2.0 tools allow the creator to label each post, picture, or Web site link with a keyword that describes its content. This helps the creator keep the content organized, as well as helping the viewers find relevant content.
  • Widgets – this is probably the most difficult term to explain. It is a space on a Web site that brings in information from another site. A Google search bar on a Web site is a widget. It could also be a clock, game, or virtual pet. See Widgetbox for examples.

For more information see:

Blog Directory - Blogged

No comments: