THE BLOG
01/24/2013 10:10 am ET Updated Mar 26, 2013

Why Non-Profits Can't Escape From Social Networks?

Are you running a non-profit? Are you working for a charity? Are you volunteering for an NGO? Maybe you can learn something from this article.

There are millions of people out there ready to support your cause, the only problem is that you haven't reached them. Yet. So how do you make it with relatively low costs to reach millions of people around the world?

Social Networks.

The reach of social media is so well-known that even mentioning it is bordering on cliché. In fact, most people have already even dealt with a friend mentioning a cause that they heard about or care about -- let's say Kony 2012. The Kony movement and video has become in some ways a point of wonder due to the incredible amount of visibility it achieved, so let's have a look at what it achieved. The most important thing to learn from the Kony example is just how far that it reached. As of now the video on Youtube has more than 95 million views, and the amount of Facebook and Twitter traffic it generated is incredible. The potential for change has been huge.

This would never have been possible without the support of the viewers, who shared, blogged, commented, liked, retweeted about Kony in an attempt to stop him, just like it had become a common mission for all the people around the world.

So why non-profits cannot escape from social networks?

Because most of them have already started using social media and are now harvesting the tremendous benefits of their efforts. The most famous and visible non-profits are operating just like businesses and not only have a marketing department but also someone dedicated to deal with the online communities. The reason? In an environment of more than 1 million NPOs in the U.S., it's useless to mention that competition for the donors' wallet is fierce. So where do you start as a non-profit?

With your story.

Is your story worth spreading? Is it a "Purple Cow" as Seth Godin would call it? Because it is not enough to aim for people to sympathize with your cause. You will need to reach the people's heart in a way that will engage them and push them to act. To do so, your story will need to be touching and authentic in order to motivate your potential supporters to spread your words to others because they will feel it matters.

How to write a powerful story? I read the book Living Proof from John Capecci and Timothy Cage, you will learn how your story, if told in a proper way can make a huge difference.

Once your story is ready, start sharing it with your close ones and if they like it and start spreading it through social networks without you pushing them, then you are making a great start. As a final tip, if you lack of internal resources, get student interns! They might know more than you do about social media.

This post is part of a series produced by The Huffington Post and The World Economic Forum in recognition of the latter's Global Shapers initiative. The Global Shapers Community is a worldwide network of city-based hubs developed and led by young entrepreneurs, activists, academics, innovators, disruptors and thought leaders. Aged between 20 and 30, they are exceptional in their achievements and drive to make a positive contribution to their communities. Follow the Global Shapers on Twitter at @globalshapers or nominate a Global Shaper at http://www.globalshapers.org/apply.

Subscribe to Must Reads.
The internet's best stories, and interviews with their authors.