The Effects of the Internet for the NGO World

Brad Brasseur compares the pros and cons of the Internet and the role social media plays for the functions and images of NGOs. Read about his well written portrait as he explains the new risks of manipulation, fraud and greed, but also the incredible potential of modern NGOs, while outlining criteria how to separate the 'Good' from the "Bad".

This week Brad wants to talk about the effects of the internet on promoting an NGO. Moreover, he wants to discuss how choosing between a good and bad NGO based on internet presence and social media can be very difficult. One of his jobs at HOOP is the head of marketing and promoting their global presence online. This means he spends a lot of his time working on their social media sites and promoting HOOP.

Today the dynamics of buildings an NGO has entered an interesting age with the advancement of technology. In the year 2014, we have the luxury of using the internet to build a successful NGO in any country in the world. Social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus and Instagram allow NGO’s to promote ourselves everyday with updated information, pictures and propaganda.

This has turned out to be a huge advantage for a NGO’s global promotion without spending even a penny in some circumstances.

However, is this really an advantage as any NGO legitimate or illegitimate in the world can promote itself in a way that makes them look like they are doing good work on the internet? This makes it extremely difficult for potential volunteers or donors to decipher if an NGO is actually legitimate by its online presence.

Even NGO’s that have thousands of ‘Likes’ on Facebook or followers on Twitter can simply buy any of this online.

The problem with buying social followers for your NGO is that they are not real supporters of your NGO. It is better to have 60 people following you that know and want to support your project rather than buying 2000 followers who are not interested in your NGO. The problem is having more followers makes people that want to follow you more interested in your NGO. Ultimately, the best kind of growth is natural social media growth which involves people adding you and following you because of the invigorating updates a NGO posts online every day.

So this begs the ultimate question how can someone determine who is a legitimate NGO?

Here are a few starter points to find a good NGO.

– One big sign can be how fast an NGO responds to your inquiries and how detailed their responses are. A good NGO will have a list of FAQ’s on their website and they are used to dealing with many supports.

– A good NGO will not just accept anyone but they will ask to Skype with you and request information such as a police criminal record check. They will ask you important questions related to their organization and your experience.

– The more established an NGO is, the longer their minimal time will be to volunteer with them. If a NGO will take volunteers for one week they are very desperate and not in a position of strength. So if you are not just looking for an one week volunteer experience but rather 3-4 months plus, then you should check out what the NGO’s lowest time frame is to be involved.

– If an NGO has ridiculous amounts of likes then it’s likely they bought them and they are not genuine. This is not a terrible thing but just keep in mind 100, 000 people have not been involved with them and are not necessary recommending them.

– Any legitimate NGO should have a Board of Directors that is heavily involved and connected in the community of that NGO. If a NGO does not have a hierarchy there is a higher percentage chance your donation will not be used as effectively.

This is just a small list of criteria to decipher a legitimate NGO online. Just make sure to ask the important questions and do your research.

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