The very fact that social networking and community websites are great places to start conversations, discuss issues, collaborate, and build awareness have made them invaluable tools in the hands of those nonprofit organizations and individuals working towards social change.
Several non-profit organizations have been able to use social intranet software to successfully to build momentum and bring the masses together and gather a more collective voice for their causes.
We’re going to pick just one of them … and break up the different components of a good social intranet platform and look into how these come together for an organization in achieving their goals.
Kiva.org is a prime example of how social intranet software for non-profits can be leveraged.
The site has successfully taken the concept of micro-loans to thousands of people and benefited equally … as many people are changing their lives for the better. The site enables users to give out micro loans and uses social intarnet software components very well.
Built on the foundations of a community based social website, the Kiva community has thousands of members who actively use the platform … and their work has accounted for impacting many many lives.
So, what are the components that makes a site like this tick?
Let’s look into the social intranet software components that makes all this come together:
As with most sites built around a social networking or community model, the Kiva.org site uses a “Register” option to join the community or sign up as a lender.
The groups feature as it’s commonly referred to has been aptly modified to create the “Lending Teams” which you will find in the “Community” section of the website. The groups technology helps signed up members join a common interest group similar to the groups you’ll find in Linkedin or Facebook. Kiva has termed these Lending Teams which users can join and each lending team works towards providing finance to a specific cause.
The member profile or the dashboard feature is a must have in most similar applications and this is featured under the “My Portfolio” section for registered members to track their investments.
Publishing is key to any site targeting change and Kiva has “Journals” which allows members to get firsthand accounts of what borrowers have managed to do with the support of those micro loans bringing the all important transparency to the community. With regular reports of progress along with commenting features, this forms an important part of website.
Kiva features a main blog as well as alternate blogs for developers and Kiva Fellows. A robust blogging platform is what gives a site like this a personal voice through which they can start conversations with visitors and members as well as discuss through the commenting section.
This feature is used in a number of places to set up a communication channel internally as well as help spread the word and share. The “Do More” section noticeably uses this well.
The “help center” which forms the basis of support on the website is built out of an extensive collection of FAQs listed under topics which clears just about any question a user can have.
Needless to say, with social intranet software and a clear vision, non-profit organizations can build some very active centers for social change and impact a lot more lives.
Building a place for conversation and action towards making the world a better place.
It’s certain we are going to see a lot more of social networking and community platforms being used for positive change.