This has been a busy month reviewing books but luckily both of them were fabulous. I just finished reading CausedWired by Tom Watson, the publisher of onPhilanthropy.com. Tom writes about how individuals and institutions are changing the face of philanthropy using new media tools. We are living through an exciting time where you don't have to be a socialite or a fortune 500 CEO to be a philanthropist. You can be a high school student with a facebook account or a young professional that connects using Twitter. The book is a great study on how Gen X and Y are being philanthropic and how nonprofits are changing how they interact with the public to be more accessible using these tools. This is one of the few books that I read that immediately caused me to do something I said I would never do. After reading the first two chapters I opened a Facebook account and connected with Headwaters donors and volunteers. I had been avoiding Facebook because I had been using LinkedIn (connect with me here) for social networking and I felt like it would be too much to have two social networks to keep up. CauseWired made me rethink that position. Multiple access points helps individuals get to know your cause and while we aren't using those tools as a fundraising method right now, being accessible better connects you to supporters and makes your work more transparent. I also started to Twitter (which I also said I would never do). CauseWired is a great study in how these web 2.0 tools are being used, who is using them effectively, and what the true potential is of these mediums.
CauseWired is available now at Amazon.com, this book is a must read if you are developing strategies for reaching new donors and supporters using web tools.
If you have examples of nonprofits that are using these tools effectively or ideas about what you would like to see me Twitter or include on my Facebook page, add your suggestions in the comments.