Ten years ago, I volunteered for the first time with Habitat for Humanity. Back then, there was no internet, electricity, or motor-vehicles…okay, okay, actually, we had all those things in 2001; what we did not have was facebook, twitter, iPhones, or apps of any sort.
As Habitat for Humanity celebrates their 35th anniversary, along with the completion of their 500,000th home this month, they’re jumping on the “social” train and investing in new web tools that integrate the “social media experience” with the “volunteer experience.”
Check out these three great tools that Habitat has developed to make volunteering more social in this digital age:
The Map application is built on Habitat’s main website, and allows volunteers to easily add their experience, detailing the specific city/country where they built houses with Habitat for Humanity.
Besides the overall awesome factor, one of the map’s coolest features is the integration with facebook. On the side bar, it displays any Habitat experiences that your facebook friends have posted. When you click-through for details, you can see pictures, videos, and even a quick look at the other volunteers with whom your friend shared this experience.
2. Wearehabitat.org (a social fundraising prototype)
This tool was Habitat’s first stab at harnessing the enormous potential of social media for fundraising. The site allowed volunteers to create personal donation pages that also served as blogs and digital photo albums, which are easily updated and shared. By making fundraising more personable, and allowing donors to see exactly where their money was going, Habitat created a greater sense of transparency and accountability through these social tools.
3. Share.habitat.org (v 0.5 platform for social fundraising)
Just a few weeks ago, Habitat released the new platform (Share.habitat) on which they will continue to build their social fundraising tools. This site is powered by Fundly and was featured by their CEO, Dave Boyce, at NYC’s latest Social Media for Non-Profits Conference. Share.habitat contains features that Habitat tested with wearehabitat (i.e. facebook integration, photo and video uploads) and adds increased share-ability with easy access to facebook, twitter, and other popular sharing sites such as StumbleUpon and reddit:
The ten teams that have utilized these new tools have raised over $200,000 for Habitat for Humanity projects around the world. Over the next few months, Habitat will be rolling out new features and more integrated services, investing in the tools that will allow volunteers to share their experiences, raise more money, and build more houses than ever before.
For more info on Habitat for Humanity’s social media presence, check out their various pages here.
Are there any apps or social sites you use to talk about your volunteer experiences? Share your thoughts in the comments!