Sunday, August 16, 2009

Take Your Sponsorship Opportunity Online: New Social Media Tool

The New York Future Initiative reported on a developing social media site called Groupable, a free online community that connects grassroots organizations and groups with potential corporate and local sponsors.

The site, which is based in New York, was launched in a private alpha testing phase last summer and opened to the public in beta back in January.

"We saw that it was very difficult for small groups who can't afford to hire a full-time sales person to be able to connect wih sponsors," said Gerrit Hall, 28, of Park Slope, who created the site with Groupable's C.E.O., Nate Brochin, 45, of Millburn, N.J.

The methodology behind Groupable seems simple enough (even if the way it’s explained on the site is a bit hard to follow): group or sponsor registers; group searches for and connects with sponsor, or vice versa, based on common goals and interests; sponsorship is made.

So far, an array of New York City groups have registered, ranging from civic non-profits, to arts organizations, to underwater photographers. Even the New York Tech Meetup is on there, although it seems like its profile has been inactive since it was created back in August of last year. At least one political candidate is using the service, Mark Winston Griffith, who is running in the 36th District (Crown Heights/Bed Stuy) City Council race.

But does it actually work?

Mashable, the influential social media news site, says yes. It gave Groupable high marks in a recent review:
Groupable definitely is a strong network for sponsors and groups. It’s well built and makes everything easily trackable. The issue, as with many other social media services, is critical mass – you’re probably not going to find a lot of local sponsors on Groupable yet. But even if you don’t find groups or sponsors through the service, you can add them yourself and use the platform to manage your sponsorships, making it a tool that groups that do a lot of fundraising should consider. Read more here.

Overall, the concept makes sense, and it can only help give more exposure to nonprofits and their sponsorship opportunities. It would seem sponsors would like the concept too. Do you think this has potential? Share your thoughts here.

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