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Five Simple (and Fun) Ways to Promote Nonprofits on FourSquare

January 17, 2010

FourSquare is definitely starting to catch on with enterprising techie folks that love to be early adopters. That’s a good a sign. Most check-ins revolve around restaurants and cafes, but below are five simple ways you (and the nonprofit techies) can also use FourSquare to promote the nonprofits and causes your care about:

1) Add Nonprofit Venues

Adding a Nonprofit Venue on FourSquare just takes a few minutes, but it’s crucial that you do it right the first time. Make sure you spell out the name of the nonprofit. Don’t use acronyms. Add their address, phone and Twitter ID (search their website and Google to see what their Twitter ID is). Add the “nonprofit” tag as well as the city and state the nonprofit is located in tag. After you have added the nonprofits venue, please check-in! If you are new to FourSquare, please read my detailed post about correctly adding nonprofit venues to FourSquare.

2) Add Nonprofit Tips

Much of the FourSquare community is built around the idea of adding “Tips” to venues. Tips are featured on individual user profiles as well as on venues. When you add a new tip it also allows you to add a website link. If by rare chance, the nonprofit has mobile website, link to the mobile version of the nonprofit’s website because in time most people will be clicking and viewing the link on a mobile device. Tips are a great way to promote nonprofits to the FourSquare community.

3) Add Nonprofit To Do’s

FourSquare allows to you create a To Do list that is featured on your profile. When you complete items on your To Do list, you then accrue points and eventually badges. Individuals can also add your To Do’s to their To Do lists. To Do’s are also featured on the iPhone and Android Apps, so you can easily help promote nonprofits and causes you care about to your friends on FourSquare by adding To Do’s that feature nonprofits… and hopefully your FourSquare friends will add a couple of your Nonprofit To Do’s to their lists!

4) Check-in at Nonprofit Events

Over the next year we are going to see a lot of nonprofits get creative with checking-in at events on a group level. Whether that’s checking-in at fundraisers, protests, board meetings, on Capitol Hill, etc., the possibilities of group check-ins are pretty exciting. For now, since the FourSquare community is relatively small, simply check-in every time you personally attend a nonprofit-related event.

5) “Shout Out” about nonprofits and socially responsible businesses that support nonprofits

Shout out’s don’t exist on the desktop version (except on FourSquare’s mobile website) of FourSquare since most check-ins are meant to be done on the go via smartphone’s, but on the smartphone App version of FourSquare “Shout Out’s” (like Tweets or Status Updates) can be attached to check-ins and broadcasted to your FourSquare friends.

If you are at business venue that supports nonprofits, shout it out! For example, yesterday I checked-in to Lowe’s who is donating $1 million to Haiti relief (forgot to mention they are donating the funds to the Red Cross). Friends could view it on their smartphones and it is archived under my “History” on the desktop version:

Related Webinar:
How Nonprofit Organizations Can Utilize Group Texting, Mobile Websites, and Smartphone Apps

23 Comments leave one →
  1. January 23, 2010 5:40 am

    Wow, I am totally going to start doing this for my favorite non-profits!

  2. Jamina permalink
    January 23, 2010 5:42 pm

    I’mnew to foursquare so this was great info. I never thought this would be useful for nonprofits.

  3. Jamina permalink
    January 23, 2010 5:47 pm

    Can you share some ideas on how universities can benefit from foursquare in their fundraising?

    • nonprofitorgs permalink
      January 27, 2010 11:41 am

      Hi… universities are adding their campus as well as numerous buildings. Just Google “foursquare universities” and number of resources/ideas come up. 🙂

  4. January 27, 2010 9:18 am

    We have about 13 sites now in 4 counties… would you suggest just putting in the main admin site or can you put in more than one?

    • nonprofitorgs permalink
      January 27, 2010 11:14 am

      Hi Sue… you can add as many “Venues” as you’d like!

  5. February 10, 2010 1:10 pm

    I work for a non-profit arts organization that uses almost 20 different venues during a single 3-week long arts & culture festival. Our actual venues range from museums to libraries, even school auditoriums.

    Do you think FourSquare would be useful for us to get into? I’m concerned it will be too hard for people differentiate “us” (the presenting organization) from the physical space we are using.

    • nonprofitorgs permalink
      February 10, 2010 1:15 pm

      Hi… if you have one primary space… add that. Otherwise, just check-in to other venues and “Shout” about your event.

  6. May 27, 2010 5:36 pm

    Great post ! thank you for sharing. I run the Forsaken Generation Youth Homeless Project. We’ve debated using FourSquare. We are focused on awareness, and use social media heavily but weren’t sure FourSquare was beneficial, we will def ck it out now ! Thanks!



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