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10 Types of Nonprofits That Absolutely Must Add Themselves to Foursquare

June 28, 2010

6/20 Update: Foursquare surpasses 10,000,000 users.

[tweetmeme]Original Post from 6/28/10: Foursquare now has 1.6 million users. That may not seem like very many compared to Facebook’s 465 million users, but Foursquare is only one year-old and growing quickly. Part social networking site, part smartphone App, Foursquare is a tool meant to be primary used on the go on your smartphone. Quite simply, you “Check-in” to venues while physically at the venue and offer “Tips” and send out “Shouts”.

If your nonprofit does not add itself as a venue to Foursquare, then someone else will do it for you – and likely not in the way your would prefer. When it comes to Foursquare, you don’t have the decision of whether or not you want to participate. Adding venues is user-driven, and so far users have added 1.5+ million venues.

For the 10 types of nonprofits listed below, adding your nonprofit as a venue to Foursquare needs to quickly be moved to the top of your To Do List:

1. Museums and Art Galleries :: Museum of Modern Art
2. Libraries :: New York Public Library
3. Performing arts venues and theatres :: The Tank
4. Animal shelters, zoos and aquariaums :: Monterey Bay Aquarium
5. Food banks and homeless shelters: St. Mary’s Food Bank
6. Health clinics, hospitals and gyms :: 92nd Street Y
7. Outdoor recreation venues :: Grand Canyon National Park
8. Schools and universities :: UCLA
9. Religious institutions :: Washington National Cathedral
10. Corporate accountability organizations :: Nonprofits that work to hold corporations and businesses accountable for dastardly deeds and misconduct should be adding “Tips” to their venues on Foursquare. Example: Add tips to pet stores that sell puppy-milled puppies, to retail stores that use sweatshop labor, to banks that engage in predatory lending, etc.

Related Links:
Webinar: How Nonprofits Can Successfully Utilize Mobile Social Networking and Location-Based Communities
HOW TO: Add Your Nonprofit to Foursquare
@NonprofitOrgs on Foursquare

26 Comments leave one →
  1. June 29, 2010 11:59 pm

    Thanks for the tips!

    What about online communities and foursquare? Is it possible or even interesting to say “I am in the Kabissa chatroom” on foursquare?

    Thanks as always for the insights,


    • nonprofitorgs permalink
      June 30, 2010 11:37 am

      Not sure what you mean? No chatrooms yet, but they just secured $20 million in funding. The Foursquare tool set is very limited right now… but I imagine they have branded profiles and groups coming soon, or free texting coming soon. Lots of possibilities, but they are definitely in the 1.0 stage. Like Facebook in 2006. 🙂

  2. June 30, 2010 1:01 pm

    I think any organization that has a single location where people gather, volunteer, or get resources should be on Foursquare. What a great way to show off and promote communit engagement.

  3. July 1, 2010 6:01 am

    Hi Ruby and Heather –

    Yes, agreed Ruby. What an important asset Foursquare can be for organizations with physical spaces where people can meet and work together.

    Heather, I think I was a little ambiguous in my comment, sorry. 🙂 Kabissa has an IRC chatroom that we are beginning to start using to connect with our members “live” and in real time. IRC is a virtual space that provides rooms where you can hang out and be ready to engage with people who come visit. You can join the Kabissa chatroom either using an IRC client (as I do) or via the web by clicking the link on the @Wibiya dashboard at

    What I am talking about is the idea of claiming mayorship of the Kabissa Chatroom on IRC, and telling Foursquare friends that I am in the chatroom right now and ready to engage. We have done this already on twitter occasionally with some success, as well as via notifications to website visitors.



  4. July 8, 2010 5:26 am

    Don’t forget thrift stores? Here in Florida, many nonprofits own thrift stores to generate revenue for our missions.
    Our local Goodwill agency operates 24 stores in five counties. Through foursquare, I’ve been able to do some small promotion of our in-store specials, and more importantly, identify some frequent shoppers that I wouldn’t have found otherwise.
    Plus, it’s always fun to congratulate a new mayor of one of our stores!

    • July 8, 2010 9:47 am

      I would like to hear of some examples of utilizing foursquare by churches that are not also tourist destinations.

  5. Jason Norco permalink
    July 10, 2010 7:59 am

    Users should check out as well. Think foursquare meets Twitter meets google maps. It is a new startup that is quickly gaining traction.


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