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The Possibilities of Google Helpouts For Nonprofits

On Monday, November 04, 2013, Google released Helpouts, a marketplace where experts in topics like cooking, education, and nutrition can provide one-on-one lessons for a small price. Business owners, independent contractors and sole practitioners are sharing their knowledge, one-on-one, to those who are interested in learning a new skill or honing an existing one.

While not expressly meant for nonprofit organizations, there may be ways in which a charity could utilize this technology to generate new and repeat donations. Here are three ideas:

1. Share Your Knowledge

Nonprofit employees are often experts on the mission field in which they serve, whether it's a specific illness or issue that impacts their constituents. That knowledge could easily be transformed into a lesson, with the payment serving as a donation to the nonprofit.

For example, an association that raises money for Alzheimer's research could offer tips for caregiver support, while a food bank could offer nutitional lessons for busy families looking for affordable meal options. An audubon society could share gardening tips or teach aspiring hikers what they need to know about life on the trail.

For nonprofits struggling to get started with content marketing, this format represents a relatively low barrier to entry.

2. Charity Performance

By utilizing the Art & Music category, a nonprofit could partner with an performance artist and a musician, and offer a private concert. Again, the artist's fee and price for the helpout would be donated back to the charity. This could make for a unique silent or live auction item at a fundraising event.

Browse Google Helpouts

3. Lessons for Donations

Rather than an internal expert offering a lesson, an external expert could donate their time. This would scale easily, allowing for multiple Helpouts on an ongoing basis that all generate revenue for the nonprofit. Given the remote nature of Helpouts, NPOs could also reach out beyond their community for in-kind support. As with the performance example above, this could also be a unique auction item. There are already a few examples of cause-based Helpouts popping up in the marketplace.

New technologies are often shaped by their early-adopters and not necesarily their creators. Google Helpouts represent a unique opportunity for nonprofits who are daring enough to try something new.

Have you seen any examples of nonprofits utilizing Helpouts? Let me know in the comments!

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