....is, of course, fundraising.
Steve Bridger's got a good blog on how NGOs can get themselves up to speed with the whole Web 2.0 thang from the fundraising point of view. This presentation summarises his (slightly evangelical but still interesting) views.
But a quick look at the development NGOs' wiki-blog-mash-up-myspace-facebook things (e.g. Oxfam's and ActionAid's) shows they haven't quite got the full picture. Web 2.0, and the associated rise in consumer personalisation and peer-to-peer interaction, demand that organisations relinquish power. Development charities can't just sit on MySpace collecting their online friends - they have to act in a genuinely friendly way too.
People want opportunities to connect and share their experiences of the organisation. If those opportunities are to be at all attractive they must be meaningful. For them to be meaningful they must include the possibility that the organisation will be criticised. It will hurt in the short-term but the early adopters will reap the rewards in the long term.