Beth Asked a Question
Posted by Allison Fine on November 11, 2009
Beth asked a question on her blog the other day:
Do we have examples of using nonprofits using social media for:
- Volunteer or board recruitment strategy
- Ooutreach or educational program delivery
- Crowdsourcing ideas for program development
- Professional development
- Integrated in other areas
The answer is that there are a growing number of examples of organizations, and individuals, using social media as part of their programs not just part of fundraising and communications efforts. For instance:
- One of my favorite crowdsourcing efforts that happens online and on land is the Audubon Society’s Christmas Bird Count. It’s over a hundred years old and now uses a variety of social media tools like Flckr, online databases, blogs and online videos to recruit bird counters and share their data.
- WeAreMedia which Beth helped to organize and launch with NTEN is a terrific example of a wiki to help a community learn together that is being continuously updated and improved. The increased use of webinars by organizations is reducing the cost of professional development for organizations.
- The Extraordinaries is a new effort for volunteers to dip into volunteering on-the-go using their smart phones.
- The Meyer Memorial Trust in Portland, OR hosts a terrific blog on its site about new media and its uses for social change.
- And, of course, the use of Facebook and other social networking sites are being used to build relationships and a sense of community for thousands of nonprofits.
I was concerned about two years ago that social media were being relegated for use largely to political and advocacy campaigns. The nonprofit community began to dip their toe in for fundraising and some communication efforts. It is really only in the last year or so that the use of social media more broadly to help organizations meet their mission is beginning to happen for both nonprofit and foundations. This is great news, we will only see more of these kinds of activities unfold.
But, Beth does mention one area that isn’t seeing enough change and development with social media right now. It is boards and governance. There are many ways that governing boards could use social media to connect board members to one another and to their communities through wikis, social networks, and blogs. But, to date, there has been a great deal of hesitation about opening up governance. It is one more frontier that will begin to change soon — it has to because governance is too important and social media are too powerful to continue to work in isolation from one another.
This entry was posted on November 11, 2009 at 4:45 am and is filed under Social Media. Tagged: Audubon Society, beth kanter, governance, Meyer Memorial Trust, We Are Media. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.
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