Beth and I have had a terrific day and a half in Boston as part of our national launch of The Networked Nonprofit.
Great turnout at all of the events and great energy about the ideas in the book as well. A few themes emerged:
- Organizational leadership is inching their way towards engaging with social media. The conversation has shifted from “please don’t make me do this” to “how do I get started?”
- The fears of losing control are real. We are asking seasoned professionals, people who have spent decades becoming adept at managing organizations, serving communities, helping people, to substantively rethink their relationship to their work and the world. This is a HUGE undertaking and it’s important to recognize that it will take a lot of time and patience to succeed.
- And just as we need to be patient with senior leadership, so do they have to be patient with social media. A common refrain yesterday (and most days) is how can we measure the return on investment in social media. Meaning how do we raise money using the tools. Social media are not spigots for cash, not digital ATM machines. The tools work best when the focus is on relationship building, and as with any relationship, a trusting, long-term one takes time to develop.
- I am constantly reminded how early we are in the social media revolution. There is so much to learn about what happens to people and organizations when they take the walls down, how to integrate online and on land efforts, how to get to social outcomes and impact using social media. So, stay tuned, the fun is just beginning!
Onto Chicago next week then DC the week after!