I recently read that approximately 900,000 people post blog entries, daily. As the blogosphere continues to grow, more and more publications are providing readers the ability to subsribe via RSS feeds. This is making it both easier and more cumbersome to keep up with all of the information that is out there. I, as I’m sure many of you do, subscribe via RSS feed, to a variety of different nonprofit blogs and publications. All of them, from “The Chronicle of Philanthropy” to the “Wild Apricot Blog” provide useful information and articles regarding goings-on, trends and changes within the sector.
There are a great number of interesting and insightful nonprofit blogs out there, from the “Blue Avacado” to the “Nonprofit Blog Exchange”. Rather than just providing a list of all of the resources that exist, I have chosen to highlight one that I personally read and refer to, on an almost daily basis, “Beth’s Blog: How Nonprofits Can Use Social Media”, http://beth.typepad.com/beths_blog/. Beth Kanter is well-respected within the nonprofit and social media circles, and her blogs always provide useful insight as to how nonprofits can best utilize the realm of social networking, such as facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn, and Twitter. I, along with many others in the nonprofit sector trust and rely on Ms. Kanter’s knowledge and expertise, in the realm of social media, and how it pertains to nonprofits. She is also quick to share information in her blog, that she gains, when attending various conferences. Since many nonprofits simply don’t have the resources to be sending their staff to multi-day conferences, all over the country, knowing that there is someone who is already considered quite an expert, that is eager to share new information, is both valuable and refreshing.
For me, specifically, Beth’s blog has provided insight on corporate blogging, utilizing social media as an internal resource for an organization, and managing multiple social networking outlets. Some of the more recent blog entries on Beth’s Blog include, “Are You A Listening Organization?”, “Organizational Social Relationship Models and Strategies”, and, “Reflections from Network Effectiveness and Social Media Strategy Map Interactive Working Sessions for Packard Foundation Grantees”. (For 2009, she is serving as the Scholar in Residence for Social Media and Nonprofits for the Packard Foundation.) Additionally, she has penned chapters for several books, including “Psychology of Facebook Applications”, while also being named of the 50 most influential female bloggers.
In this age of social media, there are a great many ways that nonprofits can utilize the trend. Social networking can be used to assist in fundraising efforts, keep in touch with donors, and get the word out about the orgnaization. But, as I’m sure many nonprofits have learned, it can also be a lot of work, especially when it not only needs to be done, but done well. After all, any organization’s social media efforts are going to have the potential to reach a vast audience. (Just think about the number of “friends” you may have on facebook, now think about the number of “fans” an organizations page could generate!) As I mentioned earlier, Beth’s Blog is one of my daily reads, and have found it to be interesting, insightful, and valuable. Is your organization thinking about starting a blog? Are you developing a facebook page? Even if these are outlets that your organization is already utilizing, I would encourage any nonprofit who is exploring the realm of social media, to go to http://beth.typepad.com/beths_blog/page/2/ and gain some additional knowledge from Beth Kanter.
September 28, 2009 at 11:15 am
I have too found out, there are not a lot of blogs or information the public can use as tools, asking questions anout a 501c3 in their community. We have a 501c3 that will not answer our questions. They tell us they are a private non-profit 501c3, so the only thing they have to show us are there 990′s (but for only 3 yaers), A of I and by-laws. Even though we have had to request these records from the State, IRS or Guide Star on-line (thank god for them).
We as the public and community are finding out, there are problems with how this 501c3 has been operating and using the public donations they have getting since 2000.
We have since filed complaints against this 501c3 with the IRS and State Attory Generals office. We as the public and community don’t like the direction this 501c3 is going, what so ever.
What can the public or community do to get this 501c3 to listen?
Ed Voice & Voice Family
Garberville, Ca 95542
October 5, 2009 at 9:40 am
Social Media is the best way to reach litterally thousands of people by one click of a button. Facebook, Myspace, Twitter, Linkedin are great ways to promote your fundraising efforts and update friends, family members and colleagues on what is going on with your organization. People are addicted to this form of communication.
I am the President of and this is a main form of communication we promote to our customers to get the word out quickly on their intentions to fundraise for their cause. Online fundraising has become a very cost effective way to raise money for an organization with out have to invest any up front money. People are able to update their donors and thank them for contributions by using all forms of social media.
I definitely agree with Victoria that all nonprofits should consider using social media to support their causes to their advantage.