How Nonprofits Can Use Social Media to Spark Change

February 23, 2011 § Leave a comment

As I move the organization I work for into the world of web, I am constantly thinking about how we fit into the social media world. While everything is incorporated into social media these days it is difficult to find out how you can use social media in an innovative way without overwhelming users. As a nonprofit, especially a service organization, we have several audiences that we need to reach out to (i.e. not just the consumer). We have the individuals we serve, our donors and those who help our organization be successful (in most cases this is volunteers, in our case it is the businesses who hire our clients). There is a delicate balance in social media that I feel many people are not aware of: juggling your audiences, always being innovative and at the same time consistent, and finally being able to educate your constituents about the issue your nonprofit addresses while communicating action taking place by your organization.

The Chronicle of Philanthropy came out with a terrific article filled with great tips on how nonprofits can effectively use social media. While many of these articles I come across about Social Media give blatantly obvious advice (“use Facebook to get volunteers!”), this one discusses a lot of important points that many nonprofits often overlook. As I launch our new website and bring my organization into the social media age (finally!), I will be referring back to this article and to many of the organizations who do a great job in working with social media (Invisible Children, Charity Water, Susan G. Komen Foundation) for inspiration and direction.

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