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Thoughts on Nonprofit Social Media Use

September 26, 2011

Social Media has become the new hot topic in conservation and philanthropy.  The Chronicle of Philanthropy has done numerous stories on social media strategy, and even has a new blogroll entitled “Social Philanthropy”.  The National Forest Foundation has been using social media extensively (“Like” us!), and the Nature Conservancy was recently featured for their use of social media to connect with supporters.  Allison Fine, a consultant and co-author of The Networked Nonprofit, stated in an opinion piece:

Social change happens through conversations between real people. Not between logos and people but through authentic conversations between supporters of causes. Encouraging these conversations and participating in them has to be a top priority for all nonprofits. And the best ambassadors are the people already hired to carry out the organization’s mission.

So the results are in: social media is the newest way to market your mission, reach out to your supporters, and even raise money.  Is this a result of a new influx of employees? A gesture to reach an increasingly online and “connected” public? Large nonprofits are increasingly hiring social media coordinators, and outreach staff are finding that their job descriptions increasingly include the words “Twitter” and “Facebook”.  In response, Blue Avocado recently posted the “6 Dos and Don’ts of Social Media”.  The blog also offers other thoughts on social media use and practices- so check out the wealth of resources available, and start, err, tweeting?

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