Social Networking for Nonprofits
+resources and best practices
A social network is a social structure made of nodes (which are generally individuals or organizations) that are tied by one or more specific types of interdependency, such as values, visions, ideas, financial exchange, friendship, kinship, dislike, conflict or trade. The resulting graph-based structures are often very complex.
Social network analysis views social relationships in terms of nodes and ties. Nodes are the individual actors within the networks, and ties are the relationships between the actors. There can be many kinds of ties between the nodes. Research in a number of academic fields has shown that social networks operate on many levels, from families up to the level of nations, and play a critical role in determining the way problems are solved, organizations are run, and the degree to which individuals succeed in achieving their goals.
In its simplest form, a social network is a map of all of the relevant ties between the nodes being studied. The network can also be used to determine the social capital of individual actors. These concepts are often displayed in a social network diagram, where nodes are the points and ties are the lines.
+where to start
Social Good Podcast Series
Chronicle of Philanthropy
Allison Fine, a nonprofit leader and expert on technology and communications, discusses how charities and foundations can more effectively use social-media tools to spread their messages and raise money. Ms. Fine will incorporate suggestions and questions from readers into her podcasts and invites you to send e-mail messages to her at email@example.com. Look for new installments on the first Thursday of every month.
Create a Listening Dashboard for your Organization
This month's Net2 Think Tank question asks, "How do you stay up-to-date online?" There are so many blogs, news sources, and conversations happening at the same time, every day, and the chances that you'll be able to find them all without trying is pretty unlikely. There are hundreds of millions of blogs according to Technorati, and that's just blogs! Think of all the places your organization's name, staff, projects, programs or focus area could come up in the news, in campaigns, or in online conversations.
To stay on top of it all, I suggest you create a listening dashboard for your organization - and here's how to do it!
June Holley and The Art of Being Rhizomatic (The Practice of Network Weaving)
Beth Kanter Beth's Blog
The POST Method: A systematic approach to social strategy
by Josh Bernoff | December 11, 2007| http://blogs.forrester.com/groundswell/2007/12/the-post-method.html
10 Ways to Support Charity Through Social Media
| July 14th, 2009 | by Josh Catone for Mashable.com: http://mashable.com/2009/07/14/support-charity-sosg/
Ways to Be Human at a Distance
October 23, 2009 Chris Brogan
"Hey everyone, the intent of this wiki is to compile a central list of current initiatives (and eventually "best practices") involving social media and government. These can be internal or external, marketing or IT, it doesn't matter. I even added a special "unofficial" category at the bottom of each page for all side initiatives. Let's see what we can come up with. Please keep your entries very high level and only fill out what you know. If you don't know the answer to one of the fields, leave it blank. If you see an error, please fix it! Should you have any questions or suggestions for improvement please email me here: mike(at)mikekujawski(dot)ca. Good luck! - Mike Kujawski"
Strategies for mainstreaming networks in philanthropy
Nonprofit organizations trail the private sector when it comes to applying innovative networking practices. The isolation of organizations, limited resources and inadequate know-how may all be to blame. Building the Civil Sector’s Networks: Five Strategies, an excerpt from Net Gains: A Handbook for Network Builders Seeking Social Change published by the Innovation Network for Communities, asks how the sector can progress from stirring anecdotes to systemic arrangements. The excerpt offers five strategies to overcome systemic barriers to the successful creation and deployment of networks in the sector. The emphasis is on leveraging existing but hidden networks, encouraging experimental work and spreading the word about successful networking strategies. “More networking can beget more networking,” the authors assert. http://www.geofunders.org/document.aspx?oid=a0660000004dErg
Beth Kanter's Twitter Primer:
Digital Makeover: Do you need one?
July 10, 2008 01:30 PM
Here are two great ways to start learning about social media, examining your organization's online presence and improving the way you work digitally.
The Social Media Starter Kit for Nonprofits: This project is a collaborative approach to build a "toolkit and instructional guides about how social media strategies and tools can enable nonprofit organizations to create, compile, and distribute their stories and change the world." It is now in its second week, which focuses on strategic thinking about social media. You can see what participants have shared and how the project is growing, by visiting the wiki.
This project focuses on South Yorkshire Funding and Advice Bureau to examine the current state of digital communications, needs, and staff capacity. The strategy development for social media and other technology advancements for the organization are coming from the larger community (even you!). SYFAB's website is very much like that of many nonprofit organizations: it does provide information, but it doesn't provide community or participation, and isn't very welcoming. The organization has 12 employees (some part some full time), so in size it is similar to many other nonprofits as well. This is a great project to stay up-to-date with and learn along with! You can see it unfold on Simon Fairway's NetSquared blog.
4 Ways Non-Profits Can Use Google Buzz
Despite some initial flaws, Google Buzz () continues to show promise as a social marketing platform. It has a significant (though somewhat latent) user base, with an increasing number of loyalists who swear by it.
When a green field lies before you, so does opportunity. Some non-profits stand to gain from being part of the early Buzz adopter community. Whether a cause needs to further the dialogue with a tech-savvy crowd, or is attracted to the functionality of Gmail () integration, Buzz does bring some new capabilities to bear.
Here are four great uses for Buzz in cause-based activity.
Getting Social Media Right: A Short Guide for Nonprofit Organizations
Imagine you've written a blog about your cause and readers pick up on it, re-tweeting it to Twitter users 400 times. Is that good? How would you know? To answer those questions with any confidence, you have to know what your goals are for that blog—and you have to know how those goals fit into your use of social media, and your organization's mission overall.
Social Media Policies
PolicyTool is a policy generator that simplifies the process of creating guidelines that respect the rights of your employees while protecting your brand online.*
It's easy. The streamlined process simply requires you to answer a brief questionnaire and provides you with a complete Social Media Policy customized to your company.
Nonprofit Social Network Survey Report
Published April 2009 by
Common Knowledge http://www.commonknow.com
The Port http://www.theport.com
Survey & findings of nonprofits are using online social networks.
Connectivity creates the potential for action
The Barr Foundation invests in networks because it believes that changing the sector requires more than building the capacity of one organization at a time. In 2003, the foundation undertook a pilot project to build stronger and more cohesive connections among Boston’s after-school service providers. Building the Field of Dreams: Social Networks as a Source of Sector-Level Capacity in the After-School World captures the lessons learnt in this three year-long network-weaving process. A major learning is that building networks is not about building a rigid entity; rather it is about building connectivity among the players and the potential to take action.
+standards in field
a page of links specific to social networking for nonprofits: http://learn.netsquared.org/social-networking
Care2: This site helps activists network and mobilize around specific issues, from human rights to environmental protection. Care2 lets you create or join groups devoted to a cause; start and sign petitions that can be sent to Congress and other lawmakers; share and browse photos; post to message boards; solicit donations; and publicize your organization's events. Currently, Care2 has more than 5 million members.
An informative blog by Beth Canter about social networking for nonprofits: http://beth.typepad.com/beths_blog/
How a Small Nonprofit Used Social Media & Crowd-Sourcing to Win the 2009 Global Giving Challenge - frogloop Home~Care2’s blog for nonprofits - frogloop - "The goal was simple. Earn a permanent spot on the GlobalGiving website by raising at least $4000 online from 50 individual donors in three weeks. Win up to $6000 in additional bonuses for out-fundraising the 70 other participating organizations." Here's a case study from Jared Schwartz about how Critical Exposure used social media to fundraise and campaign.
Net Squared Community Blog: Net Squared "enables social benefit organizations to leverage the tools of the social web." This is a great place to hear about what other organizations are doing, regardless of where they may be on the adoption timeline for different new media tools. I love the varied topics and people that post here, keeping me exposed to all sorts of fields. It is a community blog, so feel free to set up your free account with Net Squared and post to the blog as well!
NTEN Affinity Groups: NTEN is a membership organization of nonprofit technology professionals that "aspires to a world where all nonprofit organizations skillfully and confidently use technology to meet community needs and fulfill their missions." You don't have to be a member to join the affinity groups, though! There are many different topic areas covered and it's a terrific way to find resources and contacts that can help answer questions or provide advice, especially for areas where you previously didn't know quite who to ask. Check out the lists and join groups that match your interests!