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SmartBrief on: Social media for nonprofits

4 min read

Social Media

Social-media news often focuses on consumer-facing companies, but social platforms can be a boon to a wide variety of organizations, including nonprofits. While the tactics may vary, you’ll be surprised at the similarities between the social strategies employed by businesses and nonprofits alike. After all, nonprofits are all about organizing people around a given issue — and what’s more social than that? Read on for a roundup of relevant stories that made it into our e-mail newsletter, SmartBrief on Social Media.

Why nonprofits need to find their own social direction
Social marketing is a natural fit for many nonprofits, says nonprofit blogger Beth Kanter — but they can’t just cut and paste the strategies used by commercial marketers. Nonprofits have a mission that goes beyond simply dollars and cents, so it’s important for nonprofit social-media managers to figure out what outcomes they’re expecting from their campaigns. “There are both tangible and intangible results that can be realized through an effective social-media strategy,” Kanter says. SmartBrief/SmartBlog on Social Media (3/12)

Twitpay turns Twitter into a donation engine
Twitpay allows Twitter users to make charitable donations. The system is being promoted as a low-cost, fast-turnover payment system for nonprofit groups, but it could eventually be expanded to cover a greater array of payments. “The service combines the simplicity of mobile giving with the power of social networking,” says Twitpay co-founder Michael Ivey. (2/22)

The promise and peril of making nonprofit leaders get social
Nonprofit groups can benefit from social media by encouraging their leaders to reach out to interact and raise awareness about the group’s work, Beth Kanter writes. A poorly managed media strategy can do more harm than good, however, if nonprofit CEOs aren’t committed to developing an authentic and reliable online presence, she writes. Beth Kanter blog (2/9)

Social sites help charities grow
A recent survey found 88% of charities say they are using social media to broaden their reach. Kids With Food Allergies — once a slim e-mail list of concerned parents — now gets hundreds of messages daily through Facebook, MySpace and Twitter and has attracted more than 17,000 members. (11/24)

Charity goes online on Cape Cod
Nonprofit groups on Cape Cod are finding that social media is a useful way to recruit donors, because social sites can offer a more targeted approach than traditional media. Handmade for the Holidays uses two blogs, two Twitter accounts and four Facebook pages to collect crafts for impoverished women. “We’re kind of making it into a shining example of how to do a thing like this on zero budget,” says the organizer. Cape Cod Times (Mass.) (11/10)

Homeless service employs Twitter
Miriam’s Kitchen — a Washington nonprofit organization that provides food and other services to the city’s homeless — is using Twitter to recognize special volunteers and address concerns about its services. The group is also trying to get homeless guests to tweet. “I think they could really benefit,” said Jennifer Roccanti, Miriam Kitchen’s social-media head. The Buzz Bin (8/13)

3 tips for social-media fundraising
Social media is a great platform for nonprofit groups looking to raise awareness and money, Jason Falls writes. To get the most out of the platform, focus on telling a compelling story, he suggests, then declare a specific monetary goal and make it very simple to donate. Falls suggests using widgets such as ChipIn or JustGive that make giving just a few clicks away. Social Media Explorer (7/23)

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Image credit, Zeffss1, via iStock