The thing I tell people in my Board Development, Fundraising, Budgeting, and Marketing and Social Media workshops,  all of them, is,
“If you think you are running this show, you may as shut your organization down now.”  What runs your nonprofit are market conditions, changing needs of your clientele, changing board dynamics, how well your organization is moving toward your long term vision, or not.

The Founder or Executive Director often thinks, they are running the show.  They are not.  If they maintain that course, they are going to make a lot of people, ie. staff, donors, community, clientele, board members, very unhappy over time.

Beth Kanter’s latest social media blog post speaks to how to use social media to stop doing it all yourself.   As she so astutely points out, if you don’t think you have time to explore social media, you may be creating quite a crisis for yourself down the road.   And, why would you think YOU have to create your social media structure and campaign structure yourself anyway?  You’re not even qualified.

Get resourceful.  Create a task force.  Create an entire committee and give them a goal.  A great goal to give them would be a “We want to raise $25,000 via social media in the next (whatever time frame).   Get on it.”  goal.   And of course, you’d want to enroll and enlist people to that task force that would love playing that game.   Not you, the founder, who thinks social media is something your grandchild does when he should be, well, whatever you think he should be doing.   I mean how long does it take to create a good committee.  Well if you go to your existing board and lazily expect them to reorganize themselves into a new function, well, you’ll never get a social media program going.  If you give the matter just half an ounce of thought, you’ll realize,  we can create this committee and recruit some spectacular local talent, they get to know us, we get to know them.  Our board is educated as well left unburdened.  We have fresh dynamic energy flowing the the top layer of our organization for the duration of the project, win, win, win, win, win!  Don’t burden your board with yet another task.  Bring them a present and don’t let them turn the present down.   Think for a minute on what you want social networking to do for your organization and assign a team of fresh people to get it done.

Beth’s articles are always on the leading edge, relevant, related and implementable.  http://www.bethkanter.org/simplicity-netnon/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+bethblog+%28Beth%27s+Blog%29 Enjoy.

Using Social Media To Accomplish More With Less

I don’t have time for social media

Join me on Tuesday, July 14 at 1 PM EST/1o am PST for a webinar hosted by Networked for Good “Using Social Media to Accomplish More with Less.”    It’s free and three lucky participants will win a copy of the book.  I’ll be talking about some of themes in the book and sharing some tips for streamlining your social media use.

One of the most common questions I hear is when I do workshops is, “How much time does it take to do social media?”.  It is usually followed by an observation that the organization is so resourced and time strapped that they can’t invest time doing anything that doesn’t provide an immediate and maximized return.   So, they don’t go further with their social media.  A common mistake.

One of the thing that Networked Nonprofits have in common is simplicity.   It clarifies organizations and forces them to focus their energy on what they do best, while leveraging resources of their networks for the rest.   Simplicity powers more informal connections between people, blurs boundaries, and enables nonprofits to scale efforts better than a single organization could.

Embracing simplicity helps nonprofits move from scarcity lens to that of abundance and allows them to leverage their networks through social media.  Here’s a couple of examples:

The SFSPCA has connected with social media savvy volunteers that now create content and manage some of their social media channels such as the Litter Did You Know blog and YouTube Channel.

Los Angeles Universal Preschool Parent Ambassadors on Facebook

Los Angeles Universal Preschool mission is to make voluntary, high-quality preschool available to every 4-year-old in Los Angeles County, regardless of their family’s income.  They have a group of parent ambassadors who work on land to spread the word about high quality preschool.  This group also has a Facebook Fan Page where they provide the same role online.

Preschool California uses Twitter to connect with journalists.  They discovered that Tweets are more informal, less time consuming than email so journalists may be more likely to read.   Despite only having a few interactions with reporters, Preschool California still retweeted and commented on a number of articles, garnering responses from other advocates and interested Twitter users, which helped increase their issue exposure to a larger audience that focus on early childhood education and are using Twitter.

Using social media can help nonprofits find people and other organizations with good ideas an interest in working together.  This is the leverage that they need to stop doing everything alone while ensure that a lot is getting done in their networks.     These organizations and people are right there, in the network, on Facebook or Twitter, waiting to connect with and support your organization’s efforts.

How are you using social media to accomplish more with less?  Have a story?   Leave it in the comments below and win a free copy of the book or this nifty Networked Nonprofit t-shirt created by NTEN.

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