Category Archives: non profit social media

Resources for Creating a Social Media Policy For Your Organization

Resources for Creating a Social Media Policy for Your Non Profit Organization

Social Media Policy Tool

Online Database of Social Media Policies

Social Media Policy Examples Wiki from Altimeter Group

Examples of Social Media Policies

Intel Social Media Guidelines

IBM Social Computing Guidelines

Sun Microsystems Social Media Policy

Social Media Guidelines from Shift Communications (can be copied)

Nonprofit Social Media Policy Example: Easter Seals:

Guidelines for Easter Seals Bloggers

1. Be Responsible. Blogs, wikis, photo-sharing and other forms of online dialogue (unless posted by authorized Easter Seals personnel) are individual interactions, not corporate communications. Easter Seals staff and volunteers are personally responsible for their posts.

2. Be Smart. A blog or community post is visible to the entire world. Remember that what you write will be public for a long time – be respectful to the company, employees, clients, corporate sponsors and competitors, and protect your privacy.

3. Identify Yourself. Authenticity and transparency are driving factors of the blogosphere. List your name and when relevant, role at Easter Seals, when you blog about Easter Seals-related topics.

4. Include a Disclaimer. If you blog or post to an online forum in an unofficial capacity, make it clear that you are speaking for yourself and not on behalf of Easter Seals. If your post has to do with your work or subjects associated with Easter Seals, use a disclaimer such as this: “The postings on this site are my own and don’t represent Easter Seals’ positions, strategies or opinions.” This is a good practice but does not exempt you from being held accountable for what you write.

5. Respect Privacy of Others. Don’t publish or cite personal details and photographs about Easter Seals clients, employees, volunteers, corporate partners or vendors without their permission. Any disclosure of confidential information will be subject to the same Easter Seals personnel policies that apply to wrongful dissemination of information via email, conversations and written correspondence.

6. Write What You Know. You have a unique perspective on our organization based on your talents, skills and current responsibilities. Share your knowledge, your passions and your personality in your posts by writing about what you know. If you’re interesting and authentic, you’ll attract readers who understand your specialty and interests. Don’t spread gossip, hearsay or assumptions.

7. Include Links. Find out who else is blogging about the same topic and cite them with a link or make a post on their blog. Links are what determine a blog’s popularity rating on blog search engines like Technorati. It’s also a way of connecting to the bigger conversation and reaching out to new audiences. Be sure to also link to

8. Be Respectful. It’s okay to disagree with others but cutting down or insulting readers, employees, bosses or corporate sponsors and vendors is not. Respect your audience and don’t use obscenities, personal insults, ethnic slurs or other disparaging language to express yourself.

9. Work Matters. Ensure that your blogging doesn’t interfere with your work commitments. Discuss with your manager if you are uncertain about the appropriateness of publishing during business hours.

10. Don’t Tell Secrets. The nature of your job may provide you with access to confidential information regarding Easter Seals, Easter Seals beneficiaries, or fellow employees. Respect and maintain the confidentiality that has been entrusted to you. Don’t divulge or discuss proprietary information, internal documents, personal details about other people or other confidential material.

Non-profit storytelling with social media

Kivi points out a recent engagement she had with The Furniture Bank, a local Atlanta non-profit:

Instead, we talked about storytelling. The Furniture Bank has a very simple mission — to give people coming out of homelessness, battling HIV, or fleeing domestic violence free furniture to make their house a home — which gives it a big advantage over nonprofits with much more complicated programs. To take advantage of that, I suggested that Courtney try to track the full stories of 10 different donations per month.

Instead of talking just about a furniture donor or a furniture recipient, as they had been, I asked her to try to trace the whole path of one donation, from why the donor picked the Furniture Bank to what they actually donated, to any processing by volunteers, to delivery to the client, and wrapping up with the impact of that piece of furniture on its new family. Assuming a 50% success rate with collecting all the details and getting permission from the participants to use their names, she’d have five new stories per month to tell. Given the volume of donations (hundreds per month), Courtney and Megan thought this was very doable.

Imagine yourself giving away a couch to an organization like the Furniture Bank. Yes, part of you may be glad to just get rid of the thing, but another part of you is probably pretty curious about where that couch ended up. Telling the personal stories of both the donors and the clients fulfills many different objectives, including helping donors see the impact of their work and connecting the real people on both sides of the donation, who often live worlds apart.

With new stories in hand each month, Courtney can now use storytelling as the central driver in a communications strategy. One story can go in the e-newsletter. Another story can go out in print communications. Another can go on the blog. She can mention all of the stories in Twitter and Facebook updates and build a story bank on the website.

While tracking the exact donation proceeds–merely telling the stories of five customers or clients of your organization and the impact your services have had on their lives can go a long way toward creating a better communication strategy.

Here is more insight from the 2010 Net Impact Conference in Atlanta, GA. Finally, here is an free e-book from Steve Cebalt of Main Street Nonprofit Training which provides a half-dozen simple ways/models/methods which describe how to organize and frame organizational storytelling (I would just scan these models).

Upcoming Book on Social Networking and Media for Nonprofits

Are You a Networked Nonprofit?

Beth Kanter’s book “The Networked Nonprofit: Connecting with Social Media to Drive Change” comes out July 6, 2010 and is on Jossey Bass. At the time of writing the pre-sale price is $23.58 with #51,051 in Books.

Its sure to be power packed with fantastic tactics and strategies for non profit organizations who want to deploy social media to engage their audiences. If you want to learn more about the Networked Nonprofit check out Beth’s recent presentation for the book.

For more about nonprofit change with social media check out Beth’s blog or Geoff Livingston’s Social Marketing with Social Media column on Mashable.

The Challenges of Learning Online

Here are seven challenges I’ve outlines of learning online:

1) Echochamber (repetition). But in someways that not unique to the online environment.
2) Can delay action
3) Learning includes action (No feedback loop) ***
4) Need a mentor
5) Incentives of writers (in the nonprofit space this is better than almost any other)
6) Content gaps
7) Keeping up with everything you’ve learned (although delicious helps a great deal)
8] Knowledge value is hard to quantify sometimes. Knowledge’s value takes place over a longer period of time (although most activities are hard to put a $ amount on)

If I were to summarize:

1) Need clear objectives/process
2) Need Mentor
3) Authority (often far easier online than face to face for instance Google, Postrank, and Technorati)
4) Feedback
5) Repetition
6) Value estimation and amortization

WordPress Blogging for Nonprofits

Net Squared recently featured 10 ways non profits can use blogs, which provides an helpful lense for thinking about your online communications strategy.

Here are some guiding principles from your blogging ventures:

1) POST Method (People, Objectives, Strategy, and Technology)
2) Visual (Creative Commons and free fonts/typography)
3) Crowdsourced (interviews, suggestions, and questionaires)
4) Recycling and repackaging existing content
5) A simple, effective editorial process which starts with brainstorming and ends with marketing the final product.
6) Killer headlines, Killer hooks, and WIFM
7) Simplicitiy and Usability
8] Create series and link to old relevant posts (you can partially automate this by getting a WordPress related posts plugin)
9) You’re not after instant results. If you’re needs are short term online PR is probably how you should plan your campaign.
10) How can this scale? Who can use this? Is this actionable?
11) What does extraordinary content look like? What does linkbait look like?
12) Who are the influencers? How can you reach out to influences? How can you create something that influences want to talk about or share?

Specificity of recommendations and processes is incredibly important to value.

WordPress Best Practices

1) Michael Hyatt of Thomas Nelson
2) Nonprofit Alltop
3) Fundraising Alltop

More to be added later…

WordPress Blogging Skills to Learn

WordPress Blogging for Nonprofit Organizations

What processes & skills do you need to know to be an effective blogger. Including the activity, this should take from 45 to 60 minutes to complete. Here are 12 processes a WordPress blogger should know:

1) Adding a link to anchor text.
2) Bold and italic (this is basically barebones HTML basics)
3) Block quote
4) Uploading photos and using the gallery (Re-sizing photos)
5) Using an embed code (YouTube and Slideshare)
6) Creating a new post
7) Creating a new page
8] Adding comments and engaging in flow of conversation
9) Editing comments
10) Simple tagging
11) Adding new widgets to the sidebar
12) Managing, sorting, editing old posts

Additionally, creating a new blog for creating an idea sandbox in under 60 seconds.

Create a post with at least one example of bolding, one YouTube video, one slideshare presentation, one Flickr photo, and three links.

Part 2 will cover strategic considerations in relation to WordPress.

What else should nonprofits on WordPress know?

What Inspires Real Community Change?

Effective communication = Specific Emotional Messaging X Trust X Motivation