Not For Profit, Not Anymore

Corporations are no longer the only entities that are taking notice to the rise of social media— non-profit organizations are also becoming quickly aware of its importance and recognizing the capabilities and impact these technologies can have on their communication efforts. Social media is allowing non profit organizations to connect and better organize their audiences in order to create positive change. NPOs are leveraging the web and its technologies to spread their message, and gain support for their cause because this new method of communication can be vital to the success of an organization’s initiatives to achieve their mission and goals.

            According to Adrienne Royer’s blog post entitled Why Every Nonprofit Should Embrace the Web 2.0 World, she says that there a number of reasons why NPOs should utilize these technologies. First, it allows them the ability to engage with their audience wherever they may be. These new technologies such as Facebook, Twitter, Blogs, and YouTube are allowing these organizations to interact more effectively and truly gain an understanding of how their publics want to be communicated with.

             Organizations are also connecting with influential individuals, who could help promote their message, but with these open lines of communication, there is a possibility of losing control of the conversation and message says Kathleen Driscoll.

            In her article, Non-profits find new friends in new media, she discusses more possibilities for the use of this technology. She states that social media is a way to get the message out in a cost-effective way. Seeing as how non profits do not have an excessive amount of funds to use for advertising and marketing, these mediums are allowing the opportunity for these two-way conversations to occur at little to no cost.

            Social media is changing the way we communicate because it allows for active participation from everyone on a global scale, and these new modes of communication are creating opportunities for non profits to enrich their relationships and gain support and belief in their mission. Throughout my blog, I plan to research the effectiveness of these communication strategies, the proper applications of these technologies, and examine cases where social media proved to be successful and useful for specific non profit organizations.

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4 Comments

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4 responses to “Not For Profit, Not Anymore

  1. Julie Carroll

    I worked for a not for profit this summer (a botanical garden) and I was amazed at their use of social media. I just assumed that only bigger, more profitable companies were utilizing these tools. They had hired a part time social media specialist to come in and take their social media usage to a whole new level. They revamped their website, got a Twitter and Facebook, started a blog, and just began developing their Flickr site. They got a lot of feedback on their Facebook and Twitter pages, but I wasn’t sure if it really effected their number of visitors. Do you think this is something that will take time to determine? I suppose it may take a while to determine how these tools are helping their numbers, but this is a risk most corporations are willing to take to stay in the game.

    • Ashley Johnson

      That is very interesting because I also am surprised that a botanical garden would be utilizing social media to that extent. To answer your question though, I do think that seeing the effects of using social media for them in particular would take some time to determine because unless they had a specific and measurable amount of people they intended to reach, the actual efficacy of the use would be difficult to tell. Social media has proven to be a great way to spread a particular message, or gain support and followers for a cause, but the organization does have to have a clear and intended result in mind. I would be very interested to see what their goals and objectives were when they implemented these technologies- whether they were solely interested in raising awareness about the botanical gardens, increasing their visitors, or trying to reach out to the public for donations.

  2. Gina Gretta

    Ashley, I really enjoyed reading this post, lots of interesting information on your topic! Julie’s comment and your response got me thinking though, do you think social media could also be affecting NPOs negatively? I question this because, if they are in fact trying to reach out to the public for donations in the form of money, wouldn’t that be somewhat contrary to their purpose? I’m looking forward to following your posts!

    Gina

    • Tyler Allen

      I’m so glad you’re doing a blog on nonprofits! I feel like a lot of young people out of college start working for them-there’s so many out there. I’ll be interested to see what you find out about their use of social media!

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