Developing a Social Media Policy

If you have staff or volunteers that are on Facebook, blogs, etc. that are representing/promoting your organization, you might want to consider drafting a policy. You can’t stop people from saying what they like in a personal way, but if you have employees and volunteers representing you, it’s not a bad idea to have a policy in place just so you are on the same page. Just yesterday, the Charity How To blog posted a template that anyone can use, and the policy would be about one page.

Web and Social Media Checklist for Nonprofits

If you haven’t already, you should check out and subscribe to Nonprofit Tech 2.0 (now Nonprofit Tech for Good). Heather Mansfield offers diverse postings on social media, whether it be communications, policy development, fundraising … resources for both big and small organizations in a wide range of industries.

Earlier this month she posted a summary checklist from her recent how-to book, Social Media for Social Good: A How-To Guide for Nonprofits. This checklist is a great check-in for any organization, whether you are just starting out or participate in every form of social media going (even if it is just an affirmation that you covered all your bases).

Here’s the checklist.

Oh, the promo’d web you can weave

It’s September. I love the fall crispness and colours — my favourite season really. I know Winter is coming (a nod to fellow GRRM fans), but there is always a “newness” I find with each Fall. But for some nonprofits, Fall also means getting ready to gear up for December donor campaigns. Here are a few online and/or social media resources to get you thinking about your message, management, and web presence as you start to plan.

Tell stories: Grant writing, marketing, and social media experts are always talking about ways to reach out effectively to your audience. One key trick is tell stories, especially those that can show your impact they can relate to. Care2‘s blog “frogloop” recently wrote about a few applications/tools to help tell stories online with different elements like pictures, video, and slides. One of them also helps create better content across different social media platforms. 4 Tools to Help Any Nonprofit Tell Stories Online

E-mail newsletters: I’m a big fan of newsletters. I’ve just started getting into creating my own for my job. CharityVillage has posted this article called “Ten Tips to Get the Most out of Your Email Newsletters” that are great. They are not rocket science or even new, but it is a great list, and sometimes you just need to be reminded. And if you have not worked with newsletters before, this is an excellent list of things to help you start with a bang! There are a number of tools out there for creating e-mail newsletters, and I have come to loooove Mailchimp as it’s free for nonprofits, has great flexibility when it comes to design, and offers extensive reporting tools.

Online resources: David Venn blogs about Nonprofit Public Relations and recently published an e-book called 50 Online Resources for Managing Your Nonprofit. It is a list of resources organized by such categories as Nonprofit Management, Social Networks, Presentation & Publication, and Fundraising. It’s free if you subscribe to his newsletter. I liked the listing. I have heard of or used many of his suggestions, but there were quite a few I didn’t know about (like Bplans, wicked!)

Try out an online template: I haven’t looked at this myself, but Smart Brief on Social Media has created a customizable social media plan template. If you try it out, let me know how it works out for you.

And while you’re at it …CharityVillage has published a great article on Creating a Social Media Toolkit for your Nonprofit. I love the sample screenshots.

The Facebook: If you are thinking to create a Facebook page or build on the one you have now, here’s a list of 30 tips and tricks you can consider, thanks to the folks at HubSpot Blog and their Ultimate Facebook Marketing Cheat Sheet.

(Links updated November 2013)

Non-profits and New, Social, and Digital Media

Whether for communications, marketing, or fundraising, here’s a few links that might interest you. I found most of them thanks to CharityVillage newsletters.

  • 5 website updates to do right now to get more online donations

1. Make sure you have a Donate section on your website
2. Call that section Donate in your navigation and not something ambiguous
3. Have a Donate Now! button on every page of your site
4. Include stories and videos about the impact your organization has
5. Make your financial information easy to find (usually in the About Us section)

  • Affinity Resources Newsletter: a free, monthly newsletter that provides information for nonprofits about Internet fundraising and eMarketing. Alerts are published in a simple, to-the-point format with a brief summary of the topic and a direct link to a source for more information.
  • Mashable: Founded in 2005, Mashable is an online source for news in social and digital media, technology, and web culture. Mashable frequently reports on technology issues related to charities and nonprofits, including how organizations are successfully using social media to raise awareness and funds.
  • John Haydon: Social media marketing for nonprofits: Published by the founder of Inbound Zombie, a consulting firm helping nonprofits with social media marketing, this site has a number of free resources to help nonprofits use social media effectively. Resources include a social media toolbox, articles on how to use YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter, free downloadable guides, and a blog keeping readers up-to-date on the latest social media news and trends.
  • The Basics of Email Marketing for Nonprofits (PDF): Using email to start and grow relationships with your constituents is critical for nonprofit organizations. Through best practices and case studies, in this guide you’ll learn about list-building tactics, targeting your audience, personalizing the message, privacy, eNewsletters, viral marketing, creative campaign ideas, and tracking your success. (Link updated November 2013)

Fundraising, Leadership, and Social Media Resources

Here is my latest offering to my friends in non-profit community media. I’m sure a few others will find it useful, too. Some of these links and more can also be found on my resources page.

Fundraising Resources

  • Fundraising Authority is a website with a large number of fundraising articles geared toward small nonprofits, churches, and schools. Articles cover such topics as individual fundraising, fundraising ideas, volunteers, and strategy and planning. Also helpful is a section for beginners called Fundraising Basics.

Leadership Resources

  • The Peel Leadership Centre is a community collaborative whose mission is to cultivate, enhance, and support leadership in the nonprofit sector in Peel. But the centre’s website contains a wide array of leadership articles, resources, and links covering such topics as leadership renewal, innovation, diversity, and collaboration that are useful for everyone.

Social Media and Website Resources

  • 10 Keys to Effective Non-Profit Organization Websites
  • Social Media and Young Adults: This is a report about the shifts in social media use for teens and young adults. “Much of the drop in blogging among younger internet users may be attributable to changes in social network use by teens and young adults. Nearly three quarters (73%) of online teens and an equal number (72%) of young adults use social network sites. By contrast, older adults have not kept pace; some 40% of adults 30 and older use the social sites in the fall of 2009 … However, even as blogging declines among those under 30, wireless connectivity continues to rise in this age group.”
  • Webinar: Integrating Social Media into Your Website: “More and more organizations are benefiting from using social media tools like blogs, Facebook, and Twitter in their online communications. While the tools can be relatively straightforward to learn and adopt, many organizations struggle with how to effectively align messaging and communications across their online channels. This webinar will focus on best practices for integrating social media into organizational websites, including basic nuts-and-bolts changes to web page templates and enhancements to contact, staff, and email sign-up pages. Effective and simple processes for coordinating various channels and maximizing traffic between them will be explained. In addition, a range of contrasts will be drawn describing the different natures and uses of the respective channels, and methods for measuring how different channels are driving traffic to one another will be presented.”
  • Four Reasons Why Nonprofits Need a Mobile Website: If you are experimenting with text-to-give, text alerts and/or smartphone Apps (or planning to), then launching a mobile website is something you  should seriously consider.

(Post and links updated November 2013)