What are the benefits and the challenges of using social media for non-profit organizations?
What are the benefits and the challenges of using social media for non-profit organizations
You were recently hired by a large nonprofit organization as an assistant to the Director
of Development. The organization, providing social services to families in need, has
had no presence on social media and your boss believes that may be a mistake. She
herself is not a user of social media of any sort, and so is unsophisticated about that
world. She knows that in the nonprofit world, education and healthcare related
organizations have been using social media for a long time. She also knows that
organizations like hers, in social services, and nonprofits in the public / society benefit
field and the arts and religion have been more reticent to use social media. She is not a
particularly cautious person she says, but believes social media’s potential benefits
may be outweighed by the challenges and the costs.
Possibly shaping her view, she was employed at NPR (National Public Radio) in 2011
when an officer of the organization was recorded in what he believed to be a private
conversation with two individuals whom he believed to be potential donors. The
individuals were actually political activists who recorded the NPR executive making
controversial, political remarks and uploaded them to the internet- The remarks went
viral and caused the officer and NPR’s CEO to resign.
But she also knows that during that same year, the American Red Cross responded to
a tweet mistakenly posted on their account by an employee reporting a drunken
experience, to endear themselves to members and raise donations, with quick, witty
and honest tweets to the membership.