Non-Profits on Social Media

Non-profits and their use of social media formed the focus of this morning’s Social Media Breakfast in Charlotte, NC. Presenters Bo Hussey (of Goodwill), Jameka S. Whitten (of Amped 4 a Cure), and Winn Maddrey (of Topics Education) shared their experiences with social media in the non-profit sector.

smbclt_021610Seemingly, the major issue for non-profits is not an apprehension of social media. Rather, the issue is a desire to transition from traditional media to social-media-only initiatives as a cost-saving tool. Presenters debated this issue, clarifying that social media works alongside traditional media in a full marketing package for non-profits.

Some key insights from the event included:

  • Social Media’s Roles for non-profits:  to (1) raise mission awareness, (2) serve customers, (3) highlight “hidden treasures,” and (4) extend media coverage.
  • Translation to Donation: the above roles, if done successfully, create opportunities for donors to become involved.
  • Repurposing Print Media: Using social media as the new distribution tool for the non-profit newsletter is a waste of time. Social media can offer so much more.
  • Job Options for 20-somethings: Non-profits rely on Millenials to drive social media opportunities.
  • Approaching an Older Demographic: Non-profits that dismiss traditional media in favor of social media can’t afford to forget about the other demographics. Education and participation are key.
  • Relying on Volunteers: Panelists debated using internal staff versus external volunteers to drive social media efforts. Depending on the role of social media in the organization, either can work.

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