September 14, 2015
Nonprofit visibility on social media is a must in 2015. These days it would be considered “foolish” if your organization was not actively engaging on any of the major social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn. Surprisingly, many members of a nonprofit board of directors are not involved in social media development of their organizations. One role of the Board of Directors and its members essentially includes being a vocal ambassador for their nonprofit. The most expedient and cost effective way to engage a board member more thoroughly is by the use of the social media spaces. Since much of an organizations’ strategic plan for fundraising is online, by integrating board of directors in social media their specific effort is more congruent to the plan and highly effective.
Here are 5 other reasons that should help encourage your board to engage in social media.
In some cases, nonprofits survive off of the connections and partnerships they form within their community. With just one tweet, board members are able to connect with potential donors, but those people the organization serves. Rarely are board members visible(unless they are a part of a “working board” that regularly works in the field at events) outside of their biography on a website. Having board members actively engaged on social media channels validates to the community and other donors a visible commitment to the organization’s mission.
Also, board members are the noticeable ambassadors for nonprofits and their causes. Social media not only magnifies an organization’s visibility locally, but very likely, GLOBALLY. Social media’s newest kid on the block, Periscope allows access to its users’ mobile devices to live stream their surrounding in real time. Think of the impact it would have if a board members made a periscope about their visit to a local community event on behalf of their nonprofit? Millions of social media followers could be instantly aware of the event and the effort the organization made toward their mission.
Millions of people daily scour the internet for job and volunteer opportunities via social networking sites like LinkedIn. Having board members active and engaged only enhances this process as it strengths the connections and relationships organizations may have with key stakeholders, funders, potential volunteers and future board members. When recruiting personnel (especially board members), it’s very important an individual is compatible to a nonprofit’s mission. LinkedIn’s “Board Connect” (http://blog.linkedin.com/2012/09/17/board-connect/) is a great resource for nonprofits to explore and find volunteers, staff or a suitable board member, based on their posted LinkedIn profile.
Fundraising for nonprofits has become easier and easier as the social media space continues to grow. Innovations such as Text to Donate has made the act of charitable giving as simple as a click on the “send” button. In addition to text messaging, nonprofits have seen fundraising success through the use of creative and engaging social media campaigns. The best and most recent example of this would be the ALS Association’s “Ice Bucket Challenge” that swept the country and went viral on social media in the summer of 2014. ALS was able to raise over 100 million dollars for their cause through the ALS campaign while increasing awareness for a disease that, before the Ice Bucket Challenge, many Americans knew very little about (a survey conducted by consumer healthcare insights organization Treato found that 29% of people who participated in the Ice Bucket Challenge said they had never heard of or were not very familiar with ALS before participating.)
A solid social media blueprint should be included in every nonprofits strategic plan. It’s easy to forget to include this in an organizations strategy, however it may now be one of the most important pieces to the tactical operations puzzle. When your Board members are active on social media, it makes it a lot easier to integrate a social media plan into a clear, consistent message. Perhaps, by integrating a social media strategist as a board member would strengthen a nonprofit’s reliable and growing communication to their best audiences?
The Ensight Skills Center has enjoyed working with First Nonprofit for several years. We are enrolled in their Unemployment Savings Program and although we have not required a lot of intervention, there have been a few times. I know others have dealt with the same problem of unemployment fraud over the last year and in our case, a call to First Nonprofit (they actually answer their phones) cleared up the issue. They also sent us a letter to send to all our employees telling them what they needed to do to prevent this in the future and protect themselves. What a relief! Over the years if I have questions or concerns, they are happy to listen, advise and help if they can. Another BIG advantage of using First Nonprofit is that all the money that is paid into the Unemployment Savings Program lives on my balance sheet as an asset. The money continues to be Ensight’s not the governments. First Nonprofit has certainly given me peace of mind.
Visually Impaired Preschool Services has been a client of First Non-Profit since it was first offered as a benefit of VisionServe Alliance. We completed a thorough evaluation of cash savings to our agency before taking advantage of this wonderful benefit and it has been a very wise decision. Our experience with the processes from accounting to claims have been professional, expeditious and easy.
NYCON members who use First Nonprofit’s programs enjoy enduring savings and improved efficiency. Our association knows that success, because from the beginning, we achieved the same great benefits. Great savings, seamless technology, and responsive service. NYCON highly recommends First Nonprofit’s remarkable unemployment solutions.
It has been our sincere pleasure to maintain a strong, vibrant business partnership with First Nonprofit. We greatly admire their strong industry knowledge, technical expertise, constant professionalism, knowledgeable and dedicated staff. They are always extremely responsive, personable and provide us with the necessary guidance and recommendations on a numerous variety of employment scenarios. We are impressed with the accuracy of their employment decisions, integrity of their employees and efficiency of their claim handling. We greatly respect and value the consistent, impressive cost savings from the utilization of their outstanding services.
Because INCS advocates for the operating conditions that allow charter public schools to provide high quality public education, partnering with First Nonprofit was an easy decision. First Nonprofit’s unemployment programs provide our member schools two operating elements crucial to their ability to provide high quality public education: savings and budget certainty. Capable, committed teachers are the key to student success. By participating in the unemployment insurance savings plan, charter public schools gain peace of mind and are able to invest more money in their teachers.
Throughout our membership in the Unemployment Savings Program, First Nonprofit understood our demands, community dynamics, and the importance of seamless services; that allowed us to serve our constituents better.