Non Profits and Social Media Research

Research links for my talk at GotSocialMedia tomorrow. Just some interesting notes on social media and non profits from recent events. As usual the primary trouble maker in the middle of it all is Beth.

  1. Metrics and evaluation of social media – Beth Kanter
  2. Evaluating the value of network causes – Allison Fine Blog
  3. Mobile phone credits in Kenya as part of activism – apophenia
  4. Social Media Outreach – Rising Voices
  5. fundraisers need to be worried about a pending financial disaster in the global economy
  6. Nonprofits Outpacing Business in Use of Social Media
  7. ROI: Can You Quantify the Untangible? You Can’t Quantify Love

On quote worth extracting is from the interview of Eric Mattson on netsquared:

We found that in general, charities and nonprofits are very familiar
with social media. If memory serves, blogging was the technology
they’re most familiar with, and that certainly makes sense when you
look at the growth and the popularity of social media. Social
networking is very popular, but it’s certainly skewed towards the
younger generation, whereas blogs seem to have spread across all sorts
of places, including major media outlets, really coming along as the
one technology that people are most familiar with.

Themes from the above links and from other reading:

  1. Non profits have adopted social media very quickly. Some argue faster than for profit businesses.
  2. Reading is as important as writing. Be a part of the community. Link out. Pay attention.
  3. Metrics only partially measure ROI. Dual non profit bottom lines compound the "reporting" problem but does not take away from actual changes resulting from the use of social media.
  4. Microfundraising has huge potential (Kanter, FrozenPeaFund examples)
  5. Video – the adoption rate of video isn’t quite there yet, but it will be.
  6. Mashups Rule – programmableweb mashups for example.
  7. Crisis forms communities. Communities exist after crises subside, yet aren’t leveraged typically.

What seems to be missing from the dialog on non profits, social change and social software

  1. Discussion of brands, both NGO brands and personal brands that we are all developing
  2. A break down of audiences by motivation type (obviously an interest of mine)
  3. Clear delineation of web apps versus mobile phone applications.
  4. Retention and renewal of "membership" isn’t discussed (for Associations this is a big deal, so to see the topic of audience engagement and a concerted effort for "renewal" not discussed seems odd to me. Possibly for lack of a material motive given most SNs are free? Hmmm.)
  5. Little talk of the current recession in the US (with some exceptions)
  6. Little talk about "public relations" in the sector (but this is not a new trend, Red Cross comes to mind)

The deck from GotSocialMedia isn’t as comprehensive as the links and thoughts above. But I’ll slidedeck post it either right before or the day after the talk. Gnite y’all.