Friday, April 23, 2010

Organizational Intelligence and nonprofits (part 1)

While I was getting my MBA, I took this amazing class in organizational intelligence. Basically, organizational intelligence is a cultural shift from a single person hoarding all of his or her knowledge in an organization to recording the knowledge so others in the org. have access to it. Think about it--when someone leaves an organization, there is usually a giant gaping hole left in their wake. If an organization has a culture of intelligence sharing there will be a smoother transition between employees and between employees across the organization in real time. Less duplication of work, more collaboration between employees--sounds pretty amazing to me!

In a nonprofit organization, many employees wear "multiple hats" and have so many different roles that the organization must instill a culture of shared intelligence where the employee (or volunteer) is willing to share what they know or do for the organization's future.

Technology is the best answer to this problem--asking employees to do something as simple as asking employees to post key documents on Google Docs (or another open site) or to record key relationships in the CRM would help anyone involved in the organization to see exactly where things stand with constituents.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

how much does social media really cost?

Social media can be exhausting. To do it well takes a lot of time, effort and knowledge. Social media aggregator tools (like the one that i have been using--Yoono) are great, but at the same time can be so distracting that you can literally spend your entire day clicking and reading on links that are posted, replying to tweets and starting conversations. Then, there are the other social media aspects to pay attention to--blogs, comments on blogs, mainstream media, etc. i think that I can literally make a career out of being on social media all the time looking for a job in social media (any takers?)...

This doesn't even talk about the dollars and cents cost of social media, and hiring an outside consultant can run a nonprofit A LOT of money. Insanity. Some excecutives at nonprofits reject the idea of social media because they think that it's a fad, while others may reject the idea because it is just too expensive. At a resource strained nonprofit, can you blame them??

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Facebook is Diggin' it

This week Facebook introduced the "like" button that can be used on any site anywhere., similiar to "Digg". It will be interesting to see how this will be used, and if it will catch on. Then again, it seems like anything that Facebook does will catch on. I was thinking of the ways that nonprofits will be able to use this to their advantage--will the sites get info on who is liking their site/article? Will they have access to any information on the sites? Facebook has said that the "liking" will allow advertisers to target their audiences more accurately, but what will happen with nonprofits? Also, I wonder if Facebook will have a grant program (similar to Google Ad Grants) that allow nonprofits to follow up with some of those who "liked" their pages...

A Conundrum

So yesterday, I met up with my friend Renee'. Renee' wants to start a career in volunteer coordination, and she and I started chatting about some ethical dilemmas that may come up when volunteering for an organization and how a volunteer should deal with that. For instance, what if you were volunteering (and highly invested) in an organization and you found out that said organization was involved in activities that were contrary to your beliefs. How do you, as a volunteer, deal with that? Conversely, what if an organization has a rock-star volunteer and then finds out that the volunteer is involved in some shady activities, etc. I think that this situation (or really either situation) would be the .00001% of the time, but it was interesting to think about nonetheless.

This involved into a conversation about corporate sponsorships for an organization....If an corporation approaches a nonprofit for a sponsorship, or vice versa, there is a courting process, but I think that so many times the donations or the prospect for joining forces with a nonprofit clouds some decision making. Whose decision making wouldn't be clouded though? Anyway, with the Internet making everything transparent, any corporation or nonprofit can't hide anything. For instance, a huge corporation may choose to join forces with a nonprofit who is focused on public health. The parent company of said huge corporation may manufacture food that is horrible for the public. How can the nonprofit accept a sponsorship knowing that the roots of this corporation works against the nonprofit's mission? Surely, this information will become known by some web-sleuths...but how can the organization pass up this huge sponsorship?

Just some food for thought...

***Update*** I just saw this article on the NPQ about a similar issue...and with some solid advice about turning something like this into a positive for the organization.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Phemonenal Presentation--I had to repost!!

Wow--this is a rockstar presentation! I wish that I had been able to go to the AFP conference to see this in person, but the slides are amazing as well!

Concrete ideas on how to actually get a social media strategy up and running and how it can be measured. Even though it's been said before, I haven't heard it said that social media has changed the conversation with constituents from "Monologue--> Dialogue". Love it love it love it!

great to check out!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Very Very interesting...

USA Today posted this article about giving. It seems like the response to the earthquake in Haiti has quickly become a benchmark for social giving, but I think that it shows what could happen, but it is doubtful that this type of giving will happen for an organization without a major crisis.

One of the things that stood out to me in that there are approxmiately the same percentage of people from Gen Y and Matures gave via website. That was really interesting to me because I would think the Matures wouldn't give as much online as those in Gen Y.

Wowza. what does this mean? Should organizations have a site that speaks to a younger generation and a site that speaks to an older generation? How can the language and site speak to all without excluding any of the groups? It is a really intersting conundrum that nonprofits may need to address as the generational gaps become more evident.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Why emails are sent out

This is the chart of the week on The marketing objectives are ranked by importance on the chart.
I thought it was interesting to see the similarities (or what I think would be the similiarities) between this chart--which was made for for-profit companies and nonprofits.
Definitely the most important for both nonprofits and for profits would be to retain existing customers/constitutents. In one of the posts yesterday, I talked about how 8 out of 10 donors do not donate again. Keeping existing donors/customers/constituents is very important for a nonprofit, since it has already worked hard to gain the supporter in the first place. By communicating with this in mind will help to ensure that the donors know how their funds were used and why it is important to continue donating. This doesn't necessarily mean that it has to come through email (although that is clearly the cheapest method).
I would think that for the building brand education would be higher on the list for nonprofits as some email communications are made specifically to educate about what the organization does.
I would love to hear your thoughts on this--and how you think that this would be amended for nonprofits.