NEWS  |  Social Innovation

Blackbaud’s Social Networking Starter for Not for Profits

Tuesday, 10th November 2009 at 11:15 am
Staff Reporter
Having a social media strategy is not its own objective. Rather social media strategies can support an organisations existing objective and Blackbaud's latest White Paper "Nonprofit Social Media Primer" sets out a multitude of ways for Not for Profits to get started.

Tuesday, 10th November 2009
at 11:15 am
Staff Reporter



Blackbaud’s Social Networking Starter for Not for Profits
Tuesday, 10th November 2009 at 11:15 am

 This paper provides a starting point for developing a sound approach for using social media to help anorganisation achieve its objectives.


It offers five steps to start leveraging social media:


1. Pick an Existing Goal to Pursue.

Identify something your organisation wants to accomplish. Many organisations find that social media provides good support for:

  •  building cause awareness
  •  connecting with new supporters
  •  soliciting online gifts
  •  cultivating supporter relationships

If you are just starting, pick one of these to focus on and let that objective guide you every step of the way.


2. Make Success Someone’s Job.

Or at least make it an explicit part of someone’s job! Treat social media like you would your other communication channels: Figure out where responsibility for your social media programs should reside in your organisation and assign responsibility. Making an overt assignment (like you probably do with direct mail, email, telemarketing, public relations, and advertising) will let a person or group of people on your staff develop the focus, comprehensive view, and skills needed to leverage these new techniques effectively.


3. Listen.

With your team identified and your initial goal in mind, you might be tempted to start doing something. Resist, at least until you have two more pieces in place. The first is your ability to listen in the social media channels. There are at least three reasons for this:

  •  Social media is a two-way channel; as politeness prescribes, you need to be ready to listen before you add to the conversation.
  •  Organisations like yours are already participating; seeing what they’ve done will give you inspiration, cautionary information, and a sense of what you need to do to differentiate your organisation.
  •  Once you do start to contribute content, the disciplined framework for listening you’ve put in place will be used to measure the reach and impact of your initiatives.


4. Establish a Baseline Social Media Presence.

After establishing your organisation’s ability to “listen” in the social media channel, the second step is to establish a baseline presence that you can use as a foundation for your subsequent social media campaigns. Remember the places you choose to engage should be places that make sense based on your objective.

  • Create an Organisation Facebook® Page

This will provide an outlet for any of the more than 200 million Facebook® users who

would already like to connect with your organisation on Facebook® in a simple way. The first version of your page can be very simple, and you can launch it in minutes. To get started, it doesn’t need to do much more than greet your supporters and provide a link back to your website.

  • Create a Twitter® account

This will give your organisation a voice to speak with in the micro-blogging world. To get started, send out updates about newly available web resources, events, or programs your supporters will be interested in. Include links to the root content on your website.


5. Evolve.

Now you have an objective, dedicated staff, a way to listen and to measure results, as well as a foundational presence in the social media landscape. 


Download the White paper at



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