This presentation was developed for the Next Generation Philanthropy course, part of the Institute for Philanthropy, London.
I’m Amy Sample Ward, a blogger and facilitator focused on new technologies and social impact. I am also the Global Community Development Manager at NetSquared; and the co-author of Social by Social, a handbook for using social media for social change that came out last year. Let’s take a minute to hear who you all are, too!
I really want today to be a conversation so invite you to stop me, interrupt me, questions questions, or say “pass” any time. These slides are designed to give us a chance to cover a lot of topics and show us some examples to spark our thinking, and thus trigger conversation. In the next hour, we’ll cover a brief overview of the field, how social media is impacting philanthropy, and a few ideas and opportunities for funders.
Let’s start with an overview of the field: like most other sectors, social media is used not for one kind of action or one kind of audience but is really being deployed for all kinds of communications and all kinds of communities.
Social media tools create infinite opportunity to not only share and distribute information or educate the public but to position organizations as the experts. With the amount of content that’s out there on the web, and the number of results you get in a simple google search, your audience or community could be looking but getting information overload. Using tools like this, you can become a filter for them. The only antidote for information overload is a valuable filter and resource to turn to instead. This is a listening dashboard I created using Netvibes. Learn more about setting one up at: http://amysampleward.org/2009/10/27/how-to-create-a-listening-dashboard-for-your-organization/#comments
Social media tools mean organizations can get the community, local or global, involved in campaigning. Individuals can create and share content and personalize your campaign. That’s a good thing – don’t fight it. If I have the flexibility to personalize your campaign to make it more relevant to me, I’m more likely to share it and promote it to my networks.
Individuals can take the lead on fundraising – creating appeals and campaigns for their birthday or around causes that are important to them. This is a snapshot of the Causes page where National Wildlife Federation are providing information and calls to action around the oil spill.Another interesting example is the 12 for 12K Challenge (http://12for12k.ning.com/) where a collaboration of individuals work to campaign and fundraise each month for a different charity.
Social media, normally something that we think of as being online, is also helping organizations increase participation and engagement offline. Here’s a snapshot of the Brooklyn Museum on 4square, a networked hyper local tool that lets users check in, record, and share tips about the places they visit.
Vote-for-Me competitions are becoming more and more popular by the companies or funders that host them, but more and more questions are surfacing about the value of participation by the organizations who take part .Risks include: The potential burn out of staff managing the day-to-day participation; potential loss of or damage to your supporter base from frequent asks (vote, share, support); and association with companies or funders that are not mission-aligned with your organization’s goals (like Chase, for example).
Connectipedia was the response from Meyer Memorial Trust to the need for a knowledge management tool; it is built on WagN (a wiki with database functionality) that is open to the world, but content is focused on the funding area of Oregon and Southwest Washington, covering people/resources/experts, places/geographies, and things/topics. It’s designed to be used by funders, government agencies, nonprofits, and other service providers to create a shared space with equal access to share and find research, data, information and resources.
The Knight News Challenge is a great example of a contest that doesn’t pit how much you like an organization against another – instead it lays out the criteria and calls for ideas, with a panel of experts reviewing them and find those to fund.
With new forms of communication and platforms for participation, measuring engagement can be tricky. It’s hard to put a number or other traditional metrics for things like deep engagement on facebook. Funders can help organizations navigate this by creating flexible evaluations for their grant funding, requiring focus points and engagement goals in grant applications, and helping organizations understand the kind of actions that are mission-critical.
ActiveFat is from a collaboration of Cancer Research UK, British Heart Foundation, and Diabetes UK. Instead of arguing that there are too many organizations, funders can instead require collaboration or partnership between organizations, across services, or towards holistic approaches to issues. Funding collaborations like ActiveFat can mean that campaigns and outreach are issue-driven, and not brand/organization-driven. When someone visits ActiveFat.org.uk they are presented with the issues and information first, not an organization’s message.
Foundations for a Better Oregon is an example of foundations (of different types) coming together to dedicate funds to an issue in a very different way that traditional grants. The participating foundations contribute equally to provide the operating support of a new organization, in this case focused on public education reform in Oregon.
Social Media & Philanthropy
Social Media & Philanthropy<br />how new technologies are changing the way organizations create change and how philanthropists can help<br />Amy Sample Ward<br />12 June 2010<br />Next Generation Philanthropy, <br />part of Institute for Philanthropy<br />
Blogger, trainer, and facilitator</li></ul>Who are you? Introduce yourself!<br />
Agenda<br />Today is a conversation: <br />ask questions, share your stories, <br />stop me if you’re heard it already!<br />Overview of the Field<br />How social media is impacting philanthropy<br />Opportunities for funders<br />
Overview of the Field<br />Education & Information<br />Campaigning & Advocacy<br />Fundraising & Appeals<br />Participation & Engagement<br />