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10 Socially Engaged Nonprofits


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Positive word of mouth and brand advocacy are important to any organization. But for nonprofits, groups that are typically challenged by strict budgets, limited human resources and government regulations, word-of-mouth and advocacy marketing are key strategies. Enter social media and the abundance of wide-open channels (most of them free to use) and communities of socially and ethically conscious millions. For many nonprofits, the opportunity to identify and tap into groups of like-minded citizens helps the organization not only share its mission and mandate, but use the common collective of fans and followers to spread those messages far and wide. Let’s look at ten nonprofits doing just that.

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10 Socially Engaged Nonprofits

  1. 1. Nonprofits 2.0: 10 Leading Socially Engaged NonprofitsThere are many wonderful nonprofits and inspiring charities doing good work intoday’s challenging times. We wanted to spotlight those that were not only top-rated,but that were also superior in leveraging social media across multiple channels.We’ve included a selection of A+ rated nonprofits and charities We also tapped for top-rated groups,based on its strict performance rating criteria. We then analyzed the social streamsof those top picks, focusing on those nonprofits that were integrating as manyplatforms—at as a high a level—as we could find. We were pretty impressed withthe way these groups are leveraging the power of social. We think you’ll like whatwe came up with ...
  2. 2. 1. Star PoweredThe Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research A celebrity heading up a charity almost always helps the cause. A celebrity who is living their life with the very condition the organization is working to cure speaks volumes. Enter Michael J. Fox. The group’s Facebook page has over 100k+ followers, and the stream is full of testimonials about how the foundation is assisting and supporting those with Parkinson’s. The group’s Twitter effort is less robust at 10K+, but it has built an engaged community spirit across all social media channels, including YouTube. The foundation has fully integrated online and offline efforts, and all of its social streams are alive with news. For vibrancy and drive in the face of adversity, we’re picking Team Fox. Nonprofits 2.0: 10 Leading Socially Engaged Nonprofits
  3. 3. 2. Defending Dignity, Fighting Poverty CAREUSA (Care.Org) CAREUSA has been helping globally since 1945, when it sent care packages to soldiers in World War II. Deliveries of food, medical supplies, and tools from this top-rated charity continue to assist in the economic growth of villages and the eradication of hunger worldwide. According to the organization’s Facebook page, which hosts 47K+ fans, “Women are at the heart of CAREs community-based efforts to improve basic education, prevent the spread of HIV, increase access to clean water and sanitation, expand economic opportunity and protect natural resources.” CARE enjoys 460K+ followers on Twitter, and its YouTube channel is emotionally compelling. This group literally delivers the whole package. Nonprofits 2.0: 10 Leading Socially Engaged Nonprofits
  4. 4. 3. Big Help for Little People Big Brothers, Big Sisters Big brothers and sisters in your family are the ones who show you the ropes and help you along your path in life. It’s the same with BBBS, which works to ensure that all kids have mentor relationships in their lives that can help fill the void some families may have in this area. BBBS is engaging across all channels and is building a very active audience. Its Facebook fan base comes in at 43K and its use of story is fantastic. Like many nonprofits, BBBS’s Twitter base is smaller, coming in at just over 5K, but it is using the channel creatively to craft a narrative that gets kids the help they need. Add in its YouTube web series and you have big things happening for kids. We like it! Nonprofits 2.0: 10 Leading Socially Engaged Nonprofits
  5. 5. 4. Saving the Planet Using Social The Sierra Club We considered several options in the environmental category. Some more controversial choices might have driven extra buzz, but we decided to stick with the theme that social media helps spread your message, especially if that message is one of being of service. Enter the Sierra Club. Founded in 1892, it certainly is embracing modern tools. Its Facebook page hosts 133K fans. The level of engagement there is very high, with tons of shares and commenting. Its Twitter account hosts 32K+ followers sharing news, current environmental legislative actions, and conversation with advocates. The organization also leverages beautiful photography to emphasize its mission. It’s all picture perfect, if you ask us. Nonprofits 2.0: 10 Leading Socially Engaged Nonprofits
  6. 6. 5. Occupying the Crowd At a time when political divisiveness continues to reach histrionic peaks, fits right in. It certainly isn’t known for being quiet and there can be little doubt that it is a partisan, political organization with a focused agenda. It also completely understands and leverages the power of the crowd. As a result, it would be hard not to mention the organization here. Its social media numbers prove its commitment to the medium: 317K+ fans on Facebook, 60K followers on Twitter, 22M views on YouTube. Add in its integration of email, polls, petitions, and real-life events, and you’ve got an organization that knows how to occupy social media. Nonprofits 2.0:10 Leading Socially Engaged Nonprofits
  7. 7. 6. Envisioning the End of Poverty World Vision Foundation We had countless choices to consider when researching the category of global poverty and hunger relief organizations. There are so many doing great work that it was hard to pick just one! We ultimately settled on World Vision Foundation, one of the largest and highest ranking organizations in the world. Its Facebook fanbase numbers at 830K+. Its welcome tab is exquisite. It contains all the foundation’s social links, engaging photography, and a strong call-to-action. Its Twitter fans number 27K+. Its YouTube channel, where it features on- location conversations with those it serves, enjoys nearly 700K video views. WVF is a big organization doing big things—and we like its social media approach in a big way. Nonprofits 2.0: 10 Leading Socially Engaged Nonprofits
  8. 8. 7. Museums and More The Smithsonian Institute If you’re a science, history, or dinosaur freak, you probably already love the Smithsonian Institute. If you are a social media fan boy or fan girl, you will understand why they had us at “landing page.” What do we mean? The Smithsonian hosts a dedicated page with active links to all of its social media accounts. Find all the Facebook pages here, Twitter accounts here, and YouTube accounts here. Add in virtual tours, mobile apps, and more … and we were in social media geek heaven. We stopped counting its thousands-strong fan base at the third or fourth account we reviewed. Check it out: You’ll geek out, too! Nonprofits 2.0:10 Leading Socially Engaged Nonprofits
  9. 9. 8. Kicking Cancer’s Butt Livestrong Foundation Livestrong is another charity that benefits from having a celebrity founder. We’ve featured Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong before, and he never fails to inspire. The same goes for his cancer research and support foundation, Livestrong. It combines advocacy, patient support, cancer education, general health and wellness, and fun. This approach seems to be working very well and the organization’s social media reflects that. The numbers are certainly impressive, starting with 1.5M Facebook fans. Its posts are shared widely and enthusiastically. Its Twitter account hosts 200K+. And its YouTube channel has enjoyed nearly 2M video views. For addressing the needs of millions living with cancer, we award the yellow jersey to Livestrong. Nonprofits 2.0:10 Leading Socially Engaged Nonprofits
  10. 10. 9. Fighting AIDS, One Goal at a Time Grassroot Soccer Grassroot Soccer is one of the fastest- growing top-ranked charities featured on CharityNavigator. It uses the popularity of soccer to educate, inspire, and mobilize communities to stop the spread of HIV. We loved the innovative idea and wanted to feature a rising star here. Its social media presence is up-and- coming: Its Facebook page hosts 7K+ fans. The page includes questions, polls, videos, and personal profile stories. The group is skillful at bringing light to a heavy subject through call-to-action initiatives. Its Twitter handle hosts 3K followers and again, is full of light banter that educates, inspires, and informs. We love the idea and are rooting for the cause! Nonprofits 2.0: 10 Leading Socially Engaged Nonprofits
  11. 11. 10. A Long History of Helping The Red Cross The American Red Cross is another big winner when it comes to accolades, ratings, longevity, and social media involvement. Here are the stats: Facebook page 406K+, Twitter 625K+, and YouTube 3.6M+ video views. What makes the Red Cross social media presence special? For starters, its content is highly shareable. The stories are personal and provide a window into the organization’s day-to- day work, the people it serves, and its volunteer organization. It presents a narrative that makes you want to help. Featuring engagement at its finest, it enjoys a massive number of retweets on Twitter, comments on Facebook, and sharing across its community. For that, we heart the Red Cross. Nonprofits 2.0: 10 Leading Socially Engaged Nonprofits
  12. 12. Nonprofits 2.0: 10 Leading Socially Engaged NonprofitsMore Work to DoLet’s face it: Many highly ranked and well-run charities aren’t yet using socialmedia very well. In fact, we found a few that aren’t even using social media at all.It was disappointing to us, as we had to leave several of the better known namesin the nonprofit world out of the running here.We are hopeful that as social media adoption increases in general, so too will itsuse by the good people doing good things at these charities, foundations andnonprofit organizations. After all, social media conversations are largely driven bypeople who are passionate about the topics they follow online—and few thingsinspire as much passion as the causes supported by today’s leading nonprofits.To read all the Pulses and other presentations, click here.
  13. 13. Nonprofits 2.0: 10 Leading Socially Engaged Nonprofits Next on “The Pulse”:Election Year 2.0: 10 Most Engaged Campaigns and Politicians in Social Media THE PULSE: Delivering shareable and shareworthy content with a twistso integrated marketing and communications professionals can work smarter, succeed and enjoy. BROUGHT TO YOU BY Follow us on Twitter: @Marketwire, @Sysomos Follow us on Twitter: @Commprobiz Follow us on Twitter: @smartwoman