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  1. 1. Abundant Harvest [Address] ###-###-#### MEMO Date: To: [head administrator] From: Sophi Galloway ###-###-#### [e- mail address] Subject: A proposal for a Facebook presence Purpose: I propose that Abundant Harvest should have a social media presence by developing a Facebook page. Facebook can help Abundant Harvest generate more followers and eventually more donations. Through Facebook, information about our organization can be widely available to anyone who has internet access—including those we serve. Non-profit organizations are increasingly using social media, which continues to reach people in broader ways. The Problem: Because Abundant Harvest does not have a social media presence, it is isolated from a large portion of the population—people who use social media as a means of communication. Beth Kanter, a technology consultant for charities in the US, has explained that “social media will become as ubiquitous as the phone, direct mail and e-mail”. Additionally, not only did the Hunger Week speech generate insufficient donations, but Abundant Harvest was also only able to reach a narrow geographic area through the news letter. Abundant Harvest needs additional ways to reach its supporters on a wider scale. In 2010 Facebook had 500 million users worldwide and was growing. Additionally, Facebook is beneficial for the small organization, because it targets connections within the local area, eventually reaching a broader area through additional connections. Facebook updates can be seen daily by donators—reminding them of the needs and accomplishments of the associations they are interested in. By ignoring Facebook, Abundant Harvest is not communicating with a significant group of donators. Generation Y (born between 1985 and 2005) have not only been the most avid users of Facebook, but are also more willing to support and spend money on companies that work for a cause, than past generations were. However, Facebook isn’t only used by youth. Abundant Harvest would also be communicating with many older and more financially stable donators. Facebook usage is popular among many generations. Age percentage of Facebook users according to a 2008 report:
  2. 2.  Gen Y 18-24 (85%)  Gen X 25-44 (82%)  Baby Boomers 45-54 (80%)  Older Baby Boomers 55-64 (79%) In 2009 US citizens donated $230 billion to charities, but this amount was stable from the previous year. Online donations, though less ($10 billion), increased 50% from 2008. Social networking is not a fad. The popularity of social networks continues to increase. Facebook remains the most popular social network, growing 30% from 2011. There’s also the concern that Abundant Harvest will become associated with some social bullies who use Facebook. Many respectable organizations, such as, March of Dimes, and Food Bank for New York City, have a Facebook presence. Abundant Harvest can also avoid any negative publicity by providing employees and volunteers with simple guidelines about behavior on Facebook, and posts can be monitored. The Solution: Abundant Harvest should acquire a Facebook page. The Facebook page should present a clear image of what Abundant Harvest stands for, and how we interact with the public. All posts should represent our purpose and/or show our progress. Facebook users will support Abundant Harvest if they can see proof of what we are working for: the stories of the people we’ve helped, their photos, and photos of events we are involved in, including statistics of our accomplishments and expenses, and a link to our site. We should offer ways in which donators can become involved, rather than directly asking for a donation, which has been shown to be more affective on social networking sites. Abundant Harvest should befriend other food banks on Facebook as well, in order to gain connections with those food banks, and find Facebook users who are already interested in food bank charity. Abundant Harvest can generate extra support and interest by developing Facebook connections with companies who support charitable causes. For example, in the past, Chase has helped small local charities gain attention, by asking Facebook users to vote for their favorite local charities. The top charities which agreed to enter the Chase competition received thousands of dollars in donations, from both the Chase board of trustees and Facebook voters. Abundant Harvest would also benefit from using the Fundraise application available on Facebook. This application makes it easier for charities to ask for direct donations, using PayPal accounts. Abundant Harvest would use the application in order to make it easier for friends on our page to urge others—who might not necessarily be connected to the Abundant Harvest page—to donate. Abundant Harvest can use one of the hour long monthly meetings to address what is and is not appropriate to say on Facebook, from a professional stand point—for volunteers who choose to connect with us. One page regarding Facebook postings can also be added to the employee handbook. Employees and volunteers may additionally sign an agreement about Facebook content concerning Abundant Harvest. I will also be updating our Facebook page regularly so that content can be monitored.
  3. 3. Costs: There will be no additional costs to Abundant Harvest. Facebook is free to all users. Also, my current pay and hours will cover the work required to maintain the Facebook page, and create the Facebook guidelines. Conclusion: Through Facebook, Abundant Harvest will have the time and resources to circulate information about our organization by word of mouth. As our initial friends/ followers recommend us to more friends, our group of followers will gradually increase; which will eventually lead to more monetary donations. Organizations use Facebook in order to affect and change public opinion. The information which is posted on a page is available to everyone who uses Facebook. Our Facebook page would also be featured in online searches, along with the Abundant Harvest website. The use of social networks will continue to increase, as past figures have shown. Additionally, Abundant Harvest will be free of association with bullies if our page is maintained and we address bullying to employees and volunteers. I look forward to discussing this proposal with you anytime at your convenience, and answering any questions that you may have.
  4. 4. Works Cited "Business Software and Service Companies; Nonprofit Investment in Social Networks and Membership Continue to Grow."Marketing Weekly News (2012): 956. ABI/INFORM Complete. Web. 6 Nov. 2012. "Chase and Facebook Launch Innovative Giving Program for Small and Local Charities." Business WireNov 16 2009.ABI/INFORM Complete; Los Angeles Times; ProQuest Newsstand. Web. 6 Nov. 2012. Colborne, Femke. "Is Social Networking really the Holy Grail?" Third Sector.557 (2009): 29- . ABI/INFORM Complete. Web. 6 Nov. 2012. Furlow, Nancy Engelhardt. "Find Us on Facebook: How Cause Marketing has Embraced Social Media." Journal of Marketing Development and Competitiveness 5.6 (2011): 61- 4. ABI/INFORM Complete. Web. 6 Nov. 2012. "Offerpop Releases Fundraise App for Facebook." Wireless News (2011)ABI/INFORM Complete. Web. 6 Nov. 2012. Riley, Sheila. "Nonprofits Tell Story on Social Networks using Facebook and Twitter New Media seen as Good Way to Broadcast Message, Reach Prospective Donors." Investor's Business DailyFeb 08 2010. ABI/INFORM Complete. Web. 6 Nov. 2012 . "Social Networking and Mobile Marketing to Baby Boomers Top what's Next Boomer Business Summit Agenda." Business WireMar 19 2008. ABI/INFORM Complete; Los Angeles Times; ProQuest Newsstand. Web. 6 Nov. 2012 . Stern, Gary M. "The Risks of using Facebook Companies Discover the Good, the Bad and the Ugly Side of Social Media."Investor's Business DailyAug 09 2010. ABI/INFORM Complete. Web. 6 Nov. 2012 .