To: [head administrator]
From: Sophi Galloway
[e- mail address]
Subject: A proposal for a Facebook presence
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.
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:
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 Water.org, 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.
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
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.
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
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.
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