Using Social Media to Bootstrap an NGO

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How do you use social tools to build community around a new NGO/charity or project.

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Using Social Media to Bootstrap an NGO

  1. 1. Using Social Media to Bootstrap an NGO Case studies and clinic Suw Charman-Anderson Social Technologist
  2. 2. Why use social media? • Community of interest (and action) • Tools are cheap or free • Tools are easy to set up and use • Can reach huge numbers of people... • Where there’s internet access • Where there’s widespread technology
  3. 3. Inside • Use tools internally to: • Organise yourself and team • Collaborate on documents • Share information • Save information
  4. 4. Outside • Build relationships with your constituency • Create space for a community to grow • Rallying people to action • Fundraising • Support for your constituency • Draw on wisdom in your community
  5. 5. Third party tools • E.g. Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Wordpress.com, Flickr, Delicious • Pros: • Cheap or free • Easy to use • No technical skills needed • No web hosting needed • Built-in audience
  6. 6. Third party tools • E.g. Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Wordpress.com, Flickr, Delicious • Cons: • Reliant on unpredictable services • No control over down-time • Lack of customisation • Can get lost in the noise of other users
  7. 7. Overall benefits • Allows you to punch above your weight • Engenders trust • Promotes fast growth • Creates reliable relationships • Makes you more effective/efficient
  8. 8. Pitfalls • Takes time to nurture a community • Maintaining presence in social networks and writing blogs takes time and effort • Competition for attention is tough
  9. 9. Case Study 1
  10. 10. Open Rights Group • Non-profit digital rights advocacy group • Started July 2005 • Now an established voice in digital rights community, government and media.
  11. 11.
  12. 12. Lessons learnt 1 • Community building takes time • You can’t skimp on talking to people • Find a volunteer to help with your comms • Don’t hold the reins too tightly • Work in the open when you can
  13. 13. Lessons learnt 2 • Everything takes longer • Delegate as much as possible to volunteers • Get a volunteer manager • Don’t be afraid to nag • Tap into local design and development community • Get a good project manager
  14. 14. Lessons learnt 3 • Don’t burn out • Be selective in your goals • Build relationships with the media • Tie online into offline
  15. 15. Case Study 2
  16. 16. Ada Lovelace Day • International day of blogging celebrating women in technology • 24th March • Founded in 2009
  17. 17. Lessons Learnt • If you have an idea people care about, it will spread like wildfire • Ask people to do something they would do anyway, e.g. write a blog post • Make it easy to sign up • Help people share • Be prepared for success.
  18. 18. Using what’s out there
  19. 19. Learn from MySociety • Use the tools that already exist • Can you repurpose someone else’s tools? • translate into your own language • collaborate to extend functionality • If what you need doesn’t exist, collaborate on new tools • Don’t try to do everything yourself • Waste of time • Slows you down
  20. 20. Clinic What do you want achieve?
  21. 21. Thank you for listening! Suw Charman-Anderson social technologist suw.charman@gmail.com @suw on Twitter charman-anderson.com chocolateandvodka.com

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