- Social Media
- Active Citizenship
- Good Giving
- Corporate Responsibility
- Be Fearless
We have been watching with great interest the development of a new position within nonprofits over the last several years. In the heights, or depths, of the Great Recession last year, many nonprofit organizations were hiring a person to spearhead their network building efforts using social media.
Organizations use different titles to describe them -- social media coordinator or manager, outreach director, network weaver -- but whatever the title, the purpose is generally the same. This person is the focal point within their organization for facilitating the use of social media, training and cheerleading colleagues to adopt new social habits, and build larger and stronger communities and social networks for their cause.
When Beth Kanter and I were doing our research for The Networked Nonprofit we found that every time a nonprofit launched an amazing campaign using social media, or when a video went viral or a fundraising effort took off, there was a creative, energetic person beneath all of the tweets and posts. These are the network builders.
On June 1, the Case Foundation will host a meeting of nonprofit network builders who are based in DC. Network builders are the staff people embedded within nonprofit organizations charged with strengthening, growing, activating their networks for their causes.
Attendees scheduled to participate are: Scott Beale of Atlas Service Corps, Kate Bladow of Pro Bono Net, Jake Brewer of the Sunlight Foundation, Danielle Brigida of the National Wildlife Foundation, Deborah Drysdale of the Women Donors Network, Sethi Dushyant of Aid India, Tammy Gordon of AARP, Wendy Harman of American Red Cross, Caitlin Johnson of the Forum for Youth Investment, Carie Lewis of The Humane Society of the United States, Dave McMurtry of Habitat for Humanity International and Jenn Roccanti of Miriam's Kitchen.
The goals of the session are to learn more about:
- What these network builders do and how they do it.
- The skills and experiences they brought to their roles.
- The lessons they’ve learned as network builders.
We are very excited to have this opportunity to take stock of how this linchpin function works. After all, what the doers are learning is critical to problem solving and effective social media use by nonprofit organizations.
Please let us know if there is anything in particular you’d love to learn from these amazing network builders. We’re looking forward to sharing what we learn as well.
Guest blogger Allison Fine is a writer and activist dedicated to understanding and enhancing efforts to use new, social media tools for social change. She will be facilitating next week's gathering of Network Builders at the Case Foundation.