Wednesday, October 26, 2011

TNN ch. 4

      Chapter 4 of the texts discusses the use of social expectations within an organization. Not to be confused with a social network, this "social-ness" as described in the book refers to the way in which companies expect workers to conduct socially. The example used by the text analyzes the group The American Red Cross Association and the way in which they interact with customers/ clients. This chapter also discusses the importance of innovating in this field. An example is used of someone who is not used to the general online procedure. As a result the company is looked upon negatively. Going along with this the book continues to discuss some of the proper online etiquette. This includes the use of blogging, the use of a social network, or even just general online postings, it is important to consider what you would want people to think about the organization you are representing online. Even the style in which you write can give viewers a particular feeling about the group you represent. As in the previous chapter, chapter 4 stresses the importance of being innovative in the competitive marketplace. This is important for nonprofits as well as viewers now respond to different information than they had years ago.

TNN Ch. 3

            In chapter 3 of The Networked Nonprofit, the use of social networks and their influence within society is discussed. Social networks act as an extension of the social life one experiences within the real world. As a result we have entered a new age where people are connected more than ever. This new level of connectivity has accelerated the pace in which we move. Therefore if companies were able to successfully integrate the use of social networks into their business it would make a significant improvement. Social networks also have the potential to dramatically influence society, this is because nearly everyone uses some sort of social media, be it Twitter, Facebook, etc. This enables the social network to reach a large audience. Like other companies, social networks are constantly innovating and reinventing themselves, as a result companies using these social networks need to also innovate in order to keep up. In regard to nonprofits, social networks enable people to easily link together to fight for a similar social cause. Social networks can contain specific pages which can represent your topic of interest. This speeds up the ability of people to link resources together and in turn can make a difference faster. Nonprofits also have an advantage over other businesses when using social networks in that people are motivated to join behind a specific cause, while the same may not be true for a particular product.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Networked Nonprofit Ch. 2

      Chapter two of The Networked Nonprofit addresses some recent challenges among nonprofits. A major factor influencing these challenges is the dramatic increase among nonprofit organizations. The result of this were many "professionally based organizations". These organizations began to become more competitively driven and focused solely on economic gain. Human interaction between the organization and the customer also decreased, this results in a less personal feel between customer and business. As these nonprofits became more competitively driven the emphasis on problem solving decreased dramatically as groups engaged with other nonprofits less frequently. The result of this is stand alone companies that work in desperate measures in order to receive funds. According to the book executive directors have a high rate of turnover as a result. The book also goes on to state that people are more likely to buy a product when the company has a deep seated passion for the cause they represent. When this doesn't occur amongst stand alone nonprofits, these customers tend to lose interest in the product or service. This chapter also discusses the importance of free agents which can greatly influence your audience. By befriending free agents, the free agents become more likely to be enthused about your cause which will be reflective within their posts. These free agents likely know other free agents within the blogging community as well which would further raise awareness for the cause.

Networked Nonprofit Ch. 1

      Chapter one of the new book entitled The Network Nonprofit deals with the basic concept of just that, a network nonprofit. An initial example the book uses is that of the Surf Rider Foundation which worked to bring about major reforms in the cleanliness of our beaches. Networked nonprofits involve linking people together with similar beliefs in order to achieve a common goal. In doing so these organizations are able to greatly broaden there scope of focus and reach a greater number of audiences. This chapter also addresses the ever expanding field of social media. The use of new websites such as Facebook allows networked nonprofits to reach other organizations more easily in hopes of working together. Social media also allows networked nonprofits to reach out to a greater number of people in order to gain both awareness and support for their cause. An important thing to keep in mind while using social media however is to remain professional when representing your organization. This can be overseen at times when using sights such as Facebook, which tend to be regarded as more informal than say a press release. The book goes on to point out certain misconceptions when regarding social media. One of which was the perceived lack of importance of face to face interactions. While social media is able to effectively reach a large range of audiences nothing undermines the power of personal interaction. In doing so you are showing the client that you care about them enough to be there, that they are not just a contact on an email address. Going along with this is the importance of conversations amongst people in order to bring about social change. An example the book uses is how over the past couple decades littering has become socially unacceptable. People are more likely to be influenced by a family member for instance describing the importance of not littering rather than a commercial. The best way to influence these conversations is through networking, be it through personal relationships or social media, once an idea catches fire it can rage on relentlessly.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Ch. 10 of SCFN

       In chapter 10 of the book the importance of establishing partnerships is discussed. Partnerships within work are very beneficial for both parties so long as they share similar goals. Of course other factors influence whether a partnership will succeed or fail, but the most important are a shared set of beliefs/ values, as well as goals. Partnerships can help your group by bringing a new group of people with a whole new range of skills to the table. Partnerships also broaden the amount of connections which your group has. While working during homecoming for Safe Harbor we had been approached by two girls in a sorority who said that they had worked for Safe Harbor as well. They offered to help collaborate with our class so that we may help one another achieve our goals. Since they have similar values and goals the girls would most likely be compatible to work with the class in the future. In doing so we would swap connections which would help to further spread word of the Safe Harbor organization. Partnerships can also enable more creative brainstorming sessions. With more people together at once collectively generating ideas, more successful ideas are likely to occur. If a partners don't have similar goals or do not simply work well together than the partnership becomes less than beneficial but rather inhibiting.

Ch. 9 of SCFN

            Chapter 9 of the book focuses on the importance of selecting a good spokesperson to represent your groups interests. Throughout the book an emphasis is placed on the importance of your group reflecting similar values/ interests of those whom you are trying to appeal to. This is the case in this chapter as well, when selecting someone to represent your groups interests, they should reflect the interests of your audience. In doing so your audience will identify themselves with the speaker and the information will be received better. Over the past weekend our group tried to employ this tactic by having the girls in our group  approach families and kids for face painting. Since the girls in our group would approach families saying things like, "He's just adorable!", the families responded better. The chapter also talks about the importance of knowing your organization's goals through and through. By knowing what we wanted to accomplish, while working on Bowman, we had established expectations for achieving these goals. The book also goes on to talk about the way you deliver the message to the receiver and the content it should contain. Our group knew that when we approached someone to offer them a ribbon we had to mention the purpose for giving it to them. If the person or persons whom we had offered it to did not walk away quickly then we would then begin to talk about some of the goals our
organization wanted to accomplish. By not hassling people and providing in depth information when appropriate, our group was able to put on a successful homecoming campaign for Safe Harbor.