Wednesday, November 30, 2011

TNNP Ch. 10 & Ch.11

    Chapter 10 of The Networked Nonprofit discusses the role that making friends plays in acquiring funding for your organization. The example the book uses is that of a man who has a party and asks all of his guests to donate $20.00 to some sort of charity. With 700 guests this turns out to be very helpful and helps to establish six water wells in Uganda. This example is meant to illustrate how people are motivated to give more if they have a good relationship with whomever they are giving for. This idea goes back to the point that in order to gain as many supportive followers as possible you must first create a personal connection with that person. In doing so people feel welcomed by the organization and want to help support it however they can. The book also says to focus on creating a more personal relationship with your strongest supporters, in doing so these supporters will be likely to not only give more but to also spread word of your organization to friends and colleagues. This chapter also discusses the importance of reaching out to younger audiences. This is important especially in regard to online campaigns, as a younger demographic generally views this more, but also because they can become supporters for a longer period of time. As in other chapters the importance of social media and blogging is stressed. In doing so organizations reach a larger audience but also make it so that their story/ mission can be easily shared between people. Creating a place online for people to read and contribute to your organization can take the personal aspect out of the situation. If not addressed than this can lead people to not feel welcomed by the organization, one way to combat this however is through the use of personal narratives to appeal to peoples emotions, making them more likely to contribute. Rather than requesting people to contribute money, giving people the option to contribute and thanking them graciously when they do is effective.
        Chapter 11 of The Networked Nonprofit explains the governing of nonprofits and how this can better guide the organization through the future. The chapter uses an example of a board member named Joe who is part of the Save a River Foundation, it discusses how a typical board meeting in the office can be boring which results in low participation and sometimes not available to get to. The book offers and alternative however of using an online face-to-face video chat room as well as using social media sites such as twitter to post information and ideas. In doing so the meeting suddenly becomes accessible to a wider array of people across varying geographical contexts and, in combination with social media and the increased level of sharing ideas, more exciting. The chapter discusses several commonalities among ineffective boards. These include: a lack of diversity, poor leadership, and a closed culture that doesn't allow for real discussion and outside input. Stagnant boards often consists of a very homogenous group of people which results in a low level of diversity amongst ideas, this often creates a chasm between the board and those whom it serves. While taking a more networked approach in regard to the organization's board, there is an overall increase amongst many positive factors. This in turn makes the organization more likely to gain support from followers and in general more successful.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

TNN ch. 5 & 6

     Chapter 5 of TNN talks about the art of conversing in order to build relationships. The book explores in detail the key steps in order to do this. One of which is the importance of listening, by listening to users on the web you can get an idea of how people are reacting to your organizations decisions. Certain programs exist which enable internet organizations to do just this. My dad's company DBase Media uses a program which searches keywords associated with a particular client. In doing so he is able to tell what people are saying about that client and create a strategy in order to help the company react. Chapter 5 also discusses the type of engagement organizations experience. In this chapter an emphasis seems to be placed on the importance that the organization is "authentic" that means treating it as though it were a realistic friendship. You need to tailor a specific type of interaction rather than treating them the same as everyone else that you interact with. In doing so the client feels a personal connection and feels more of an obligation to support your organization. Chapter 6 of TNN talks about the importance of a company being "transparent", this means that all aspects of the company are viewable by an outsider. According to TNN in doing so the company becomes honest with itself and is able to reach a broader spectrum of individuals and organizations. The level of transparency demonstrated by the company is a reflection of the company's culture. TNN describes three categories which organizations fall under: The Fortress, Transactional, and Transparents. The Fortress as described by TNN refers to a company that reserves most of their information from the public, (such as government organizations). Transactional organizations are based on money, they base the majority of decisions on how it will affect the organization financially. Lastly are companies that are Transparents, these companies are referred to as "a glass house", this means that all information is available to the public and that nothing is withheld. By being transparent companies are able to more easily be found. This is especially important for organizations looking to reach a larger audience. With more information circulating around the web, organizations are more likely to be discovered than those that favor the Fortress method. This is especially important within this day and age with the use of S.E.O. (Search Engine Optimization). By utilizing these techniques companies are able to better market themselves to reach a broader spectrum of viewers and in turn become more successful.