The Importance Digital Advocacy

2016-03-30 09.09.10
Amanda Neumann

What is digital advocacy

It’s the use of digital technology to contact, inform, and mobilize a group of concerned people around an issue or cause (x).

Examples of digital advocacy

  • Facebook Likes
  • Twitter Retweets
  • Photo tagging
  • Blogging about a cause or organization
  • Sharing events on social media
  • Personal recommendations (through Facebook, Google, etc)
  • Linking to a website or blog content
  • Positive comments on posts, pictures, or videos

Digital advocacy is often used to talk about large social media campaigns, such as fundraisers or to mobilize around a political or social issue. However, it’s much more than that. Digital advocacy is becoming an important facet of day-to-day support for nonprofit organizations.

Many people do not have the socioeconomic freedom to give, donate, or volunteer regularly. Online, or digital, advocacy is one way for individuals to offer support.

Twitter Follow

Social media is also a great way for community building and interaction –so tweeting, blogging, and Facebook posting are valuable ways to show support for an organization. 

What exactly makes digital advocacy so valuable?

The Power of Testimonials and Engaged Support 
Testimonials are an important resource for nonprofits. Testimonials inform people about what your organization does, how it affects the community, and why it is valuable. Even more importantly, digital advocacy allows for unsolicited testimonials and can extend outside of an organization’s immediate reach.

Free and Effective Community Outreach 
Digital Advocacy can be an excellent form of community outreach. Having online support from community members, nonprofit professionals, emerging leaders, and even business owners is free and effective community outreach. 

Having online support from community members can be an incredibly effective way of creating strong community bonds.

Authentic Marketing 
While Facebook ads and regular social media posts help nonprofits market fundraisers and events, there’s no real substitute for a friend telling you to check out an event or organization. Having community members who are excited about your organization share a Facebook event can help marketing campaigns tremendously.


Sources & Resources:

 

Social Media Tips for Nonprofits

2016-03-30 09.09.10
Amanda Neumann

There is no singular way to effectively utilize social media. Every organization has to find ways to capture and engage their specific audiences.

While many nonprofits use email as the primary form on communication, social media is rapidly taking its place. Why? Because social media allows for more engaged and personal communication.

Many organizations are creating and implementing social media policies. A social media policy is a document that contains strategies and guidelines for your organization’s social media presence. These policies can be especially beneficial when multiple employees or volunteers share social media management duties.

Regardless of if your organization has a social media policy, it should have some type of social media strategy

When creating a social media strategy it is important to keep it simple and direct. Focusing on engagement, frequency, and visuals when writing social media posts can drastically improve your organization’s social media presence.


Engagement

Social Media isn’t a one-way street—communication has to go both ways.

When writing social media posts, it is vital to remember that you are doing more than marketing. Social media should be used for more meaningful, and individual, interactions. This can be as simple as liking Facebook posts or tweets from friends and followers or quickly replying to comments on your organization’s social media pages.

Tip #1 : Use push notifications on your smartphone or internet browser to stay current with your organization’s social media interactions 

Frequency

It’s important to maintain a presence while not overloading your connections with posts and information.

There’s no perfect number of social media updates to post per week. The most important thing is to post regularly without overloading your audience. Posting once per day on popular social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter is becoming expected from all organizations and businesses. However, it’s important to note that every post does not need to be published on every site (i.e. every Facebook picture doesn’t need to be shared on Twitter or LinkedIn)

Tip #2 : Create a Buffer account to manage social media posts 

Visuals

Remember to make your posts visually interesting!

Including pictures or info graphs is a great attention grabber. Too much text can be boring and easy to overlook. Further, adding photos of employees, volunteers, or events can be a wonderful way to engage your organization’s online community.

Tip #3 : Create a file of “extra” photos to share with text posts or by themselves 

 


Sources
How Nonprofits Use Social Media to Engage with Communities via Nonprofit Quarterly
Social Media for Non-Profits: High-Impact Tips and the Best Free Tools via Buffer
Creating a Social Media Policy via Tech Soup

Gender Inequality in Nonprofits

2016-03-30 09.09.10
Amanda Neumann

In many ways, the nonprofit field is ahead of the game in terms of gender equality in hiring. According to GuideStar women make up 74% of the nonprofit workforce, which is significantly higher than many professional fields.

Women also have a major role in nonprofit leadership positions and board membership. Women hold 57% of the chief-executive positions at organizations with budgets of less than 1 million and according to a study published in Nonprofit Quarterly, women comprise 43 percent of the membership of nonprofit boards.

It is apparent that women make up a huge portion of the nonprofit sector. However, recent studies show that regardless of the continuously growing number of women in the nonprofit field, there is still a large gender pay gap.

How does gender inequality present itself in nonprofits?

  • Among non-profits with budgets in excess of $25 million, women constitute only 21 percent of leadership roles even though they make up 75 percent of the workforce (x)
  • Women earn significantly less than men in all [nonprofit] job categories and although women were more likely to head smaller organizations, even when factoring in organization size, women earn less (x)
  • Female Chief Development Officers (CDOs) are paid approximately 12% lower salaries than male CDOs—even after  controlling for a wide range of organizational and individual variables, including dollars raised by the organization (x)
  • Women held 57 percent of the chief-executive positions at organizations with budgets of $1-million or less but only 38 percent of the top positions at organizations with budgets of more than $1-million (x)

Some of the most pertinent information regarding gender inequality in the nonprofit field includes studies done by The Women’s College of the University of Denver and The White House Project, GuideStar, and The Lilly Family School of Philanthropy.

What can your organization do?

Diversity in nonprofit boards and staff is becoming an increasingly important issue. Racial, ethnic, generational, gender, and professional diversity are all key to creating and maintaining successful organizations.

Some easy steps to ensuring your organization is working towards eliminating gender inequality include:

  • Educating board members and staff about gender bias and creating strategies to counteract it
  • Surveying employees to gain a better understanding of how the organization encourages, or discourages, diversity
  • Evaluating current staff and board demographics 
  • Conducting an equal pay audit to ensure equal pay practices 

How is your organization faring in terms on gender diversity and equality?