Net Neutrality and Nonprofits

The current presidential administration has shown interest in changing the net neutrality regulations and this could have a surprising impact on nonprofit organizations.

What is net neutrality?

“The principle that Internet service providers should enable access to all content and applications regardless of the source, and without favoring or blocking particular products or websites”

What happens when net neutrality is lost?

Those with less resources, like many nonprofits, are unable to keep up with other businesses on the internet. An example of this would be one website taking much longer to load than another. Christopher Worman, senior director of alliances and community engagement for TechSoup in San Francisco, believes that nonprofits will be at a disadvantage because these organizations are already on tight budgets. Nonprofits have been leaders in using social media because it is “low cost and a means of connecting with the next generation of supporters” but with the possibility of restrictions and regulation, there may be less access to those important tools.

What should nonprofits do?

Christopher Worman thinks that “organizations should try to understand the effects of net neutrality now as opposed to having a reactive conversation in the future.” Woman suggests brainstorming possible courses of action for a situation like everything taking twice as long to load online and how that would affect the nonprofit’s ability to continue their services.


Andy Segedin. “Possible Net Neutrality Changes Will Block Access, Cost More”. The NonProfit Times.


4 Apps To Help Your Nonprofit


“Expand your network”

LinkedIn only takes 20 minutes to learn and allows you to connect with nonprofit professionals in the area. There are almost 400 million users and it is one of the largest online business networks. You can “search, refer, request, and research a potential client, customer, or employee” with ease. Once you create a profile for you organization, it increases your visibility and ensures that more people begin thinking about what you do in the community and how they want to become involved.


“Be more organized”

Keeping detailed notes and sharing them with your staff is important for making sure everyone is on the same page and that no tasks are forgotten. Evernote lets you take digital notes, share those notes with others, and even transfer those notes between your different devices. Evernote also includes a feature called Scannable which is the next app you should be using.

The basic app download is free. There may be some in-app purchases.


“Act with a stronger sense of urgency with prospects”

Scannable scans a business card for you. Sounds simple enough but once it finishes scanning it saves the information on the card in your phone as a contact and then it sends an impressive email to that contact to immediately form a relationship. When connected with LinkedIn it makes the process even easier by automatically sending a request on that platform as well.

The basic app download is free. There may be some in-app purchases.


“Communicate with stakeholders”

It is not uncommon for millennials to do interviews over Skype instead of meeting in person. Now organizations are holding meetings without needing to be in the same room. Skype allows you to have more flexibility when setting up a conversation with a new client, new employee, or new donor. The hassle of putting off an important meeting because of scheduling conflicts is over because finding time to Skype is easy and still allows you to see the other person’s body language unlike a traditional phone call.


Dan Streeter & Tim Brown. “The Top Five Digital Tools You Should Be Using Right Now”. Nonprofit World.

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.


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 


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 


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 


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

What Do You Know About IT?

If you wonder about the key components of a secure office network and aren’t sure about the differences between a Firewall, Web Filter and Antivirus then view the PowerPoint presentation created by our guest speaker, Tom Heil. Heil presented at the first 23@4 program of 2014 where he explained why not knowing the difference may be a dangerous thing.

heil img
click here for presentation

Tom also discussed how some nonprofits are using ‘the cloud’ to reduce their hardware expenses and explained the pros & cons of ‘on site’ servers vs. virtual servers; who supports them and why. Then he shared industry trends that might make sense for non-profits to consider.

Does this sound like you or others in your nonprofit?
Trent:“Oh, I know all about IT” Sara: “I’m pretty savvy about IT”
Hmmm? Maybe they don’t know as much about IT as they think they do. Then take a look at the presentation which gives insight into the world of IT for nonprofits.

2014 Program Survey

question markSpeak your mind!

We’re interested in what topics you’d like to see in 2014.


Please take this brief survey on nonprofit technology knowledge and skills so that guest presenter, Tom Heil can focus on what you’d most like to learn more about at the January 23@4 program. If you aren’t interested in that topic please take the opportunity to suggest any topic of your choice at the end of the survey!

Click on the question mark above and you’ll be sent to our Constant Contact survey – where your responses are anonymous, or copy and paste this URL into your navigation bar:


New Books: Philanthropy, Fundraising, Major Gifts

Click the covers to go to the ACPL catalog to place a hold.

Reinventing philanthropy : a framework for more effective giving / Eric Friedman The nonprofit fundraising solution : powerful revenue strategies to take you to the next level / Laurence A. Pagnoni, with Michael Solomon Opening the door to major gifts : mastering the discovery call / John Greenhoe

Network for Good Digital Giving Index

Are you familiar with Network for Good’s Online Giving Study? or the Digital Giving Index updated quarterly?

The Index reports on trends and insights from donations through Network for Good’s own giving platform. The Online Giving Study

Consider how this information compares with your digital giving environment.

Highlights of the Q3 2012 Giving Index:

  • Overall giving increased for Q3 2012 versus the same period in 2011, with the exception of portals.
  • Average gifts on branded donation pages tend to be about 20% to 30% larger than on generic donation pages. When a charity has created a donation experience that reinforces its brand and connection to its supporters, the results speak for themselves: higher average gifts that grow over time.

More about the Online Giving Study and the Digital Giving Index: Continue reading