How does a not-for-profit (NFP) or non-profit organization enhance its social impact? Many say it needs to grow big to be strong. Instead, uLektz says, the answer could be in the power of strategic networks.
Whether the mission is to protect wildlife, help disabled people, or offer financial services to underdeveloped or developing countries, not-for-profits (NFPs) often believe they need to grow big before they can achieve significant social impact.
Let’s explore something different: uLektz suggests a more powerful lever to increase a non-profit’s social impact with a focus on building network relationships with like-minded groups – even competitors. Some organizations since time immemorial have deliberately used a network strategy and have discovered its potential to serve more people more effectively.
Social Media Vs Social Learning and Networking
Typically, social media has these features; user accounts, profile pages, friends, followers, groups, hashtags, news feeds, personalization, notifications, information updating, saving, posting, like buttons, comment sections, and review – rating – voting systems. Social media and social networking are similar but conceptually different. Social networking is the community that forms within social media. Social networking is a sub-category of social media while the broader concept is social media.
But what connection Social Media has with the non-profit sector?
Of course, in the modern context, social media plays a vital role in many fields. Nevertheless, it has an intimate relationship with the non-profit sector. It helps charity organizations publish their identity, such as name, logo, cause, mission, program, financial report, and expert team members involved. This information helps attract a large audience and raises awareness of highlighted social causes. Social media is also used to build strong relationships with funding agencies, engagement and form a dynamic community. Not-for-profits (NFPs) accomplish their goals such as fundraising, recruiting, and mobilizing volunteers, advocacy, educating people, making social impact and change. For non-profits it’s not enough to have a profile, instead, they require careful planning and measures to benefit from the power of social media’s full potential.
These measures are helpful for not-for-profit (NFP) or non-profit organizations;
First, attach importance to social interaction. Non-profits should play the role of ‘thought leaders, ‘information sources’, ‘community builders’, and ‘promoters & resource mobilizers. This is a step-by-step process;
- Reach out to the members
- Keep the spark alive by engaging them in discussion forums
- Step up for action
Interaction with audiences plays an important part in all of these steps above, especially keeping the spark alive and building a sustainable community. Adding social interaction is an integral part of all types of non-profit organizations.
Second, optimum use of social networking functionalities, for example, non-profit organizations can create ‘fundraising pages’ and add ‘donate’ or ‘for charity or ‘to contribute’ or ‘give’ buttons to their profiles, adding ‘hashtags’ or ‘hyperlinks’ to their regular posts.
Third, the social network is powerful and noticeable as an influencing factor to their followers. Forwards, tweets, retweets, recommendations, shares, likes, positively bring people’s attention to a specific social cause. It directly reflects on fundraising, contribution, volunteering, donations flowing in for specific or situational programs. With that perspective, images, photos, videos as stories bring much viewership and generate emotional reactions to the mission rather than text-only content.
To summarize, social networking and learning bring forth the substance via social media to affect human perception, interaction, and understanding to their full potential and serve the not-for-profit (NFP), non-profit organizations to raise public awareness.
Gaining More with Less
Networked not-for-profits (NFPs), non-profits are some of the most effective as they look externally rather than internally. They put their mission first and their organization second. They govern through trust rather than control. They cooperate as equal nodes rather than relying on a central hub to command with sheer tactics.
uLektz helps you to connect your members under a single umbrella. A social learning and networking platform for communities to connect learn and stay focused on their community goals. uLektz Connects your members for a common purpose, interest, or vision, and doing so via the internet using exciting and user-friendly features like chat rooms, digital library, events and webinars, skill courses, and discussion forums.
Build your own community with a white-labeled mobile application and web portal to connect and engage with your members! Write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org to book a demo.