“Social Media is a set of online tools that support social interaction – notably creating and sharing content.”Nicky Allen and Samantha Fleming, Afrosocialmedia.

An organisation that is run well, that is, has good governance, is managing its finances and is fulfilling its objectives is one that is well on its way. However it also needs to be seen, it needs to be recognised, and this requires innovative approaches to reaching your donor audiences, whether it is through creative uses of social media or by virtue of making your projects more interesting.

Two questions we should consider asking ourselves in our ever-changing NPO environment are:
Am I staying relevant?
Am I communicating the needs of my organisation in an interesting and engaging manner?

The creation and sharing of content establishes relationships, which are all about conversations we have with people within the varied spheres of social media. Examples of social media include Facebook, twitter, tumblR, googleplus, and pinterest. Social media includes an assortment of platforms and it is important to ensure that each platform speaks to the objective that you would like to communicate.

According to Afrosocialmedia, we can use social media to:

  • Gather insights about non-profit issues
  • Build relationships with donors and friends
  • Build public awareness about your organisation
  • Demonstrate thought leadership
  • Network
  • Share information
  • Get feedback
  • And more!

Using social networks is a great way to ensure you are continually aware of what the changes are in the dynamic world around us, who’s saying what about whom and where. A mixture of social networks and social media allows us to target a variety of audiences; therefore it is important to know which media to use that would be the most useful for our organisations. Using a combination of old and new media allows us to be present across various platforms.

It is important to communicate the needs of our organisations in ways that make us sound interesting and can keep others engaged. Knowing which key messages to communicate is essential. Let’s make sure we aren’t lagging behind – set up a webpage for your organisation, join a social network, link with people interested in the same things as you, tweet, update statuses, upload photos – anything that will continually keep you in the know of what’s trending; anything that will also ensure that people don’t forget the work you are doing and that you exist.

Having established why it is important to be tuned in to what’s trending, an important question to ask is:

 Do you have the capacity in your organisation to implement social networks?

Look out for the follow-up article that speaks on building capacity in your organisation to implement social networks.


Mobile and Social Media, Getting Donor’s Attention. Sam Fleming and Nicky Allen, Inyathelo 2012 Autumn Academy Presentation