During Internet Week New York (June 7-14), I have been thinking about the role that the internet, and particularly social media, has come to play in the life of Spence-Chapin and other non-profits. Over the past year, we have watched our online involvement grow from a simple hand-coded webpage to a dynamic site, ripe with content, multiple Facebook groups and causes, a Facebook page with over 600 fans, and an adoption blog.
While social media can bring individuals together, it can also unite communities around a common cause. Not-for-profit organizations have had success in garnering support and donations for their causes through social media that reaches just as many, if not more, people than traditional media. The great discovery for the not-for-profit world has been that, when empowered to do so, supporters can carry their message to the masses. Spence-Chapin has had a rich history of supporters over the past 100 years. The difference now is that we are able to reach more people with greater efficiency and speed. The passion for helping children has always existed but social media has provided a new way to organize, empower and mobilize it.
With our venture into the public arena, Spence-Chapin needed to make the changes necessary to maintain an online presence. Like any social relationship, social media requires frequent updating with fresh content. However, as we integrate online communications into our everyday work pattern, this just becomes a natural part of life in the 21st century.
Spence-Chapin also had to be aware that part of the trade-off for the community building advantages of social media is the vulnerability of exposing our organization to everyone on the web. At some point, we will get negative comments, but in order for any social media strategy to succeed, a certain amount of control must be relinquished. As frightening as this might be initially, the positive outcomes will far outnumber the negative.
Spence-Chapin continues to grow and evolve in their social media strategy and it is only through the support of readers like you that we are able to do so. Our mission to help find loving adoptive homes for children is furthered every time you engage with us via social media. So share this blog, fan us on Facebook, and keep the message moving.
Spence-Chapin Multimedia Associate