The Nonprofit Sector’s Most Pressing Issues: The C-Level Exec’s Point of View, Part 3
[Editor’s note: This is the third and final installment of a three-part series on a session from the 2010 New York Nonprofit Conference held Aug. 24-25. View part 1 here and part 2 here.]
Below are further insights from Angel Aloma, executive director of Food For The Poor; Danny McGregor, chief operating officer at Greenpeace; Atul Tandon, executive director of the International Network and executive vice president of investor relations at United Way Worldwide; and Tom Harrison, president and CEO of Russ Reid, shared during their session, “Cracking the Shell: Open Dialogue & Discussion With America’s Top Nonprofit C-Level Executives on the Sector’s Most Pressing Issues.”
The panel agreed that just about every organization must engage in social media because that is where the donors are heading online. And the opportunities for engagement and discovery are virtually endless.
Aloma shared that Food For The Poor was struggling to get Facebook fans. Then, an old friend of the organization said he’d donate $1 for every Facebook fan Food For The Poor added — up to $20,000. The organization took to its social-media platforms and shared this information and in four days had more than 20,000 fans.
“Social media brings awareness and guerilla fundraising opportunities,” Aloma said. “My children’s generation uses social media — it is the way things are going.
“Don’t give up on it in fundraising either,” he added. “We no longer have a Web department. We have an emerging media department that includes the Web, iPhone, social media, mobile. As an organization, you can’t afford to be laggards. We want to be on that wave of social media when it hits.”
McGregor said Greenpeace is moving in a similar direction, developing one department that looks at “emerging media,” as Aloma put it. He said the biggest key to social media is understanding what is meaningful action for your organization. “What do we actually want to happen?” he asked.