Did you attend the MyCharityConnects conference?
Take a moment to say “Hi”: @AmySept on Twitter or email [email protected].
Also, check out my Storify coverage of my conference experience: Update from Day 1, update from Day 2.


My session at MyCharityConnects

MyCharityConnects was a conference in Toronto, held June 6 and 7, 2011 to kick off Net Change Week. A great chance for nonprofit folks to connect and learn more about “being online for public good”.

During my June 6 session, You’re on social media – now what? Finding the next steps, I looked beyond the tools to the basic elements behind a social media plan.

UPDATE: During the session a few questions were asked by folks and I said I’d add some related info to this page; I’ve added that additional information to the end.



More about Astronaut Abby

@AstronautAbby During my presentation, I mentioned a young woman named Abby who’s using social media to pursue her dream of being an astronaut. To learn more, follow her on Twitter (@AstronautAbby) or visit her blog.”Abby has wanted to be an astronaut since she was 7 years old and this desire has grown very strong this past year as she has been mapping out plan for high school, college and beyond to make the goal a reality…” Read more…


Social media statistics, metrics, and other info

Following are links to statistics, benchmark studies and other resources that I think will be helpful to you as you get your social media efforts off the ground.

A few of the many sites for info about nonprofits and social media

Trends and social networks

Twitter Facebook LinkedIn
Facebook vs Twitter, 2010 Demographics
[infographic, January 2011]
Facebook gaming statistics
[September 2010]
100 Million on LinkedIn, demographics
[infographic, March 2011]
Non-profits on Facebook
LinkedIn Global Network Statistics
[infographic, March 2011]


Nonprofit benchmark information

The Nonprofit Social Network Benchmark Report (download free with email registration)
Provides interesting insight into social media results by sector, as well as fundraising results and details about internal social network use.

2011 eNonprofit Benchmarks Study (download free with email registration, incl. related materials)
This report covers a number of subjects: enewsletters, social media, fundraising, advocacy and more. Offers a lot of charts.

2011 Convio Online Marketing Nonprofit Benchmark Index™ Study (download free with email registration)
This study also covers a number of subjects: web traffic, email, online revenue. The subjects are somewhat different from the eNonprofit Benchmarks Study, but the data is cushioned by much more context and analysis.


Setting objectives and figuring out metrics

Measuring Online Engagement: A beginning, by Debra Askanase
“I’ve defined three different kinds of measurements: status, engagement, and activism measurements. We need all three measurements to understand the strength of a company’s online presence, stakeholder engagement with a cause or organization, and what percentage of them are moved to action by the organization.” Read more…

25 SMART social media objectives, by Beth Kanter
“The process includes beginning with identifying intent.  Next, make it specific by adding a number, percentage, increase/decrease and a date.   Some nonprofits find it hard to do because it takes hitting the pause button.  Also, there may be a feeling that one is getting “graded” if they don’t make the deadline or hit the target number.   SMART objectives can be revised along the way” Read more…


From the session: Questions

Q: “When should you tweet and how often?”
A: In broad terms, tweeting first thing in the morning as people get to work – or, optimally, 4p.m. on Friday afternoon (via Fast Company, Tip 9) – has a good reputation, but I think it really depends who you’re trying to reach. To find out what works for your own followers, Christopher Penn wrote this helpful “how to” article that uses Twitter searches and Google Reader. This post from oneforty.com links to several tools that might also help you pinpoint your ideal time(s).

Q: “With social media and all these online activities, is there still a place for direct mail?”
A: Direct mail is not my area of expertise, but the opinion among my fundraising friends seems to be a resounding “Yes!” Here are a few recent posts on the subject that you might find interesting.

I also suggest you tune in to the Twitter chat #smNPchat on June 17 at noon ET; this is a group of nonprofit professionals, many of them experienced fundraisers, and the topic of the chat will be the report from Blackbaud. (What is a Twitter chat? A “how to” post.)

Q: What’s the cost of social media?
A: This actually came out of a private discussion rather than the session, but I wanted to include it here. The context of the conversation was an organization wanting to launch onto social media, but perhaps some misunderstandings about how much time and effort might be involved. To argue the case for more resources, here’s an interesting infographic that shows the cost of social media. While it may not be directly applicable to a non-profit organization, it outlines some of the costs that should at least be considered.

There was also some discussion about social outreach plans and social policy, and someone in the group suggested this presentation from last year’s MyCharityConnects conference: If you fail to plan, you plan to fail: Developing a social media strategy.


Do you have other nonprofit and/or social media resources you turn to on a regular basis? Please add them in the comments!