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Social Media and Philanthropy

April 15, 2009

Today philanthropic institutions need to learn not about how to survive in the present state of the economy, but how to sustain and continue to develop in a new atmosphere where normal pattern of growth is a “flat.” Organizations need to learn how to cope and adopt tools to shift to this new paradigm.
Social media has impacted the nonprofit sector of the economy tremendously in this area. It has clearly initiated and fueled communication at a global level, where organizations are able to initiate dialogue on key issues like maximizing philanthropic endeavors under constant budgets in this changing atmosphere.
Social media is helping organizations to adopt and test models which lead to future success. The dialogue between organizations offers clues that emphasize long term thinking, and adopting strategies that work while discarding those that do not. Social media is an excellent vehicle for organizations to connect and networking with others, and provides opportunities to collaborate with each other and the public. Social media is popular amongst all ages of internet users, therefore the public is involved at a larger scale.

“Tips for Entering Your NonProfit into Social Media Environment” an article published in the March 2009 issue of Guidestar, offers several helpful tips to organizations interested in using social media. These tips include how to promote awareness about your nonprofit organization using discretion and caution.
Additionally, since social media is cost affective and requires little or no financial investment, it seems likely that more and more philanthropic organizations will adopt it rapidly. Several South Asian blogs and charitable organizations including Sepiamutiny, Sajaforum, and the South Asian Philanthropy Project have adopted social networks like Myspace, Twitter, and Facebook to publicize their mission to the public, and also connect and gain support from other organizations with similar focus.

Indeed social media is changing the landscape of communication and non-profit organizations must avail of this opportunity to reach out to a larger audience.

– P

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