Colleagues Allyson Kapin who founded a web agency called Rad Campaign (they designed my blog) and Amy Sample Ward, who the NTEN Membership Director (and I’ve known since 2007) have published a new how to book called “Social Change Any Time Every Where.” Craig Newmark wrote the foreword. I blurbed this book with, “If you are looking for a recipe book for tips and tactics to integrate mobile and social media to round out your nonprofit’s marketing plan, look no further than this book.” The book offers up advice and techniques on how to make your online channels – email marketing, web site, and newer tools like mobile and social media work together in a sophisticated strategy or your organization to reach its advocacy, fundraising, or community building goals.
The book begins with an overview on my multi-channel marketing is important and provides a summary of research data and examples of how nonprofit institutions are using multiple channels effectively as part of advocacy, fundraising, and community building. It takes you through the technologies and tools for each channel for different goals and offers up lots of case studies from organizations such as National Wildlife Federation, Red Cross, AARP, Clinton Bush Haiti Fund, American Museum of Natural History, SEIU and others.
I’m doing a session at the Nonprofit Technology Conference with Jana Byington-Smith and Rob Cottingham on methods for visualization and maintain focus, including mindmapping. So, I’ve been practicing by creating visual notes. As a trainer, I was most interested in Chapter 7 about equipping your organization to do multi-channel campaigns.
Building the capacity institutionally to implement a multi-channel campaign requires an investment of staffing and a commitment organizational wide change – and a lot of patience. As stated in the book, “Preparing your organization to operate in an anytime, everywhere world means recognizing that everyone in the organization ultimately contributes to the success of multichannel strategies.” The chapter suggests “Tearing down the silos” and that this will encourage more open leadership, and create a transparent environment. The idea is to go from a hierarchical structure (what Allison Fine and I described as Fortress in our book) to a more collaborative, team offer. (Sometimes easier said than done!).
- Hold weekly interdepartmental meetings
- Encourage brainstorming
- Give staff space and time for creativity and to think
- Develop shared language
- Cross disciplinary teams
- Use virtual tools to manage campaign internally (Yammer, Google Docs, Listening Dashboards, Private Facebook Groups, etc)
The book also covers what staffing structure is required for success of multichannel campaigns. The book suggests that the most effective method is to have a dedicated digital team that is a spread across different departments. This is called the hybrid model – although it has to be silo free for it work. The book refers to a October, 2011 SSIR blog post called “Four Models for Managing Digital” written by Michael Silberman, Jason Mogus, and Christopher Roy who interviewed senior online campaigners from over 6o nonprofits. According to the research, hybrid model is the most progressive and the most conducive to producing continuous improvement at the pace of digital change. In this model, the digital team is spread across different departments – grassroots, IT, fundraising, communications, marketing, etc, but all digital digital staffers in these departments are connected to and supported by a digital experience team that helps direct the strategic goals and synchronizes campaigns. This model can also be translated for smaller organizations when digital responsibilities are integrated into different jobs and there is regular coordination.
The chapter goes on to outline different the optimum staffing for multichannel campaigns. The book mentions that 40% of nonprofits have one to two digital staff, according the Nonprofit Digital Teams Benchmark Report – so these staff job descriptions might be integrated into other positions for smaller organizations
- Internet Director
- Web Producer
- Online Campaigner
- Database Manager
- Social and Mobile Staff
And, again, it is important not to silo the web person or department as this leads to burnout. Everyone should participate — an idea that embodies the spirit of networked nonprofits! This, of course, requires having staffing guidelines for participation.
The book is written mostly for those who are executing strategies on the front line, not necessarily organizational leaders. It provides some advice on how to convince one’s boss about the importance of investing in staff and culture change. The key message is to show leaders how digital tools and strategy can result in key outcomes and “show results with data!” That’s accomplished with organizational measurement discipline!
The culture chapter also talks about the importance of launching pilots and failing informatively (one of my favorite topics and looking forward to the plenary session I’ll be facilitating about this topic at NTEN’s NTC next week).
I don’t have a dog right now or else I’d bribe it with some cheese and snap a photo. However, Amy Sample Ward took this adorable photo of her dog Simba with the book! (Definitely a keeper for the Cute Dog Theory Wiki) You can order your copy of Social Change Any Time Every Where on Amazon!