Friday, October 31, 2008

Social Media for Nonprofit Best Practice: Don't Forget to Tell Your Supporters How to Use the Tools

Increasing numbers of nonprofits are using the social web on their sites, but what I don't see enough of is explainations for their constituents of how to use these tools.

Oxfam International does a pretty good job of educating their supporters. On the bottom of its home page it has links to its rss feeds as well as to Facebook,, Yahoo and Google:

Next to the RSS feeds is a link to "What's RSS?" When you click on it, you see this page:

Next to the links for, Facebook, etc. there is a link to "What are These?" When you click on it, you see a page that explains social bookmarking:

This page could use a little more fleshing out to explain how each service works.

Another good example of a nonprofit helping folks learn how to use social web tools is the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum's explanation of how supporters can subscribe to their Voices on Genocide Prevention podcast:

Although more people have heard the words blog, podcast, Facebook, MySpace, YouTube, etc., don't assume that they actually know how to use them. Don't forget to help them out, so they can help you (:


  1. Great post, Britt.

    We're trying to put together an initiative (for nonprofits, NGOs, community groups, etc.) on Social Media Bootcamps:

    Hopefully we'll get some support behind it.

  2. That's super exciting, JD! Keep me in the loop!

  3. Seems like an Good idea!
    This way, you can engage with your followers, post content that is shareable, and keep an eye out for trends that you can benefit from.


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