Facebook has a revamped their Groups feature. In an attempt to address one of the most common feature requests, Facebook is giving users the ability to publish content, share and communicate with only a group of friends rather than all your friends. This seems like a natural enhancement for Facebook, but it’s also easy to speculate that this move is a reaction to the continued onslaught of criticism that Facebook has serious privacy concerns. Either way, it’s a pretty cool feature and I think it will get used by many people. Friends will create groups, families will create groups and teams will create groups. But will organizations create groups? Read more…
Posted by Matt Harrell on October 7th, 2010 | 2 Comments »
Posted by Matt Harrell on May 26th, 2010 | 2 Comments »
When you adopt a tool like MemberHub as your organization’s primary communication tool you’re essentially telling your members that “this is how we communicate”. Opening up two-way communication channels and putting your members in touch with each other will result in more informed, more engaged members. This means you get less phone calls and potentially save money on extra staff needed to ensure proper communication is taking place. But “will my members use it”, you ask.
Your members hang out on Facebook all day. You’re likely NOT going to get them to hang out in some other social networking application or communication tool. But that doesn’t mean that you should be using Facebook as your communication tool. And it also doesn’t mean that you need a really cool social tool to enhance communication.
A successful implementation of MemberHub means your members are connected, know how to reach other members, and can take care of the business of being a member (like signing up for an event). There’s no concept of “friends”. It’s not about logging on creating unbelievable online community. Online community doesn’t just happen. Even if you have the best tool in the world, online community only happens will it’s fostered and cultivated by people.
It’s about taking care of the business of being a member so that you can leave time for REAL community when members do gather together; rather than worrying about logistics and planning.
So when you’re considering your communication software needs don’t worry so much about getting members to hang out in the tool all day. Just make sure that you’re using it. Make sure that members know how to reach their group. Make sure that they know where to get the latest information. Make sure that communication can take place. Do these things and you will enhance communication in your organization.
Posted by Matt Harrell on December 14th, 2009 | 4 Comments »
Last week I put up a post on why nonprofit strategies often fail. The message wasn’t ground-breaking or all that entirely original. It was designed to get you asking yourself a lot of questions. My passion for great communication was refueled this morning when John Saddington challenged technology people to put communication first, technology second.
We’ve had a quite a few posts here about “communication”, but they don’t get as much attention as other posts. Why is that?
Why is it that year after year, nonprofit members list “communication” as the number one area that organizations need improvement. Why is it that something so obvious constantly goes overlooked? Why do your members constantly tell you that “they didn’t know that” or “that wasn’t in the newsletter” or “nobody told me that”?
My challenge here is this: You’ve got talk to your members/employees/constituents. Get a discussion going. Get their feedback. Make them understand what you’re seeing. Work together. Collaborate. THAT’S what social media is all about. It opens up the channel for people to speak about something so that other people can understand it. It’s less about what tools you use and more about making sure that communication is taking plan.
Even with the myriad of social networking tools available, members still feel in the dark? Why?
Posted by Matt Harrell on December 9th, 2009 | 2 Comments »
I’m not quite special enough to have a one-word post, so I’ll elaborate a little bit. I am 100% certain that if the people in your organization do not learn how to effectively communicate, then your strategy will fail. So what does this mean? Here are few questions you can ask yourself.
Are you communicating to your members?
Do your members know your organization’s mission? Your purpose? If you have a mission statement, can they repeat it? Are you sharing your plans and strategies? What about your thoughts? You have so many people in your community and you’ll need them to pull off your strategy. Talk to them, make sure you’re painting a clear picture for your members. There are a vast number of tools to use for this (follow up post).
Do your members have an easy way to communicate with each other?
You have this big community…members, constituents, followers. Whatever they are if they’re gonna help they need to talk too. Are they communicating and sharing ideas? Do they even know how to reach each other?
Are you encouraging your team and your members to actually speak?
This piggy backs off the last one, but as the leader of your organization you need to encourage your ministries, committee’s teams and groups to communicate with each other. You need to empower them to make a difference. What are their impediments? Remove them.
What else have I missed? Please leave a comment. I know you have something to share.
Posted by Matt Harrell on November 24th, 2009 | 4 Comments »
I recently read the following:
“America is the queen of trash. Every day in the U.S., we produce enough trash to equal the weight of the Empire State Building. We throw away 2.5 million plastic bottles every hour, produce enough styrofoam cups annually to circle the earth 436 times and trash enough office paper to build a 12-foot wall from Los Angeles to New York City.”
This is just one of the many startling facts that is prompting churches, nonprofits and associations to actively “go green”. Online collaboration software can help your organization reverse these statistics. Here are 5 things your organization can do with online technology to start your “greening” process:
- Online File Sharing – reduce the amount of paper used for newsletters, copies, handbooks and other important documents. Also, quickly get new members up and running with all necessary documents stored in files.
- Online Discussions – reduce the amount of gas and travel time (and styrofoam coffee cups) it takes to attend meetings and collaborate on topics and instead use efficient online discussions with mailing list software for example.
- Simple Sign-ups – reduce the amount of paper (time and confusion) when using online tools for simple sign-ups. MemberHub has a Whiteboards feature that can help for upcoming holiday parties, volunteer sign ups, upcoming events, etc.
- Quick Announcements – send out announcements via text message and/or email to members to reduce the amount of paper made for flyers, newsletters, postage, etc. Also, send messages for last minute reminders, room changes, cancellations to reduce unnecessary drive time and/or gas!
- Photo Album Sharing – reduce the number of photos by sharing pictures online. Print only the ones you want to keep in an album.
So what is your organization doing to go GREEN?