Welcome to part two of Getting Your Board on board. You can find part one here: http://notesfornonprofits.blogspot.com/2009/02/getting-your-board-on-board-with-social_17.html
Social Media is an enigma to many. There are so many buzz words and applications that it can be confusing at times. When talking to your board about social media, it's not just about explaining it to them, but involving them as well.
That's the brillance of social media. It's about involving others and creating a community; perfect for nonprofits.
So how do you involve your board?
First, examine what social media applications you want to use. Is it Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, a Blog? Whatever application, there's opportunities for both your non-profit and it's board to utilize these to reach out to more donors.
Facebook has alot of potential for nonprofits, not just to broaden the awareness of their cause, but to expand their donors through prospect research. When asked about whether they have any connections that could have an organization, most people respond in the negative. However, this same person could have 100 Facebook friends who may be willing to give the cause. It's an opportunity to see who you board and staff knows and to spread the word.
So when you are setting up the Facebook page for your organization, recommend that each of your board members sign up for Facebook as well and link to the organization. Better yet, try to get them to post on the Facebook page and help keep it active. But even if they just have a profile, that allows you to see who they are connected with.
Does your organization have a blog? When was the last time you had a board member make a post? What's great about blogs is that they give your organization and the people in it a voice. Donors want to hear about your programs but also about your people. Hearing a story from a board member about why they are committed to your organization can only help you. Board members are experts so try getting an article or two out of them regarding the issues your organization is fighting for. Plus, you will get more traffic to your blog when your board members showcase their blog post to family and friends.
Like Facebook, LinkedIn shows you how many 'connections' a person has. However, LinkedIn is more business like, so it's much more likely you will find some serious business contacts on here. These are great for determining new corporate and major gift donors. You can also create a page on LinkedIn for your organization which your board members can showcase to their connections.
These are just a few suggestions to get your board started with social media. Getting them involved will make your case for venturing down the path of social media that much easier.