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What nonprofits and associations should know about launching a social networking community

What nonprofits and associations should know about launching a social networking community

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What nonprofits and associations should know about launching a social networking community

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  1. What nonprofits and associations should know about launching a social networking community Adam Steinberg Marketing Coordinator www.theport.com

  2. Today’s Topic What nonprofits and associations should know about launching a social networking community

  3. About ThePort • Social Networking Community Provider for nonprofit organizations • Help world’s largest organizations interact & communicate with constituents • Most open and customizable platform in the industry • Integrations with donor management systems

  4. Before we get started What is a “house” online community? How is it different than Facebook? vs

  5. What is a house community?

  6. Sierra Club on Facebook

  7. Sierra Club House Community

  8. Arthritis Foundation Support Forums

  9. Goal Learn how to successfully plan, build and launch an online community built for your constituents.

  10. Today’s Agenda • Initial Planning and Research • Compare Platforms and Costs • Building out your community • Deployment strategy • Q&A

  11. Stage One: Initial Planning and Research

  12. First and foremost Know why you want to build an online community

  13. What are the challenges you face? via Worldle.com

  14. What house communities can do • Bring people together • Become information hub • Help people collaborate • Help constituents communicate • Attract new supporters • Keep your website up to date

  15. Side Note: Integration Your donor management system Your Community Information about constituents pushed to databases. Enable custom reports & targeted communications

  16. A key question: • What do you want constituents to do? • Collaborate • Join events • Share news and causes • Support each other • Raise money

  17. What types of programs can you socially-enable? Campaigns Walks/Runs Education Information Sharing Fundraising Advocacy Something new?

  18. How will you measure ROI?

  19. Ways to measure ROI • More participation among supporters? • New constituents & supporters? • Fundraising dollars? • More subscribers to communications? • New sponsorships & grants?

  20. Define technical considerations Integration Points

  21. Integration with website • Branding • Header/footer • Community.domain.com

  22. Social Community

  23. Website

  24. Database Integration Considerations

  25. Single Sign On and Data Sharing Single Sign On Community Shares Data Back with CMS Constituent management system Online Community

  26. Unique Community Experience for Members? External data External data External data External data

  27. Socially-Enabled Events and Campaigns

  28. Improved constituent data and marketing Create custom reports, targeted communications

  29. Bottom Line Having your own community can help many of your goals and programs. But, community doesn’t happen overnight

  30. Which department will own the project? Via Wordle.com

  31. How much staff can you dedicate? • Resources will dictate how much you can do at first • Which departments have internal resources to fulfill goals? • Which departments can pull in other resources? • Who can serve as community manager?

  32. Community Management Short-Term Keep discussions relevant and healthy. Provide a safe place to share passions. Image thanks: http://www.flickr.com/photos/jbennett/50434313/

  33. Community Management Long-term • Stimulate conversations & improve community • Blog posts • Events • Groups • Newsletters • New community features

  34. Summary of considerations • Who owns the project? • What do you want people to do? • What are your goals? • How will you measure ROI? • Do you want to integrate external systems?

  35. Step two: comparing platforms and costs • Remember: What are your goals and ROI expectations

  36. Questions to consider • Important questions to consider prior to selecting what tools or vendors you will choose to launch your community

  37. Do you have technical resources on staff? • Titles include: • Programmer • Systems Administrator • Web Designer • Database Administrator

  38. Do you need to own your data? • Integrated communications • Data security

  39. Integration and APIs • Do you want to integrate with your constituent management system? • Extend functionality of community • Build custom widgets Your community will need Open APIs

  40. Do you want your community to be unique?

  41. Other considerations when selecting a vendor • Is vendor familiar with industry and requirements? • Does the vendor work with organizations similar to yours? • What type of support does the vendor offer? • Technical • Thought leadership

  42. Other considerations (cont’d) • What is vendor’s uptime history? • How secure and reliable is their data center? • Data centers go down!

  43. Will platform be able to grow with your organization? • Add additional and new features? • Keep up with technology developments? • APIs available for additional customization?

  44. What are your options? Open Source

  45. Open Source • Pros – ability to customize, cost of actual software is limited, can launch fairly quickly • Cons – requires time & resources, requires customization by internal staff, hosting resources, continues development resources to remain on cutting edge, no support hotline, typically no out-of-box integration

  46. Ning • Pros – easy to deploy, branding can be customized, requires limited resources, limited cost • Cons – don’t own data, no integration with external systems, no apis, limited flexibility in platform, not nonprofit specific, may run ads

  47. White Label Hosted Platform • Pros – Out-of-box integration, limited technical resources required, hosting and upgrades managed, vendor works with client to tailor platform, can have Open APIs and flexible platform • Cons - No access to source code, reliant on vendor platform and support, not free

  48. ROI • What tools will give you the best blend of functionality, ease of implementation and cost savings?

  49. Evaluation Summary • Consider Internal Resources • Remember Immediate and Long-Term • Identify Technology that can facilitate goals • Choose platforms that complement staff strength

  50. Stage Three: Building the community • Review project spec from vendor • Know who needs to be involved and when they will need to be available • Will you need support from your other technology vendors?