Social Networking for the Non-Profit World

3 August 2011

social networks

By Porus Mistry, CFJC Intern

The recent growth in the use of mobile devices and computers has created an environment where social networking services thrive. Social networks provide a platform where everyone can share content with people who matter to them. From elementary school students to grandparents, people are able to find friends and organize their lives in an increasingly relevant and meaningful way.

Social networks, such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Google +, are able to recognize people’s interests and suggest various companies, groups, or friends to connect with. These networks have the ability to target content, both organic and promotional in nature, based on each individual’s unique interests, as indicated in their profile and from past internet usage. This is why it is crucial for companies and organizations to become a part of this social trend and integrate themselves into all these various networks. It gives organizations such as CFJC the ability to directly reach their constituencies and educate them about their ongoing work.

The newest social network that is on the rise is Google +. As with many of Google’s products, this project has seen widespread adoption in the weeks after launch. Google+ is unique in that it gives users more control over filtering what content they want to share with others. Google+ organizes your social network using a “circles” concept. You create circles based on your real world connections such as “immediate family” or “skiing buddies” and you can select which circles have access to any content you choose to share. This can be very influential for CFJC because the concept for food related issues is very diverse. Google+ allows CFJC to target information to only their relevant circles.

Google+ also has the option to video chat with up to 10 individuals at one time using a feature known as Hangouts. I think that it would prove beneficial for organizations and companies if other individuals could watch the hangouts, even if they did not participate in the video chats. This would allow various policy makers or board members to hold a more public discussion allowing other individuals to participate. Currently at CFJC, we hold monthly Policy Calls via webinar comprised of various organizations and community members. Hangouts could be an interesting platform to conduct these meetings because it would permit more active participation.

Social networks are crucial to keeping CFJC connected with individuals outside the immediate organization. Since CFJC is already up to date with Facebook and Twitter, becoming a part of the Google+ network will be an important next step in expanding our social networking presence.

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CFJC promotes the basic human right to healthy food while advancing social, agricultural, environmental and economic justice. Through advocacy, organizing and education, we collaborate with community-based efforts to create a sustainable food supply. We envision a food system in which all activities, from farm to table, are equitable, healthful, regenerative and community-driven.

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One Response to “Social Networking for the Non-Profit World”

  1. Jim Ginther Says:

    I agree