June 10, 2010

9 ways nonprofits should be using Slideshare

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Beth KanterFor a couple of years, I’ve been an avid member of the Slideshare community, sharing, browsing and collaborating on content and watching how nonprofits use the platform. As I was reflecting about Slideshare and thinking about the characteristics of nonprofits featured in our book, The Networked Nonprofit, I realized that Slideshare is a haven for them. 

Networked nonprofits are simple, transparent organizations. They make it easy for outsiders to get in and insiders to get out. They engage people to shape and share their work to raise awareness of social issues, organize communities to provide services or advocate for legislation. In the long run, they are helping to make the world a safer, fairer, healthier place to live.

drank the Slideshare Kool Aid in November 2006. Today I have almost 200 presentations in my account, some with tens and thousands of views. Presentations and instructional content are an important part of my content strategy and the lifeblood of my work as a trainer. Slideshare helps set my work free and share it with nonprofit professionals all over the world.

Although PowerPoint has a reputation for being a deadly weapon, networked nonprofits know that when they give their presentations (and other documents) a social life, it can brings their objectives to life. Let’s look at the different ways they use Slideshare (or should be).

Networked professional development & learning

1Three years ago, I wrote a post about how Slideshare supports networked learning and networked professional development. This is what Nancy White is calling “Triangulating Professional Learning.” It’s the ability to learn from professionals inside and outside of your field. As Slideshare has excellent social media content, I can view slide shows across different types of industries and networks. I don’t have be a networked silo!


Discover, interact & learn from thought leaders

2I love the fact that I can see slide presentations from some my favorite thinkers in the social media field, literally hours before or after they’ve given the presentation — for example, David Armano, Dave McClure and Guy Kawasaki. But you can also find thought leaders in the social sector publishing their decks to Slideshare — for example, Amy Sample Ward, Danielle Brigida and Michael Edson. And it isn’t just individuals. You can grab the most recent research from the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project.


Informal collaboration with peers

3One of the best experiences I ever had learning and collaborating with peers was setting up a sandbox for network weavers. We set up a group in Slideshare to share and remix our slide presentations.


Create an archive for conference presentations

4Perhaps the most common use of Slideshare by nonprofits is setting up groups or events to collect conference presentations in one place so participants can find them. I like the fact that I can find the presentations from sessions I attended as well as those from sessions I didn’t attend. NTEN set up an event area on Slideshare for the NTC 2010. Some events have set up branded channels, like the Bar Camp Channel.



5Nonprofits that offer training as one of their programs have embraced Slideshare. These include CanadaHelps, Npower Michigan and Michigan Nonprofit Association. NTEN’s WeAreMediaproject has taken this a step further and uses Slideshare so trainers can remix each other’s decks.



6I have not come across too many organizations using Slideshare for fundraising, although I’ve seen a few breathtaking decks created by “free agent” fundraisers for disaster relief efforts over the years. These include Nargis Cyclone and China Earthquake



7These have come in the form of awareness events like Earth Hour and Yoga to End Poverty.


Sharing your organization’s story

8The National Wildlife Federation uses Slideshare for its presentations, but also to promote the winners of their photo contests. The Counterpart uses Slideshare to share its annual report information. Here’s a slideshow that summarizes research interviews of donorsfrom a local humane society. And, a missing child alert.


Tool to share draft documents and get feedback

9The Red Cross used Slideshare to share its social media policy and get feedback. See its presentation, Social Media Handbook for Red Cross Field Units.

How is your nonprofit using Slideshare?

Cross-posted from Beth’s Blog.Beth Kanter is CEO of Zoetica, a consultancy for nonprofits. See her profile, visit her blog, contact Beth or leave a comment.

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