You may have heard that Allison Fine and Beth Kanter have co-authored a book called The Networked Nonprofit. At the Nonprofit Technology Conference, they signed printed copies of the first chapter, “Introducing Networked Nonprofits.”
In short, networked nonprofits are defined not by websites and software but by the networked culture that they fully embrace.
The first chapter of the book underscores several qualities that Networked Nonprofits share:
- Transparent – During a presentation in Atlanta, Beth and Allison used a sponge (the fry-cook ocean kind, not the kitchen) to illustrate transparency:
- A sponge clings to rock no matter how many times it’s battered by waves. Your organization is firmly grounded in its cultural identity, organizational goals and mission.
- A sponges filter out nutrients as waves pass through it. Your organization grows by making it easy for “outsiders to get in and insiders to get out.”
- Value Networks – You value the connections your nonprofit has online and offline. And you nurture key relationships that spread the “good word” through the network.
- Comfort With Tools – Your nonprofit is comfortable using blogs, Twitter, Facebook and other tools that facilitate two-way conversation.
- Networked Ecosystem – You’re not trying to do it all. Your nonprofit knows that it’s “part of a much larger ecosystem or organizations and individuals that are all incredible resources for their efforts.”
- Courageous – You’re not afraid to lose control of your message, your logo, or your message. You know that the wisdom and passion of your supporters can have an infinitely greater impact than you and your staff.
- Trusting – You trust your supporters to make good decisions on behalf of your organization. Your organization focuses on giving them the tools they need instead of enforcing copyright laws.
- Athletic – Social media is not a set of tools to be used only by your IT or marketing folks. Your organization understands the power that Facebook and Twitter have in the lives of your supporters because you use the tools yourself. It’s a contact sport.
Note: Beth Kanter is a partner in Socialbrite. You can pre-order The Networked Nonprofit on Amazon.
How networked is your organization? Share your thoughts in the comments.
Cross-posted from JohnHaydon.com.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported.