This article is from the Nonprofit Quarterly’s Winter 2016 edition, “Social Media: The New Nonprofit Nonelective.” We’ve brought it forward today since the US Senate just voted to overturn the FCC’s revocation of net neutrality. Net neutrality, of course, aims to safeguard democratic access to the Internet where many nonprofits spend and accumulate social capital. While the Senate’s action is a positive step, the effort to restore net neutrality still faces many hurdles.
FROM THE ARCHIVES
This important article about the formation of an extraordinarily effective “non-organization” in France is a fascinating example of how non-institutionalized social movements communicate, coordinate, and develop over time.
Nonprofits are increasingly incorporating digital listening into their practice, using the same tools and techniques of journalism, governments, and corporations to develop new advocacy techniques. But, as David Karpf, author of The MoveOn Effect, points out, there is a vast difference between listening more through digital media and listening better.
This article explores the connections between social media and the deep changes that are taking place in the relationship between our organizations and our constituencies. Social media’s “naturally reciprocal and boundary-crossing character is at the very center of its transformative potential,” McCambridge writes—but for many, the habits of vertical leadership and gatekeeping are hard to break.
To help readers consider their own ever-more-urgent strategies in helping to address longstanding problems of inequity and injustice in the United States, this group of experienced organizers has developed a hard-won set of six principles drawn from decades of research, organizing, and experience in a wide range of fields. This is definitely NOT the high-flown, consultant-generated, trademarked, antidemocratic model some may have been sold on.
The winter 2016 edition of the Nonprofit Quarterly addresses some of the enormous potential that awaits us with a wise use of social media.
It may not make sense for external parties to use overhead as a primary measure of nonprofit effectiveness, but it’s important for nonprofit boards to keep an eye on the ratio. Let’s not throw the baby out with the bathwater.