Seems like lots of nonprofits are talking about social media these days, but not many are doing it well.

If you are thinking about using Facebook or Twitter or email campaigns or any other tools, here are some tips for success.

  • Know your purpose.  Be very clear about what you want to achieve by using social media.  Too many nonprofits jump into it without clear goals then get frustrated when they don’t raise boatloads of money.  It’s not a “build it and they will come” situation.
  • Be warm and friendly in your communications.  Social media is about building relationships and the key to good ones is communication.
  • Communicate from one person on staff, not from the organization itself.  We know that there’s a real person actually writing the blog posts or the tweets, so let us see who they are.
  • Share interesting stuff.  Leave the boring junk out.
  • Share photos and video.  A picture is worth a thousand words, right?

I’m a big believer in finding a good example to go by and I have a good one to share with you.

One nonprofit organization that I think is doing a great job of communicating with social media is the Asheville Humane Society over in Asheville, NC.

Now, it’s a given that kittens and puppies are cute and guaranteed to be interesting.  But the folks there do a great job of sharing photos of adoptable animals, animals being adopted, and updates on animals that have passed through their care.  They always have something interesting going on and I just love the photos they share.

Check them out on Facebook at!/pages/Asheville-Humane-Society/48648647067.

I’d love to hear if you have other examples of nonprofits doing social media or other online communications well.  Leave a comment and share your favorites.



  1. I think that the Charles H. Wright HIstory Museum is doing a great job in the social media space. They have interesting updates on upcoming events, engage their over 11000 fans with quizzes on African American History, and post pictures and videos that are interesting. Great job to Ted Canaday, their head of Marketing for always being current and thinking outside of the proverbial box.

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