The biggest takeaway for me from this class is the need for transparency in our content. People have a hard time arguing honesty, and it is also an attribute we not only look for in people, but in organizations. Organizations which exercise transparency in all aspects of their cause are more likely to collect good partnerships and network with quality organizations that will further their outreach. This is especially important when looking for funds. Not only for an organization, but looking for funds personally also involves a level of transparency. For example, grant writing involves a level of transparency, in that the donor is looking for a story that they can understand and want to help.
The Networked Nonprofit shares a lot of similar information with Content Strategy for the Web but fills in the gap of information for where to find cost effective funding tactics. One of the first tactics discussed is free agents, or people who are used, free of cost, to create buzz for a cause or organization. These free agents are discussed as more frequent due to millennials capability of, for free, expressing their love of hate for anything from food to companies. This same content can also be used to network with local organizations of these free agents who share similar interests with the organization being promoted. This promotion is usually friendly dialogue between friends who are sharing their experiences. Friends are valuable resources because we tend to turn towards people we trust to give us advice on anything from purchase to, in the case, where to donate.
As demonstrated consistently throughout the semester, transparency within an organization allows for trust to be built, similar between friends. An organization is seeking to connect with their audience but also those within the organization. Internal relations is just as important as impressions from those on the outside because employees are one of the biggest proponents for an organization. People who are unhappy with their job are going to express their unhappiness with those around them, and also possible on an online platform. Internal complaints are just as important as paying attention to negative online reviews as well. Organizations or companies which respond quickly and sincerely to their online audience tend to have better representations of who they are.
This friendly dialogue is something we discussed at length with our client. We and their clients know the great work they do but we explained the importance for them to be transparent with their work. Our client had a lot a good video and pictures on her phone and was an amazing storyteller, and we told her those were all powerful attributes that should be shared on the site and their social media.
SDA does have Twitter but they were not using it effectively. We explained that Twitter is highly interactive and since they were not very interactive on any of their platforms, besides email, we suggested they delete their Twitter and instead make an Instagram account. Although Instagram is also interactive, it allowed for more transparency without as much interaction. A picture is worth 1000 words, or a well crafted caption, and we also discussed the use of links and tagging to draw traffic from their tagged partnerships or drive traffic to their other platforms like their Facebook or website. One of the biggest focuses we had was their blog, which could serve as their ultimate platform to connect with their audience. Well crafted blogs can be just as interactive as a Twitter as long as their content was well presented, unlike their current posts.
For myself personally, being honest through my writing is something I strive for, and my experience working with nonprofits has demonstrated the importance of being passionate for your career. Writing for an organization that may be seen as a job rather than a career is going to be more difficult. Often the language comes out dry or flat and maybe does not get at the heart of the company, but instead face value mission. For a career, I want to be able to write as passionately as I feel towards my organization, giving anyone reading my writing the same feeling I have. This skill can be well adapted towards grant or proposal writing, hopefully for a cause that is meaningful to me.
Storytelling was a theme seen in both texts but definitely covered in TNN. Working for a corporate or for-profit organization is of course meaningful and fulfilling, but working for a nonprofit I believe requires another level of commitment. In order to receive funding, you need to convey to someone that your organization deserve their time, and a good cause always has a good story, something people can relate to and want to be apart of. People are always more willing to help out a friend, so it is important to speak about your organization as if it is a close friend. If you can craft a legitimate argument to someone in a way which make them feel as passionate towards a cause as you, they are going to want to be apart of that cause with you. I hope to be apart of something that make me feel passionate towards their cause one day.