The Networked Nonprofit is an excellent, if not inspired, book that helps to contextualize the tools and fundamental ideas at the core of the social media revolution.
Many books have been written about social media as tools for connecting businesses with their customers, improving bottom lines and bringing marketing to the networks.
Some of these books are excellent – Brogan & Smith’s Trust Agents, Barefoot/Szabo’s Friends with Benefits, Mitch Joel’s Six Pixels of Separation to name just three – and many more are average, mediocre or worse.
Beth Kanter and Allison Fine turn their focus on the nonprofit space. Their book is a blueprint for helping traditional nonprofit organizations become ‘networked’; more open and active in the digital space.
More organizations should embrace the wiki, I think.
Anyone who is working to help traditional organizations transition to the social media space, whether they’re nonprofits or not, needs to read this book.
To my friends working with traditional book publishers, you need to read this book!
I hope that you enjoy the interview. Thanks to Allison H Fine for being kind enough to take the time to answer my questions and to Beth Kanter, who unfortunately couldn’t make it for the interview but kept in touch anyway. Also thanks to the good people at Jossey-Bass/Wiley – Erika and Meredith – for making this interview happen.
Here’s an example of some of the excellent thinking and writing that happens in this book:
Networked Nonprofits are simple and transparent organizations. They are easy for outsiders to get in and insiders to get out. They engage people to shape and share their work in order 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.
Networked Nonprofits don’t work harder or longer than other organizations, they work differently. They engage in conversations with people beyond their walls–lots of conversations–to build relationships that spread their work through the network. Incorporating relationship building as a core responsibility of all staffers fundamentally changes their to-do lists. Working this way is only possible because of the advent of social media. All Networked Nonprofits are comfortable using the new social media toolset–digital tools such as email, blogs, and Facebook that encourage two-way conversations between people, and between people and organizations, to enlarge their efforts quickly, easily and inexpensively.