Trust is Cheaper than Control: Social Media Adoption Challenges


Philanthropy411, is currently covering the Council on Foundations conference with the help of a blog team.  This is a guest post by Beth Kanter, author of The Networked Nonprofit and co-founder and partner of Zoetica.

by Beth Kanter

I participated on a panel called “Digital Age Giving: How Technology Impacts Everything & What You Can Do About It”

The description:   New technologies are changing the world and impacting grantmaking areas as diverse as economic development, human and civil rights, civic engagement, education, the environment, arts and culture. This session helps you protect your investments and maximize your social return by simplifying the hottest topics and providing small group expert consultation.

Social Media Policy:  Best Practices

This panel featured Geoffrey Blackwell, chief of the Office of Native Affairs and Policy, FCC; James Rucker, cofounder and executive director, Color of Change; and Michael D. Smith, vice president of Social Innovation, The Case Foundation. We each gave a brief overview of how social media and technology is impacting our work. I talked about it from the lens of nonprofits.

We broke into four small groups and I facilitated a discussion. The themes that came up:

* Culture change that is required to embrace a new technology
* How address the digital divide when the people you reach are not using the technology
* How social media is impacting governance

We talked quite a bit about culture change and social media policies. A question that came up, “What are the Best Practices for Creating An Effective social Media Policy” My advice came from a recent post that I wrote on the topic titled, “Trust Is Cheaper Than Control“. We discussed that it isn’t a matter of “giving up control,” but to think in terms of “sharing control” and that well-crafted social media policy as part of an internal discussion process can be invaluable.

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Posted by Kris Putnam-Walkerly © Kris Putnam-Walkerly and Philanthropy411, 2010.

Kris is a sought after philanthropy advisor, expert and award-winning author. She has helped over 90 foundations and philanthropists strategically allocate and assess over half a billion dollars in grants and gifts.

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