Nonprofits and Google +

Last week, a LinkedIn group sent me a white paper on the 2012 Social Marketing and New Media Predictions. One of it’s biggest claims?  Google + would be big this year. Even though the social site launched this summer, many have been reluctant to “make the switch” from facebook, haven’t considered it, or perhaps started one but didn’t do anything with it (I fall in the latter category). The more I read about Google +, the more possibilities I saw for nonprofits.

Google + is the perfect social networking tool for nonprofits. With all the different features, nonprofits can collaborate and create community among all the different groups of people they work with; volunteers, community based organization, the board, the people who they work with, and the public to spread their message. AND Google has created tools and ideas specifically to help nonprofits get started with this new social network.  What could be a better fit?

Let’s start with circles. As an organization, you can divide all the people you interact with into circles. Then, you can share information that can go directly to one circle, multiple, or the public. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you are trying to deliberately hide information from someone, but some things are much more applicable and pertinent to volunteers vs. your Board and vice versa. On facebook, you wear multiple hats as you try to appeal to the people you are serving, your volunteers, other literacy organizations, and potential volunteers. Google + allows you to create community without worrying about burdening readers with useless information.

You can also use the Hangout feature to have video chats with multiple people. You can engage all of your volunteers in different lesson plan ideas or teach a lesson to the people you work with. It’s a virtual conference call that is free for anyone who can be involved. If you have interns at your site, you can an FAQ hang out session with those interested in working for your org and the interns currently there. Both of these tools, circles and hangouts,  encourage collaboration and makes it fun over an easy/less confusing medium.

Are you excited about this? Because I definitely am. The problem right now is that not many people are using it, so it cannot reach it’s full potential. And we all know, anything you want to happen must start with one. SO, You need to step forward and start this for your page if you want it to happen. Encourage your co-workers to jump on board and tell their friends. Highlight this new page to your volunteers. Spread the word! It can happen and you can do it.

Here is a “how to” page to get you started. And don’t forget to add us to your circles once you start! 

Top Stories in Literacy Nov 20

Studies show that people who are generous are in better health
Whether people are donating for tax purposes, or because they are genuinely empathetic, research shows that they are happier and live longer. You might want to include some of these statistics in your next fundraising letter.

How to create a social media marketing schedule
In the nonprofit world, there are a million things going on at once and only time to give attention to half of them. While you might feel like you don’t have time to devote to social media, here are some tips to make the process easier.

Medicare Plan to be shut down
Quality Health Plans, a Medicare HMO with 10,000 Florida members, has been ordered into liquidation after failing to come up with the cash reserves the state says were needed. While the members will be moved to a new plan, this information could be useful to your students.

Nationwide Financial Literacy Campaign Empowers Citizens to Share Personal Financial Lessons
The National Financial Educators Council is starting a campaign called Financial EduNation that will provide organizations and communities with solid resources for combating financial illiteracy at the local level. This program will start at the New Year and provide resources for students, parents and the rest of the community.

Top stories in Literacy Nov 14

Hello! We’re starting a new thing where every Monday (and sometimes every other Monday), we’ll provide top stories in literacy news. These stories will include non-profit updates, adult basic education, ESL/ELL/ESOL, family literacy, health literacy, financial literacy, career pathways, digital literacy, and important updates for Florida literacy organizations. Here are this week’s top articles:

Nonprofits and charities can now have a page on Google plus

The Nation’s Report Card: Better reading scores start at home

Education Secretary Appeals for Financial Literacy, Planning Instruction in Schools

National  Digital Literacy Corps

Knowledge Cafe = Good Coffee + Great Convo

This year’s Knowledge Cafe at the Florida Literacy Conference will offer flavored coffee and quality conversation about five popular topics of interest:

  1. Fundraising
  2. Student Retention & Persistence
  3. Career Planning & Transition from ABE to Post-Secondary Ed.
  4. Developing Community Partnerships
  5. Board Recruitment and Development

During the Knowledge Cafe session which starts at 3:15 p.m. on Thursday, May 6, you can choose to participate in 2 of the 5 roundtable discussions mentioned above.  A facilitator will be stationed at each table to keep the conversation going, but we know you won’t need much probing. 

Bring your business cards and brochures, and be prepared to share exciting information about your program – anything from notable accomplishments to new programs and projects.  Remember to keep your ears open and alert for Promising Practices, too!

Let us know which roundtables you’ll join at the Knowlege Cafe in the comments section below!