This session with Beth Kanter and Allison Fine will be presented as a webinar and recorded as part of 10NTC Live.  10NTC Registrants can register for the free recording by entering the source code you received via email. Register Now!

Social networks and social media has busted out of the marketing communications and fundraising silos and changing the way nonprofits deliver programs, manage, and even govern.  This session will take a look about these trends and how nonprofits can equipment themselves to be networked nonprofits.


The writing process for the book:

  • Expository vs storytelling
  • Different brains – visual vs words
  • Helpful guide tone vs colorful and wordy
  • Hired an arbitrator to be the editor

There was one thing that we both had in common: chocolate.

What is the Networked Nonprofit?

Working through networks allows us to scale social change projects geographically and geometrically. When you do that, there’s an entity called the networked nonprofit.


  • understand networks
  • create social culture
  • listen, engage, and build relationships
  • trust through transparency
  • simplicity


  • work with crowds
  • learning loops
  • friending to funding
  • governing through networks

Three Themes from the Book:

1. Social Culture

Red Cross – started social media efforts shortly after Katrina when people weren’t saying very good things. Wendy was hired “to make the bloggers go away.” As she started putting into practice some great listening practices, she realized that listening was the gateway drug for social media.  Staff started to see the value in social media and it led to adoption of tools. Fast forward to 2009, Wendy led a process internally to create a social media guidelines and operational handbook. It’s evolving the social culture of the organization.

Step 1: overcoming the fear and opening up – can’t let fears keep you from moving forward.

Step 2: make learning in public less stressful, worst case scenarios and contingency plans.

Step 3: Reflection – where the greatest learning is

Momsrising uses joyful funerals for things that don’t work. The richest insights come when we are at the wake of a joyful funeral.

Step 4: Leaders experience personal use.

Codifying a Social Culture: Policy

Most important thing in a social media policy: be professional, kind, discreet, authentic. represent us well. remember that you can’t control it once you hit send.

Step 5: Testing the policies: refining, educating

Operational guidelines need to be specific and include examples!

2. Transparency

The gravitational pull of social media is from inside organization out. You can’t close yourself off from the world.  3 kinds of organizations: Fortress, Transactional, and Transparent.

Transparency is not the same as being in a glass house. Think about national archives, behind a glass case – there’s still a barrier even if it is see-through.  A better anology is a natural sponge. They are anchored to the ocean floor, they let in 20 thousand times their weight of water through them every day, and they hold the nutrients from the water. It’s about engaging, that’s why you can’t have a glass wall.

Radical transparency: all naked all the time. You can’t run organizations that way. We don’t know where the line is but the line is there.

3. Simplicity

charity:water – focus on what you do best and network the rest.

You have too much to do because you do too much.

4. Reflection

One small step: what is one small step that you can take to make a big different in your organization to become a networked nonprofit.

The Networked Nonprofit – #10NTC
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