Like many other organizations, the company I work for, Keystone Human Services, is exploring the use of social networking to expand support of our mission. Our approach to human services is community-centric. and our mission is to create opportunities and support people in becoming active contributing members of the community. Until a few short years ago, everyone at Keystone understood the word “community” to mean the physical community—a neighborhood community, a school community, a faith community, a business . . . you get the idea.
Our understanding of community has definitely changed. This blog is beginning to be a community; Keystone has active groups on Facebook and other social networking sites; and, we are beginning to blog about our newest organization Keystone Autisn Services. The past few months have been very exciting and encouraging as I watch the organization begin to engage with the questions that this change in approach brings.
We’re dividing our efforts as follows: Blogging and microblogging/Social Networking/Online fundraising/friendraising/ and Cause Related Marketing.
Our bloggers and microbloggers are tweeting and blogging about special events like Pawsabilities, which benefits our service dog agency, about new service offerings, like the Adult Community Autism Program, and about volunteer opportunities. On Facebook we have groups for our agencies and specialty areas, and causes for our services that rely on philanthropy to keep going. We use Just Means to connect our message with other socially conscious business and non-profits, and we are embracing new opportunities to speak directly with our stakeholders.
We know we are in the early stages of understanding what these new ways of communicating mean to our organization and to the delivery of human services, but I do wish we were encountering more evidence that other human services organizations are trying these tools.
Let me know your thoughts. Is your organization choosing integration of these tools or are you firewalling to keep your focus on your traditional services?
Looking forward to hearing your responses.