Things Networked Nonprofit Consultants Might Do

Really specific things a consultant might do for a non-profit, especially in assessment and planning stage (the first stage).  Ideas drawn from The Networked NonProfit (NNP) and Content Strategy for the Web (CSW).  

1. Map an organization’s network (p. 30 NNP). Identify Hubs (active social networkers) and their ties to Nodes (less active social networkers). Identify the periphery and work towards bringing the periphery closer.  Determine the weaving happening, able to happen. Include a mapping section in your report.

2. Listen to the web on their behalf.  “Listening” means things like conducting searches on the web, via Twitter, and Facebook.  See what people are saying about the specific organization, but also see what people are saying about relevant topics and events.  Include a listening section in your report.

3. Inventory and assess an organization’s web content.  Start a spreadsheet; name, describe, evaluate each page.  Include an inventory and assessment section in your report.

4. Talk to, and carefully listen to the people at the organization.  Figure out their culture (fortress, transaction, transparent).  Work with the culture, but encourage a culture of participation and openness.

5. Complete a logic model for the organization, and include that in the report.

6. Develop a sustainable strategy that is about meeting goals, achieving outcomes.  Don’t let “using Twitter” become a goal; using Twitter might be the means to networking and engaging with other organizations who do similar work. Organizations shouldn’t see themselves in competition with similar organizations; they should be Karma Banking (NNP 66).

7. Develop a microplan (3 weeks) that can be accomplished (go for a quick win!) during the course (NNP 108), but leave the organization with a larger plan.


Specific things a consultant might do while implementing a social media microplan, based on a larger communication strategy. 

1. Encourage organizations to think differently (if they haven’t embraced openness, social media).

2. Help organizations form and strengthen relationships with their supporters.

3. Start and maintain conversations.

4. Find / encourage free agents to work on behalf of an organization. Consult the Ladder of Engagement (NNP 68) for a visual guide.

5. Establish a calendar for the organization (regular posting strategy, major events, things in between).

6. Work with organizations to understand their workflow; teach / learn with your organization. Practice. (NNP 51).

7. Crowd source a problem; demonstrate “leveraging the network.”  Consider how you really need to use a crowd (NNP 107-08).

8. Reflect on the work as its happening: weekly blog essay.  Assess successes and challenges.

9. Help organizations with storytelling, making arguments, illustrating their great work.  Help them with voice, reach, and play.




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