Skip to content

[Original Announcement] I am writing a book about social media for nonprofits!

October 20, 2010

11/23 Update: The article below is being archived. Please post the nonprofits that you think excel at social media here:

I am conducting interviews through February 1. THANKS!

That’s right! I am writing a book about social media for nonprofits. It will be published by McGraw-Hill in New York City and is scheduled to hit bookstores, Amazon and e-readers in Fall 2011. The book will be a very comprehensive social media how-to guide that will be based on the lessons I have learned from spending over 10,000 hours utilizing social media for social good over the last five years.

I won’t be begin writing the book for a few more weeks, and I would really appreciate some feedback from nonprofits on what you would like covered in the book? It will of course discuss Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc., but what are some other social media tools, topics, and issues important to you and your organization? I’ll use your feedback as a writing guide. THANKS very much! 🙂

49 Comments leave one →
  1. Manny Fernandez permalink
    October 20, 2010 8:19 am

    Looking forward to checking it out! Thank you for taking the time to invest in this project, I am sure it will be an invaluable resource to all of us in the non-profit sphere.

    • nonprofitorgs permalink
      October 20, 2010 1:16 pm

      THANKS. I hope so!

  2. petra permalink
    October 20, 2010 8:32 am

    Would you like to include a best practice from Germany? Visit us at, our work is based on the sole use of social media , with some success so far.

    • nonprofitorgs permalink
      October 20, 2010 1:17 pm

      Will do. I’ll book mark you for future research. I am hoping this book can get some exposure in Europe too. 🙂

  3. October 20, 2010 9:09 am

    Hi Heather! Glad to read about this, and wishing you the best of luck for its launch. I have done a share of your nonprofitorg FB post, onto my wall… 960+ readers!
    Cheers and thanks for your excellent work!

    • nonprofitorgs permalink
      October 20, 2010 1:17 pm

      Thanks Peter. I appreciate that.

  4. October 20, 2010 9:24 am

    Very excited to check it out! I just got hired on and my HUGE project right now is developing and managing the social media at our non-profit– so this book is EXACTLY what i’m looking for…

  5. October 20, 2010 11:19 am

    Regarding the cut on money for development aid in The Netherlands this book will be successful.

    • nonprofitorgs permalink
      October 20, 2010 1:18 pm

      Would love to give the training in the Netherlands when the book comes out. Most Dutch speak English, yes?

  6. October 20, 2010 11:40 am

    Selling Board Members on the use of Social Media to spread message, raise money, and recruti volunteers.

    • nonprofitorgs permalink
      October 20, 2010 1:19 pm

      The book will help. It will put social media in the entire context of the Web 1.0 and the Mobile Web. Not participating in social media is mistake, but it is not too late to start. 🙂

      • Sophie permalink
        November 1, 2010 11:48 pm

        Will it also put things in perspective in terms of ‘social media for development’ becoming a hype and being (most of the times) further from reality than we would like? Will it also deal with the use of social media in repressive states, where control of social media and space for civil society is shrinking drastically? And deal with the issue of ‘safety’ in these context?
        Sorry, although I am enthusiastic about the issue, I’m also fed up with the big ‘Hurrays’… enclosing a realistic picture of what works and doesn’t and lessons learned from failures (instead only a list of so called ‘best practices’) would absolutely increased the added value of such a book for me.
        Good luck.
        Sophie Conin

      • nonprofitorgs permalink
        November 2, 2010 4:09 am

        You’ll be surprised. I am the first to say to nonprofits don’t get too swayed by the shiny new tools of social media. I think it is often often overrated. I can’t say more at this point, but while I believe these tools are necessary, they aren’t miracle makers. No though… won’t be touching repressive states and just a little on safety. 🙂

  7. October 21, 2010 4:24 am

    Wow that is really cool. I have been reading your blog and attending your webinars since I first got into social media for nonprofits. As one of the “older” ones in this field, your material has been wonderful and greatly appreciated. I can’t wait for the book!

    • nonprofitorgs permalink
      October 24, 2010 5:08 am

      Glad I have been able to help. 🙂

  8. October 21, 2010 5:38 am

    Happy to help. We use Facebook, Twitter, podcasts, RSS, interactive media releases, bloggers, YouTube, etc. etc.


    • nonprofitorgs permalink
      October 24, 2010 5:16 am

      Interactive media releases? Tell me more!

  9. October 21, 2010 5:50 am

    I work pro bono for a nonprofit made up of older, less educated people with whom I struggle to get onboard for technology. Many of them are not online and still want their communications via paper and snail mail. This is a challenge.

    I also work for a microfinance startup that is very cutting-edge with its technology. Everything is done with cloud computing. This is also a challenge.

    So, as you can see, there is a wide divide in the nonprofit community, with no one-size-fits-all.

    • nonprofitorgs permalink
      October 24, 2010 5:09 am

      Numerous people have made this point. A frustration with the “older” folks not “getting it” or even worse, afraid of it. 🙂

  10. Camelia permalink
    October 21, 2010 6:47 pm

    I think getting staff and on board with utilizing social media is very important to discuss, because I have seen many nonprofits shy away from social media for this reason. Additionally, convincing Boards that it’s important is crucial as well to making social media work in a nonprofit. Without Board and staff support, most nonprofits are unable to really utilize social media to connect to their clients, community and donors in a significant way.

    • nonprofitorgs permalink
      October 24, 2010 5:11 am

      Yes… unfortunately many nonprofits still relegate social media the to 19-year old intern (no offense, 19 year-old interns!)… not understanding that everyone needs to get on board and that time and some $$$ needs to be invested.

  11. October 22, 2010 9:14 am

    I cant CANT WAIT for your book to come out.

    I started a blog and began on FaceBook as the Penname CancerGirl.

    I have transformed my Blog into a set of Characters on FaceBook, that has turned into a Non Profit (happens often I am sure). My Non Profit is called and we are a fairly new NP.

    I am also on Twitter as @itscancergirl and @hatsforhapiness and I use HootSuite as a valuable tool for both FB and Twitter and I think it would be good for you to include a section on those kinds of tools also. I think that more Non Profits need to work together, help each other on FB and Twitter and such, I think we can all benefit from the networking and connections that are made on Social Media sites

    • nonprofitorgs permalink
      October 24, 2010 5:15 am

      Thanks! I CAN’T WAIT until it is written! Most of it is already in my head, just need to take two months and get it on paper. Hootsuite will be mentioned. 🙂

  12. October 22, 2010 6:27 pm

    Hi Heather, I’m delighted you’re going to write this book. I’ve heard you speak several times and follow your blog posts. I hope you can include something about the interface of blogs, facebook, linkedin, YouTube, twitter, etc. You spoke about that at the NCNWR conference.

    I would also appreciate input on how to demystify the whole world of social media with people who could benefit from its use for their non-profit work but don’t know they need it…I’m talking about people who run the gamut from those who are curious but so overwhelmed that they don’t know where to start and so don’t start at all…to those who feel it’s evil and is corrupting those who are into social media.

    • nonprofitorgs permalink
      October 24, 2010 5:14 am

      Got it Joanne. Thanks. My goal has always been to write and explain things as simply as possible. No lofty theories… I’ll leave that to theorists, just very specific, super simple how-to’s in a step-by-step format. This book won’t just cover social media… it will cover everything I’ve learned in 15 years of utilizing the web for social change and online fundraising.

  13. Cheryl permalink
    October 24, 2010 5:41 am

    You are providing a great service for those who work with very limited funds. I have given countless hours to non-profits and look forward to reading about your ideas and recommendations. Keep us posted, Heather!

    • nonprofitorgs permalink
      October 24, 2010 6:35 am

      Thanks Cheryl. I’ll be posting numerous interviews for the book on the blog over the next 3.5 months!

  14. Marc A. Pitman, permalink
    October 24, 2010 5:53 am

    Congratulations! Can’t wait to see the book.

    I think nonprofits could be reminded that email is still social media…and incredibly effective for fundraising and marketing.

    • nonprofitorgs permalink
      October 24, 2010 6:34 am

      I can’t say it enough, but I drill over and over and over to anyone that will listen… don’t get too swayed by the shiny new tools. The ROI from e-newsletters can’t be beat. It will be in the book. Thanks.

  15. October 24, 2010 5:55 am

    I am an individual, not working currently for a non-profit. In the Atlanta, GA area, Linkedin is big – there is a Metro area group that gets together, and you must be a member of Linkedin to participate… So there is the face-to-face result of social media self-marketing.

    • nonprofitorgs permalink
      October 24, 2010 6:32 am

      LinkedIn will get a lot of coverage in this book. I have a LinkedIn Group that just hit 10,000 members… the ROI there is exceptional. 🙂

  16. nonprofitorgs permalink
    October 24, 2010 6:41 am

    Note to self: From Twitter… don’t just use North American examples. [Good point!]

  17. October 24, 2010 3:38 pm

    Hi Heather,
    What great news for you and nonprofit organizations. I have always thought that your blog posts are among the best around offering practical information for nonprofit organizations that really want to understand the ins and outs of how to “do” social media. I’m looking forward to the interviews that you’ll be posting. If I can be of any help, do let me know. Now that I’m also working at FirstGiving, I may be able to point you to some great nonprofit stories of using social media to raise funds online.

    And most importantly…congratulations!!!

    • nonprofitorgs permalink
      October 25, 2010 5:38 am

      Thanks Debra! I’ll definitely be contacting you when I get to the chapter about online fundraising. Well, every chapter is about online fundraising really, but for a social media book there will be quite a bit on Web 1.o and good ole “Donate Now” buttons. 🙂

  18. Laurence Dean Ifill permalink
    October 25, 2010 5:54 am

    Wonderful! If your Canadian reach wasn’t secured prior to this message, it is now for sure. I’ve been working with non-profits for over two decades and have witnessed the evolution as well as the shape of things to come in regards to the online world As I work now with the disabled community I see the barriers that exist and where a guide such as this could assist. Kudos to you and your efforts! Please feel free to reach out if needed and maybe I can be of assistance.

    • nonprofitorgs permalink
      October 25, 2010 7:29 am

      Thanks! I’ll do that. A number of Canadian organizations have taken my webinars… and want to be sure to include Canadian examples.

  19. October 25, 2010 8:38 am

    I would like a guide on how to get started on a social media plan from scratch. I’d love to see examples to what a start up process looks like, and the “do’s” and “don’t’s” from peoples’ experiences. Thanks!

    • nonprofitorgs permalink
      October 25, 2010 11:01 am

      Wow… I wish I could say more, but it will be in there! Can’t wait to wrap up my webinars and other projects and get started on this book!

  20. November 1, 2010 7:01 am

    This is interesting. I was looking for a social media for nonprofit book last week, and I was going to send you an email and ask you to write one. You have my best wishes with it.

    • nonprofitorgs permalink
      November 1, 2010 8:44 am

      Good to know! Thanks. 🙂

  21. November 2, 2010 10:59 am

    The most productive way — i.e., tools (software) — to post updates to FB, Twitter, blogs, etc.

  22. November 20, 2010 11:25 pm

    I’d like you to address how corporate might be utilizing LinkedIn and other professional networking sites to encourage philanthropy and networking for sourcing of funding for non profits and charitable and social issues. Any success? Experience?

  23. January 13, 2011 10:36 am

    Check out Education Generation, we bridge the gap between supporters and students in need using online platforms that we build and social media networks for growth and sharing.
    Education generation eliminates the high overhead of child sponsorship by partnering with existing not-for-profit organizations that understand the communities they work in.

    2800 + supporters
    215 scholarships
    $55,000 in scholarships funded
    8 countries

    Total to date cost of operations $300!!!

  24. January 20, 2011 5:19 pm

    I would be interested in reading the book when it comes out.
    I would tend to agree most older folks don’t understand the technology and those that do expect instance returns for the time needed to create Social media campaigns.

  25. February 15, 2011 12:46 am

    As a provider of interactive tools, I’d be very interested to know about the success or otherwise of SM in areas where computer access is limited or people are using really old technology.

    A big hurdle for some of our clients is their own organisations internet usage policy – some are physically prevented from seeing streaming video, for example.

    Good luck with the book!


  1. BOOK RESEARCH: Which nonprofits do you think excel in their use social media? « Nonprofit Tech 2.0 :: A Social Media Guide for Nonprofits
  2. Die Fundraising 2.0 Woche vom 16.10.-22.10.2010 | fundraising 2.0 | Spenden im vernetzten Zeitalter

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s