Week 10: The networked nonprofit assignment starts now.

March 23-29, 2016


  • Familiarize yourself with the assignment and your group.
  • Develop an understanding of “networked nonprofit” and “content strategy.”  Flip the course: instead of examining channels, now you need to think about stories, images, goals, strategies for organizations, and THEN figure out which channels to use.
  • Solidify teams; meet with your non-profits; start listening.  Get off to a great start by forming (i.e. team building) and performing (meeting your non-profit).


Write blog post #7: your choice of topic, your avatar developed.  If you are really stuck for a topic, write a content analysis of Charity: Water.  They are regularly identified as the most successful users of the web and social media in the non-profit sector.  By content analysis, I don’t mean list the channels they use (although you will want to look at their website, follow them on Twitter, and like their Facebook page); I mean look at the kind of content they are using (photos, videos, long-form, short-form; what stories are they telling? what arguments are they making? what relationships are they forming?) and try to learn from them.  Obviously you won’t be able to achieve what they have achieved in a mere 8 weeks, but if you can learn one or two things from their content strategy, you will have learned a lot from this model.  Be sure to cite or paraphrase NNP and CSW; also notice how similar their approach is.  NNP say, “keep in mind that tools will come and go, but strategy sustains organizations” (6). Aim for a Sunday night post (or figure out a gimic that will work for you–Monday morning social media quarterback?) and commit yourself to checking out the rest of the class. We only have 8 active bloggers, and two of them will be your teammates, so support each other.

Your team will also write me a “Listening report” worth 25 points; due March 29th.   The report should be in memo format, addressed to me, from your team.  You should be asking your organization about their organizational mission and goals, as well as their web 1.0, 2.0, and even 3.0 goals and strategies.  Go into your listening sessions well-prepared by reading the assigned chapters from NNP and CSW, preparing questions, take notes, ask follow up questions even after your initial meeting. Don’t ask me how long this should be; just know it should be detailed, insightful, substantial.  If you don’t really listen to your organization, you will have a hard time doing good work for them.


  • Interact with your partner or team from class.  Figure out which channel works for your personal communication: Twitter, email, text, f2f, calls?  Realize that your choice of channel is significant.  If I and others can see your process, we might be able to help. Do you want to be a transparent team or a fortress?
  • Interact with your non-profit.  Absolutely essential that you meet f2f or have a significant electronic communication with them this week–unless that simply won’t work for them.  Make sure they understand the assignment, the length of time you will be with them, the possibilities and limits of what you can do for them. Please put me in touch with them so I can be a resource for everyone involved.
  • Interact with me. Think of me as the CEO of a consulting firm, and you are my teams of consultants.  I’m willing to give you feedback on your questions before you go into your meeting; I want to hear your reports.  Set up a Google Folder for your team; get comfortable with that tool if you are new to it.

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