Social Networking Mindset IS Relevant to Non-Profits

Robin Noah

Social Networking Mindset IS Relevant to Non-Profits … Social networking in the nonprofits community is a frequent subject in many of the meetings I attend. It’s usually a discussion regarding “… should we or shouldn’t we”? Should we go all out?

I was intrigued by a recent article I read written by Beth Kanter In one of her blogs on Hubspot where she addressed the mindset of social media and nonprofits. She stated that mindset is “a new style of leadership that works through active participation, openness, decentralized decision-making, and collective action. It requires that nonprofit leaders have an awareness of the organization’s networks and are listening to and cultivating these networks in order to achieve impact.”

Ms. Kanter discussed four phases of the social networking mindset and how each phase applies to the various steps of social networking ladder and the complexity within non-profit groups.

The Crawling Phase: Non-profits in the crawling phase do not use social media or social media marketing on a consistent basis and they do not subscribe to analytics to measure their progress. Their overall social media communications strategy requires more time, greater detail, and further development. Some organizations will find it challenging to adapt from a broadcasting mindset to a networking mindset.

The Walking Phase: Organizations in this phase utilize the power of social media more readily than do non-profits in the Crawling Phase. These non-profits have a better grasp on social media in general but need to develop a targeted strategy to support short-term and long-term goals. Walking Phase organizations use the information collected through analytics and metrics to improve engagement with their audience and to formulate content and best practice policies.

The Running Phase: Non-profits in the Running Phase incorporate several social media platforms into their integrated marketing strategy and apply metrics to everything that they do. Kanter remarks that Running Phase organizations “have a formal ladder of engagement that illustrates how supporters move from just hearing about your organization to actively engaging, volunteering, or donating to your organization. This is used to guide strategy and measurement. They visualize their networks and measure relationships. These organizations practice basic measurement religiously and use data to make decisions about social media best practices.”

The Flying Phase: Flying Phase organizations have learned from each of the previous phases and understand how to utilize everything from the Running Phase with a few additions. Flyers learn to take failure with success and realize that there is value and understanding to be taken from both. Flyers are intertwined into a growing network of organizations and people with a mind for social change and growth. They use all of the available tools on hand to continue to reach out, connect, and improve.

For some excellent reading and to learn more about Beth Kanters blog and her writings go to (Excerpted from


Author:  Robin Noah, Executive Coaches of Orange County,