DigiGirl's Blog

non-profits using social media…..hmmmm

Posted on: June 9, 2010

so, i’ve got a meeting with our hospital’s foundation tomorrow about a social media plan.

so last night i started researching on facebook. first i tried searching facebook for expamples of “children’s hospital foundation.”  that didn’t yeild many search results at all so i searched for “hospital foundation” on facebook. after five pages of scrolling through groups and pages i gave up.

here’s what i found:

  • very few hospital foundations in the united states have facebook pages or groups
  • of the united states hospital foundations that do have a fan base, it’s under 500
  • there were about 15 hospital foundations from austrailia and the united kingdom that had more than 500 fans – the top number i saw was around 2,000

here’s why i need help:

  • i have an 11 a.m. meeting tomorrow with our hospital foundation to talk about implementing a strong social media presence
  • the very structure of the foundation is fragmented,
  • therefore they have compartmentalized goals and i’m not getting a cohesive plan from anyone

here’s what i’ve learned from a presentation by operation smile:

  • their campaign involved building relationships first
  • they gained a huge following on twitter b/c a super -famous person tweeted about them
  • they told patient stories through photos and blogs
  • they used admins, interns, and volunteers to manage the sm
  • once tribe was built, they started to incorporate asks
  • …and it worked out well

here are some ideas for a foundation strategy that we brainstormed and found from other sources:

purpose: bottom line is to raise money


  • build relationships
  • post event pictures
  • photos albums for causes
  • do polls to see what events they are likely to attend
  • give-aways, quizzes
  • share stories from foundation’s main publication – hopes and dreams
  • drive home the message that “this is where your money is going”
  • candid flip videos of fundraising stories
  • info on how groups can do fundraisers
  • contest with families like LeBonheur Children’s – they gave a handbook, letter samples, and ideas, and the families could raise money how they want but had to be approved by foundation. it went on for 8 weeks and they had a ceremony at the end.
  • corporate giving info – can we connect through linked in?

What I’ve heard from the foundation – a sample of things they want:

  • special events publishing/promoting
  • have places to bring groups together – special interest segments
  • grow supporter base for specific programs
  • and there’s one voice saying “i don’t know how, but you give us one big plan and make it happen! and btw, we can’t manage it internally and don’t have any money.”

obviously i’m in a major hurry 🙂  any input, advice, whitepapers, blogs, case studies, etc. that you could refer me to would be greatly appreciated!!!!


~michelle (aka PhxWebGirl)


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  • Michele: Text me at 602-743-3073
  • phxwebgirl: Thanks for the comment tshirtfrank! What company do you work for, if I may ask :)
  • tshirtfrank: Awesome post! Twitter is one of the best ways to keep up to date and get the word out! I use it every day for personal use and have showed many busine
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