The following is from the book The Networked Nonprofit by Beth Kanter and Allison H. Fine. ”Connecting with social media to drive change.” Chapter two goes into talking about the 20th century, millennials, free agents and rules of engagement.
Some interesting facts I thought this chapter had to offer include: 2005 nonprofit organizations employ 12.9 million individuals 9.7% U.S economy. 2008 nonprofits total revenue was $307.65 billion. These two facts are interesting because I didn’t know so many people were employed in a nonprofit organization, its fascinating. $307 billion is quite a chunk of change. “This expansion has been the creation and growth of individual organizations, with own missions, staffs and revenue needs.
“20th century caused nonprofit organizations to turn inward and pull away from their own members and communities.” Several important events first includes the rise of professional staff. Second the numbers and size if private foundation grew. Third organizations began to define success. Fourth information technology enabled organizations to raise money from more people through direct mail without having to interact with them personally. Not all nonprofit organizations keep their communities at arms length. Many do, they lose control of the outside world from the being pressured to fund their organizations and from trying not to drown in this fast-moving environment.
Millennials are young people born between the years 1978 and 1992. Hey look I’m a millennial. I was born 1989. Millennials are digital natives. Their passions are fluid; they support organizations at certain times when moving to do so, and then they will go away. This chapter then goes into talking about Free agents- individuals working outside of organizations to organize, mobilize, raise funds and communicate with constituents. They are not by definition millennials but many free agents are young people. Take advantage of social media toolset, to do everything organizations have always done, but outside institutional walls. On page 18 of the chatper I found this story to be touching:
“In December 2007, 10 year old Laura Stockman pledged to do 25 good deeds leading up to Christmas in memory of grandfather who died the previous year.” She started a blog, sharing her ideas and efforts with other people, including several influential philanthropic bloggers. She had 16,000 visitors and raised thousands of dollars for causes like the ASPCA. This just goes to show, anyone one capable of communicating can help.
This chapter talks about rules of engagement (working with free agents):
- Get to know the free agents.
- Break out of silos.
- Sort out feelings about issues.
- Don’t ignore the newcomer.
- Keep the welcome sign lit.
- Let them go.
- Don’t be afraid to follow.
Imagine using some of these rules in other applications of life. The rules of engagement (relationships). These rules seem ideal to life in some cases.