In the social media classes and clinics we offer at the Bayer Center, one of the most popular questions is: how are other nonprofits using social media to benefit their organizations? Unfortunately, the answer to that question is less cut-and-dried than one might think.
It is relatively simple to locate nonprofits that are utilizing social media. Due to the sheer volume of nonprofits that have gotten (and that are getting) involved with using various tools, however, combing through the tools, methods, and trends to find the social media rock stars is much more difficult.
To aid in this endeavor, there is a fairly new initiative called ThinkSocial at the Paley Center for Media (also a nonprofit) that is designed to promote social media usage for the public interest and to recognize organizations that are innovative in this realm. As part of this program, the Paley Center organizes the ThinkSocial Awards to highlight the best of social media by nonprofits. In 2009, three winners were selected by a combination of a panel of expert jurors and public votes out of over 30 nominees: SocialVibe, March 18 Movement, and Kiva.org.
You can read about the accomplishments of both nominees and winners at ThinkSocial’s website: http://www.think-social.org. In addition, the site features a blog with topics pertinent to social media trends and ideas.