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Central Iowa Nonprofits Using Social Media

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Nonprofit organizations were not the first on the social media bandwagon, but they seem to be making up for lost time. It seems not a day goes by that I am not invited by a friend to donate, volunteer or simply "like" the Facebook page of an organization. Some organizations are pretty quiet and just seem to be "collecting people" on their sites.

But there are quite a few others that are doing a great job with social media in Central Iowa. Here a three of my favorites:

  1. Central Iowa Shelter and Services - This homeless shelter uses both Facebook and Twitter to give updates on the shelter, request supplies and donations, and most importantly, thank shelter volunteers. With new shelter on the drawing board, this is great time for them to be more visible in the community.
  2. Prevent Blindness Iowa works to fight vision loss by educating Iowans about eye health and safety. March is Workplace Vision Wellness Month, so this Prevent Blindness Iowa blog post offers all employers free materials to hang up in the workplace to educate workers on preventing accidental eye injury. The organization also uses Facebook and Twitter to communicate its mission.
  3. The Pet Project Midwest's mission is to keep pets with loving families. Volunteers operate an Iowa Pet Alert (an Amber alert-type system for lost pets using social media) and a pet pantry to help families in need provide food and other items so they can keep their pets during times of financial hardship. The Twitter account is particularly effective in getting quick, short messages out to other pet lovers to find wayward animals quickly. The organization is also on Facebook, where they often share photos of people who donate to the organization.

Nonprofits have some special considerations when it comes to starting and maintaining a social media program. Most are understaffed or run by volunteers, therefore running the risk of leaving social media as the last thing on the "to do" list.

The entities listed in this post all have something in common; very passionate social media employees and volunteers who believe in the power of social media to make a difference. Any organization that starts a program should make sure that the person who does your social media posting is not the only reason you're doing it. Make it a part of your organization and its mission.

What's your favorite Central Iowa nonprofit? What did I miss?

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