Platt Perspective on Business and Technology

Implementing a social networking strategy to drive effective green technology and sustainability – a practical guide, part 5

Posted in nonprofits, social networking and business by Timothy Platt on April 11, 2010

This is my seventh installment in an ongoing series on developing grassroots supported, locally effective green technology and sustainability, and my fifth segment to a developing guide for building and managing goals oriented social networking and community support for that. The first of these postings appeared in my series:
Ubiquitous Computing and Communications – everywhere all the time as:

All the Time and Everywhere, and Green – moving towards a more responsive computing and communications framework.

The next five installments can be found in my Social Networking and Business directory page as installment numbers 49 through 53 with this to go in as number 54 there.

I have posted on a number of issues related to how social networking works and how to build, manage and grow a goals oriented social networking system and community. I am going to switch directions with this posting and touch on a number of crucial issues related to fundraising and on gaining support needed to finance the marketing and other support activities and functions needed to make that work.

I want to start this by going directly to one of the most important conclusions I could possibly share on this topic:

• If you want your fundraising and development efforts to succeed in building an effective, scalable social networking and community-based initiative you need to get your fundraising and financial resource development and management right, and transparently so.

The most effective model available for this is to develop your Fundraising and revenue generation and your Finance management as if you were setting up an effective nonprofit organization, and if you are serious about developing an ongoing, large scale organization to address long term goals you may very well want to actually incorporate as a nonprofit, and for tax law requirements and a great many other reasons.

I have been running a series on Nonprofits and Social Networking and suggest that some of the core issues involved in setting up and managing a nonprofit are touched upon in my postings listed there. Here I am going to focus on two closely related issues – managing funding so that as large a percentage as possible of what you raise goes towards mission and doing this transparently as far as an outside review, formal or informal may require. In that, everything is about developing and maintaining a clear image of reliability and integrity, and an image for that, that is solidly grounded in reality.

Fundraising and Development as your source of incoming revenue, and Finance – your system and processes for managing cash flow and accountability for that have to go hand in hand and should be developed coordinately, and according to recognized standards.

• For Fundraising in a nonprofit, depending on governing jurisdiction that can mean as much as 80% or more of your revenue going towards mission, as opposed to payroll and employee benefits, and fixed operating costs that cannot be directly tied to fulfilling specific mission objectives.
• For Finance in a nonprofit that means following generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) and generally accepted auditing standards (GAAS) for US based entities or their equivalent as appropriate elsewhere.

And transparency is crucially important to all of this, and not just for formal third party audits but as ongoing preparation for any possible public scrutiny. This connects back to my last posting in this series where I discussed marketing your mission and your efforts to fulfill it.

My next posting in this series is going to continue this discussion on fundraising and revenue generation, and will look into some of the approaches that can be developed and deployed for accomplishing that. As a preview note for that posting, I am going to focus on the dual requirements of raising funds for your organization and of strengthening credibility for it through an increased sense of individual commitment and accomplishment, and from members of your community and from interested outside supporters. Your fundraising campaigns and approaches should do more for you than simply raise money per se. They should do so in a way that helps boost and strengthen your organization and its positive visibility.

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  1. […] and maintaining group focus on mission and vision, and I have looked into functional issues such as fundraising (and Part 2) and marketing for Green. I have also at least started a discussion on issues related […]

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