• 2014–2015 Provost's Initiatives

    "Social Media in Nonprofits Practicum,"  Professors Reid Zimmerman & Kristi Rendahl, School of Business

  • Course Description:

    Nonprofit organizations utilize social media to engage various customer and donor segments, enhance marketing capacity, and generate financial support. This practicum provided a platform for students to work with nonprofits to develop and/or strengthen their social media presence as a means to engage their various customer and donor segments, enhance their marketing capacity, and generate more financial support. Pairs of students worked extensively in a  nonprofit organization, helped to build the organization’s internal technology capabilities, met with experts in the field of marketing and social media to expand their own understanding of good practices and emerging opportunities, and developed a portfolio of work to build their resume.

    Experts in the use of social media joined the class each week either in person or electronically to share their experiences and to provide counsel for the students on various approaches and technologies to the use of social media.As a practical course in the utilization of social media to promote the work of a nonprofit organization learners grew in their ability to understand the utility of social media as strategic communication tools and utilize them to share key messages for the benefit of the nonprofit with which they are involved during the term.  The opportunity to team teach was also positive and brought both the technological expertise and the nonprofit/strategy/marketing pieces together.

    Learners grew in their:

    • Ability to identify how the strategic goals of the organization can be supported through social media

    • Understanding of the most appropriate social media tools to use with a range of constituencies

    • Understanding of ways to measure the success of social media.

    • Ability to develop an effective social media strategy utilizing input from key staff members and volunteers.

    • Skills in facilitating groups to understand organizational goals and how they can be supported through social media tools.