Home / Articles / Update your nonprofit’s social media policy

Update your nonprofit’s social media policy

August 2, 2018

Share:

Perhaps you wrote a social media policy several years ago when your not-for-profit set up a Facebook page. Since then, not only has your nonprofit likely changed, but new social media platforms have emerged. At the very least, the sites you use have probably revised their terms of service. That’s why it’s time to revisit your policy.

The basics

A social media policy helps ensure that staffers, board members and volunteers use online accounts to promote and enhance — not damage — your nonprofit’s reputation and fundraising efforts. Without a policy, you risk confusing and offending stakeholders, inviting lawsuits and even incurring financial costs.

To prevent negative outcomes, your policy should address:

  • Which sites you’ll use,
  • Who in your organization has access to them,
  • What subjects they’re allowed to discuss, and
  • Whom they can “friend.”

Also specify whether staffers and board members can discuss their work on their personal social media accounts. If so, require them to post a disclaimer saying that their opinions about your organization are their own.

Evaluate site use

As you revisit your social media policy, consider the sites your nonprofit currently uses and whether they still enable you to reach your target audience. Do your staffers post frequently enough to be effective? Is your follower base growing? If not, you may want to shift resources elsewhere.

Another consideration is whether the social media outlets you use have changed their terms of service. In the past couple of years, many sites have expanded their rights to share user account information with third parties. Such changes may raise privacy concerns within your organization.

Other updates

Also review who has account access. In general, the fewer people with access, the less likely someone will post something damaging. But, if your nonprofit is struggling to maintain a regular posting schedule, it might make sense to add new, enthusiastic staffers to the account.

Be sure that, whenever you remove a user from an account, you change the password. Social media sites increasingly are being hacked, so your policy should require longer, more difficult passwords.

Another issue that you can’t afford to ignore these days is intellectual property (IP) rights. Contrary to what some believe, nonprofits aren’t immune from IP infringement lawsuits. Make sure you have permission from IP holders and properly credit them when you post third-party images, videos, music and text.

Fast-moving target

These are only some of the many issues that may require you to revisit your social media policy. Social media changes quickly. To use it effectively, pay attention to evolving developments.

© 2018

All content provided in this article is for informational purposes only. Matters discussed in this article are subject to change. For up-to-date information on this subject please contact a Clark Schaefer Hackett professional. Clark Schaefer Hackett will not be held responsible for any claim, loss, damage or inconvenience caused as a result of any information within these pages or any information accessed through this site.

Guidance

Related Articles

Article

2 Min Read

The Details on GASB 97

Article

2 Min Read

Lease Accounting Standard ASC 842 Impacts on Debt Covenants and Capital Requirements

Article

2 Min Read

Federal Audit Clearinghouse Provider Changing from Census to GSA

Article

2 Min Read

Consequences of Not Being Proactive on Lease Accounting Standard ASC 842

Article

2 Min Read

Infographic: 4 Steps to Implementing the New Lease Accounting Standard

Article

2 Min Read

Maximize Your Tax Filing Preparedness & Awareness

Get in Touch.

What service are you looking for? We'll match you with an experienced advisor, who will help you find an effective and sustainable solution.
  • Hidden
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.