August 04, 2011

Should Nonprofits Dive In to Google+?

The new Google+ social network has been producing a lot of interest, attracting more than 25 million members during its first month.

But for many nonprofits that are still learning how best to use established social networks like Facebook and Twitter, its arrival and rapid growth are anything but welcome news.

If they ignore it, they risk missing out on building strong connections with the early adopters who are flooding into the network.

But if they invest time in developing a presence in Google+, they risk weakening their relationships in existing networks like Facebook and Twitter without the promise that Google+ will ever reach the same size and scale.

So how should nonprofits approach the arrival of Google's new network?

In the latest episode of Social Good, Beth Kanter, the blogger and co-author with Ms. Fine of The Networked Nonprofit, offers advice to nonprofits that are looking to answer this question.

Ms. Kanter, who has been experimenting with using Google+ for social good, explains how nonprofits can take advantage of Google+ and discusses how groups can decide how much time to invest in the network.

Allison Fine, a nonprofit leader and expert on technology and communications, discusses how charities and foundations can more effectively use social-media tools to spread their messages and raise money. Ms. Fine incorporates suggestions and questions from readers into her podcasts and invites you to e-mail her at Look for new installments on the first Thursday of every month.