Inspiring Non-Profits to Harness New Media
Reboot helps leading non-profit executives harness new communications technologies to advance their organizations’ goals.
The rapidly evolving new media environment is forcing change upon organizations big and small. New communication tools are challenging our understanding of who has a voice, and when that voice matters. New delivery channels fragment messages and brands over sprawling, fast-moving platforms, where online reputations must be built from scratch. Organizations’ internal conversations, critical for course-setting and decision-making, are being disrupted by distraction guised as input.
New media platforms have tremendous potential to help organizations communicate more effectively, but many are unsure how best to use these platforms to improve their outreach and impact. These platforms are often sprawling in size and complexity and have ever-evolving norms of behavior, rendering them incomprehensible to new users.
As the industry body for leading American non-profits, the National Human Services Assembly (NHSA) wanted to provide its membership––which includes groups such as the American Red Cross, Feeding America, Save the Children, and United Way––with the tools and skills necessary to navigate and succeed in this new media environment. Reboot was asked to help its member organizations’ C-suite leaders and board members create a framework to leverage new media in their own organizations.
Through a series of workshops, including an Executive Leadership Institute, Reboot pushed non-profit leaders to think about new media as not merely a means to promoting a message, but rather as a holistic tool to achieving their organizations’ missions.
Using concrete case studies, facilitated discussion, and creative exercises, Reboot educated and challenged non-profit leaders to better understand the new media landscape. We encouraged executives to also challenge each other, sharing experiences and best practices from their own organizations.
Our events served as a forum for a dynamic, forward-thinking group of non-profit leaders to think creatively and push the new media envelope. Visual facilitators were always on-hand to illustrate key concepts in real-time, producing the creative fodder that leads to “aha!” moments.
Our engagement culminated at a three-day professional development conference for CEOs and board members of NHSA’s member organizations. We taught design thinking for strategic management, and led executives through interactive workshops to develop skills around community engagement, brand management, and organizational innovation.
Reboot received immensely positive feedback from workshop participants, and from NHSA. The leaders attending walked away with a better understanding of the new forms of interactions that digital media facilitates, and how their organizations can adjust their strategies to approach new media tools less as disparate units, and more as an integrated whole.
The pace of technology growth means that a ‘social media strategy’ has a danger of expiring soon after launch. In order to design for the long-term, Reboot provided leaders with a strategic framework through which they can understand how disruptive technologies can be wielded, and an accompanying process for directing and managing innovation in general. The frameworks helped organizations identify operational and communications challenges––internally and externally––and develop new solutions to address them.
The event artefacts we produced for this engagement helped to recreate and preserve the participant experience, in addition to highlighting key lessons, insights, and solutions that were uncovered in the various sessions.