Social Media Behavior Guidelines for Nonprofit Staff?

Photo by Intersection Consulting

I was recently asked by @NCIBrooke whether I have a sample social media/online behavior guidelines or example policy. While I do not have a sample policy, here are a couple tips for nonprofits that want to create a policy for employee social media use:

  • Have separate staff and organizational accounts. Your staff should not be tweeting things like “getting coffee” or “watching Boondock Saints” under the “Girl Scouts” twitter name. The best way to do this is to tell your staff that the organizational account on facebook, twitter, etc is for organization-related information only.
  • Do not have a policy that says your staff can’t use social media. I have had some orgs ask me recently whether they should tell their staff they can’t have twitter accounts. Not only does this restrict their free speech, but they may just make one anyways and tweet about negative things about you.
  • Do have a discussion about what is and is not appropriate for your staff write about via social media. For example, do you really want your Development Director tweeting that she just met with Jane Doe big donor who might give $50,000? This doesn’t have to be a set policy – it is pretty much common sense. If someone wonders whether to write about, don’t. Remember, often perception is more important than reality.

For further information, tips, advice and sample policies from around the web, click here, here, here, here, here, and here.


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