Social Media and Nonprofits

Somehow, I imagined that finals week would end once I stepped off a university campus. And true, while my younger friends are sloughing through finals this week, I am preparing for any final exams, essays, or presentations. Yet I feel like I am, as one of my biggest days for AmeriCorps is coming up in 36 short hours. In addition to completing an Self-led service project and a group-led service project, we are also asked to complete a member-led training. Mine is slotted for Friday, which means I’ve spent most of my non-food bank and non-child time at work this week working on my training. Due to the nature of my training and my educational background, preparing to give a training on how  people can use Social Media and other emergent technologies in non-profit work to my peers feels very much like preparing for a final exam.

I am taking everything I learned from my teaching preparation program, plus my reading and research about social media, nonprofits, money, technology, and people, and combining it for one massive interactive two hour presentation. I’ve got discussion questions, video clips, a non-linear PowerPoint, practice exercises, personal reflection, quotes, brainstorming opportunities, and extra resources to share. I’ve synthesized, organized, and beautified this presentation, yet I feel like I still have lots of work left in the next day to complete. I will be talking about Google products, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, WordPress and Blogger, HTML and basic website markup, why United Way has an amazing website, the history and significance of social media, and emerging technologies like QR, Cloud computing, and Mobile Applications that I believe will drive us forward in the next couple of years.

It’s funny, though, for me to be giving this presentation. I was the one kid in our college class on “Technology in Education” during my undergrad minor in Educational Studies that defended my right to use a physical book instead of an e-book. I talked about how much I loved the physicality of reality, and how the virtual world mediated our experiences in a way that inhibited our ability to fully appreciate what we have. Since then, I have experienced a lot more with technology, my interest in it has grown, and I have joined several social media ventures. I even created a timeline of my experience with virtual technology to illustrate this uptick in my involvement, though I am well qualified to adopt the title of digital native. I don’t know what technology comes next or how my relationship with it will continue to evolve, but I do know that in two days, I’ll be done with this post-college final’s week.