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Networking for a Cause: How Can Non-Profits Optimize Social Media?

How does a successful social media approach for a non-profit differ from consumer-centered approaches? Due to the difference in mission between non-profit organizations and for-profit businesses, the tone of the conversations in their respective online communities tends to be very different, even while most of the communication tools remain the same. At the end of the product delivery cycle for the non-profit, someone benefits from the good will of organizations and donors, and the discussions that take place within non-profit communities aim toward delivering goods and services where they are needed rather than on how to make a profit.

Many of the leading authorities and practitioners of social media work primarily in the non-profit sphere. We’ll discuss why that is and how best practices vary between the non-profit and for-profit sectors. Join us to participate in a conversation that will explore:

  • Differences in social media practice between for- and non-profit organizations
  • Measuring for success through social media
  • Best practice examples of NPOs using the Web
  • How NPO networks look and behave


About the Panel:


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Tammy Gordon

Tammy Gordon is AARP's Director of Social Communications & Strategy. Starting in January 2010, she
launched AARP’s social media guidelines, established branded social platforms, trained hundreds of staffers
growing the organization's engaged social presence into a nationally recognized leader. Today, she manages a six person team of community managers and bloggers, as well as serving a network of nearly 300 staffers across the country use social media on a regular basis.Most recently, AARP scored an A+ by the Emerging Media Research Council, was ranked AARP number 9 out of 100 public sector organizations in the George Washington University Digital IQ Index and number 6 in the top 50 Digital Influencers in Social Cause. Before to joining AARP, Tammy was an account supervisor at Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide, served as deputy director of communications for Share Our Strength and spent eight years on political campaigns at the state and national level.

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Susan Tenby

Susan Tenby is the Online Community and Social Media Director at the San Francisco-based nonprofit TechSoup Global and has worked there since the site's launch in 2000.  She has been involved in nonprofit online community for 12 years, through its various platforms and tools. Susan focuses on identifying, interpreting and implementing social media trends and tools, on community management vs. social media marketing. She runs weekly online events and campaigns and speaks regularly at conferences about online communities, distributed teams, online social networks and virtual worlds. She founded and runs an online community meetup every month in San Francisco. She loves what she does, is a frequent speaker at conferences all over the world, was called out by Jon Stewart in a feature on  "The Daily Show", she testified before Congress and appears regularly on many websites, blogs, articles, publications and webinars.
Tenby can be found on Twitter as @suzboop.

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Brad Attig

Brad Attig revels in creating social strategy for SMB's and Non-Profit organizations. Brad recently started bradattig.com upon returning to his home state of Oregon. Prior to moving back West, Brad was the Director of Business Development and Marketing for a hot Manhattan, pre-IPO technology site helping to craft a social community for career focused professionals. An active volunteer, Brad has a special place in his heart for helping Non-Profits to make the world a better place through leveraging social interaction. Brad is also a member of the Madison Avenue Collective, a collaborative group of freelancers, consultants and professional contractors-creatives, guides and geeks-all under one roof. Brad can be reached at brad@bradattig.com. 

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Banafsheh Ghassemi

As a thought leader and a technology trendspotter and trendsetter Banafsheh has pioneered successful approaches in integration of business strategies and emerging technologies to deliver differentiated customer experiences for new and existing products and services across digital and offline customer channels. In 2010, Banafsheh established the first customer experience organization at the American Red Cross with an uncommon charter within the non-profit sector that focuses on customer experience as a differentiating growth catalyst for a broad and diverse constituent-base that includes disaster “clients”, financial donors, blood donors, volunteers, members of the armed forces and their families, preparedness, health and safety instructors and many more. Banafsheh has a BS degree in Mechanical Engineering from University of Maryland and an MBA from The George Washington University.