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Applications of Social Networks in Nonprofit Organizations Research Paper

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In today’s world, there is a large scale embrace of social media by both people and organizations. This has changed the way people relate with each other and thus has affected communication techniques in a great way. Social networks such as Facebook and Twitter have attracted many subscribers from all over the world and many organizations are slowly turning towards the media with a goal to reach as many people as possible (Bernadette 2011).

Organizations that aim at making profits through marketing have been quick to embrace the idea because it provides an opportunity for organizations to access the majority. Social media can, therefore, be said to have had a big impact on the operations in organizations (Kang 2011).

Many researches have been carried out in recent times to assess the impact of social networks on the progress or development of organizations. It is, however, notable that most of these researches have been conducted considering only the profit-making organizations. Very little efforts have been used to asses the impact nonprofit organizations (Sallot & Porter 2004).

Professionals, in an organization, concerned with attracting investors and members have generally been termed as laggards when it comes to the adoption of developments in communication technology. In organizations various departments must positively embrace the social networks because it is through them the clients or volunteers can access the information required as soon as possible.

The innovation theory provides the underlying factors that influence a person’s ability and willingness to adopt a given technological development, in this case, social media communication (Bernadette 2011). First of all, a person must feel the relative advantage of adopting the new innovation, and there should be a perceived need for innovation in the activities carried out by a person in an organization. Secondly, the innovation or development being suggested should be compatible with the current systems by which the organization operates.

Compatibility plays a big role in ensuring that the transition from other forms of communication to the social networks is smooth with very few challenges. The third factor that influences adoption of a new product is complexity associated with the new product. If it is felt that the use of a given social network is cumbersome than the current situation, the organization may not adopt it (Johnson 2010).

The first step towards understanding the reasons for the delay in the adoption of a new technology in the nonprofit organizations involves assessing the importance of websites to organizations. In general, most nonprofit organizations agree with the belief that when an organization develops a website, there is a general improvement in the organization’s image. This, therefore, results in an increased level of competitiveness and professionalism (Richards 2012).

The credibility of a social network to a nonprofit organization is what determines whether or not the organization adopts the tools. In fact, the amount of time that is used online is the main factor considered is ascertaining that a given social network is credible. It has been found that, over time, the use of blogs and other social media has become the preferred option for most weblog users who can easily become volunteers for the nonprofit organizations (Richards 2012).

There is always a dire need to create better communication systems between a nonprofit organization and the public. The social networks have an immense power to develop the interactive communication. Websites that engage in political campaigns have been attracted to nonprofit organizations through the use of blogs. (Kaye 2005).

It has, however, been noted that, in as much as some nonprofit organizations use websites to enhance interactive communication, success has not been achieved because the public may not respond as it had been anticipated. This was an indicator that it may not be easier to achieve interactive communication for an organization.

This is because in many nonprofit organizations, there is no clear development of roles to be played by the various professionals in terms of wooing the public to join an organization (Kang 2011). In general terms, about 30 percent of professionals in nonprofit organizations believe that attracting new members, volunteers or partners is the work of administrators.

This, therefore, means that, in most cases, roles such as communication are shared among the employees. The sharing is usually as a result of limited money, and insufficient number of employees to viably carry out the other tasks (Bernadette 2011).

In order for one to understand the behavior of nonprofit organizations in as far as the adoption of the latest technologies is concerned, it becomes necessary for researchers to use the UTAUT theory. The acronym stands for Unified Theory of Acceptance and Use of Technology. This theory was developed after evolution of several models. These models have previously been used to study people’s behavior towards newly developed technologies.

These models include: diffusion innovation model and the theory of reasoned action (Venkatesh 2011). Aspects of all of these and other models have been combined to come up with one unified theory to explain people’s behavior when placed in a situation that demands some adoption of a new way of doing things. The use of the theory has taken place on a large scale in many fields such as economics, medicine and communication industries (Bernadette 2011).

References

Bernadette, T 2011, “Innovation Diffusion as a factors in the Successful Implementation of Resource Planning Systems”, Journalism and Mass Communication, vol. 86, no.8, pp. 5-25.

Johnson, T 2010, “We believability: A Path Model Examining How Convenience and Reliance Predict Online Credibility”, Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly, vol. 79, no. 3, pp. 619-642.

Kang, S 2011, “Nonprofit organizations’ use of the World Wide Web: Are they sufficiently fulfilling organizational goals?” Public Relations Review, vol. 30, no. 3, pp. 279-284.

Kaye, BK 2005, “It’s a Blog, Blog, Blog, Blog World”, Atlantic Journal of Communication, Vol. 13, no. 2, pp. 73-95.

Richards, EM 2012, Effect and Diffusion of Innovations, Free Press, New York.

Sallot, LM, & Porter, LV (2004), “Practitioners’ Web use and Perceptions of their own Roles and Power: A qualitative study”, Public Relations Review, vol. 30, no. 3, pp. 269-278.

Venkatesh, V 2010, “A preview of User Acceptance of Information Technology”, MIS Quarterly, vol. 67, no. 7, pp. 45-78.

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IvyPanda. "Applications of Social Networks in Nonprofit Organizations." July 10, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/applications-of-social-networks-in-nonprofit-organizations-research-paper/.

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IvyPanda. 2019. "Applications of Social Networks in Nonprofit Organizations." July 10, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/applications-of-social-networks-in-nonprofit-organizations-research-paper/.

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IvyPanda. (2019) 'Applications of Social Networks in Nonprofit Organizations'. 10 July.

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