Over the past century individuals with like-minded views and agendas had to come together and pool resources by creating organizations in order to express their views and reach a wider audience through the press and organization newsletters.
Social Media is challenging 100 years of tradition for non-profits. The impact of members is no longer stronger when their voice is channeled through an organization. The model has turned on its head. Today, organizations actually depend on the individual members to express themselves online as individuals in order to succeed.
Organizations made up of young members have a significant advantage on recruitment and marketing due to the high level of participation of the young demography in blogging, micro-blogging and sharing through social media, after all 73% of bloggers are under the age of 35. On the other hand, organizations with a membership with a median age of 50-60 are going to face significant challenges over the next five years. Bloggers above the age of 50 represent only a 7.1% of the blogger population (Sysomos).
Most non-profit organizations in their efforts to catch up to the social media world we currently live in, hire social media consultants. In turn they are left with tens of suggestions and one key take-away: the organization has to find its own online voice; their participation on social media as an organization cannot be in the form of press releases. Ultimately this is good advice, but not enough to succeed.
The reality is that without a member base active in social media, all the highlights and accomplishments of the organization will remain in a vacuum and the organization will suffer.
The best advice to Non-profits in the later age membership bracket is to invest on getting their most passionate and involved supporters and leaders from the board as well as membership to write a short blog for the organization and encourage them to employ social media.