How to Craft a Winning Nonprofit Social Media Policy

For nonprofits, reputation is everything. And this is why even nonprofits need a good social media strategy. It plays a big role in reputation management, helping organizations maintain a positive image that attracts donors and volunteers, wins funding, and builds support for their cause.

Now, if you want a successful social media campaign and a seamless process for your team, you need to have a solid social media policy in place. A nonprofit social media policy is the backbone of a winning social media strategy. Not only can it help organize content creation and distribution, but it also clarifies roles, helps maintain compliance, enhances security, and ensures that the focus of your strategy remains on your mission. 

The importance of a social media policy for nonprofits

Social media policies for nonprofits are crucial because they establish ground rules, limitations, and best practices when using social media to promote their cause. Here are some of the key reasons you should craft a social media policy for your nonprofit organization:

It clarifies each team member’s roles and responsibilities

A social media policy determines who will do what, when, and where when it comes to posting content on different channels. It defines each individual's role in the process, ensuring that everyone understands their specific responsibilities in creating, curating, scheduling, and responding to content on social media platforms.

It establishes a consistent voice

Establishing an authentic and unique voice is crucial for building trust with potential donors and volunteers. This is why creating a set of guidelines is important. Social media policies for nonprofits would play a vital role in ensuring consistency in the organization's tone and branding. 

Maximize Your Brand’s Share of Voice Using Social Media

By empowering your employees to be brand advocates, you're providing them with a sense of ownership and pride in the company they work for. This, in turn, can lead to increased engagement levels from both your employees AND customers.

It ensures you always send the right message

A social media policy outlines how a nonprofit organization, its staff, and volunteers should communicate and interact online and sets boundaries around what employees should post at work or about work.

It helps with legal compliance 

Nonprofits must abide by certain legal requirements in order to be compliant with their tax-exempt status. For instance, fundraising laws can vary from state to state. Some states may view social media requests as solicitations. This small difference can mean that you are required to register as a nonprofit organization nationally versus locally. A social media policy can clarify exactly what you can (and cannot) post so you comply with your nonprofit status. 

How to create a nonprofit social media policy 

There are a few best practices for developing a social media policy for nonprofits. These steps can help you craft a winning social media policy that helps your nonprofit stand out for the right reasons.

1. Consider your goals

Before you dive into writing the different sections of your policy, it’s worth thinking through what you want to accomplish with your social media at a higher level. Review any existing communication or privacy policies that might already be in place, and make sure you’re up to date with regulations that will relate to your posting. 

Define the goals of your organization’s social media presence and how it will help further your mission. Identify your target audience for social media content and establish the key message you want to convey to communicate your nonprofit’s mission, vision, and values. 

2. Cover content and conduct 

Write a section that covers the kind of content that is appropriate to share on your channels. Define unacceptable content too, such as defamatory language, misleading information, or unsubstantiated claims. Outline the rules for sharing and licensing images, videos, and sound to avoid copyright infringement. 

3. Define roles and responsibilities

Figure out who will manage and monitor your social profiles. Your social media policy should include input by the people to whom it applies directly. Make sure all the key stakeholders are in the same room to provide feedback on the variations between different teams, social media platforms, and business needs that will play a role in your social media management. 

Establish the workflows for content creation, approval, legal review, and distribution. This section is important to clarify the responsibilities for monitoring your organization’s social media profiles, responding to comments and direct messages, and adhering to the fundraising rules set by each platform.

4. Set the rules

Creating a social media policy is essentially a process of defining rules and workflows for the management of your accounts. Make sure these rules are transparent, clear, and easily applied no matter what social media platform you use. 

Detail the privacy, confidentiality, and fundraising obligations you need to consider regarding social media. How will you protect the personal data of your volunteers, donors, and beneficiaries?

There are plenty of social media policy examples for nonprofits available online that can help you dive deeper into all of these sections. It’s also useful to consult with a legal professional who can give you more specific guidance related to your entity.

5. Provide training to the rest of your team

Share the policy with the rest of your organization and offer training for staff and volunteers about how to use the social media guidelines. Update the policy as needed and make it easy to find on your website, in the employee handbook, and in the onboarding materials for new recruits/volunteers. This policy should be considered a living document that can be updated as the need arises. 

Complement your social media policy with the right tools

Once you have a social media policy in place, it’s time to put it into action. Clearview Social’s suite of tools makes it easy to execute your organization’s social media strategy. Build a queue of content in Clearview Social’s platform that employees can share in just one click — giving you control over messaging about your nonprofit and allowing you to manage your content calendar. 

Clearview Social also simplifies sharing from your nonprofit social media profiles. Tools like PeakTime™ let you individually schedule posts to be shared days, weeks, or months in advance. Plus, the built-in AI automatically picks the best time to share across each network. 

Supporting Your Non-Profit Social Media Policy With Clearview Social

Reach out to Clearview Social to learn more about how we can help you spread important messages through your employees' or volunteers' social networks.