Foundations Using Social Media for Movement Building

The topic for this month’s Social Good Podcast is on the ways that foundation’s are using social media to support movement building. The guests are Suphatra Laviolette of the Marguerite Casey Foundation and Michael Smith of the Case Foundation.

Movement building is a fundamental part of the social change universe. The biggest challenge for activists is how that movements take many different kinds of constituents and happens over a much longer period of time than a typical nonprofit campaign using social media. I wanted to learn more about how foundations are supporting these kinds of efforts. Joining me today are Suphatra Laviolette, head of social media at the Marguerite Case Foundation in Seattle. Suphatra describes how the foundation is using social media to support it’s Equal Voice for America’s Families program. This year-long campaign brought together more than 30,000 families and approximately 250 community organizations to lay the foundation for a multi-issue national family platform. Equal Voice is now a series of networks across the country working to effect policy change that will ensure the economic well-being of families.

The foundation invested in efforts to train and engage these families in communities across the country – and now many of these families are continuing the conversation on the Equal Voices Facebook page moderated by the foundation!

In addition, the foundation is moderating a Twitter account focused on conversations with sister agencies and reporters.

Michael Smith was super smart, as always. I love his understanding and appreciation of the opportunity to change culture for organization’s by using social media to one focused on listening and conversations. And Michael’s phrase that social media are telephones not megaphones, is just fantastic. I plan on using that one often!

What both the Casey and Case Foundations clearly  understand and practice is that movement building, developing best practices and creating a field of organizations that work in social ways, takes time and experimentation. This is a marathon not a sprint.



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Allison Fine

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