Friend Raising: How the United Way of Chester County Uses Social Media to Drive Change

Allison Turner (West Chester University, USA) and Kelsey Mattson (West Chester University, USA)
Copyright: © 2015 |Pages: 331
EISBN13: 9781466685406|DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-8188-0.ch011
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Abstract

This case study investigates the use of social media by the United Way of Chester County (UWCC) and how social media technologies were implemented within its distinctive organizational structure. UWCC is part of an international network of United Way organizations. Each organization is independently governed; however, each operates within the same loosely configured network. This case study investigates the ways in which social media are utilized in this context and to what degree they contribute to UWCC's organizational capacity, the effectiveness of its particular strategy relative to its size and structure, and identifies significant challenges and opportunities posed by the integration of social media into UWCC's organizational operations. UWCC's gradual integration of social media into its organizational operations and the challenges it has encountered related to resistance from organizational leadership and staff, the implementation of new policies and modes of communication, resource allocation, and the effective creation and distribution of social media content are discussed. Recommendations for the continued development of UWCC's social media strategy are offered, which include integrating social media into the organization's strategic plan and budget, cultivating a social culture, creating a formal social media assessment plan, and utilizing social media to enhance relationships with other local United Ways in Southeast Pennsylvania.
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