Social Media as a Tool for Nonprofit Advocacy and Civic Engagement: A Case Study of Blue Star Families

David Chapman (Old Dominion University, USA), Katrina Miller-Stevens (Old Dominion University, USA), John C. Morris (Old Dominion University, USA), and Brendan O'Hallarn (Old Dominion University, USA)
Copyright: © 2015 |Pages: 93
EISBN13: 9781466685321|DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-8188-0.ch003
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Blue Star Families is a small nonprofit organization whose goal is to create a virtual community for military families, spouses, children, relatives, and the general public. Founded in 2009 by a group of military spouses, Blue Star Families combines community building and civic engagement with an advocacy role on behalf of military families. Blue Star Families aims to create a cross-sectoral community space that includes other nonprofit organizations, government agencies, private businesses, and private citizens. The organization employs several forms of social media to accomplish its goals. While Blue Star Families has been largely successful in its efforts, the study finds that social media creates challenges for small organizations, particularly in terms of monitoring for appropriate use of the common space by members of the community, acquiring adequate staff resources to analyze usage data, and finding resources to purchase access to more powerful analytics.
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