Zorn, T. E., Grant, S., & Henderson, A. (2013). Strengthening resource mobilization chains: Developing the social media competencies of community and voluntary organizations in New Zealand. VOLUNTAS: International Journal of Voluntary and Nonprofit Organizations, 24(3), 666-687.
Permanent Research Commons link: http://hdl.handle.net/10289/8047
There is potential for nonprofit organizations to increase effectiveness by mobilizing social media to help achieve goals. However, the sector is only just becoming aware of the possibilities for social media and lags behind other sectors in its use. We report a New Zealand initiative to enhance the capability of nonprofit organizations through action research that has implications for nonprofit organizations elsewhere. Borrowing from resource mobilization theory, we introduce the concept of resource mobilization chains to explain the requirements for and obstacles to taking advantage of social media. A survey and two in-depth case studies found that nonprofit organizations demonstrated extremely limited familiarity with and use of social media. Participants were enthusiastic about the potential of mobilizing social media to achieve organizational goals, but struggled to take concrete steps to implement their aspirations. Lack of resources was a key obstacle identified in both survey and case study research.