Remember: This isn’t a crusade, it’s a learning experience for everyone. Make sure there IS a good case for your initiative and if it does fail, share and learn from what went wrong. There is no shame in gaining knowledge from mistakes – for you, or your boss. 1. Change the subject. If you’re having a debate over the value of social media, you’re having the wrong discussion. The discussion should be about your organization’s goals – with social media being the means, not the end. 2. Make it about what your boss already wants. Don’t position your idea as a social media initiative; frame it as your initiative to support your boss’s goals, in your boss’s language. Is donor retention a big concern for your Executive Director? Highlight how social media can help keep donors engaged. Does your board want more success stories to showcase? Underscore how social media can help make that happen. 3. Make it about the audience. A good way to depersonalize the debate over social media is to make it about your target audience’s preferences rather than a philosophical tug of war between you and said boss. 4. Sign your boss up to listen.Set up Google Alerts and TweetBeep (email alerts for Twitter mentions) for your boss, so she or he can see that there are already many discussions about your organization happening online. Once this apparent, two things are likely to happen. First, it will become clear that your organization no longer controls your message online – so worrying about social media causing a lack of control is not worth fearing. That day is already here. Second, it will be hard not to want to join those conversations online – which is what social engagement is all about. 5. Set some ground rules. Set a social media policy for your organization, so it’s clear how to respond to what you’re hearing – and what types of initiatives have internal support. 6. Start small. If you’re going to start a social media initiative, start small. Pinpoint where your supporters are and branch out from there. You don’t have to be an overnight social media expert – you just need to be a part of the conversations about your cause. 7. Set a clear goal.Just as with any other marketing effort, establish a specific, measurable goal so you can identify success. 8. Measure and report.Once you’ve identified your approach and have set a goal, ensure that you can track and measure your progress. Most social media platforms have built-in analytics and you can also track Web traffic back to your site through Google Analytics. Be sure to tie your results back to your social media efforts where possible with careful tracking. (This could mean using tracking codes on your donation pages, Google campaign tags or landing pages created specifically for your social media outreach.) Share every little bit of progress and give your boss credit for it! It’s clear that social media is an effective channel for establishing your nonprofit’s brand identity, championing your cause and engaging with current and would-be supporters. So, how do you make sure your organization is on board — especially your boss, executive director or board members? Here are eight tips for making the case for your next social media initiative: Photo Source: Big Stock Photo Adapted from Nonprofit Marketing Blog.