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Social Media Roundup: Are These Startups the Future of Nonprofits?

How nonprofit firms like Watsi and Pencils of Promise are bringing startup approaches to charitable causes. Also: Advice for exhibitors that can't make it to every trade show.

How nonprofit firms like Watsi and Pencils of Promise are bringing startup approaches to charitable causes. Also: advice for exhibitors that can’t make it to every tradeshow.

Just because you’re a nonprofit doesn’t mean you can’t think like a startup.

In fact, some startups are nonprofits, and they bring fresh approaches to the table, including a few you should keep an eye on. More in today’s Social Media Roundup:

Nonprofit Startup Trends

Some of the most inspiring ideas from the world of technology begin with startups—they set the bar for the rest of us. So it’s doubly inspiring to hear about startups like Watsi, an organization that crowd-funds medical treatments for those in need in the developing world. Despite its clearly charitable mission, it has the backing of Silicon Valley—it’s a part of the high-profile Y Combinator startup accelerator. While working with its charitable goal in mind, it’s taken a focused business approach to heart. “We are completely surrounded by for-profit tech companies,” Watsi cofounder Chase Adam told Forbes. “We are trying to hire the same talent, we’re designing our site and we want it to be just as good as any for-profit site—everything is the same.” Another example of this mentality in action is Pencils of Promise, which has collaborated with for-profit companies in its goal to build schools for communities in need. (ht @firstrepublic)

Leading From Afar

Exhibitors show off their wares at a lot of events each year, but many exhibit managers can’t make it to every tradeshow. Exhibitor Magazine reached out to a number of top exhibitors, asking what they’ve learned about keeping the show going when they can’t make it to the booth. A little mentoring might help, says Michael Guillory of Texas Instruments. “Throughout the year—and hopefully before your QB takes the field alone—identify people in your company who might fit the booth-captain role,” he told the magazine. “Then have them mirror your every move at several tradeshows. Walk them through what-if scenarios such as trouble with union labor, lost freight, skewered exhibit graphics, etc. Having actually experienced these situations will make your booth captain far more confident and capable of carrying out your plans without you.” Read on for other tips on remote booth management—including logistics, check-ins, and what to do when something goes wrong. (ht @ungerboeck)

If you’re an exhibitor, are there any tips you’d offer your troops on the ground to ensure that everything goes OK? Let us know in the comments below.

(Watsi screenshot)

Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a senior editor for Associations Now, a former newspaper guy, and a man who is dangerous when armed with a good pun. MORE

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