Does Social Networking Make Cents?

by Jac La Tour, ECCU Communications Manager
(Originally published as a post within ECCU’s former e-publication, The Buzz.)

As we’ve been reading, researching, and writing about social networking over the last couple of months here at ECCU, a nagging question keeps surfacing. While it’s obvious that social networking has a place in ministry, does it have any practical value to those charged with managing a ministry’s financial resources?

The February 3 issue of Banc Investment Daily (BID), published each weekday by Banc Investment Group, LLC, suggests that the answer is yes. The company was in search of a financial analyst for their staff who has a specific skill set. But instead of simply advertising the position or retaining the services of a professional recruiting firm, they decided to conduct an experiment to see which means of publicizing the position turned up five qualified applicants the fastest.

The experiment was still underway when the article was published, but at that point the clear leader was a social networking site. It had surfaced five candidates in five hours, the first one just two minutes after the position was posted. Their conclusion was that this experiment illustrates the ability of social networks to help organizations “leverage the power of collaboration to solve problems.”

Imagine the potential here when it comes to managing ministry finances. Whatever problem, challenge, or opportunity you’re facing, social networks offer immediate access to the expertise, experience, and insights of your ministry peers, not just across town but around the country. By capitalizing on the networking capacity of social networks, you can explore questions like:

  • What are options for budgeting differently in this changing economy?
  • What quantity of cash reserves is enough and how do you build them?
  • If giving is declining, what kind of adjustments should you consider first?
  • Does online giving make sense, and if so, how do you best implement it?

Whatever questions you’d add to this list, the BID experiment makes a strong case for considering social networking as a viable source for legitimate answers.

If you’re looking for a starting point for people to weigh in on your most pressing question about managing ministry finances, follow us on Twitter and check out the last posting of The Buzz, Are Social Networks Important? for an entire list of Twitter feeds from friends of ECCU.

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