The SA NPO Network, at first sight, might seem like just another group on Facebook. When you spend time in the community, however, you will notice that the group is filled with like-minded people who have become a strong network; that care and look after each other.
Founded by Durban-based Cindy McNally, new members need to ask permission to join by completing a questionnaire in order to establish their intentions of being a part of the group. Cindy, alongside other moderators, monitors new group members, as well as the posting activity in the group to ensure that the community remains like-minded.
With over 5000 members, your nonprofit organisation will be able to find out about workshops, courses and useful information pertaining to the civil society landscape. Once a week you may be permitted to advertise and request collaborative efforts for your organisation on the platform. Every other day of the week, you are encouraged to ask landscape-relevant questions and also provide support to other members that have queries.
Many of the SA NPO Network community members ask each other for advice on the platform and the general attitude of the group is ubuntu. If someone has experience with a certain circumstance he or she will share that knowledge openly and freely to help assist another. (The community also has a global hashtag: #SANPONETWORK which you can follow on Instagram – read more about that here.)
Cindy keeps a very well organized group running. In the time that I have spent in the group, I haven’t found any conflicts occurring and have seen a very pleasant and helpful environment in the group, which I must admit is almost extinct on Facebook these days.
On Fridays, Samantha Barnard from Phambano Technology Development Centre NPC, hosts #TechFriday whereby she shares short tutorials on technology to assist nonprofits and keep them updated on the latest of what’s going on in digital marketing. If the world of social media and technology is a mystery to you, these tutorials are definitely something you should be engaging with on the SA NPO Network Group. If you missed any of the live version tutorials, don’t worry as they are saved in the video section in the group to catch up on, at your convenience.
In the Files section (blue arrow in the image above) of the group you will be able to access useful documents, presentations, tutorials and application form templates like “How to write a concept paper”, “Child protection policies”, “Financial Policy Template” and so much more. The Search function (green arrow in the image above) of the group allows you to search previously posted threads by other members and is useful if you are looking for answers relating to topics like “How do I apply for PBO status?“.
In its entirety, this group is an incredible resource for the nonprofit community in South Africa. The effort and work it takes to keep a group running like this is tremendous and I take my hat off to Cindy McNally and the rest of the community that make this possible. I commend you all for the hard work and long hours put in, and look forward to seeing further growth and successes of everyone in it!