Social Media: Has Your Nonprofit Considered the Risks?
Posted by Josh Nevarez
Social media is a current phenomenon with companies such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter leading the way. Facebook’s current active membership is now in excess of 500,000,000 members worldwide. With this many users and both personal and professional content becoming public information, significant legal risks may be lurking in areas you never had to worry about before.
Social media has become a very professional topic for most companies and organizations around the world as they themselves want to be “followed” on Twitter or “liked” on Facebook. Because social media is infiltrating our professional lives more now than ever, nonprofit organizations need to be aware of the uses of social media in their organizations and how their employees are using social media in their daily lives. Nonprofit organizations that work with or serve our youth should be the most sensitive to the potential issues that social media may create for their organizations. As such, these and all other nonprofit organizations need a well-developed social media policy that addresses the risks to the organization while being mindful of the rights of the employees.
When creating a social media policy for your organization, some to consider might include:
1) Use of Social Media for Marketing and other Customer/Alumni Relations Purposes
2) “Friending” Students or Youth, Parents, Alumni, Clients/Customers, etc.
3) Work-Related Friends and Non-Work Related Friends
4) Posting Content on Personal Pages
5) Privacy Settings
6) Use of Social Media Sites during Work Hours
7) Use of Employer Identity and Postings to Blogs
8) Protection of Confidential Information
9) Use of Organization Logos, Trademarks and Intellectual Property
10) Monitoring of Electronic Activities
All nonprofit organizations should be protected by D&O or other liability insurance but organizations should look further into these policies and/or the possibility of adding “cyber liability” coverage as a supplement or rider to existing policies. Cyber insurance is designed to provide coverage for losses or claims resulting from activities or issues similar to those noted above. These types of policies or supplements/riders should be evaluated closely as the items they cover may vary quite a bit with cyber liability insurance being very new and definitely not standardized.
Josh graduated from St. Mary’s College in May of 1995 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting. He joined Armanino in September of 1995 and became Partner in 2006. Josh is a CPA and a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, California Society of Certified Public Accountants and the National Business Officer’s Association (for private schools). Josh is the partner lead of the firm’s private school practice. He has been providing services to the nonprofit industry, and specifically, the private school industry his entire career. Josh is leading the firm’s geographic expansion of its private school practice into Southern California and other parts of the U.S. due in large part to the firm’s many value-added initiatives, including industry leading KPI and peer-to-peer benchmarking as well the development of the industry’s first license-based dashboard for private schools.