Posts Tagged ‘tools’


Free Social Media Tools for Your Organization

Posted on: September 6th, 2011 by Hayim Herring
Social Media Logos

Image courtesy of

This summer, Facebook surpassed 750 million users worldwide. In the past year alone, the average number of tweets per day nearly tripled from 50 million to 140 million.[1] Simply put: if your organization is not yet engaging with social media, you are missing out.  But chances are you know that social media are valuable, and that the real looming question is how your organization can maximize the benefits of social media while minimizing the time needed to devote to these platforms.

The short answer is that with a little more time invested up front, your organization can have a social media presence that will add value to the organization and its stakeholders.  And the best part—most social media are free for individuals and organizations alike!

HCN advocates creating a social media strategy before jumping into the social media game.  Having a clear strategy will help keep you focused on why you are using social media in the first place and keep you from getting distracted by the chaotic environment of the World Wide Web.

In order to help you in the process, we have posted a free guide for creating your social media strategy.  You can also download our social media glossary (in case you still don’t know what an “RSS Feed” is…).  Please click here to access these free resources.

By spending the time now to create a social media strategy for your organization, you will hopefully begin seeing real results in the near future, such as driving more traffic to your website, attracting new event attendees or enhancing relationships with your existing constituency.[2]  Social media will never obviate the need for meaningful face-to-face interactions.  Yet in today’s digital environment, can your organization really afford not to make this small yet critical investment?

[1] As of March 14, 2011 (

[2] See a recent survey by Idealware on the impact of Facebook on non-profit organizations:

Welcome to the Tools for Shuls Blog!

Posted on: December 4th, 2008 by Hayim Herring
You’re invited to contribute to a book about synagogues, churches and other non-profit organizations. The working title is Tools for Shuls: A Guide to Makeover Your Synagogue. (Shul is Yiddish for “synagogue”). The Alban Institute is the publisher, and the book should be in print about a year from this spring or even sooner. While the title of the book has the word “synagogue” in it, anyone who cares about improving the impact of nonprofit organizations potentially has something to offer. By posting on this blog, you will expand the knowledge of how religious organizations can elevate their performance and still maintain their spirit. And, if I use your idea, you will be credited in the book.

I’m looking forward to a rich conversation on the blog. I plan to post an entry every week. Some of the issues that I hope to explore include:

  • introducing innovation in a setting which is geared for preservation and adaptation
  • appreciating the value of assessment as a tool for synagogue learning and growth
  • increasing the number of synagogue volunteers and improving their experience
  • digital dreaming, that is, using technology to extend the reach of synagogues.
  • These are just a sample of some of the topics that I hope we can explore together. Please share your wisdom by commenting on these posts and help to make synagogues and other faith-based organizations even more vital today.

    Throughout the almost 25 years that I have been a rabbi I’ve worked in and around synagogues, and have been inspired by many synagogue clergy and volunteers. I also know how incredibly complex synagogues are and how clergy are often insufficiently prepared for executive leadership and management roles. Volunteer leaders would enjoy a more satisfying experience if they also had some additional tools and knowledge to help them fulfill their synagogue roles. This book is an effort to fill in some of those fundamental gaps. So please share your wisdom and help bring your aspirations of your synagogue or church in this areas to life!

    If you haven’t already read my first post, Pick the Low Hanging Fruit or Reach for the Stars?, please scroll back up to read it and then share your thoughts.

    Thank you,

    Rabbi Hayim Herring