5 Ways to Protect Trust in Your Online Community

Did you know that the public has more confidence in peer-to-peer communications than the words of government officials and chief executive officers?

The 13th annual Edelman Trust Barometer describes the challenges that government, business, media—and even NGOs—face in light of ongoing ethical fails.

This puts you in an important position. You’re a trusted expert if you edit a blog, website or other online channel for your nonprofit organization.

This is also good news for your budget. You don’t need a famous spokesperson for your cause; you have “you,” and possibly staff, with lots of expertise.

I encourage you to seize the opportunity to showcase your work, but be mindful—trust is delicate.

In order to protect your online relationships and nurture trust, you should aim for the highest ethical standards. Here are five tips:

  • Be fair—Allow for diversity of thought and participation. Try to give audience to a range of voices.
  • Be truthful—Tell the truth, no matter how difficult, to keep that hard-earned public trust.
  • Allow for free flow of information—Whenever possible, allow interaction on your site. Interacting also helps build community.
  • Be respectful—Reply to comments and questions earnestly, no matter how odd it sounds to you!
  • Be transparent—Be obvious. Who makes up your organization? Who funds you? Make it easy for others to tell who you are.

Do you (earnestly and ethically) edit a site for your nonprofit organization? Please share a link below. We’d love to know what you’re publishing!

Lori Howell

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