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By Anita Contini, Bloomberg Philanthropies Arts Team

We have a full house today at Bloomberg Philanthropies, as we welcome our arts organization grantees for #springsocial—a full day of presentations and discussions that will provide grantees deep insight into the world of social media.

Social media can be a powerful tool for non-profit organizations—especially those focused on the arts. Done well, it can increase brand awareness, engage audiences, and generate revenue. But for many arts organizations, especially those with limited resources, it remains an underutilized platform. That’s why Bloomberg Philanthropies wants to provide our arts organization grantees with access to some of the best minds in social media—and to resources to help make the most of their social media presences.

#springsocial is the second major event bringing together arts organizations and social media experts. Last summer we brought together 35 of our grantees for #socialsummercamp, a two-day intensive workshop facilitated by VaynerMedia, a leader in the field. Attendees were led through a series of presentations focused on the key strategies of a successful social media strategy—like having a unique and consistent voice, choosing the right platforms, optimizing content for your fan base, engaging with that base, and finally, understanding the metrics that measure your success.

A post-workshop survey conducted 3 months after #socialsummercamp found that 83% of the participating organizations began to develop and/or refine their organization’s social voice, while 89% experimented with new types of content and increased one-on-one engagement with their audiences on social media.

Following the workshop, we selected 10 grantee organizations to receive rigorous training in social media. Over six months, they worked with VaynerMedia to develop a strategy to increase and diversify their audiences and generate income for their organizations.

Today, we are thrilled to bring back our grantees for #springsocial. They will hear from some of the groups that participated in the 6-month training program—their successes, the challenges they faced, and of course, what their plans are for the future. Topics include: how to use social media to increase awareness and event attendance; how to create context to drive engagement and actions; and measuring the value of social media.

We have also put together an extraordinary panel to discuss the importance of storytelling and driving word-of-mouth advocacy for nonprofits. Moderated by Zoe Fox (Mashable), the panel is comprised of Gary Vaynerchuk (founder of VaynerMedia), Allegra Burnett (MoMA), David Cirilli ( and Liba Rubenstein (Tumblr).

To hear from three grantees on the impact of the social media program, click here for a short video.