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Virtually every nonprofit organization these days uses online social media. In different ways, for sure, and some use social media more frequently or more effectively than others. But what every nonprofit should have, as most do, is an online social media policy. One that regulates the use of social media by the organization’s employees – both for personal use and on behalf of the nonprofit – and that governs use by members, supporters, and other non-employees.
With such policies, there is no one-size-fits-all and it is critical that the policy be thoughtfully tailored to the unique circumstances of the organization. Is your nonprofit’s social media policy covering all of the bases and appropriately written for your organization, its risks, and its history? There are certain key issues that should be addressed and some common pitfalls to be avoided in every policy. This program will highlight the most important legal considerations to keep in mind when developing or updating your nonprofit’s online social media policy, such as:
- Whether and how to require applicants and employees to provide personal social media access to the nonprofit, and whether and how to take adverse actions based on the findings;
- Proper intellectual property (especially copyright, trademark, and trade secret) usage by employees, members, and others;
- Managing online message boards in a way that minimizes potential liability for the host;
- Federal labor law-based restrictions on the nonprofit’s right to regulate employee social media use (applicable to non-unionized employers);
- Obtaining proper copyright licenses and assignments for social media contributions;
- Online contests and sweepstakes; and
- Guidelines for endorsements and testimonials.
Come armed with your questions, examples, and hypotheticals, as this will be an interactive program focused on practical issues, problems, and solutions – led by three Venable attorneys with extensive experience counseling nonprofits in this area – which you will not want to miss.