Beth's Blog: How Nonprofits Can Use Social Media - Út, 18/06/2013 - 15:07
Note from Beth: This one of my favorite photos of a workshop I designed and facilitated at SXSW called “Peer Learning Session for Nonprofit Social Media Managers.” The idea was to get folks who do social media for nonprofits sharing best practices about social media adoption and culture change by balancing brief content delivery with lots of interaction. This was a face-to-face session, but the learning was extended online afterwards, albeit briefly, in an organic way on twitter using a hashtag “npsmpeer.”
I’ve been interested in this sort of “self-ignited” peer learning or what has been called “Peeragogy” and that I experienced briefly last year as part of creating a handbook on the topic facilitated by Howard Rheingold and in many private and public Facebook or LinkedIn Groups where nonprofit professionals share best practices.
But both of the peer learning designs are for nonprofit practitioners who have fully embraced online networks and comfortable using them technology . What if you want to look at ways to create an online professional learning community that was sustainable over time to spread best practices in a nonprofit area? That was a question that Mario Morino and Cheryl Collins asked in an email thread to a couple of folks with lots of great ideas and experience facilitating online communities. That email exchange morphed into this guest post.
Is your nonprofit facilitating online professional learning? What have you learned? Please share in the comments.
Overview: Online Community Systems, Cultivators and Resources – Guest Post by Mario Morino and Cheryl Collins
The Leap of Reason team is exploring cultivating an online community to advanceawareness and increase expectations for continuous improvement and high performance for nonprofits as a pathway to increase social benefit and impact. To learn more about developing online communities the Leap team reached out to a select group of individuals who have extensive experience and expertise in online communities to ask 1) what community management services we should consider and 2) what sources/venues we should consider in cultivating/managing communities. We hope the summary of what these individuals shared, while is not exhaustive, will be of value to others working with (or considering the establishment of) online communities.
Community Management Services and Platforms
There is a wide range of services/venues upon which online communities can be built, including more generic ones such as Facebook, LinkedIn, email distribution groups, and others. The following ones were suggested as more specifically focused for online communities.
- Ning – Popular with nonprofits, reasonably priced, may require some customization
- BuddyPress – Works with WordPress but requires customization for some online groups
- Google+ Groups – Easy to use, most individuals have a Gmail address (or can get one easily), but limited feature set and potential for making some private conversations public
- YourMembership.com – Robust feature set, interface is easy for participants, ability to delegate responsibility to manage different sections, capacity to support collective resource center. Pricing may be barrier for some groups (Setup Charge + $595 monthly fee)
Community Cultivator Recruitment
Respondents unanimously agreed that the community manager, community cultivator (whatever the title) is the MOST important component of a successful online community. One suggestion was to look within an existing community to see if there is a leader with the passion and experience to facilitate because it helps with trust, perceived value, and overall traction. Another person said, “It’s ideal to have a team rather than a single person. Besides the obvious advantage of being able to collaborate, it avoids creating a hub/spoke dynamic in the community where folks hang back ‘waiting’ for the central person to do something.” The concept of having a peer from the community is called a “technology steward” in the book Digital Habitats, co-authored by Nancy White, John Smith, and Etienne Wenger.
One of the respondents suggested that “the best way to get talent in this space is to identify someone who already has skill, someone who is a natural at working this way online and does it because they love it, in their personal time, if not their professional time. It could be an ‘unknown’ to your community, in fact that might give your host a more neutral starting place.
“One way to go about finding the talent you seek is to go lurk online in spaces and conversations, particularly those about social change issues – of any ilk – and pull them in. Who’s running the parenting/running/makers community/community org, young donors, etc. e-newsletter, Facebook group, most active Twitter persona, podcast weekly discussion channel, YouTube show (has to be one that engages and interviews people, not showcases the host)? Go get that person. Find someone who demonstrates the fluency, skill, passion, connecting instinct you want in a host and bring them in to your world! Perhaps many of these people are somewhat introverted IRL (in real life) so experiencing their tone and skill online is critical.”
This is a partial list of advisors and consultants who work with organizations interested in developing online communities:
- Mitch Arnowitz, Tuvel Communications
- Michelle Groff Burling
- Rachel Happe, Community Roundtable
- June Holley, NetworkWeaver
- Beth Kanter
- Lisa Kimball, Plexis Institute
- John D. Smith, Learning Alliances
- Estee Solomon Gray, Mminddlabs
- Nancy White, Full Circle Associates
Online Community Examples
There are literally thousands of online communities, focused on a span of topics such as parenting, medical issues, education, nonprofit management, technology applications, and platforms. We’re always looking for additional examples.
- Salesforce NPSP (Nonprofit Starter Pack) Users Forum – 1100+ members who use the nonprofit version of Salesforce.
- Breastcancer.org – Organized around topics and stages of disease. Provides advice, tips, tricks, questions, and support.
- BoardSource LinkedIn Group – Community with 18,000+ members dedicated to advancing the public good by building exceptional nonprofit boards and inspiring board service.
- Networking Opportunities with NTEN – Community of nonprofit and technology professionals that include options for online and off-line interaction.
A brief list of some highly recommended books, articles, and website.
- Community Roundtable
- Digital Habitats by Nancy White, John Smith, and Etienne Wenger -
- Learning Alliances
- NetSmart by Howard Rheingold
- Trasi, an online community for conversations about social impact assessment
- “Cultivating Communities of Practice: A Quick Start-up Guide”
- “Communities of Practice and Purpose: #TChat Recap”
- Wenger-Trayer Resources
Like so many other examples, technology is not the most important part of a successful online community. Yes, it’s important to find a system/platform that meets the criteria and is appropriate for the group’s technology skill level, but it’s the human element that makes the difference.
We’d welcome inputs and suggestions to improve on what we’ve shared.
Our thanks to Mitch Arnowitz, Don Britton, Beth Kanter, Lisa Kimball, Estee Solomon Gray, and Victoria Vrana for their assistance in compiling this post.
Beth's Blog: How Nonprofits Can Use Social Media - Pá, 14/06/2013 - 16:34
Note from Beth: Two years ago on this blog, Porter Gale published a guest post asking “Can Social Media Save Lives?” and described how Amit Gupta was leveraging his network and social media to find a bone marrow match. This story became a case study in “Measuring the Networked Nonprofit,” to illustrate the value of crowdsourcing and how to measure the return.
Taryn Degnan picks up on this them of using social media to save lives to share her observations about the use of social media to find organ donors and her own personal story.
Social Media is Saving Lives. How’s That for ROI? by Taryn Degnan
- Pasadena mom uses social media to find organ donor for daughter.
- Kwirti Dwivedi finds a kidney for ailing mom via social media.
- Facebook Organ Donor Initiative Prompts 100,000 Users To Select New Option.
Friends, those news headlines are real, and it means that something wild and crazy is happening online. Perfect strangers are connecting through social media to give and receive life every day.
Like many of you, I get paid to use social media to effect change – to create and engage an online community and mobilize people to take action around a cause. But these days, I’m working overtime to use social media for much more than community engagement and content marketing.
My dad is in end stage renal failure and needs a kidney transplant. It’s been two years since he was placed on dialysis, and though this remarkable treatment is doing its job to remove excess toxins and water from his blood, the complications, surgeries and dozens of hospital visits that have accompanied it are becoming too much for him to handle. Dialysis is an imperfect treatment to replace kidney function, so we’re fighting vigilantly to find my dad a match online while he remains on the transplant list.
Most of you don’t know my dad. He’s an amazing man, father, husband, and doctor who has brought over 5,000 little babies into our world in his career thus far. He is adored by his patients, his friends, and his family.
I believe that the hours I pour into social media are going to mean something for my dad one day. So, will you be a part of it all?
Here’s how you can help:
My sisters and I have created a page on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/findjeffakidney) to help spread the word. I’d be honored if you’d like it, share it, and stay informed.
Want to learn more about organ donation? Visit the National Kidney Foundation (http://www.kidney.org/transplantation/) online.
Ready to find out if you’re a match? Contact (firstname.lastname@example.org) my dad’s donation coordinator. She can answer any questions you might have.
Still not convinced your efforts can help? Read this inspiring story (http://boston.cbslocal.com/2013/03/25/north-reading-man-finds-kidney-transplant-match-online/). Thank you in advance for your help, and for being part of this community of big hearts! And let me know if you have any questions for me; I’ll answer them below!
Taryn Degnan is the Manager of Social Media and Online Community at Common Sense Media. She lives in San Francisco with her husband who spends way less time with social media than she does. Contact Taryn or follow her on Twitter.
Beth's Blog: How Nonprofits Can Use Social Media - Čt, 13/06/2013 - 15:44
Note from Beth: If I could wave a magic wand, and ask for a wish related to my work to come true, it would be this: I’d like to spend a year to attend conferences where I don’t know a lot of the content or people and learn and network and blog about the experience. One of those conferences would be the Personal Democracy Forum. Well, a girl can dream, right?
The next best thing is to have colleagues who have attended amazing conferences like Personal Democracy Forum and share what they learned. I’m grateful that Kate Wing has offered up this guest post about her experience at PDF 2013.
Reflections and Notes from Personal Democracy Forum 2013
The 50% conference rule
Last week, I went to the Personal Democracy Forum conference for the first time, and I came away brimming with new ideas for my work. I’d read about PdF in Steven Johnson’s book “Future Perfect” and heard about them from Rachel Weidinger of Upwell. But what was a grantmaker who works on ocean conservation doing at a conference of software engineers and open government advocates? No, really, people kept asking me this when I told them I work on fish. I told them the conference fit my 50% rule.
I doubt that I am alone in having to go to meetings and conferences where I know most of the presentations in advance. Where I expect to skip most of the sessions because the greatest benefit will come from catching up with colleagues in the hallways. You might get a nice surprise from a rich discussion session, or the release of a new study, but for the most part you can predict >80% of the content. You’re going to connect more than to learn.
A few years ago, I started looking for meetings where I felt I knew much less about the content. Enough that I could understand the language, but where the speakers were new and I was drawing parallels to my own work rather than knowing the script by heart. When I look at the program, I feel like I get about 50% of it and the rest is deliciously outside my area of expertise. I try to sprinkle these 50% events throughout the year – a lecture here, a webinar there – to make sure I’m broadening my perspective and getting a few sideways ideas. That’s how I ended up at PdF.
And because of that, I learned about communities crowdfunding their parks and recycling programs. I heard about tools for building campaigns and aggregating citizen science data I wouldn’t have discovered at an ocean-themed event because they’re not being applied to coastal problems just yet. But they could be. I have some fishermen to check with first.
Why is it so hard to make something new?
Two of the most common complaints in the non-profit world: why don’t funders collaborate with each other and why don’t non-profits work together better? Real collaboration takes time, and funding, and a shared vision and putting aside our desire to get all the credit, among other things. DoSomething’s Nancy Lublin puts a very real face on the cost of our failure to collaborate in her PdF talk. The whole speech is 12 minutes, and if you want some tips about reaching millenials I’d advise watching the whole thing [quick tip: animals and homelessness]. But if you only have time for the hard questions, start at 6:30. Also, there’s mild profanity.
DoSomething isn’t one of Beth’s case studies for learning from failure for nothing – Nancy stands on stage in front of 500+ people and asks if she’s the reason the project is failing. Or is it that the funders and nonprofits working on crisis response can’t all get behind one idea. It’s a reminder that if our real goal is to build something radically new – a new data system, a community center, a society – we may need to get out of our own way.
Embracing measurement & uncertainty
Look, if you’re reading Beth’s Blog you probably already think measuring progress is a good thing. But maybe you need a reminder that it’s worth doing, even when it’s hard. That taking the time to articulate big end goals and interim milestones is worth it, even when you might have to throw your first indicators out the window and track new ones as you zig and zag to hit your target. Buck yourself up with Taren Stinebrickner-Kauffman’s talk about the importance of admitting what you don’t know. As she says, “it’s much better to fail in actual fact, accept it, and move on, than to believe you’ve succeeded when you don’t know.” Oh, and there are Game of Thrones references, for those of you who like some dragons with your skill building.
Kate Wing, Program Officer at the Gordon & Betty Moore Foundation. I’m a network-minded funder who works on oceans, because the oceans are connected to everything.
Beth's Blog: How Nonprofits Can Use Social Media - St, 12/06/2013 - 15:57
Note from Beth: I’m thrilled to participate in the LinkedIn Influencer Program where I get to write regular posts about leadership, failure, analytics, big data, presenting, and training from a nonprofit perspective. But even better, I’ve had a chance to connect with some of the other amazing folks who write regularly as part of this program. You see, I really enjoy cross-disciplinary learning from other fields and other perspectives.
One of the participants is Jonah Berger, Best Selling author of the book, Contagious. We have had a few exchanges about “going viral” and whether it is just plain luck or if there was a science behind it. He offered to share this guest post. Enjoy.
hViral’s Secret Formula a guest post by Jonah Berger
Want to know why things go viral? Why some social causes or programs get more word of mouth? Let me tell you a secret. It’s not luck.
Viral has been seen as marketing’s Holy Grail. From the Harlem Shake to the Rutgers basketball coach abusing his players, hardly a week goes by without some video or news story going viral. And word of mouth and virality have a huge impact on businesses, large and small. Blender company Blendtec’s sales shot up more than 700% a few years ago after videos of the CEO blending things like iPhones spread like wildfire. But what makes something go viral?
If you ask most social media “gurus,” they’ll tell you it’s all about getting lucky. Viral isn’t a strategy, it’s like buying a lottery ticket. Or they’ll talk about cats. Lots of people share videos of funny kitties, so cats must be the reason things go viral.
All these theories are great, except, well, they’re not really backed up by anything. No data. No analytics. Just old fashioned guesses based on looking at a couple particularly noteworthy successes. It’s like the idea that the Earth was flat. It seemed right until someone actually looked deeper and showed, well…it wasn’t.
Virality isn’t luck. It’s not magic. And it’s not random. There’s a science behind why people talk and share. A recipe. A formula, even.
My colleagues and I have analyzed thousands of news articles and hundreds of brands, all to understand why some make the most emailed list or get more word of mouth. Again and again we found the same principles at work. Six key drivers that shape what people talk about and share. Those six principles are the basis of my new book, Contagious: Why Things Catch On, and the first principle is Social Currency.
New York City is a tough place to open a bar. Competition is fierce and it’s hard to cut through the clutter. There are dozens of options around every corner.
But a few years ago Brian Shebairo launched a place that’s been packed since the day it opened. In fact, it’s one of the most sought after drink reservations in the city. Bookings are only available day-of and people frantically hit redial again and again hoping to snag a spot. Yet he’s never advertised the bar. Never spent a dollar on marketing.
How did Shebairo do it?
He hid his bar inside a hot dog restaurant.
Walk into Crif Dogs in the East Village, and you’ll find the most amazing hot dog menu you’ve ever seen. A Tsunami dog with pineapple and green onions, a Chihuahua dog with avocado and sour cream, and a Good Morning dog wrapped in bacon, smothered with cheese, and topped with a fried egg.
In one corner off to the side is an old-school phone booth. One of those rectangular numbers that Clark Kent used to morph into Superman. Walk inside and you’ll see a rotary dial phone on the wall. Pick up the phone, and just for fun, dial the number 1. Someone will pick-up the other line and ask you if you have a reservation. And if you do, the back of the phone booth will open and you’ll be let into a secret bar called, of all things, Please Don’t Tell.
Has Please Don’t Tell violated traditional “laws of marketing?” Sure. There is no sign on the street and no mention of it in the hot dog place. In fact, they’ve worked hard to make themselves a secret.
But there’s a funny thing about secrets. Think about the last time someone told you a secret. Told you not to tell another soul. What’s the first thing you did with that information?
You probably told someone else.
And the reason is something called Social Currency. People talk about things that make them look good. Sharp and in-the-know. Smart and funny rather than behind the times. If people go to a place like Please Don’t Tell, or even if they just hear about it, they tell others because it gives them status.
Social Currency isn’t just about hidden bars. It’s why people brag about their thousands of Twitter followers or their kids’ SAT scores. Why golfers boast about their handicaps and frequent fliers tell others when they get upgraded. McDonald’s used social currency to help the McRib sandwich take-off and RueLaLa used it to turn a struggling website into a $500M business.
Want to generate word of mouth? Get people talking about you? One way is to give them a way to look good. Make people feel special, or like insiders, and they’ll tell others—and spread word of mouth about you along the way.
Along with five other key principles (or STEPPS: Social Currency, Triggers, Emotion, Public, Practical Value, and Stories) Social Currency is a sure fire way to generate buzz. Will following these six principles guarantee that 10 million people spread your message? No. But it will increase the number of people who pass it on. Encourage people to tell two friends instead of just one. It’s like a batting average in baseball. No one hits a home run every time, but by understanding the science of hitting you can boost your average.
The next time someone tells you that going viral is about luck, politely tell them that there is a better way. Science. Word of mouth isn’t random and it’s not magic. By understanding why people talk and share, we can craft contagious content. And use it to get our own products and ideas to catch on.
Jonah Berger is a Marketing professor at the Wharton School and author of the New York Times bestseller Contagious: Why Things Catch On. Want to make your product or idea contagious? Check out the free Crafting Contagious Workbook.
Beth's Blog: How Nonprofits Can Use Social Media - Út, 11/06/2013 - 16:22
Stanford University lecturer Laura Arrillaga-Andreessen teaches students at Stanford about how to master philanthropy. The author of the book, Giving 2.0, has just released all her teaching notes and syllabi, along with philanthropy library. The idea is simple – by open sourcing her materials, she hopes to inspire more colleges to incorporate courses on philanthropy in their curriculum.
I first heard Laura speak when she launched her book, Giving 2.0, at Stanford two years ago. Her ideas resonated and connected really well with the a lot of my work. At the time, I was working on “Measuring the Networked Nonprofit,” with co-author KD Paine. After the book launch, I asked her if she would consider writing the foreword to our book and she said yes!
In a recent interview with the Wall Street Journal, Laura shared why she is releasing the curriculum and the basic frameworks. The goals for the Giving 2.0 ProjectU are:
- To provide any college or university educator with everything they need to teach a strategic philanthropy course.
- To pave the way for philanthropy to become a required course for college students and to make it as easy as possible for colleges and universities to integrate it into their curricula.
- To provide any giver—donating any amount of time, money, experience, skills or networks—with free access to research, learning and experience I’ve developed over the last two decades as a strategic philanthropist.
The materials she has released include case studies, course outlines, resources, assignments for four courses:
1) Strategic Philanthropy: This course, taught at the Stanford GSB, is based on applying core business practices to social change.
2) Philanthropy and Social Innovation: This course is designed to educate young, aspiring social entrepreneurs in how to create new models, programs and organizations.
3) Giving 2.0: Philanthropy by Design: This course teaches students to use design thinking principles to create their own social impact plans and engage in real-world grantmaking (sponsored in the past by the Arrillaga Foundation and now by the Learning by Giving Foundation).
4) Disruption for Good: Philanthropy, Technology and Innovation: This course empowers students to use technology to solve social problems.
As a trainer who designs and delivers trainings on topics related to these courses, releasing these materials to all to use and adapt is a gift. Many times as a trainer, I get too much into my own head, and it is difficult to get inspired by other educators/trainers because many are proprietary about their techniques and content. But Laura is sharing her research, resources, and instructional plans. This is a goldmine!
Carve out some time and explore the many useful resources and materials.
Beth's Blog: How Nonprofits Can Use Social Media - Po, 10/06/2013 - 16:53
Note from Beth: My friend Porter Gale has just launched a new book called “Your Network is Net Worth.” Porter’s definition about networking is about charting your own course, following your passions, and making meaningful connections, which in turn increase your happiness and productivity. Her book shares the secrets of how to do this.
Porter has been a guest poster to this blog in the past and she offered to write up this guest post about mentoring. As one who has always considered their work in the sector a “calling” versus a job, I’ve been lucky to have some amazing mentors. Therefore, giving back to others in this space is something I’ve have always felt was very important and one reason that as much as I could tried to connect with younger people or new comers to the nonprofit online space. Porter has great wisdom about this topic which is why I feel her book is a must read.
5 Reasons Why Should Make Mentoring A Priority by Porter Gale
It’s true; small actions can have a large impact. But did you know if you put giving back and helping others at the center of your networking and relationship building, you are likely to have more impactful and stronger relationships, among other benefits? One way to give back is by mentoring or sharing your experience with others. In my book, Your Network Is Your Net Worth, I share several stories that demonstrate the potential impact of mentoring. If you’re worried that you don’t have the time or bandwidth to mentor others, consider that even an hour or two of your time, can make a difference.
Last week, I was an invited guest at an entrepreneurial program for underprivileged youth called In True Fashion that runs out of Environmental Charter High School (ECHS) in Los Angeles. I was one of twenty mentors that visited the school for two hours of conversation and speed networking.
After gifting a copy of Your Network Is Your Net Worth to every 11th grader, students rotated table-to-table, in fifteen minute intervals, meeting a variety of mentors; including filmmakers, the CEO of Surf Air, the man behind Movember (a mustache growing charity campaign), a jeweler, an advertising executive and more. Some of the mentors and the mentees shared their experiences and five reasons why you should make mentoring a part of your life follow:
- You Can Fit Mentoring Into Your Schedule. Mentoring others is an attitude and lifestyle choice. You don’t have to have a weekly coffee with a mentee to make an impact. For example, having coffee with a new graduate or even exchanging an email or two can make a difference in a person’s life. Kate F. Spence, an 11th grader at ECHS wrote, “I am one of the Environmental Charter students you presented to on Friday. I just wanted to let you know how thankful I am that you came to our school and offered us the opportunity to meet all of those amazing people and listen to your words of wisdom! I can’t begin to explain how inspired I am! Being able to talk, and get advice from Linda, Star, Wade, & Brian was an amazing experience. I feel like I have already learned so much, and I haven’t even started your book yet!”
- Your Efforts Could Change Lives Immediately. Jade Barcley, a therapist and consultant was also at the ECHS event. She shared, “The experience with the teens was amazing. As they connected with each new mentor during the speed networking, the shift was visceral. You could see it change the way they were thinking – about themselves, their creativity, possibilities, and about their place in the world. They got visibly more comfortable in their own skin, stood taller, spoke more confidently, and connected more strongly with their passions and peers in each round.” Bobby Deleon a Development Executive at Infinitum Nihil, Johnny Depp’s production company in Hollywood, agreed, “There was one girl who was quite shy. Her head was down and she was quiet, but I felt her drawing me near. I made it a point to go up to her and asked, ‘what is it you want to do?’ She peeked at me and said, ‘petroleum engineer.’ I was blown away. I asked her to repeat it and I looked into her eyes and said don’t let anyone ever tell you that you can’t do it.”
3. You might find great future interns or teammates. Even with his airline launching less than a week later, Wade Early, the CEO of Surf Air made time to mentor and shared, “I just loved being with the kids. It’s so great to see all these kids focused on education and with well-articulated goals for where they want to be someday. Since the visit to the school I’ve already had students follow up with me.”
4. You’ll Experience Growth And Learning Too. Fran Ellsworth, a Junior Account Planner at Deutsch, shared, “It reminded me how far I have come since high school. I was depressed, shy and lonely at times, but always felt I was meant to do great things and inspire people. Being able to talk with the students reminds me to be true to myself and my values.” Mr. Deleon added, “I was one of these kids. I still am. I was born in a very tough neighborhood that many would consider a dead end path. For me, I wasn’t ready to die or be pushed aside. I’m definitely not a man with all the answers but the advice and time I give comes from my heart, my experience, and it is genuine. I don’t want anything in return, not a thing. Yet, every-time after one of these mentoring sessions, as I drive home; it is I who feels that I have just received something special. Another experience that is as genuine as the one I gave.”
5. Your advice can be very action-oriented. Some mentors encouraged the students to make eye contact, to sit up straight, to look interested and to have a firm handshake. Mr. Deleon encouraged students interested in filmmaking to “get out there and grab a camera.” He suggested, “We live in a world where advanced technologies can transform any business. Use technology to spread your message and ideas. In the end you will have a finished product, a digital resume, and more important a calling card that can help you move one step closer to a new chapter life.”
By seeing networking and mentoring as an opportunity to help people, I’ve discovered that these actions change me for the better. Remember mentoring doesn’t have to be an overwhelming time commitment. Mentoring is a choice to share your experience and knowledge with others. What you will find is that mentoring and giving will come back to you tenfold. It will transform your emotional state, improve your relationships, build your happiness quotient, and teach you the importance of gratitude and will help you make Your Network Your Net Worth.
If you have mentoring tips or networking stories to share, please send me at Tweet @portergale or an email at email@example.com.
Beth's Blog: How Nonprofits Can Use Social Media - Čt, 06/06/2013 - 17:02
Note from Beth: I am looking forward to the NCVS Conference. I will be doing a panel on using social media as part of volunteer recruitment and looking forward to hearing author Adam Grant talk about the ideas in his book, Give and Take. Another topic at the conference that I’m curious about is the notion of leveraging networks for capacity building and for career development for young professionals. Ben Duda is executive director of AmeriCorps Alums and graciously agreed to share some thoughts on this as guest post.
Let’s Help AmeriCorps Alums Use Their Experience to Keep Giving Back By Ben Duda
Last summer, I met a young man in Arizona named Kyle. He had spent his AmeriCorps term as a liaison between a mayor’s office and the homeless community, building relationships and creating resources. But even with all that valuable experience, Kyle was stuck working double shifts at a local pizza joint.
Countless organizations could benefit from Kyle’s skills, yet there is no system connecting national service alumni with nonprofits and public sector agencies most in need of young talent.
We at AmeriCorps Alums are working toward a solution by launching Employers of Service, a program exploring how we can link national service experience and a career pipeline. We’re kick-starting this initiative and conversation on June 20 in Washington, D.C., at Points of Light’s Conference on Volunteering and Service << LINK www.volunteeringandservice.org >>, which runs from June 19 – 22.
During the conference, I’m hosting a session, AmeriCorps Alumni as Leaders: How to Grow as a Leader After Your Term of Service – showcasing Echoing Green’s Work on Purpose platform, which applies lessons from social entrepreneurs to professional development strategies for young people looking to make a difference. The session will also feature a roundtable conversation and Q & A with three nonprofit leaders (all AmeriCorps alumni): Linda Kay Klein, director of Work on Purpose; Michael Omenazu, recruitment manager at Commongood Careers and Nakeisha Neal, executive director of Public Allies Washington, D.C.
The discussion is just part of a larger conversation about innovation and uniting communities woven throughout this year’s Conference, the largest gathering of its kind, assembling roughly 5,000 nonprofit, corporate and government leaders. It will feature such big names as Grammy award-winning singer John Legend, and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. Will you join us? Click here to register.
We often hear of an impending leadership shortage in the nonprofit sector. Meanwhile, more than 800,000 AmeriCorps alums are uniquely positioned to be the sector’s 21st century leadership pipeline. Together let’s figure out how to leverage this tremendous resource to benefit smart, young people with fresh ideas, while better serving our communities.
We’d love to hear about your experiences and ideas. Comment below or share them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
CauseWired blog - Pá, 26/04/2013 - 03:07
Great panel at the Washington Post yesterday, as America’s Charities convened its #GivingUndertheInfluence symposium to discuss trends in workplace giving and growing roles of millennials and digital networks. I was honored to join Marc Johnson, vice president of digital strategy in the Studio/Online division of APCO Worldwide; Heather Lofkin Wright, national director of community service for PwC; and George Weiner, president of digital cause consultancy WholeWhale along with moderator Marcia Bullard, chairman of America’s Charities and a founding editor of USA Today.
It was a wide-ranging discussion that touched on generational issues, demographics, giving patterns, online marketing, philanthropic trends – and some common sense advice and solutions. In prepping for the panel I was struck with the quality of America’s Charities’ white paper, Snapshot, which reveals some of the latest research on trends and strategies around employee engagement and giving. Two years ago, Howard Greenstein and I authored a white paper plumbing some of the same trends under the auspices of New York University’s Heyman Center for Fundraising & Philanthropy, Wired Workforce, Networked CSR. The new report advances the ball significantly and shows just how much younger workers – particularly so-called millennials born after 1980 – are changing the world of workplace giving and networked philanthropy. I highly recommend Snapshot to CauseWired folks.
Meanwhile, here’s the excellent Storify stream created by America’s Charities to capture the #GivingUndertheInfluence conversation yesterday:
CauseWired blog - Po, 15/04/2013 - 20:40
Very nice for CauseWired to be included in this guide from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Written by Jennifer James, founder of Mom Bloggers for Social Good, the post focuses on key strategic imperatives for nonprofits and causes as they consider the social graph. Here is CauseWired’s contribution:
It’s very easy to jump into social media, but if you’re an organization with a track record in a certain sector – or an ambitious social enterprise – some patient listening at the beginning will pay off. Spend time getting to know the voices, the issues, people with big followings, the funders, and the competition. Make Twitter lists, join LinkedIn groups, like some key Facebook pages. Make some notes and see where the channels are. Then let your voice be heard. And this advice always applies – even organizations with big followings and social media operations shouldn’t just broadcast. They should listen, be respectful and generous, and be part of a larger conversation.
You can read the whole article here – very much worth doing.