Have you ever been frustrated about the impact of your efforts? I have–even when we’ve been successful, if not especially then.
For example, you may reach the number of donors you set out to reach, but still feel disconnected. You could have a bigger list of e-newsletter subscribers, but still question if what you’re doing is achieving the change you want. You can change the life of one person and wonder how you can change the life of another.
This is why I turned to social marketing. Social marketing is something you address, plan and implement at the strategic level. If you are considering how social marketing applies during materials development or media placement, you’ve missed the boat and instead are floating on driftwood. We need to think bigger and longer.
This weekend, I found someone online who I feel understands where I’m coming from: Hildy Gottlieb. After about five years of consulting, Hildy and her partner felt frustrated. They saw themselves doing great work and achieving the mission set before them, but then noticing their work wasn’t aiming for extraordinary community change. She explains best in the video below (minutes 4-6 is where it hit home with me, as I feel social marketing can help create the change she describes).
If you are working on community-based change or social change in general, Hildy outlines six Pollyanna Principles to guide your efforts:
We accomplish what we hold ourselves accountable for.
Each and every one of us is creating the future, every day, whether we do so consciously or not.
Everyone and everything is interconnected interdependent, whether we acknowledge that or not.
“Being the change we want to see” means walking the talk of our values.
Strengths build upon our strengths, not our weaknesses.
Individuals will go where systems lead them.
I like these principles because they aren’t media focused–they are value focused. What about you–can you relate to the frustration Hildy or I describe?
Bonus: If community-based change interests you, I recommend looking up the name Doug McKenzie-Mohr.
In between turkey and tweeting, I caught up on some of my online do-gooders, as well as explored and discovered new (and highly valuable) minds who are doing good. Thus, this post is filled with some true golden nuggets of social change. Enjoy!
Find new friends in this list of the top 100 Social Entrepreneurship Tweeple to follow, put together by @socialedge, a program of the Skoll Foundation. What I love most, is that this post also gives you a great listing of hashtags and what their purpose is as well.
Speaking of @socialedge, I discovered that they host weekly live discussion around numerous social change topics, including this one: What works in social change? Feel free to give input based on your knowledge and experiences–I did.
Can prevention PROSPER? Read up on this prevention program–backed by the CDC, NIDA and the Annie E. Casey Foundation–whose trial shows a $10 payback on every $1 invested. Now, it’s getting ready to go national.
Going to be in D.C. on February 12? If so, you may be able to catch the Non-Profit 2.0 Conference organized by Geoff Livingston, Shireen Mitchel, and Allysin Kapin.
Even though I did my own research on millennials for a project I did for Special Olympics Missouri, it’s always good to see what others found out as well. Those at Millennial Marketing put together a FREE e-book titled “Marketing to Millennials.”
Have some doubters in your presence? Share Valerie Maltoni’s free e-book, Twittertales, a collection of Twitter success stories.
Seeing the time of giving is upon us, check out this article on Barron’s that lists the Top 25 Philanthropists.
Keeping with the giving theme, did you know you could start a fundraiser with wine? Find your favorite charity or rally friends around one–and buy some wine in support of it. I discovered this while doing my own holiday shopping, so I wanted to share the idea with others. Think goodsearch–just with wine.
People Doing It Right (hat tip to Chris Brogan)
Health Populi. Written by Jane Sarasohn-Kahn, I find just about every single post of hers helpful, thought-provoking and insightful. Lately, it’s become a blog staple–the kind that you can’t wait to read when you see there’s a new post in your RSS reader.
Prevention in Action. With its focus on prevention and research–how can you not be a fan of this organization’s news content? They are writing about topics not everyone writes about, pulling evidence, timely events and research together in a way that gets the mind ticking.
501derful.org. We all already know he’s doing it right seeing as David Neff won AMA’s Non-Profit Marketer of the Year award. But with Neff’s recent announcement that has left the American Cancer Society to pursue his next big adventure, I’ve been staying tuned to his blog ever more closely as I admire his leadership and courage to follow his passion of Lights. Camera. Help.
What about you? What golden nuggets did you discover over the holiday?
The other week, I announced a new way for us book lovers to connect in a fun and meaningful way–through an online social change book club named #read4change.
After a week of collecting votes, and a battle between Allison Fine’sMomentum and Tom Watson’s Causewired, Causewired came out on top and will be the first book we discuss.
What’s better than friends, social media and books? Imagine getting to go to your book club–and the author shows up. That’s right. Tom Watson has agreed to join us and be available for our comments, feedback and our questions!
Grab your copy of Causewired.
Read and reflect.
Join us November 10 at 8pm EST on Twitter
Follow @read4change and track the conversation with the hashtag #read4change.
About the Book Club
Each month, lovers of books, people and making this world a better place will gather online to discuss a social change-related book–its story, its info and how it can be applied towards our work. Ideas for featured books are always welcome. Email me at socialbutterfly4change[at]gmail.com with suggestions. Until November 10, happy reading!
Lights. Camera. Help. is hosting the 1st non-profit film festival July 31-August 2 at the University of Texas at Austin. Founded by David Neff (@DaveIam) and Aaron Bramley (@AaronMSB), the film festival is intended to bring attention to the “films-for-a-cause” genre by showcasing the best PSAs, shorts and feature-length films that nonprofits use to spread the word about their cause.
Out of 140 submissions, the list has been narrowed to 20, and with this line-up, you can understand why I wish I could be in two places at one time. (Bonus: The event is more affordable than most with tickets from $7-$15!)
The “judge’s winner” will receive all the proceeds and donations raised from the event. Kudos to Aaron and David for following their goals and highlighting these moving films. I wish you, all attendees and the non-profit organizations themselves, the very best. Can’t wait to hear how it goes!
Mass publishing. Did you know this is accomplishable through blogs? This type of experimentation (or application) of guest posting took place earlier this year when Max Gladwell published 10 Ways to Change the World through Social Media, and it was simultaneously published on over 80+ blogs. Today is part two. *Know of other examples of “mass” publishing (i.e. Blog Action Day, Bloggers Unite, or others)? Feel free to share in the comments.*
Social media is about connecting people and providing the tools necessary to have a conversation. That global conversation is an extremely powerful platform for spreading information and awareness about social causes and issues. That’s one of the reasons charities can benefit so greatly from being active on social media channels. But you can also do a lot to help your favorite charity or causes you are passionate about through social media.
Below is a list of 10 ways you can use social media to show your support for issues that are important to you. If you can think of any other ways to help charities via social web tools, please add them in the comments. If you’d like to retweet this post or take the conversation to Twitter or FriendFeed, please use the hashtag #10Ways.
1. Write a Blog Post
Blogging is one of the easiest ways you can help a charity or cause you feel passionate about. Almost everyone has an outlet for blogging these days — whether that means a site running WordPress, an account at LiveJournal, or a blog on MySpace or Facebook. By writing about issues you’re passionate about, you’re helping to spread awareness among your social circle. Because your friends or readers already trust you, what you say is influential.
You should also consider taking part in Blog Action Day, a once a year event in which thousands of blogs pledge to write at least one post about a specific social cause (last year it was fighting poverty). Blog Action Day will be on October 15 this year.
2. Share Stories with Friends
Another way to spread awareness among your social graph is to share links to blog posts and news articles via sites like Twitter, Facebook, Delicious, Digg, and even through email. Your network of friends is likely interested in what you have to say, so you have influence wherever you’ve gathered a social network.
You’ll be doing charities you support a great service when you share links to their campaigns, or to articles about causes you care about.
3. Follow Charities on Social Networks
In addition to sharing links to articles about issues you come across, you should also follow charities you support on the social networks where they are active. By increasing the size of their social graph, you’re increasing the size of their reach. When your charities tweet or post information about a campaign or a cause, statistics or a link to a good article, consider retweeting that post on Twitter, liking it on Facebook, or blogging about it.
Following charities on social media sites is a great way to keep in the loop and get updates, and it’s a great way to help the charity increase its reach by spreading information to your friends and followers.
You can follow the Summer of Social Good Charities:
Another way you can show your support for the charities you care about is to rally around them on awareness hubs like Change.org, Care2, or the Facebook Causes application. These are social networks or applications specifically built with non-profits in mind. They offer special tools and opportunities for charities to spread awareness of issues, take action, and raise money.
It’s important to follow and support organizations on these sites because they’re another point of access for you to gather information about a charity or cause, and because by supporting your charity you’ll be increasing their overall reach. The more people they have following them and receiving their updates, the greater the chance that information they put out will spread virally.
5. Find Volunteer Opportunities
Using social media online can help connect you with volunteer opportunities offline, and according to web analytics firm Compete, traffic to volunteering sites is actually up sharply in 2009. Two of the biggest sites for locating volunteer opportunities are VolunteerMatch, which has almost 60,000 opportunities listed, and Idealist.org, which also lists paying jobs in the non-profit sector, in addition to maintaining databases of both volunteer jobs and willing volunteers.
For those who are interested in helping out when volunteers are urgently needed in crisis situations, check out HelpInDisaster.org, a site which helps register and educate those who want to help during disasters so that local resources are not tied up directing the calls of eager volunteers. Teenagers, meanwhile, should check out DoSomething.org, a site targeted at young adults seeking volunteer opportunities in their communities.
6. Embed a Widget on Your Site
Many charities offer embeddable widgets or badges that you can use on your social networking profiles or blogs to show your support. These badges generally serve one of two purposes (or both). They raise awareness of an issue and offer up a link or links to additional information. And very often they are used to raise money.
Mashable’s Summer of Social Good campaign, for example, has a widget that does both. The embeddable widget, which was custom built using Sprout (the creators of ChipIn), can both collect funds and offer information about the four charities the campaign supports.
7. Organize a Tweetup
You can use online social media tools to organize offline events, which are a great way to gather together like-minded people to raise awareness, raise money, or just discuss an issue that’s important to you. Getting people together offline to learn about an important issue can really kick start the conversation and make supporting the cause seem more real.
As mentioned, blog posts are great, but a picture really says a thousand words. The web has become a lot more visual in recent years and there are now a large number of social tools to help you express yourself using video. When you record a video plea or call to action about your issue or charity, you can make your message sound more authentic and real. You can use sites like 12seconds.tv, Vimeo, and YouTube to easily record and spread your video message.
Last week, the Summer of Social Good campaign encouraged people to use video to show support for charity. The #12forGood campaign challenged people to submit a 12 second video of themselves doing something for the Summer of Social Good. That could be anything, from singing a song to reciting a poem to just dancing around like a maniac — the idea was to use the power of video to spread awareness about the campaign and the charities it supports.
There aren’t many more powerful ways to support a cause than to sign your name to a petition. Petitions spread awareness and, when successfully carried out, can demonstrate massive support for an issue. By making petitions viral, the social web has arguably made them even more powerful tools for social change. There are a large number of petition creation and hosting web sites out there. One of the biggest is The Petition Site, which is operated by the social awareness network Care2, or PetitionOnline.com, which has collected more than 79 million signatures over the years.
Petitions are extremely powerful, because they can strike a chord, spread virally, and serve as a visual demonstration of the support that an issue has gathered. Social media fans will want to check out a fairly new option for creating and spreading petitions: Twitition, an application that allows people to create, spread, and sign petitions via Twitter.
10. Organize an Online Event
Social media is a great way to organize offline, but you can also use online tools to organize effective online events. That can mean free form fund raising drives, like the Twitter-and-blog-powered campaign to raise money for a crisis center in Illinois last month that took in over $130,000 in just two weeks. Or it could mean an organized “tweet-a-thon” like the ones run by the 12for12k group, which aims to raise $12,000 each month for a different charity.
In March, 12for12k ran a 12-hour tweet-a-thon, in which any donation of at least $12 over a 12 hour period gained the person donating an entry into a drawing for prizes like an iPod Touch or a Nintendo Wii Fit. Last month, 12for12k took a different approach to an online event by holding a more ambitious 24-hour live video-a-thon, which included video interviews, music and sketch comedy performances, call-ins, and drawings for a large number of prizes given out to anyone who donated $12 or more.
Bonus: Think Outside the Box
Social media provides almost limitless opportunity for being creative. You can think outside the box to come up with all sorts of innovative ways to raise money or awareness for a charity or cause. When Drew Olanoff was diagnosed with cancer, for example, he created Blame Drew’s Cancer, a campaign that encourages people to blow off steam by blaming his cancer for bad things in their lives using the Twitter hashtag #BlameDrewsCancer. Over 16,000 things have been blamed on Drew’s cancer, and he intends to find sponsors to turn those tweets into donations to LIVESTRONG once he beats the disease.
Or check out Nathan Winters, who is biking across the United States and documenting the entire trip using social media tools, in order to raise money and awareness for The Nature Conservancy.
The number of innovative things you can do using social media to support a charity or spread information about an issue is nearly endless. Can you think of any others? Please share them in the comments.
About the “10 Ways” Series
The “10 Ways” Series was originated by Max Gladwell. This is the second simultaneous blog post in the series. The first ran on more than 80 blogs, including Mashable. Among other things, it is a social media experiment and the exploration of a new content distribution model. You can follow Max Gladwell on Twitter.
Those of us who follow Beth Kanter’s blog about non-profits and technology may have noticed a great experiment (whether she meant it to be or not) on guest posting. As Beth and her family made the move to California, Beth invited non-profit, social change and do-good members of the blogosphere to guest post on her blog with their best posts from the past.
So, thank you Beth Kanter, not only for the opportunity to share in your space, but also for trying out this guest posting experiment. Look forward to your shared insights and revelations this series has generated (*Tip: If you haven’t checked out Beth’s blog yet, I highly encourage it.)
What do you think? What are your thoughts about guest posting? Stay tuned for tomorrow’s “Guest Posting Part Duex” as another guest post experiment is revealed.
Follow @NameYourNonProfit and you could feed 5 villages, save 1000 Trees and create wind energy. Sounds great right? It seems that online, in the social change arena, this seems to be the new infomercial. I’m all for it–if it brings success. And even further–is it affecting real change? Therefore, let’s break it down.
From my own observations of these initiatives, here’s what I have to offer to your organization if you’re working on a “follow-and-fundraise” plan:
Wait. Join Twitter first and gain a solid, respectable following according to your organization’s side and market share of the issue at hand. This way, when you make your “call to follow,” it won’t be an empty room you are inviting people to.
Set realistic and attainable benchmarks. This will motivate potential Twitter followers to support your cause and spread the word to their own networks. 500,000 new followers, when you are only at 300, might seem a bit daunting and dis-enfranchise people early in the game.
Mirror realistic rewards. Similarly, if you want to gain 500,000 followers to merely plant one tree is a bit disheartening. Yes, planting one tree any time is a good thing. However, that’s a lot of work and a lot of people to recruit for one tree. Make the effort worth it.
Extend the initiative. So you are working to generate a following and spread the word about a particular event/issue. Don’t stop at that. Extend your overall strategy to incorporate or integrate Twitter into the overall strategy. Or, extend Twitter to off-line events by hosting live-events. Either way, make the message and the action live beyond the technology.
Keep momentum. Okay, I’m following you today. But who says I’ll keep following you tomorrow? Or even a month from now? Provide fresh, timely and relevant content that will not only speak to me, but draw me into your mission.
Make it fun. Give me a reason to encourage my friends to follow you as well. In fact, provide me with the words to say. Detail it out–It could be a Twitter meme even. For a made up example, imagine @lovewater wants to recruit followers to build X amount of wells. Here’s an idea: Share the call to action. Tell three people you love them and water, and you want them to join the pool party @lovewater. (I was going to say hot tub–but hey, this isn’t the Bachelorette!)
Follow-up. If I follow you, give a shout out. Or, keep me updated with how your progress is coming. Have you achieved your goals? What were the results? How can I help or get involved more? Think of the person hitting the “follow” button as the bite. What are you going to do to reel in the fish?
Don’t get me wrong. I’m happy to participate in these campaigns. After all, it’s at low cost to me, the end-consumer. My main point is that I just want these initiatives to be better and the experience to be greater–and overall, I’m wondering why, if it is a low cost, does it seem to not always work?
What other tips would you suggest, and what are your own observations for these calls to action?
If your organization has implored this strategy, what were the results, lessons learned or key take aways that we can all learn from?
I first began following Rosetta about a year ago. One scan through her blog’s homepage, and you will say, “She. is. impressive.” That’s what I did. And so did Avi Kaplan, a Harvard student who emailed me to nominate Rosetta for the Blogger Neighborhood. If you have someone you want to nominate, contact me at email@example.com.
Enjoy reading below and discover why Rosetta is definitely on her way.
About the Author: Rosetta Thurman is an emerging nonprofit leader of color sharing career advice, management resources and fresh ideas to inspire others to lead. Rosetta is a writer/consultant/fundraiser and has been quoted in articles about the nonprofit sector in the Washington Post, Nonprofit Quarterly, and the Chronicle of Philanthropy. Rosetta is also an Adjunct Professor teaching nonprofit management and leadership at Trinity University in DC.
If you could live on any street, what would that street be named and why? Renaissance Boulevard. I think we are in a time of great opportunity for young people to renew our responsibility to our communities. It’s a very rich time in our history where we have the chance to lend all of our talent & skills to a movement, any movement that will create change.
Who would be your dream real-life neighbor?Nikki Giovanni, my favorite poet. I think I would be inspired every day just by living next door to a literary genius.
What first prompted you to blog? I felt that my generation’s voice was being ignored in the nonprofit sector, as if our opinions didn’t matter in discussions about the future of this sector that we will inherit. At first, I started Perspectives From the Pipeline as a learning experience for me as a young nonprofit professional to formulate my thoughts about the nonprofit sector.
As a member of the “next generation” of nonprofit leaders, I saw many challenges for our sector as well as many new ideas for solving them. Unfortunately, when people my age speak up, few people listen. I write about nonprofit leadership and organizational issues to help others think more critically about their careers & day to day work. My goal is to bridge the gap between challenges and solutions within the nonprofit sector, especially as they relate to the younger workforce and nonprofit leaders of color.
If you customized your own license plate, what would it say and why? OnMyWay. Because my favorite quote from poet Carl Sandburg illustrates how I live my life. “I’m an idealist. I don’t know where I’m going, but I’m on my way.”
What would you gift to a new neighbor as the perfect welcoming gift? A three-layer red velvet cake.
If you were planning the next block party, what entertainment would you plan? A big concert with Jill Scott and Kanye West. A Soul Train line. All-you-can-eat crabs. And a Taboo marathon.
What’s one lesson you’ve learned from blogging? I found that blogging gave me a way to speak to the issues I care about and influence others in the process. On the internet, you can have such a huge reach, and impact on people who may not have given you a second thought otherwise. I learned that people want to hear the truth, and they will support social media and online community if it’s real and authentic.
This continuous weekly series highlights different blogs and their respective bloggers in the blogosphere neighborhood. Following the great Mr. Rogers, who tells us to ‘Get to know your neighbor,’ this series introduces us to our blogger neighbors, making for a more unified, collaborative voice for the social sector. Like to nominate someone or be featured yourself? Contact me @ firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hello and welcome to my first time as a host for the Carnival of Nonprofit Consultants! This week was an open call, with a personal preference for social change and social marketing type posts.
The posts listed below largely discuss and point to current nonprofit marketing trends and potentially future marketing trends. Though this might not reflect social marketing per say, it is a reflection of social change….how trends surface, alter, flourish, downsize and in essence, change. So enjoy this week’s carnival!
***Inserting my special ‘bonus host post’ here, as it follows up well with Mr. Viator’s idea. In my post Consumerism. What’s Your First Reaction?, I too coin my own term ‘optimistic consumerism,’ explaining that with changing media and times, the consumer is becoming more empowered than ever by having a choice. In particular, not only do we have a choice of what products or services we consume, but we also have a choice in the place we consume our information. *Props to choosing the Carnival,
Rebecca Leaman at Wild Apricot continues the discussion of change in her post titled 5 Keys to Effective Knowledge Transfer for Nonprofits, where she outlines how effective communication can transfer through each phase of a message. No matter how the times and technology change, Ms. Leaman’s insights and download-able resource is priceless.
Bryan Miller at Giving in a Digital World maps out the technology hype cycle in his post titled Online Fundraising and the Hype Cycle. Mr. Miller points out how web 2.0 is making the way for community fundraising 2.0 and that knowing where your nonprofit’s fundraising efforts are will put you and your organization ahead of the curve.
Jason Dick at A Small Change-Fundraising blog outlines three core values of traditional nonprofit fundraising in his post: Cultivation, Solicitation and Stewardship. However, Mr. Dick points out that while the traditional model is good, the big umbrella term that deserves attention is relationship. According to Mr. Dick, a good relationship means good fundraising and “all bets are off” on the traditional process.
J. Karlin at Marketing and Fundraising Ideas sets the stage on how to implement change in the post Powerful yet Reasonable Goals. Karlin says that before change can even be accomplished as was in the case study given of Tufts University, one should dream big, and not overlook setting reasonable, attainable goals.
This is my first shot at being a host for the Carnival, so I’m looking forward to reading your submissions. This week is an open call, course, I am privy to social marketing- and social change-related topics.