Posts tagged ‘beth kanter’

How to Rock Social Media Doesn’t Involve Social Media

How to Rock Social Media

How are you rocking social media in just 30 minutes a day? What’s your best tip?

One of my favorite people, Beth Kanter, asked her Facebook community this very question after coming across the latest infographic offering advice on the topic (link to full infographic). Given the expanding waistline of digital content, conversations and online communities, it’s a question experts continue to assess and re-assess, adjusting their daily/weekly routines to “keep up”. You may have noticed I’m a bit “quieter” these days. This is because, in the past year, one of the greatest items I’ve learned mirrors the advice I offered in response to Beth’s question.

Read More… >>>

A Must-Read Case Study

If you’ve ever worked in fundraising, on developing partnerships, community building, or in campaign development, you want to read this case study. Which case study you ask? It’s the case study of how “Minnesota’s ‘Networked Nonprofits’ Raised Over 10M in One Day, with Only One Full-Time Employee!That case study.

For those who prefer, a highlight video is below. But, you want to head over to Beth Kanter’s blog and read the full case study about and the strategy they used to achieve such a feat.

Written by Jeff Achen,’s own interactive media strategist, I promise you will walk away both inspired and enlightened. Here’s a sneak peak:

Here at GiveMN, we’ve harnessed the power of our networks to raise record amounts of money online for nonprofits in Minnesota and engage record numbers of people in an annual, one-day giving event—Give to the Max Day.

On Nov. 16, 2010, we shattered our goal of 40,000 donors in 24 hours by engaging 42,596 unique donors who donated to their favorite nonprofits using the platform. All told, Minnesota nonprofits collectively raised $10,041,021 in one incredible day. [continue reading]

My big take-away from reading the case study is the amazing, incredible possibility of powerful partnerships and collaboration. Secondly, I am completely awed and greatly admire the approach this effort represents and inspires. not only achieved its goals–but also united a state around the causes and the people working to improve the lives of its citizens. Minnesotans may  have different challenges, interests and experiences, but no matter all of that, Minnesota is a shared commonality that used to help communicate that we are all in this together–a great message that obviously resonated with donors. Bravo!

Thank you Beth and Jeff for sharing!

The Role of the Free Agent and Fundraising

This is my second post in my seven-day quest to raise $1100 to provide seven roofs for seven Guatemalan families. In these seven days, I will also be answering your questions and sharing insights gained. This post worked to answer Mezarine’s question: What do you think it would take to help the majority of nonprofits in America retain and train great fundraisers? So far, we’ve raised $295–enough for one of the roofs, and $10 away from raising roof #2. Please donate and spread the word.

UPDATE 11:22am: We’ve raised $1490, enough funds for 9 roofs. But #loveroofs supporters are challenging us to raise enough for all 14 roofs, not just seven. To make this happen, we have $710 still to raise. Do you accept the challenge?

Mezarine–To answer your question, I think non-profits need to understand the power of their network. Specifically, the untapped potential of “free agents.” Stay with me while I explain…

Last week, Beth Kanter and Allison Fine presented at the Personal Democracy Forum about the role of the free agent. For me, my first question was: What’s a free agent? In genius style, they helped us define a “free agent” by sharing with us the story of Shawn Ahmed and his experience with the Red Cross.

Like typical Kanter and Fine posts, I find myself reflecting on this concept of a “free agent” days later. From a contract standpoint, I usually read “free agent” as an independent consultant–however, that is NOT what is meant in this discussion. Here, I see “free agent” being synonymous with the citizen philanthropist or the social citizen. It’s the empowered, empassioned individual. So, then the question becomes–who are these people?

I think customer relationship management is important here. You don’t have to use a slick and fancy CRM system (tho they can help), but mainly, you need to be detailed, diligent and deliberate.

Be Detailed: If you interact with a supporter on Twitter or Facebook or meet someone at a conference and exchange business cards, write it down. The important thing is to get in a habit of tracking your interactions with supporters and potential supporters, where they occurred, the date they occurred, what was discussed, interests, etc. and also important: be consistent in how you log this data.

Be Diligent: You need to be strategically persistent. For example, don’t reach out to a blogger or a potential sponsor with an ask being your first interaction. Get to know the people you want to work with and hope to have support your cause. Get to know your community, take the time to talk with people, know the culture, know the challenges, know the opportunities. This means that you’ll also need to adapt and be creative.

Be Deliberate: When it comes time to make an ask, be specific. Make the ask, the process, and the ability to be an ambassador of a cause fun, popular and easy. Also, make sure that whatever you’re asking, that is supports the true mission and long-term objectives of your organization. And most importantly, be deliberate in your thank you. This might seem too ‘duh’ a thought, but say more than thank you. Keep the conversation going: Ask them what worked, what didn’t, why they got involved, etc.

These are just some initial thoughts–as they say, if [fundraising] were easy, more people would be doing it. These tips might be some ways to attract and recruit supporters, but it might not enough to retain and sustain efforts. Thus, I also think nonprofits should focus on moving its network along the “Ladder of Engagement” as Beth Kanter would put it.

[Side note:  It’s interesting because there’s similiar theories that all relate to moving people along a spectrum–I would LOVE to create a matrix of these on how they all relate.]

What do you think? How would you answer Mezarine’s question? And, what other questions do you have?

flickr credit: erasmuse

Quote of the Week: A Call for More Marketing

I’m going to try out something new called the “Quote of the Week.” To kick-off this new series, I’m starting with the best, Beth Kanter.

In Beth’s recent blog post, one of the questions she asks us is: “Can solving complex social problems be done by popular vote?” In explaining her stance on this question, Beth shares:

“Let me say this. If brands want to be authentic in their social media for social good effort, they need a fusion approach that balances marketing with social change. I think there is a hybrid option for crowd sourcing–and that there is a need for expertise.”

You need to fuse marketing with social change. This is exactly what social marketing does, and as I wrote last month, I also agree that authenticity will be key in growing organizations for the future. I love that the wealth of social marketing is beginning to reach beyond the world of public health and further into the realm of social change. I’m right there with you Beth–thank you!

How about you–What role do you think marketing has when it comes to social change?

One Word of Advice for Voters of Pepsi’s Refresh Project

Sustainability. In a fast-paced, 140-character world, short term and one-hit wonder thinking is rampant. But when it comes to making a difference and solving the great problems of our times, we need to be thinking for the long-term. This is why I hope the voters of Pepsi’s Refresh Everything Project will keep the concept of sustainability top-of-mind.

Let me first say that I applaud Pepsi’s jump into social good–and I hope more groups follow their lead. Perhaps if more did, then we’d have more case studies, a deeper set of lessons learned and more refined best practices. In a sense, we’d have more to talk about. This post is not for the folks at Pepsi. Rather, it’s aimed at the people who are engaging in Pepsi’s Refresh Everything Project.

For those not familiar, Pepsi is foregoing its Superbowl Ads and instead, engaging in a social good experiment. Pepsi will award a total of $20 million in grants over the course of the year. Who will receive the grants? That’s for you, me and everyone else to decide by voting–and a big reason why I hope, each voter, keeps in mind the concept of sustainability when reviewing the proposed projects. (More on how the project works.)

When reviewing the proposals, a thought kept pulsing, growing bigger and bigger inside me. Pepsi is awarding $20 million dollars in resources–but what if you had $20 million dollars or your organization did–how would you allocate those resource and why?

Sure–Recruiting people to help clean the highways is great–but what if we knew of a way to make it where people didn’t litter in the first place?

Sure–It’s great to offer a summer camp to kids to teach them to better appreciate the earth, but how can we scale this to reach more children in more places?

Sure–It’s great to find ways to get people up and moving. But, there are so many good people working to achieve this already. What strategies do they find working? Let’s invest there.

The Pepsi Refresh Project is a great initiative, but it’s just a start. I expect (and hope) we’ll start to see more of it. I also agree with Beth Kanter that, with crowdsourcing efforts, this is where having a key group of content experts involved is key. But, to me, the biggest take-away is that we, as a community, need to be thinking more strategically with our resources–this is why I love social marketing. It addresses both the short-term and the long-term. It looks at advocacy as well as promotion and a wide range of other various tools. It thinks both upstream and downstream. In other words, it offers a framework for us to create sustainable programs, products and services that truly can make a lasting change and a better world.

Thus, to all you voters, when reviewing, please keep in mind the idea of sustainability. What’s going to make the biggest difference for the amount of effort, resources and time?

What about you–what advice do you have either to Pepsi or to the fellow voters?

Beth’s Birthday Bash

We all have influence and impact. Today’s post is to recognize the influence of one person, Beth Kanter, and to realize the impact we can all have when we act together. Beth Kanter, if you don’t know, is a top changeblogger working to help nonprofits do good.  But, I won’t provide a bio, her actions speak for themselves.

Actions such as making a birthday wish. Of course, this was no ordinary wish. For Beth’s 53rd birthday, she wished for people to donate to the Sharing Foundation on her behalf. The Sharing Foundation helps Cambodian youngsters go to school and holds a special place in Beth’s heart.

So I did. And so did many others. And so can you. You see, this blog post is one of many that is part of Beth’s Surprise Birthday bash. We want to thank Beth for all of her leadership, her generosity and belief in doing good, and this is the non-profit and social change community’s way of saying THANK YOU.

If Beth’s had an impact on you, join us and let her know by blogging or leaving a comment below. To donate and help make Beth’s birthday wish come true, here’s the link.

Want to follow Beth’s lead and use your birthday for good? Get to know the Causes application on Facebook.

One Book, Two Questions and Three Words for 2010

With a new year, comes a lot of reflecting. Whether this describes you as an individual or as an organization, I’ve got one book, two questions and three words you need to read in 2010. These will help you identify your core values, focus your motivation and goals, and help translate all the above in your day-to-day activities. Let’s get reading.

1. One Book

I’m willing to bet you’ve never heard of this book. If you have, please comment. The book is titled five, and is across the board, a five-star book. So many books tell you what to do and think about your life. Stop reading those books. They take valuable time, and they often don’t provide any answers. Why? Because you have to provide the answers. The reason I like the book five is not because it’s simple, design-based and interactive, but because it forces you to reflect on your own life, your own goals and your thoughts. This is often the hardest part–but most rewarding. It provides prompts and questions, along with lines to pencil in your ideas. It’s a work book–but it’s not work. It uses creative design and textography throughout to draw you in and inspire. So, stop doing the easy part by reading what others think you should do, and focus on you.

2. Two Questions

These two simple questions could change your life. They are provided by author Daniel H. Pink, author of the book Drive: The Surprising Truth about What Motivates Us, which looks at human motivation. These two questions are:

  • What is my sentence?
  • Was I better today, than I was yesterday?

Two questions that can change your life from Daniel Pink on Vimeo.

3. Three Words

If you’ve quickly skimmed down here to read the three words, I’m sorry to say, it’s not that easy. You see: It’s not my three words you need to read. It’s your own. Beth Kanter clued me on to this as she was inspired by Chris Brogan. Kanter’s three words were: Networked, Generosity and Full of Life. For Brogan, his were Ecosystems, Owners and Kings. According to Brogan, your three words should:

“…help you the way a lighthouse helps a ship in a storm. Give yourself a word that guides you towards a powerful new opportunity, and that keeps you focused on what comes of this year. Use these words as starting points for tangible goals, SMART goals that can be measured and have dates to accomplish tasks by. These words sit above the actual goals, and set your guiding principles in place.”

What I like about the three words, is that they are your words. So, do what works for you. For me, my three words are: Simplify and Focus. I don’t have a third, because, well, re-read my first word. 😉


They say people who write down their goals are more successful. You can define success any way you want–as long as you define it for yourself. So, even if you aren’t sure what your goal is, start writing down something and logging your ideas. Eventually, something will come, and when it does, it’ll be powerful because it’ll be born from within.

Transparency Isn’t Just for the Government

It’s also for non-profits. This was the hottest topic during our first #read4change gathering–fueled by the recent revelations of Kiva and its transparency question. (Background: a NY Times article broke sharing that Kiva, a micro-lending Web site that markets “person-to-person” lending–actually works with third parties to help get loans in the hands of people who need them.) What I find most interesting–is that while this revelation has created an emotional response, most people still choose to support the cause.

An additional effect is that it has sparked a conversation around the concept of transparency in the non-profit sector. Even before the Kiva story broke, Beth Kanter got some of us thinking about transparency when it comes to a non-profit’s Web metrics. In the comments, Holly Ross added that transparency is currently on the minds of her and the folks at NTEN. And where else have we heard about the priority in transparency before? –> Government.

Since my day-job leans more into the public health and government agency arena–I couldn’t help but see the parallels between government 2.0 and non-profit 2.0 (for the sake of better terminology). We may have different goals and end objectives, but the concepts both verticals must address (transparency, policy, management, buy-in, metrics, etc.) cross both lines. I think the Path of the Blue Eye folks were onto something when they posted the other day about looking for learning opportunities outside your comfort zone. As evidence, I commend Steve Radick, who did just that when he recently posted about the crossings between government 2.0 and sports 2.0.

The sharing of the line between government 2.0 and non-profit 2.0 was further solidified when I received news today of the AwesomeGov Fund organized by GovLoop and GovDelivery. This initiative is literally–combining and furthering the collision of government people with non-profit values–think philanthropy 2.0. Either way, it has me thinking that our worlds may just be more alike than different and that perhaps–the next event/conference/meetup needs to be a variety show for all us to get out of our comfort zone and look across the playing field.

PS: This past week, I also had the opportunity to talk with Andrew Conrad about Church 2.0–and again, there was much dialogue that ran quite similiar to conversations we’ve had around the conference table or that I’ve had with non-profit leaders. It’s almost creepy.

PSS: Please forgive all the “2.0” references–it’s just the most efficient way to get the point across.

Guest Posting: Beth Kanter and An Experiment in Action

Photo of Beth Kanter, non-profit and technology guruThose 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.

People like Amy Sample Ward, Britt Bravo, Geoff Livingston, Nancy Schwartz, Stacey Monk and others. And yesterday, my own post from last October on the “Cool Factor About Mobile” was also cross-posted on Beth’s blog. To me, this experiment has blossomed with success. It’s added color to our blogosphere, raised voices and increased the camaraderie of the folks in this space.

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.

flickr credit: LeeLeFever

Get to Know Your Neighbor: Beth Kanter

Continuing my weekly “Blogger Neighborhood Series” and in honor of the great Mr. Rogers, who called us to “Get to know our neighbor,” Beth Kanter over at Beth’s Blog is the second neighbor featured in this series.

Blog Name: Beth’s Blog

Blog Topics: How nonprofits can use social media

About the Author:

Beth Kanter is a trainer, blogger, and consultant to nonprofits and individuals in effective use of social media. Her expertise is how to use new web tools (blogging, tagging, wikis, photo sharing, video blogging, screencasting, social networking sites, and virtual worlds, etc) to support nonprofits. She has worked on projects that include: training, curriculum development, research and evaluation. She is an experienced coach to “digital immigrants” in the personal mastery of these tools. She is a professional blogger and writes about the use of social media tools in the nonprofit sector for social change. (Borrowed from Kanter’s blog. For more information, click here.)

If you could live on any street, what would that street be named and why?

Learning and Reflection Street – it would be a street where you can take time to learn and reflect any what you curious about

Who would be your dream real-life neighbor?

Someone who understood reciprocity and wasn’t intrusive

Why do you blog?
I started blogging because I am a trainer and writer and wanted a place to write, so I could remember or figure out how to use technology tools. My blog is my journal – I’ve always kept a journal – but the difference is that everyone reads it.

What inspires you to blog?

When I’m trying to learn something new.

If you customized your own license plate, what would it say and why?

I don’t think I’d want to customized license plate ….

What’s your favorite blog post and why?

A colleague asked for advice. I wanted to get other people to participate, but it was sensitive so I created a simulation – a funny one.

See the link below to see how Beth combined creativty and humor to ask a very important question about how to react to potential online criticism towards your non-profit, company or organization. —>

What’s currently your favorite social media application our blogger community should utilize more?

That’s hard. But I’ve been enjoying Twitter of late. (You can follow Beth on Twitter @kanter)

Now, here’s a question for YOU: How has Beth Kanter’s work influenced you or your community?


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 @