Universal Giving founder/CEO offers strategies for engagement in social responsibility
Tonight Pamela Hawley, founder and CEO of UniversalGiving, is headlining an event at the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco titled The Leading Edge for Corporate Social Responsibility. (I’m a member but won’t be able to attend.) It’s been a busy few weeks from Pamela, who recently attended a Next Generation Leaders Conference at the White House.
I caught up with Pamela — who’s a fellow member of the NetTuesday San Francisco Advisory Board — at UniversalGiving’s offices in San Francisco to discuss her her recent talks at Cisco and at TEDx about key strategies for corporate engagement in social responsibility. Here’s my 14-minute interview with Pamela:
It’s a high-level conversation: Pamela talks about international volunteer trips, the flow of life, and discovering who you are as an individual and organization. Those central questions — “what plugs you in, what drives you” — are critical to probe before you get to the social media tools you should be using.
At the White House summit last month, sponsored by the White House Office of Public Engagement and Office of Social Innovation and Civic Participation, Pamela and 50 other leaders explored ways of empowering communities, developing sustainable solutions and sharing lessons learned in collaboration between sectors.
— Pamela Hawley
Accolades continue to roll in for Pamela. Winner of the Jefferson Award for Public Service, Hawley assists companies, including Cisco, with their social responsibility programs all over the world. She’s been nominated for the 2010 Women Entrepreneur of the Year Award. UniversalGiving, her Web-based marketplace for volunteers, donors and companies, has been profiled on CBS, in BusinessWeek and on Oprah.com.
The talk she’s been giving in recent weeks is called “What’s Your Socket?” In other words, what’s driving you and your organization? The bottom line, she says, is this: “What’s going on in our world is not acceptable. We’ve got to find a way to address that in a way that’s strategic and heartfelt.” Call it smart compassion — a mix of empathy and strategic action that’s an unbeatable combination.
It’s easy to create something like a blog or Twitter account, she says. “What’s really tough is to maintain it.” It might make most sense to take up a few social networks and do them really well. “A lot of nonprofits are getting overwhelmed by all the technology,” she says, when you’ve got to keep your eye on the big picture.
One strategy, she says, is to marry customized communications with personal stories on your blog and company Twitter accounts to communicate with high-target donors and socially responsible companies.
She trots out an interesting stat: Fully half of all Twitter users don’t speak English, an important consideration for nonprofits seeking to expand into international markets.
• The power of giving & corporations doing social good: My interview with Pamela on CSR (Socialbrite)
• Transcript of podcast on corporate social responsibility (Socialbrite)
• 4 examples of corporate social responsibility done right (Socialbrite)JD Lasica works with nonprofits, social change organizations and businesses on social media strategies. See his profile, visit his business blog, contact JD or follow him on Twitter or Google Plus.
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