July 10, 2015

Nonprofit Case Study: Periscope for Nonprofits

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Caroline Avakian Headshot finalAs a follow-up to my Periscope for Nonprofits Quick Guide, I wanted to focus on real Nonprofit Periscopers, and how they’re using this new tool for social good.

Today, I’m featuring Jennifer Tislerics, the Special Events & Partnerships Coordinator for Gift of Life Michigan. Gift of Life Michigan coordinates organ and tissue donations from deceased donors for the state. Jennifer also handles social media, youth outreach, faith-based programs, workplace outreach, and more.

As a refresher, Periscope is a three month-old, free mobile app that allows any user to live stream from wherever they are. Jennifer bravely responded to our call out for ‘Nonprofit Periscopers’ and she had a lot of great advice to offer in our Q & A.

1) What made you want to try out Periscope? Was it a strategic move as part of a larger social strategy, or did you want to experiment with the app first to see if it would work for your nonprofit?

jennifer TislericsI saw the Michigan Secretary of State staff using Periscope at a press conference during National Donate Life Month in April. (In Michigan our Secretary of State oversees the DMV, and helps coordinate the state’s organ donor registry.) It seemed like an easy way to engage a broader audience in an event. I watched a few other broadcasts on the iPad and was intrigued by the possibilities to engage distant supporters in real-time. I decided to experiment with it a bit, to see how it might benefit our organization and cause.

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July 2, 2015

Periscope for Nonprofits: A Quick Guide & Review

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Caroline Avakian Headshot finalLive streaming has been thrust into the limelight recently with the release of Periscope — a free mobile app that allows any user to live stream from wherever they are. The whole concept of Periscope is to virtually place you somewhere in the world you would never be if it weren’t for the app.

Even as a nonprofit techie, I tend to look at new apps and platforms with a bit of skepticism because I don’t always think nonprofits should jump on the bandwagon of the next new shiny app that promises a lot and underperforms. That said, I do feel it’s important to keep updated on new tools, make an educated decision on whether it’s right for your nonprofit, and have a strong reason either way as to why or why not your nonprofit is using that social tool. I’ve noticed that having a well prepared answer at the ready is especially handy at board meetings when conversations start to drift to why your npo isn’t leveraging a certain social platform.

So when Periscope came along, I did what I normally do — I downloaded it to my smart phone and started playing with the app and paying attention to how others were maximizing its potential. I quickly realized Periscope could be a powerful broadcasting tool for nonprofits.

But how do you know if it’s right for your nonprofit and if it is, how do use it effectively?

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April 28, 2015

How social media platforms are responding to the Nepal earthquake, and how you can help

 

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By Caroline Avakian / Photo above courtesy of Facebook

It was just a few hours after I found out about the devastating Nepal earthquake that I noticed an alert on my Facebook feed that I hadn’t seen before. My colleague who works in Nepal had been marked “Safe” in Facebook’s new “Safety Check” feature, that instantly let me know how many of my Facebook friends were in the “affected area”, how many had been “marked safe”, and also allowed me to mark myself safe in the event I was in the “affected area”.

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The Safety Check feature was quickly followed up by a “Donate” feature, so if you log into Facebook today, you’ll notice a message at the top of your news feed that lets you donate to International Medical Corpsa humanitarian organization Facebook has partnered with to provide emergency aid. Facebook is also providing matching funds of up to two million to provide immediate and ongoing relief. The IMCs emergency response teams are operating mobile medical units in Nepal, India and Bangladesh, to deliver critically needed medical care and medicines to the regions hardest-hit by the earthquake. They’re distributing hygiene kits, water purification tablets and other supplies to the most devastated areas.

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