July 12, 2012

Slap Cancer: 5 lessons from a successful cause campaign

Target audience: Nonprofits, cause organizations, foundations, NGOs, fundraisers.

JD LasicaI‘ve seen my share of fundraising campaigns over the years, but one of the most impressive has to be the campaign put on by Brianna Haag and her team of volunteers for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

The nonprofit’s fundraising competition, which started 22 years ago and now exists in 73 chapters of the organization nationwide, generated some great events at the local level this year. Coming out on top was Slap Cancer, a 10-week series of events in the San Francisco Bay Area that raised $207,000 for blood cancer research and garnered Brianna honors as the Society’s Woman of the Year.

Brianna shared her thoughts on how other organizations can use social media and event planning to hit their fundraising goals in this 6-minute video interview on Vimeo. Continue reading

May 23, 2012

10 top tools for cause campaigns

A visualization from Bigthink.com.

Target audience: Cause organizations, NGOs, nonprofits, foundations, social enterprises, political reformers, educators, journalists, general public.

JD LasicaOver the past three years, as regular readers know, Socialbrite has put together dozens of guides and compilations of resources and tools for social change advocates. See the bottom of this article for a few, and our Sharing Center is all about social tools for social change.

Download one-page flyer

To celebrate Internet at Liberty, a conference on protecting protecting freedom of expression on the Internet that Google is organizing in Washington, D.C., this week — and where Socialbrite is running the social media workshops — we’re launching a new section today:

The Social Advocacy Toolkit features new and updated informational guides, tool roundups and resources for global activists, social good advocates, political reformers, NGOs and anyone looking to use online tools for social change. It includes tactics for effective campaigns, guides to the best monitoring and metrics tools (many of them free), lists of enabling platforms and organizations and other resources to help galvanize your campaign.

Below is a new guide that we’ve put together to help social change activists with their advocacy efforts, which we’re adding to the toolkit. Check out the Social Advocacy Toolkit for much more.

10 tools for activists & social change advocates

Asana: A leap ahead for productive teamwork

1Asana is a work-collaboration software suite that came out of beta in April 2012. “We built this company to change the world,” said founder Dustin Moskovitz, one of the co-founders of Facebook. Asana offers a simple, word processor-like interface to give people working together on a task a central place to discuss the project, share files and keep track of to-dos in real time. It’s free for teams of fewer than 30 users.

Alternatives: Yammer, Microsoft Sharepoint (for larger enterprises) and see our Collaboration roundup

PopVox: Advocate your cause in Congress

2You might remember our recent article on PopVox, an online service that individuals and grassroots organizations can use to lobby members of Congress on behalf of a cause. CEO Marci Harris founded the nonpartisan service based on her knowledge of how Congressional staffers interact with the public. For a cause to be effective, it has to be made concrete on behalf of or against a specific bill. PopVox helps you do that.

Geo-bombing with Google Earth

3I was blown away when I saw Tunisian activists from the collective blog Nawaat.org (The Core) link video testimonies of Tunisian political prisoners and human rights defenders to the Tunisian presidential palace’s location on Google Earth. Now, as you fly over the Tunisian presidential palace using a Google Earth KML file, you will see it covered with videos about human rights abuses that strongman Ben Ali tried to prevent Tunisian citizens from watching by blocking YouTube and DailyMotion. Visit earth.google.com/outreach for more examples. We’d like to see more organizations to take up “geo-bombing.” Continue reading

July 27, 2011

G-Team: Groupon’s program to support causes



How the power of collective buying is helping local cause campaigns around the country

Guest post by Patty Huber
G-Team Manager, Groupon

By now you’ve likely heard of Groupon, which allows consumers to get local deals on the best things to do, eat, see and buy in their own cities.

But do you know about G-Team, which uses the same concept of a collective buying power to connect people to causes in their local communities? G-Team, Groupon’s main philanthropic program, launched a year ago this month in Chicago and was modeled on the original vision for Groupon as a platform for collective action and fundraising.

G-Team runs campaigns that focus on project-specific ideas, allowing participants to see tangible results in their community.

G-Team provides a platform for organizations and causes to garner the support of their local community and even solicit money for campaigns or project-based initiatives. Through the G-Team page, nonprofits, cause organizations and individuals can apply to have their campaign featured.

G-Team runs campaigns that focus on project-specific ideas, allowing participants to see tangible results in their community. When a campaign goes live, the featured organization is encouraged to gather as many participants as possible to reach the tipping point. If enough people buy in, the project is funded and the campaign organizer receives a check to accomplish his or her intended goal.

G-Team campaigns are currently operating in 12 Groupon markets, and each week a new campaign is selected to be featured on the daily deal site for its city. The Groupon markets with G-Team campaigns include Atlanta, Austin, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, New York, Philadelphia, Portland, San Francisco and Washington, D.C. In the coming months, G-Team will be expanding to about 70 more Groupon markets. Continue reading

July 19, 2011

How DoSomething engages young people


Make it easy to participate, make it mobile — and don’t forget the fun!

JD LasicaOne of the great success stories of online advocacy has been DoSomething.org, a not-for-profit that encourages young people to use the power of online to “do good stuff offline.”

Last fall I moderated a panel at BlogWorld Expo with DoSomething chief technology officer George Weiner, and last month I co-presented a Social Media for Social Good bootcamp at the National Conference on Volunteering and Service with George.

“This generation is far more engaged than anyone can possibly understand or measure due to the amount of conversations going on in social media.”
— George Weiner

So during a brief break in the action I got him to talk about how DoSomething spurs 1.2 million young people a year to take action on behalf of a social cause they care about.

“Young people have this amazing thing they can do that doesn’t require car, money or an adult,” he says. Simply put, any young person — 25 or younger, with a sweet spot of 16- to 17-year-olds — can launch a social cause campaign about any cause they feel passionately about.

The nation’s largest cause site for young people, DoSomething has about 30,000 cause projects started by young people.

Watch, embed or download the video on Vimeo

Success comes down to a combination of factors

The annual DoSomething Awards airs on VH1 in August.

The site’s success comes down to these factors:

• They make it easy to participate by lowering the barriers to entry.

• They’re laser-focused on catering to young people.

• They make it easy to take part in campaigns via mobile devices.

• They try to make causes fun by emphasizing use of participants’ social networks. Continue reading

August 25, 2010

Move the needle: How to activate your supporters


And download these 3 flyers on tools & platforms for social change

Last night I gave another in the series of Mobilize Your Cause mini-camps at the Hub SoMa in San Francisco. It went well, with representatives from Women’s Film Institute, CBS Interactive, Small Act and a number of startups and consultancies coming by to do a deep dive into how to use social media to move the needle for your cause or organization.

My partner and colleague Sloane Berrent wasn’t in town for the joint presentation, but Pamela Hawley, founder and CEO of UniversalGiving, came by and offered some great thoughts about the importance of stepping back and identifying your organization’s story — its core value proposition — before diving into the toolsets. Her recent trip to the White House with 50 other social entrepreneurs drew a number of questions from people eager to connect with the social enterprise community.

Handouts on social action hubs, mobile apps & more

12hubs  10mobileapps  12steps

For the event, Socialbrite produced three new or modified flyers — download them for free and repost on your site!:

12 Social Action Hubs — Online communities and crowdsource platforms (shortener: bit.ly/12socialhubs — PDF)

10 Mobile Apps for Social Good (shortener: bit.ly/10mobileapps — PDF)

12 Steps to Mobilize Your Cause (shortener: bit.ly/12steps-flyer — PDF)

A presentation to get the ball rolling

The presentation was intended not as a comprehensive survey of social media tools or strategies, but as a way to introduce concepts that can be plumbed more deeply in the weeks ahead. In the main, it consisted of three main parts:

Case studies — successful cause campaigns by Equality California, Tweet for a Cure, Grassroots Mapping, charity:water, Greenpeace, Egypt’s Women & Memory Forum and Nawaa, a group of political activists in Tunisia. (What they did with Google Earth blew me away!)

12 steps to activate your supporters, starting with listening and ending with real-world events.

Tools and action hubs for social change, including Google Earth, Creative Commons, Google Sidewiki, widgets, word cloud visualizations and more.

A technical glitch: Any theories?

We spent a half hour before the session began tackling a technical glitch I had never seen in 10 years of presentations: My videos were playing fine in Keynote on my MacBook Pro, but when the image was projected onto the wall, only the QuickTime still image was visible — nothing that “moved” was displayed through the projector during the entire evening. Which threw me for a loop, since my presentations are intensely media-rich. Have you ever seen that before? What do you think could have caused that?

Despite that, it was a great gathering and I hope to be back at the Hub soon! If you’d like a Mobilize Your Cause workshop held at your organization, drop us a line. Continue reading

June 7, 2010

12 steps to a successful cause campaign

JD LasicaAbout 50 people — social activists, nonprofit executives, political campaign strategists — turned out for the first Mobilize Your Cause Bootcamp on June 2 to kick off Personal Democracy Forum in New York.

Above is the first part of the presentation on Slideshare: 12 steps to a successful cause campaign (or, if you prefer, advocacy campaign or e-campaign).

While there are other steps that can take your campaign to the next level, these 12 steps are the building blocks you need to get started:

  1. First, listen and observe. Engage before the Ask.
  2. Set clear goals & define metrics to measure
  3. Define a clear theme
  4. Frame it with a personal story
  5. Create a simple call to action
  6. Create a conversation hub for participants
  7. Give your campaign social love handles
  8. Consider a mobile component
  9. Identify & enlist evangelists
  10. Create ongoing mini-actions & provide updates
  11. Use immediacy: Headlines & deadlines
  12. Measure results, reconnect, refine, refresh

The bootcamp — and the Slideshare presentation — flesh out these recommendations in more detail. And we’ve just added a “Mobilize” section of Socialbrite to pull together the most relevant resources and pointers.

We’ve already had a couple of inquiries about holding another day-long Mobilize Your Cause Bootcamp. If you’re interested, let’s discuss. Continue reading