January 2, 2013

Calendar of 2013 nonprofit & social change conferences

The graphic recording created during Socialbrite’s “You Need a Strategy” session at the 2012 Nonprofit Technology Conference.

SuperGuide to events for nonprofits & social good organizations

JD LasicaHere’s our roundup of conferences in the nonprofit and social change sectors coming up in 2013. This has become an annual tradition here at Socialbrite, and we hope you’ll bookmark this page and return to it throughout the year — we’ll be updating it throughout 2013 as more conference details firm up.

We’ll be reporting on many of these events and invite you to share your coverage or observations on Socialbrite, or let us know and we’ll tweet it or Facebook it. Throughout the year we’ll publish monthly calendars on the first of the month. 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

June 10, 2011

NCVS: Innovation and volunteerism

Soledad O'Brien
CNN anchor and special correspondent Soledad O’Brien at NCVS this week.


JD LasicaThis week I participated in the National Conference on Volunteering and Service for the first time. The annual conference, held in New Orleans this year, brought together about 4,500 thought leaders in the community and volunteer sectors across America.

It kicked off Sunday with a Social Media for Social Good bootcamp that I put on with George Weiner of DoSomething.org, which drew more than 60 participants. (See our presentation here.)

But I’d rather talk about some of the other highlights I came across, and share this 100-photo Flickr gallery of the event.

Brian Reich and Scott Henderson put on a fascinating Idea Throwdown that I took part in, along with representatives from AARP, CauseCast, VolunteerMatch, MyImpact, TechSoup Global and a couple of dozen other organizations. Some outputs from that 2-hour gathering included the following:

• Participants ought to think about partnering with like-minded movements instead of launching duplicative efforts. We should be paying close attention to working together as a front, and participating in cross-sector collaboration, rather than claiming credit as trend-setters. Talk to three competitors and figure out how you can work together.

• Chris Noble: “Kill a feature a week and a program a month and your organization will get better.”

• In his “Information to Impact” session, George Weiner said, “If you’re never surprised by what you find in the data, you’re not asking the right questions.” And this priceless gem: “Data is better than gut.”

• Neil Bush, chairman of the Points of Light Institute: “Twenty years ago over 30 million people were volunteering. Today over 60 million people are.”

• I also was a panelist in Chris Noble’s session on “Brands and Causes” and argued that we need new language in the cause marketing space, especially around the nexus between nonprofit causes and corporate behavior.

• In my discussions with social entrepreneurs, we’re pretty much in agreement: Companies are too often looked at as sources of funding rather than as sources of solutions.

• Wonderful to be a few feet away from such celebrities as Soledad O’Brien of CNN (pictured above), James Carville, Mary Matalin, Neil Bush, Wynton Marsalis and many more.

May 11, 2011

How to mobilize your supporters to take action

100,000 homes

JD LasicaWhether you want to grow your membership, raise funds or loans, recruit more followers, gather petition signatures, find volunteers for your cause or connect with your community, Social Media for Social Good: How to Mobilize Your Supporters to Take Action will offer guidance that will help your organization create impact for years to come.

It’s the pre-conference bootcamp that I’m putting on with George Weiner, chief technology officer of DoSomething.org, at the National Conference on Volunteering and Service in New Orleans on Sunday, June 5. If you’re going to NCVS, we hope you’ll join us!

This special 3-hour workshop will dive deeply into strategy, tactics and tools available to volunteer organizations and nonprofit managers. NCVS has no tech track this year, so get up to speed on the mission-critical social tools in your sector.

When & where

When: Sunday, June 5, from 2 to 5 p.m.

Where: New Orleans Convention Center

How much: $99 (If you’ve already registered, we’ll accept payments at the door)

Register: Enter the session identification code 5638 during the registration process. Register now Continue reading