Executives at nonprofits should put community engagement via social media as a top priority in performing their jobs. They need to get their hands dirty. But more often than not, they don’t.
Usually, staffers do the “dirty work” with social media while management gets a debrief on return on investment.
This is like having a nurse’s aide listen to a patient’s acute cardiac symptoms and tell the heart surgeon where to operate. A lot of critical information would be lost without the surgeon using her own stethoscope to listen directly to the patient’s heart.
Listening to your community is no different. Your community’s voice has a particular rhythm that can be understood only firsthand.
Four reasons executive directors should be on Twitter
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.
“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.” — 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. Continue reading →