June 30, 2009

How Convio uses social media

How Convio uses social media from JD Lasica on Vimeo.

JD LasicaThe name Convio is a well-known brand in the nonprofit sector. The company offers online fundraising and marketing software and donor database and CMS solutions to its more than 1,200 nonprofit clients, ranging from a seven-person nonprofit with remote staff to large institutions like the Humane Society and American Cancer Society. (Yep, you have to be a nonprofi.)

At the Nonprofit Technology Conference in San Francisco I caught up with Jordan Viator, interactive communications manager for Convio. Jordan heads up their social media efforts, much of it through their Connection Cafe blog.

In this 6-minute video, Jordan talks about Austin-based Convio and how it uses social media.

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June 9, 2009

Free ebook: How to use Facebook for business (and nonprofits)

facebook-logoJohn HaydonAn increasing number of nonprofits are expanding their social media efforts with Facebook Pages and Facebook Groups.

And for good reason:

Facebook is one of the largest social media sites on the web:

  • More than 200 million active users
  • More than 100 million users log on to Facebook at least once each day
  • More than two-thirds of Facebook users are outside of college
  • The fastest growing demographic is 35 and older

And their users are very active:

  • Average user has 120 friends on the site
  • More than 4 billion minutes are spent on Facebook each day
  • More than 30 million users update their statuses daily
  • More than 6 million users become fans of Pages each day

Hubspot, an Internet marketing company in Cambridge, Mass., recently published a free book for businesses looking to use Facebook.

I was curious how useful How to Use Facebook for Business would be for my typical nonprofit client, so I downloaded it (no email required!) and read through the 22-page guide.

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June 4, 2009

Craigslist Foundation’s 6th Nonprofit Boot Camp

Beth KanterThe 6th annual Craigslist Foundation’s Nonprofit Boot Camp takes place June 20 in Berkeley, CA. The day includes workshops, one-on-one coaching sessions, and keynotes by Arianna Huffington, Randi Zuckerberg and Craig Newmark.

For years, I’ve been wanting to attend and this year, finally, I am!  And, I’m leading a workshop on social media strategy.  My colleagues Britt Bravo and Eric Leland are also facilitating a workshop about getting started with social media and Peter Deitz is talking about future technology.  The content is not all social media.  Organized around the theme “connect, motivate and inspire greater community impact,” you will find a schedule and speakers with expertise on evaluation, governance, management, strategic planning and more!  There is also ample time for networking.

You can read the full description here and check out the schedule and speakers.  The registration is only $75 and you sign up to attend here.

See you there!

June 3, 2009

Foundation Center: a deep resource for philanthropy

Foundation Center: philanthropy info galore from JD Lasica on Vimeo.

• See a more recent interview with Sarah Jo Neubauer: Helping nonprofits master the art of grant writing (2011)

JD LasicaIf you’ve spent some time in the world of nonprofit philanthropy, you’ve no doubt heard of the Foundation Center. The venerable organization, which has been around for more than 50 years, is a nonprofit library and learning center that provides information about U.S. philanthropy and helps organizations and individuals learn how to apply for grants through a rich foundation database.

Best of all, it’s free — just like a public library.

At the recent Nonprofit Technology Conference (NTC), I ran into Sarah Jo Neubauer, assistant librarian at the center’s San Francisco Library, who provided a brief overview of the center’s offerings.

edumonthYou can find out how to write a grant proposal to any of the 92,000 profiled foundations. If you’re a student, you can learn how and where to apply for financial aid. (This is, after all, Education Month.)

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June 1, 2009

8 nonprofit executives who use Twitter


Fred Krupp is the CEO of the Environmental Defense Fund

Beth KanterRecently, BusinessWeek published a slideshow of CEO’s who use Twitter, noting the dramatic rise of CEO’s who use Twitter to clue customers in on new services, help them with questions about their products, and generally get a little bit personal with customers, business associates, and the public.

There are some other benefits to having your nonprofit’s CEO be on Twitter, these might include:

  • Source of news
  • Brand Building
  • Focus Group/Research
  • Networking Tool
  • Monitoring
  • Drive Traffic to web site
  • Humanizing your communications

Of course, if your CEO is going to Twitter, they have to be keep a consistent schedule and be authentic.    There’s been a bit of debate about celebrity Twitter users who have “ghost” twitterers or simply people helping them tweet.

I did a brief scan to see if there any nonprofit chief executives who Twitter. Here’s a few whom I found:

1. @carlPope is the executive director of the Sierra Club, the nation’s oldest and largest grassroots environnmental group.  His tweets are about his organization’s work and retweeting others messages.  Take for example

RT @maryannehitt http://twitpic.com/5n4sq – Re-posting great Seattle rally photo by Sierra Club’s Dan Ritzman #nocoal #epacaa

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May 28, 2009

Change.org: Turning concern into action

Change.org: Helping you take action online from JD Lasica on Vimeo.

JD LasicaOne of the most impressive and influential sites in the causes space, Change.org, has really come into its own in the past six to eight months. The social enterprise is helping raise awareness about important social causes and empowering people to take action, chiefly through the efforts of leading nonprofits.

Here’s an interview I conduced with Ben Rattray, founder and CEO of Change.org, after a meetup at TechSoup’s offices in San Francisco. Ben describes the organization this way: “We’re an online community and media network for social issues, focused on engaging and informing people about the most important issues of our time — global warming, homelessness, fair trade — and compelling them to take action.”

Actions might range from joining an organization and making a personal pledge to signing an online petition or calling a congressperson’s office about an issue. “This is one of the things we’re most interested in innovating on and partnering with other organizations on — finding the most powerful actions possible for people to advance issues they care about.”

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