November 28, 2012

How to become part of the Revalue Economy

Isn’t it time for you to become a revalueist?

Target audience: Nonprofits, cause organizations, foundations, NGOs, social enterprises, businesses, educators, journalists, general public.

JD LasicaThe CEO of Goodwill Industries of San Francisco, San Mateo and Marin Counties — one of Socialbrite’s nonprofit clients — was recently invited to give a talk at TEDx San Joaquin. So three members of the Socialbrite team, Carla, Shannon and myself, met with the SF Goodwill communications team and hammered out the rough outlines of the 15-minute talk that Debbie Alvarez-Rodriguez fleshed out and delivered beautifully.

TEDx San Joaquin just posted Debbie’s talk, so I embedded it above to showcase what I thought was a stirring idea: The choice before us to live in a disposal economy or what Debbie terms “the revalue economy.” Continue reading

January 23, 2012

A day of social media at the United Nations

Target audience: NGOs, nonprofits, foundations, social enterprises, cause and advocacy organizations, educators, general public.

JD LasicaWe’re still winding down after a whirlwind day Friday at the United Nations. At the invitation of Amine Lamrabat, Socialbrite sent Shonali Burke and myself to give a presentation on how NGOs (international nonprofits, chiefly) working with the UN can use social media to create impact and advance their causes.

Our presentation to United Nations NGOs.

This was one of the most rewarding and invigorating gatherings I’ve attended in quite some time, for both the knowledgeable give and take as well as the astonishing scope of the social good being done by the people in the room. Among those attending were representatives of Mercy International Association, Global Action to Prevent War and Armed Conflict, the Norway Mission to the UN, the American Cancer Society, representations from throughout the UN and many others.

Here’s a Flickr set of 32 photos I snapped. Some of the topics that came up during our talk included:

How do we scale a campaign to 1 million signatures? Our answer: Set realistic goals. Approach the campaign in phases. Build up a community of support and deputize supporters to participate on your behalf. Learn from past mistakes. Depending on your budget, consider using a large advocacy platform like Care2.

How should we deal with an autocratic regime? From China to Myanmar to Iran, we’ve seen examples of governments that won’t hesitate to crack down on pro-democracy dissidents. Advocacy groups like Witness have learned a great deal about protecting the identity of pro-democracy activists, so absorb their learnings. (See a Witness official’s guest post on Socialbrite on What are our ethical responsibilities when recording video of people under oppression?) Follow Rebecca MacKinnon on Twitter discussing China and cyber-activism. See the latest Netizen Report on Global Voices Advocacy. And also see the brilliant work-around Tunisian human rights activists undertook by geotagging stories of human rights abuses around the presidential palace using Google Earth, Google Maps and YouTube. Continue reading

July 22, 2011

How GLIDE fights for social justice


One of San Francisco’s largest social services agencies is living its core values — and growing its impact

Guest post by Stacy Coleman

Stacy-ColemanLocated in the Tenderloin, one of San Francisco’s harshest urban environments, GLIDE is an oasis that has served poor, homeless and disenfranchised individuals, families and children for more than 45 years. A leading organization for social justice, GLIDE’s core values are rooted in empowerment, recovery and personal transformation for the community it serves. Those values also guide its mission to create a radically inclusive, just and loving community mobilized to break the cycles of poverty and marginalization.

Since launching its first social services in 1969, GLIDE has continually built on its strong foundation of acceptance of and connection to its community and has evolved into one of the largest social services agencies in San Francisco. GLIDE now provides support services that range from meals, housing, primary and behavioral health care, substance abuse recovery, domestic violence abatement, family services, youth literacy, nutrition and wellness programming, housed in five buildings.

GLIDE meal services

I spoke with GLIDE’s communications manager, Joyce Sood, about how the organization continues to thrive in a changing economic environment and its approach for scaling impact. Sood says one of the approaches it takes to quantifying the impact of its programs is by putting into place a strategy and evaluation team. The team looks at each of GLIDE’s programs individually and tracks participant demographics, program services and client outcomes. Each year, GLIDE programs conduct client evaluation surveys to gauge the effectiveness of the program and inform new program integration, design and strategy.

The constant evaluation that GLIDE performs has allowed the organization to consistently expand its services. Twelve years ago, GLIDE built a model housing program for support services and mixed population homeless individuals and families. Sood says the program has served as a nationwide model for affordable and low-income permanent housing. Over the past two years, under the GLIDE Economic Development Corporation entity, GLIDE has built two additional affordable and low-income permanent housing buildings for working families and for homeless individuals, she says.

GLIDE familiesAnother way that GLIDE is able to continually provide a comprehensive set of services is by partnering with a range of funding partners, which includes corporations such as Wells Fargo and GAP, government agencies such as the the San Francisco Department of Children and the California Department of Education, as well as non-profit and private foundation partners. GLIDE has a 23-member Board of Trustees who works with staff to strategize fundraising, partnership building and other means of raising funds for the agency. In addition, GLIDE has an 11-member Legacy Committee of young professionals who work with staff on fundraising events and to cultivate partnerships with next generation audiences, Sood says. Partnering with corporations and professional organizations also helps to spread the word and raise awareness about GLIDE among the younger generation. Continue reading