September 28, 2011

How social media is advancing social change

Mashable-new solutions
Still frame shot of Social Good Summit video by Epipheo Studios


Outtakes from Mashable’s Social Good Summit

Target audience: Nonprofits, NGOs, cause organizations, social enterprises, businesses, brands, foundations, educators, social media managers

Guest post by Jereme Bivins
Social Media Manager, The Foundation Center
Jereme BivinsThere was no shortage of optimism, technology, and inspiring panelists and speakers at the Social Good Summit sponsored by Mashable, the UN Foundation, Ericsson and the 92nd Street Y last week. Topics ranged from the future of media, with media mogul Ted Turner, to a thoughtful conversation on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, to the introduction of Skype for Education.

But no conference sponsored by Mashable would be complete without an analysis of the state of social media and the future of the online space for the social sector. Among the many lessons learned at the summit, some mantras echoed more resolute than others, particularly the increased emphasis governments, NGOs, nonprofits and individual activists are placing on social strategies to advance their missions.

“No longer is wealth and celebrity needed to achieve meaningful social change.”

According to Alec J. Ross, the Senior Advisor for Innovation to Secretary of State Hilary Clinton, social media has fueled the “devolution of power from hierarchies to citizens,” a point underscored by the ongoing Arab Spring. With access to mobile phones and social media, governments and citizens are more closely connected. Where once a government official would entertain an audience only with his country’s affluent elites, now wealth is no longer a prerequisite to power. Continue reading

June 6, 2011

A reality check on social media

Social Media for Social Good


It only works when it’s connected to the real world

JD LasicaAt the National Conference on Volunteering and Service — which some folks call “the Super Bowl of nonprofit conferences” — George Weiner and I teamed up on one of the most successful Social Media for Social Good Bootcamps that Socialbrite has put on to date. (Socialbrite has put on camps in New York, San Francisco, Miami, London and elsewhere.)

For those of us who live and breathe tech and social media — me in Silicon Valley and George, CTO of, in New York and Washington, DC — it’s always a good reality check to come to gatherings like this and see how the non-early adopters are faring.

The three-hour session we led yesterday offered a range of tips on how to use social media strategically for campaigns, for collaboration, for building community, and I invite you to browse through the presentation above, since the attendees found it useful: “AMAZING session” (thanks, Volunteer Centre) … “awesome, fantastic session” (thanks, NCVS) … “Great session!” (thanks, Groupon).

But there were more beginners in the crowd than I expected. For instance, only about five out of 50 particpants were using Google Analytics (the free tool every website and blog ought to have). None had heard of the effort to document the Gulf oil spill, even though we’re right here in New Orleans. And only one out of 80 people (not counting me) at today’s session on data had ever used Tumblr, an easy way to post blog entries and photos.

These are good, smart, motivated people — we need to break through the barriers and connect the tools and strategies with the organizations and causes that need them, starting with the basics.

So let’s take a deep breath and remember: We still have a lot of work before us, and there’s a lot of education yet to be done.

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, 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