Tag Archives: social good stars

#SocialGood Stars: @PlantAFish Founder Fabien Cousteau (@FCousteau) on Helping Our Oceans

17 Sep

This article originally appears in The Huffington Post.

Amy Neumann

Writer, Speaker; Social Good, PR and Marketing Consultant

Social Good Stars: Plant a Fish Founder Fabien Cousteau on Helping Our Oceans

Posted: 09/02/2012 9:08 am

This is the twelfth installment of the Impact series, #SocialGoodStars. The people highlighted here are passionate, dedicated philanthropists, strengths to their communities, and social media masters. They also happily share their vast knowledge with others, making them shine as leaders in the Social Good world. You can read the eleventh interview with Global Impact CEO Scott Jackson here.

“The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever.”
– Jacques Yves Cousteau

Fabien Cousteau was born with a passion for the ocean. His grandfather, Jacques Cousteau, was a prolific ocean documentarian and explorer (134 documentaries, 70 books), and an inquisitive conservationist who helped invent the aqualung, allowing modern SCUBA diving. Fabien spent many years on board the Calypso and Alycone with Jacques and his family, developing a love for the ocean, filming it, and helping its creatures. His father Jean-Michel and sister Celine are also avid explorers, and the three of them completed a three-year multi-hour series for PBS called Ocean Adventures in 2006. Fabien uses his environmental economics degree from Boston University to bring insight into striking balance between regional and global environmental issues and the realities of market economies. In 2010 he founded the nonprofit Plant A Fish to empower and educate local communities by replanting aquatic plants and animals.

Between traveling between France and New York City, Fabien spends a great deal of time on the oceans filming. He also speaks around the world about the Ocean and its ecosystems, and has appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Show, Gayle King, and NBC’s Today Show. He is involved with the boards of SeaKeepers Society, Water Innovation Alliance, Millennium Project, and many others, and has spoken recently at TEDx and the 2012 UN Rio Earth Summit.

Here are some of his thoughts on saving the world, one fish at a time.

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Plant A Fish (PAF) is an active, hands-on outdoor education and restoration experience developed by Fabien Cousteau, third-generation ocean explorer, documentary filmmaker and environmental ambassador. Photo courtesy of PlantAFish.org

You’ve said, “The oceans are the circulatory system of life on this planet. Quite literally saving the oceans protects ourselves.” Can you expand on that?

Oceans make up 71% of the earth’s surface and 97.5% of all the water on earth. And around 70% of all food contains ingredients from the oceans, even down to the grain grown using fish meal that may be fed to animals, or the kelp in ice cream. Someone skiing on a mountain 1000 miles inland is skiing on snow from water in the oceans. It’s critical to protect this ecosystem since it impacts all facets of life.

Once you start to learn more about the ocean and all its incredible life forms, it’s nearly impossible to turn your back. That’s why Plant a Fish came about – to educate, empower, and help restore these amazing creatures and ecosystems in a hands-on, fun way.

Telling stories visually, through documentaries and photos, is a hallmark of yours. Why do you think that’s so impactful?

Although it would be ideal for everyone to be able to experience the wonder of the ocean scuba diving or on a scientific submarine, since that’s not practical, being a storyteller for the oceans is the next best thing. I started film making when I was 8 and love it. Visual elements are at the core of telling compelling stories, and telling stories is a great way to inspire people and evoke emotions.

This is useful for any organization, visual storytelling. And although the attention span increases with the quality, any tool is a great tool when used properly – even a casual video shot from a smartphone can capture the essence of an event in a way that shares it more fully with the audience. And photos can capture the beauty and emotions of particular moments so they’re recreated for others, and create a desire to help or learn more.

What are some ways individuals can help the ocean?

Of course we offer many programs, and ideas to start an effort in your area, at Plant a Fish. Another great resource is your local aquarium. They will have access to conservation groups, events, and activities you can join to get more personally involved. There are hands-on actitives like beach cleanups and local restoration projects that are an opportunity to have fun and learn as well as protect and restore.

Just as important are simple, day-to-day things, a different way of seeing. Stay curious. Respect nature. Get guidance when doing new activities outdoors. Look but don’t touch. Explore, learn, and share what you discover.

And things like recycling are invaluable, but often come a bit late in the process. Instead, think: Refuse to use, reduce, reuse, then recycle. Conservation and protection are far more helpful to the environment that fixing things after they’re broken.

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Fabien Cousteau was inspired to protect the oceans growing up on the decks of his famous Grandfather Jacques Cousteau’s ships, Calypso and Alcyone. Photo courtesy of FabienCousteau.org

You can learn more about how to get involved with the oceans at Plant a Fish, on Facebook, and @PlantAFish on Twitter.

Amy Neumann is a social entrepreneur, writer, speaker and consultant on social good marketing. Check out her Charity Ideas Blog and follow her on Twitter @CharityIdeas.

Follow Amy Neumann on Twitter: www.twitter.com/CharityIdeas

Social Good Stars — @CharityWater CEO Scott Harrison

12 Jul
Amy Neumann

Writer, Speaker; Social Media Consultant

Social Good Stars — Charity: Water’s Scott Harrison

Posted: 07/11/2012 5:53 pm

This is the ninth installment of the Impact series, #SocialGoodStars. The people highlighted here are passionate, dedicated philanthropists, strengths to their communities, and social media masters. They also happily share their vast knowledge with others, making them shine as leaders in the Social Good world. You can read the eighth interview with Maggie Nielsen, partner at Global Philanthropy Group, here.

Scott Harrison is well-known worldwide as the charismatic founder and CEO of uber-impactful clean water charity, charity: water. But the story of how charity: water came to be is quite unique. It’s not often that such a colorful, inspiring, paradigm-shifting story happens. Scott’s is just that, and the global impact charity: water has had in the six years it has been around is staggeringly beautiful. I had the honor of learning more about the history and progress of one of the most productive water organizations out there through Scott.
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Click above to hear Kevin Rose’s interview of charity: water Founder Scott Harrison. Photo courtesy of charitywater.org
Raised in a loving Christian home, Scott developed a rebellious side that led him to New York City. Part of a band, he got into the club circuit, then became a popular and wildly successful club promoter for many years. Although the glamorous celebrity lifestyle was irresistible for a time, Scott had an epiphany one New Year’s Eve. “I had become the worst person I knew,” surrounded by and enmeshed in the partying crowd, with no sense of purpose. In spite of what appeared to be a jet-setting, extravagant life, “I was desperately unhappy and needed to change,” Scott says.

So in 2004 he decided to “become the exact opposite of what I was then,” and after being passed over my numerous nonprofits trying to volunteer, he paid Mercy Ships, a hospital ship which provides life-changing surgeries, to be a volunteer in Africa. Having spent his wealth at about the same or greater rate at which he raked it in, his life went from lavish to austere in a flash. As the photographer responsible for documenting the thousands of surgeries Mercy Ships did over the next two years, Scott was astonished by the poverty he saw, and realized how important the most basic things most of us take for granted really were. One day in Liberia, he saw a surgeon dig a well for a village, next to a filthy human water source unfit for animals, and turn it into clean, fresh, safe, drinkable water. At that moment, his life forever changed.

Back in NYC in 2006, Scott dived into his passion to help bring clean water to the one in nine people in the world who don’t have it now — 800 million people. His unique club promoter background inspired an original idea that is now a commonplace and hugely successful fundraising tool — donating a birthday. First he threw a party at a club, and raised $15,000. But next, he thought, “What if people skipped the cab fare, the cover charge, the drinks, and the tips, and just donated that money?” He started with $1 for every year he’d been alive, and voila, the “donate your birthday” revolution began.

And thousands of birthdays donated later (to date), millions of people have been given life-sustaining, clean drinking water. Folks like Will and Jada Pinkett Smith, Alyssa Milano, Justin Beiber, and countless other celebrities have given up their birthday gifts to give. And of course, thousands of caring people around the world have too. And not just birthdays — proceeds raised with creative activities like skydiving, marathons, lemonade stands, scrapbooking, mountain climbing, you name it!

One of the most unique, and original, things charity:water is also known for is the 100% model. One hundred percent of all donations go to drilling wells. This was a novel idea, and one Scott was adamant about. “People would constantly mention how they weren’t sure if their money was going to the cause, or to other expenses,” a conundrum he wanted to prevent. All expenses come out of a separate account, so all donations flow directly to water.

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Bringing clean water and joy — charity: water. Photo courtesy of charitywater.org

Director of digital at charity: water, Paull Young, believes a few key brand values have driven much of the growth to date:

“At charity: water we are aiming to inspire a movement to solve the world water crisis. We do this by inspiring through story telling, maximizing the impact people can make by sending every cent given or raised to fund water projects, and then by helping our supporters see their impact by linking their donation to a specific water project.”

And not only does charity: water change lives in the developing world, but Paull and the team are building an experience for supporters that will do the same at home.

“We believe that people want to make a positive impact on the world, but might feel powerless to do so. We hope we can provide that opportunity, and once they see their impact believe that they’ll be transformed personally, just as they change lives in the developing world.”

Another groundbreaking idea was leveraging technology to further illustrate just how life-saving an impact every dollar makes. Before it was a more commonplace service, Scott started tagging wells drilled via GPS, and showing photos and videos of the sites and the happy people they serve. The impact this has is monumental — the story tells itself, through the smiles, joy, and laughter of kids and adults, even in some of the most remote places on earth. With the ability to tangibly not only see the wells, but the phenomenal effect they have on entire communities, donors feel the concrete impact they make in a very visceral sense. And by using social media to spread the message, millions of people get to see those results every day.

“A person dies every 15 seconds from water-borne diseases. That’s an enormous problem. But we are having a positive impact on a large scale,” notes Scott. Recently charity: water raised enough money to purchase two drilling rigs, which exponentially increased drilling ability.

Scott and the charity: water team, along with donors and volunteers all around the world, are indeed having a positive impact. To learn more about how Water Changes Everything, watch this video. To donate to charity: water, click here. You can also follow @charitywater on Twitter, and Like them on Facebook for more.

Amy Neumann is a social entrepreneur, writer, speaker and consultant on social good marketing. Check out her Charity Ideas Blog and follow her on Twitter @CharityIdeas.

Follow Amy Neumann on Twitter: www.twitter.com/CharityIdeas

Social Good Stars: @Causecast CEO Ryan Scott on the Future of Cause Marketing #nptech

29 Mar
This article originally appears on The Huffington Post.
Amy Neumann

Writer, Speaker; Social Media Consultant

Social Good Stars: Causecast CEO Ryan Scott on the Future of Cause Marketing

This is the seventh installment of the Impact series, #SocialGoodStars. The people highlighted here are passionate, dedicated philanthropists, strengths to their communities, and social media masters. They also happily share their vast knowledge with others, making them shine as leaders in the Social Good world. You can read the sixth interview with Craigslist Founder Craig Newmark here.

“Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.” -Theodore Roosevelt

Ryan Scott, CEO of Causecast, is a visionary idealist with a plan. He is a successful entrepreneur and thinker; a humanist and a philanthropist; and an investor and adviser to many interesting companies and charities. Also, he co-founded two of my favorite sections of the Huffington Post: Impact, and Education. His passion for doing the right thing — like not charging nonprofits a cent to use Causecast’s platform to help their cause — has helped spur global growth in cause marketing and its effectiveness. As a leader in the cause marketing field, he has some inspiring and thought-provoking insights into the future of Social Good.

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Photo courtesy of Causecast.com.You are widely regarded as the “Father of Opt-In Email Marketing.” You gave people an additional voice and freedom (to opt-in, or not) before people even asked. How did that affect your charity vision?

Opt-in was the result of my sense of social justice. We have the technology to ask people to subscribe rather than spam them and force them to opt-out – or in the case of the postal world, just spam them without regard for whether or not they want to get off the list. We have the technology for mass customization so what is the excuse for not using it? We can do direct marketing in an ethical way on the internet, and in fact we have to, so let’s do it.

My charity vision comes from that same sense of social justice. We ask nonprofits to solve the world’s toughest problems with a challenging business model. As a society, we reward selling sugar water far more than we reward building wells. This perverse incentive does nothing to solve the issue of lack of clean water, but it creates the altogether new problem of obesity. Clearly this is not sustainable. Capitalism can and must be better leveraged to help nonprofits do their work. It’s just too powerful of a force to ignore. Luckily, it’s pretty easy to harness the power of capitalism and by vastly improving this mutually beneficial partnership we will start to actually solve the world’s most pressing problems.
As a proponent of environmentalism and social justice, what social media platforms have jumped out at you as far as helping there?

The major social networks and publishing platforms can have a huge impact on social awareness and change. I can’t point to just one — as a marketer you have to use them all for their strengths. Unfortunately this is not one of those questions that has an easy solution.

You are active with many organizations, including Keiretsu Forum, the President’s Council of Planned Parenthood, the Long Now Foundation, and the Methuselah Foundation, among others. Are there trends you’ve seen online that have helped with expanding these causes?

Developments in the online world have increased the capacity of nonprofits and opened up new possibilities. For example, at Causecast we introduced free donation processing, which makes giving far less costly, and the ability for nonprofits to participate in workplace giving programs of corporations, also for free. But there are also pitfalls to online cause innovations. There is so much noise online, and it can be easy to create an app that is too difficult for NPOs to follow. Worse, I’ve seen some cause marketing campaigns where the brands are getting much more value than the nonprofit partners. I’ve seen many smaller nonprofits spend valuable time promoting a brand but competing against far more popular nonprofits, giving them no hope of winning. The time spent promoting the brand would have been better spent honing their core fundraising skills. Luckily there a lot of exceptions to this, for example Toyota’s 100 Cars for Good program in which all participating organizations walk away with something for their time, and organizations are paired with other organizations of similar size, making it more fair.
What other trends do you think nonprofits can leverage right now to help advance their message?

Workplace giving and volunteer programs are becoming a critical aspect of employee engagement, which is an essential key to employee recruitment and retention. Traditional corporate philanthropy only goes so far — companies need to get their entire workforce involved in order to make a difference, and nonprofits should make sure that they’re exposed to employee-based streams of fundraising and volunteerism. When employees get involved with nonprofits as a part of workplace programs, everyone benefits — nonprofits, the engaged employees and corporate bottom lines. That’s why Causecast developed a technology platform to help nonprofits connect with business workforces.


Social good marketing gets a lot of positive coverage these days. Do you feel it’s a win/win for brands and nonprofits? How do consumers/donors benefit from these social good partnerships?

It’s always a good thing when the private sector supports the public sector, no matter what the reasons. But cause marketing can feel like just that — marketing — if it’s not backed up by authentic engagement by the employees of the company.
Where do you see “Social Good/Cause Marketing” heading in the next two years?

Cause marketing is clearly the future of marketing. In fact, when you see that 90% of consumers will switch brands to one that supports a cause, you quickly realize that all marketing will be cause marketing. Despite some attempts at causewashing, it’s here to stay.

As you can tell, I’m really excited about employee cause engagement or workplace giving and volunteering. In fact, I predict all cause marketing campaigns will ultimately be launched to the public from within the workplace, by the employees of the corporation, not solely from the marketing department. Because what, after all, is the heart and soul of a company? Its staff. If they pick the nonprofits the company should support, if they are involved in crafting and promoting the campaign, it’s as authentic as it can be.

Soon, and this is our most active area of development, we’ll see companies competing with each other to make the most positive social change. I can’t think of a better reason to be hopeful for the future than that.

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Ryan Scott, CEO of Causecast.Learn more about Ryan Scott on LinkedIn, and follow him on Twitter @ryan_scott.

Amy Neumann is a social entrepreneur, writer, speaker and consultant on social good marketing. Check out her Charity Ideas Blog and follow her on Twitter @CharityIdeas.

Follow Amy Neumann on Twitter: www.twitter.com/CharityIdeas

Social Good Stars: Mark Horvath (@hardlynormal) Gives a Voice to Our Homeless Friends

19 Jan

This article originally appeared in The Huffington Post.

Amy Neumann

Writer, Speaker; Social Media Consultant

Social Good Stars: Mark Horvath

Posted: 1/15/12 11:00 AM ET

This is the fourth installment of the Impact series, #SocialGoodStars. The people highlighted here are passionate, dedicated philanthropists, strengths to their communities, and social media masters. They also happily share their vast knowledge with others, making them shine as leaders in the Social Good world. You can read the third interview with Amanda Hite here.

“Appreciation is a wonderful thing. It makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well.” ~ Voltaire

Appreciation. When you think about Mark Horvath, it describes both the feeling one gets upon meeting him and hearing his tales, and also his compassionate view of the world. Through his documentation of the fascinating, sometimes heartbreaking, often inspiring, and always enriching stories of people experiencing homelessness in their own words, he helps us all gain a new appreciation of humanity and how similar we all really are. He’s broken the mold. He is not doing what makes sense, he’s not doing something that even pays the bills–he is living out his passion and doing what burns deep inside of him. Mark gives a face and a voice to homelessness, something he knows all too well as he once lived among them.

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Mark Horvath with Ann Marie (@padschicago).

How did social media influence your decision to travel the US and
Canada for invisiblepeople.tv, interviewing our homeless friends and
the compassionate people and nonprofits that support them?

Seventeen years ago, I had a very good job in the television industry. Sixteen years ago, I became homeless, living on Hollywood Boulevard. I rebuilt my life to a point where I had a three-bedroom house and a 780 credit score, then in 2007 the economy took a nosedive. Like many Americans, I found myself unemployed, living off my credit cards, and hoping for the best. The best never came, but several layoffs — along with foreclosure on my house — did.

By November 2008, I found myself once again laid off. I was mentally and emotionally exhausted and, to be honest, I was scared of once again living on the streets of Hollywood. I could see homelessness all around me, but I couldn’t bear to look.
I was turning away because I felt their pain.

Don’t waste a good crisis. It’s a simple concept and it’s how InvisiblePeople. tv started. For the most part I had lost everything but some furniture, my car, a box of photos, laptop, small camera, and my iPhone. After looking at what I didn’t have and all the problems that were stopping me, I decided to just use what I had. I registered a domain, changed the header on a WordPress theme, grabbed my camera, and started to interview people.

I honestly didn’t think anyone would even view the videos. I was really doing it to release something that was deep down inside me, and to be candid, to keep busy. It was a really dark time and InvisiblePeople.tv gave me a purpose.

I’ll never forget going into the first tent city. It was 400 yards in a wooded area where no help could easily arrive if I found myself in trouble. I questioned my sanity walking in there with a camera and a bag of socks. One smart thing I did was blast what I was doing all over social media so people could feel like they were right there with me. That day my life changed. People started to tweet me encouragement and all kinds of support. The InvisiblePeople. tv road trip was born.


What are some of your most memorable moments from your 2011 US/Canada Road Trip?

Getting to hang with Donnie in his apartment was a very powerful moment. It was so cold when I met Donny I thought my face was going to fall off. Donny had been homeless over twenty years. He had nothing but a blanket and the heating vent from a local business to stay warm. I honestly don’t know how he survived. Thanks to the power of social media and Youtube, the people of Calgary targeted Donny and got him into housing.

Terry Pettigrew was a sweet man dying of cancer I first met while visiting a homeless shelter in Calgary, Canada. I was really moved by Terry and put his video up that very night. The local news media was with me when I visited Terry and The Calgary Herald put his story on their front page. Terry’s brother, Larry, who he had no contact with for 34 years, saw the news story and the two brothers were reunited. There are no words to describe this miracle. I am so very grateful to have played a small part in Terry being reunited with his family for his last moments on Earth. Although homeless most of his life, Terry was able to spend 53 wonderful days with a loving family.

What also has me excited is the history we made with major brands and fighting homelessness this year. General Motors, Hanes, and Murphy USA, all had branded events in 2011 that helped benefit local homeless services, and this year, with @home being released, we will use what we learned in 2011 to hold events that are even bigger and will have more impact.

What advice would you give to someone who was looking to elevate their
social good efforts with social media?

Relationships are key. Story is everything. Communication is vital. Be flexible. Slow is good. Learn to be comfortable with insecurity.

There have been a lot of articles noting how important social media
and technology is to homeless people, to stay connected. Can you talk
a little about that? How did that influence WeAreVisible.com?

If you own a business, you better listen to your customers or you will go out of business. In homeless services, governments and nonprofits don’t listen to the people we serve as much as we might. The general public has received most of its homeless information from marketing materials. We don’t necessarily need another “expert” on homelessness… we need to listen to the single mom living in her van.

Social media can also provide much needed peer-to-peer support to homeless people and formerly homeless people. Most nonprofits do not have the resources to provide tangible social interaction with their clients. We cannot just throw people into housing. There must be community. Social norms are very powerful. We hope to launch the second phase of We Are Visible in early 2012 to help facilitate more social support.
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You can learn more about the two organizations Mark Horvath founded at InvisiblePeople.tv and WeAreVisible.com. Follow Mark on Twitter @hardlynormal.

Amy Neumann is a writer, speaker and consultant on social good marketing. Check out her CharityIdeasBlog and follow her on Twitter @CharityIdeas

Follow Amy Neumann on Twitter: www.twitter.com/CharityIdeas

Share the Joy: 12 Days of Giving – #12DaysOfGiving

12 Dec

This also appears on the Huffington Post.

“One person can make a difference, and every person should try.” ~ John F. Kennedy

‘Tis better to give than receive, as the old adage goes. And at no time of year do we feel this more keenly than the holidays! The spirit of giving is everywhere. People are a little kinder, a little more generous, and a little more willing to help a stranger.

All of these things led to the #12DaysofGiving, a 12-day bonanza of giving, sharing, and promoting social good from 12/13 to 12/24. Each day, amazing people and charities will be highlighted, with the goal to raise over $12,000 for the causes, as well to enlist the help of millions of passionate social media users globally to help spread awareness. The goal is not only to show support for these causes, but also to illustrate the power of social media for social good and the massive impact thousands of small, meaningful actions can help when used collectively.

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12 Outstanding Charities.
12 Inspiring Influencers.
12 Days of Giving…
One Amazing Project

How can you help? First, please share this on Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, your Blog, and email. And if you can, please make a small (or huge!) donation on Crowdrise to any or all of the diverse group of incredible charities here.
You can follow @12DaysGiving, and learn more on the 12 Days of Giving site, GivingKicksAss.com or on Crowdrise.

Happy giving!

Social Good Stars: Twitter’s Claire Diaz-Ortiz (@ClaireD)

5 Dec

This piece originally appeared in the Huffington Post series, “Social Good Stars.” http://www.huffingtonpost.com/amy-neumann/twitter-for-good_b_1116429.html

Amy Neumann

Writer, speaker and social media consultant for nonprofits and businesses

Social Good Stars: Claire Diaz-Ortiz

Posted: 11/29/11 04:58 PM ET

Twitter , Claire Diaz Ortiz , Claire Diaz-Ortiz , Social Good Stars , Twitter For Good , Nonprofit Marketing , Social Media For Social Good , Twitter Claire Diaz Ortiz , Impact News

This is the second interview in a new Impact series, #SocialGoodStars. The people highlighted here are passionate, dedicated philanthropists, strengths to their communities, and social media masters. They also happily share their vast knowledge with others, making them shine as leaders in the Social Good world. You can read the first interview with Beth Kanter here.

“Too often we underestimate the power of a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.”  ~Leo Buscaglia

The magic of Twitter lies in just that — the ability to connect with like-minded people in big and small ways, all over the world. And someone who knows all about that is Twitter’s own Claire Diaz Ortiz, who leads social innovation, philanthropy, and causes at Twitter since 2009. She is the author of Twitter for Good: Change the World, One Tweet at a Time, and is a frequent international speaker known for developing the TWEET model — a framework to help organizations and individuals best excel on Twitter. Claire holds an MBA from Oxford University, where she was a Skoll Foundation Scholar for Social Entrepreneurship. She is also the co-founder of Hope Runs, a non-profit organization operating in AIDS orphanages in East Africa.

2011-11-28-clairebioshotwebsmall.jpegClaire Diaz-Ortiz, Twitter’s own Force for Good.  Photo Courtesy of Claire Diaz-Ortiz

Since being panelists together at Dell’s Social Innovation Conference earlier this year, I have had the honor of speaking with Claire many times about social good and how Twitter has facilitated connections, awareness, action, fundraising, and the real-time flow of information globally. Here are a few key points of interest for anyone wondering how to get even more out of Twitter and social media for social good.

What do you consider most important for organizations who want to use Twitter for Good effectively?

First, developing a strategy is the answer to ‘What am I doing on Twitter?’ I created the 5-Step framework called T.W.E.E.T. to help with that and for using Twitter: Target, Write, Engage, Explore, Track.  It works because it’s simple.

What are a few examples of nonprofits really leveraging the relationships from Twitter to impact awareness and fundraising or other key goals?

Pepsi Refresh showed what it means to pique the interest of the Twitter audience, and draw them to a site to learn more and take action. Pepsi took $20 million, and later included another $1.3 million for the Gulf, and used Twitter to help local causes be broadcast across the nation and beyond to win grants to help their communities by voting.

Mark Horvath, well-known as @hardlynormal on Twitter and founder of InvisiblePeople.tv, is another brilliant example. He travels the U.S. and Canada interviewing our homeless friends on video and gives them a voice, a voice everyone can now hear because of the reach of Twitter.

Twitter does numerous internal philanthropy projects, including your pro-bono Tweets for Good program and numerous resources. Can you talk about those?

Within our advertising platform, we offer pro-bono programs for non-profits already engaged on Twitter. Promoted Tweets are a tool advertisers use to promote specific campaigns via Tweets on Twitter. The Promoted Tweets for Good programs is an application-based pro-bono program serving a number of non-profit organizations each year. We offer a second type of Promoted Tweets for Good ad hoc to organizations involved in disaster relief in times of crisis or civil unrest.
Another useful resource is Hope 140, Twitter’s hub for being a “Force for Good.” It highlights ways to use Twitter for Good, along with several causes and helpful case studies. We’re always looking for more case studies to share creative ways nonprofits have used Twitter.

What do you see as helpful concepts that apply not only to Twitter but also to social media in general?

As Biz Stone says, “People are basically good… When you give them a simple tool that helps them exhibit that behavior, they will prove it to you every day.” Make it easy for supporters to learn, share, help, and grow. Start connecting and creating individual relationships. Make sure that when you first hop on and seek support, make it about real relationships, and not immediately about fundraising. Most people in the world don’t like to be asked for money immediately (on social media or elsewhere). Are there new people you’d like to connect with? Reach out! Are supporters already on a platform? Deepen those relationships. It’s also important to some extent to let your guard down. Open a window into your organization with a unique perspective. Social media is wide open for any cause to participate and draw strength from supporters.

2011-11-28-clairedcraignewmark3.jpgTalking Social Good at the Social Media for Nonprofits Conference in San Francisco November 2011: Darian Heyman, Claire Diaz-Ortiz, and Craig Newmark. Photo Courtesy of Claire Diaz-Ortiz

“Be a Force for Good.”
~ Twitter’s operating principle

You can learn more about Claire at ClaireDiazOrtiz.com and follow her on Twitter @ClaireD. http://twitter.com/claired

For more details on using Twitter for Good, here is a short video of highlights from her book, and more tips and ideas at Hope140.org.

Amy Neumann is a writer, speaker and consultant on social good marketing. Check out her CharityIdeasBlog and follow her on Twitter @CharityIdeas.

Follow Amy Neumann on Twitter: www.twitter.com/CharityIdeas

39 Inspiring Men and Their Passion for Charity

5 Dec

This piece originally appeared in the Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2morrowknight/38-inspiring-men-and-thei_b_956168.html

39 Inspiring Men and Their Passion for Charity

Posted: 09/16/11 04:50 PM ET

  Charity ,   Inspiration ,   Twitter , Feel Good Stories , Giving , Nonprofits , Passion , Slidepollajax , Social Good , Impact News

This is the latest post in our series, TwitterPowerhouses, which focuses on the contributions of people who’ve helped to expand, influence, and redefine how we view social networking.

A life of kindness and gratitude is tremendously powerful. And when applied to the charitable efforts making the world a better place, the results are often extraordinary. From across diverse backgrounds and all ends of the globe, these gentlemen exemplify a global view of sharing and helping others in their daily lives, and through the amazing networked nonprofits they support. They all embody the spirit of Booker T. Washington’s famous words: “If you want to lift yourself up, lift up someone else.”

Reluctant to talk about themselves, they deftly shift conversations from themselves to other people, or to one of their many projects. They are dreamers and visionaries. They like to imagine vibrant communities bursting with culture — music, art, history, theater, film — and full of people realizing their potential. But they’re not only dreamers, they want people to be a part of their dreams.

Claire Diaz-Ortiz, leader of Social Innovation at Twitter Inc., and author of the book Twitter for Good, is brilliant in the international community of philanthropy and is someone all three writers on this post respect. Her ideas, and Twitter, have led countless people toward social good. The Networked Nonprofits we support – 2morrowknight with SeeYourImpact, Amy with United Way, and Yasamin with The 1010Project – are impacted by her work. And by Twitter. As are all of the men highlighted here. In fact, if it weren’t for Twitter, we may not have had the honor of talking with all of them and sharing their insights.

In a world that will soon have 7 billion people, these men understand how important it is to engage non-profits that help raise our standard of living, expand our worldview, and give us hope for the future. Indeed, together, we thrive!

Authors’ Note: In case you missed it, here’s Part 20 of the series: The Social Media Vision of Jessica Northey.

Click here for the original article SlideShow!

Social Good Stars – Beth Kanter (@kanter)

19 Nov

This post originally appears in the Huffington Post in my new series for Impact, “Social Good Stars.”  Thank you to the amazing Beth Kanter!

Writer, speaker and social media consultant for nonprofits and businesses
Follow Amy Neumann on Twitter: www.twitter.com/CharityIdeas

Social Good Stars: Beth Kanter

Posted: 11/18/11 12:43 PM ET

This is the first in a new Impact series, #SocialGoodStars. The people highlighted here are passionate, dedicated philanthropists, strengths to their communities, and social media masters. They also happily share their vast knowledge with others, making them shine as leaders in the Social Good world.

There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle, or the mirror that reflects it. ~Edith Wharton

Some people stand out as an example of a person who is indeed the bright candle, from whom others can help spread light. Beth Kanter, well-known in nonprofit and social media circles alike, is one of those people. She has been named by Fast Company Magazine as one of the most influential women in technology and one of Business Week’s “Voices of Innovation for Social Media.” She is the author of Beth’s Blog: How Nonprofits Can Use Social Media, one of the longest running and most popular blogs for nonprofits, and the book, “The Networked Nonprofit” with Allison Fine. She is also co-founder of Zoetica Media. Most importantly, Beth spends a lot of time listening to others, curating key information, and sharing it so other people can also be Social Good Stars.

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Beth Kanter in Kenya with a winner of her book.

With 32 years in nonprofit social good, Beth is the perfect person to answer some pressing questions about current and future trends. Our interview is below.

You famously co- authored the book, “The Networked Nonprofit” with Allison Fine, and have worked with social good luminaries such as Claire Diaz-Ortiz of Twitter and Randi Zuckerberg of Facebook.  With such legendary background knowledge, can you reveal any social-media-for-social-good trends you see?

What’s top of mind at this moment is this stat:  In 2020, 40% of the world population will have grown up knowing nothing but the Internet and social networks.  Think about that. I’m a baby boomer and my first job was with the Boston Symphony in late 70’s, early 80’s.  I was in development and wanted to see examples of membership or annual fund brochures from other symphonies.  So, I wrote letters to about 20 of them, asking for a copy.  It took a month, but I then had a great collection of ideas — which was good because the annual conference when we could exchange that sort of stuff was six months away.  Now, we can learn in real time from our peers. Think how fast ideas are shared and copied from nonprofit to nonprofit.  I also watched my son last night do his homework.  He is 12.  He had to do a PowerPoint on Portugal.   He had a PowerPoint document uploaded into Google, was collaborating on it with two friends, and they were talking to each other on Skype. Our world is changing before our eyes and organizations really need to think about what this means for their work.  I think about the younger people in nonprofits — and those like free agents outside, and how important it is for nonprofit leaders to empower younger, millenials on staff and outside their walls.

Who is a personal  hero/ine in the social good space?  What makes them unique?

This is such a hard question — I have so many heroes/heroines.  But, I will name one.  Kristin Row-Finkbeiner the co-founder of Momsrising. “Where Moms and people who love them go to change our world.” They are such a fantastic example of working in this agile and transparent way and leveraging social media for on the ground social change.

 How important is “networking” to you in social media (and IRL)?  Has social media made it faster, slower, more or less relevant?

Definitely faster. I’ve always been a networker, before the tools — that is seeking people out, introducing people, and learning from the network/community.  The challenge when you add online tools is that you can connect to so many more people that you run the risk of having shallow relationships.  I have a lot of connections or friends, and I often feel that I don’t get a chance to just to chat and get to know people in a deeper way. These days I get a lot of requests for a lot of things. I find that introducing people to other people where there is a mutual need or potential for reciprocity is a good thing.

 What’s the “killer app” of social media right now?

Tools come and ago — and they change faster than humans.  Right now the killer app or type of app is content curation.  Less about the tools, more about the process.  I’m really excited about the whole concept of people whose job it is to make sense of information on the web. They used to be called journalists — but we have so much information available to us now that the sorting and making sense of it is a job in and of itself. This primer on content curation talks about why.

Do you have a favorite “social media success story” for this this year?

Yes, grist.org. They use a unique combination of entertaining content and environmental reporting, dubbed the “The Daily Show of the environmental movement.”  They have inspired a whole new generation of environmentalists who don’t take themselves so seriously while creating on-the-ground change.

What personal projects and charities do you love & support?

My main charity is the Sharing Foundation which helps kids in Cambodia.  My two kids were adopted from that country – and supporting the organizations is a way to give back.

I’m also on the board of Ushahidi , a non-profit tech company that develops free and open source software for information collection, visualization and interactive mapping. I support a number of other organizations in small ways.

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Beth Kanter

You can learn more about Beth at BethKanter.org and follow her on Twitter @kanter.

Amy Neumann is a writer, speaker and consultant on social good marketing. Check out her CharityIdeasBlog and follow her on Twitter @CharityIdeas.


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