Archive for September 2011

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Seeking Executive Director for NPower-Charlotte Region

A special job opportunity. I’m posting for Susan Jernigan ( Please direct all inquires to her.

Solid knowledge of technology but not too techie

Great relationship builder – funders, CIOs, nfp clients and prospective clients

Resource developer – sponsorships, volunteers, in-kind contributions and grants

Entrepreneurial; able to run and grow a $2MM business; team leader

Passion for what nonprofits do and desire to make a difference.

For more information: Contact Susan Jernigan ( and see

6 More YouTube Tips for Nonprofits

Here are six more great tips for YouTube from Heather Mansfield, author of the new book, Social Media for Social Good.  She agreed to me printing her 11 YouTube Best Practices for Nonprofits here.  Enjoy these six - and check out the other five in yesterday’s post.  I also recommend Heather’s very useful book here.

1. Display Subscribers and Friends
The more “Subscribers” and “Friends” your nonprofit has, the more exposure you get on YouTube. You are also much more likely to get new subscribers and friend requests if you display subscribers and friends on your channel. The avatars of your subscribers and friends also add some color and personality to your channel, and send the message that your nonprofit is engaged in the YouTube community.

2. Send Friend Requests Weekly
YouTube limits the number of friend requests your nonprofit can send per hour to 28, and you can’t send all 28 requests in a row. They have to be spread out over an hour. It can be frustrating, but it’s worth setting aside one day each week to send 10 to 20 friend requests. Over time, you want to build a community of a couple of hundred, and eventually thousands, of friends on your YouTube Channel. Like all communities, the larger yours gets, the more it grows exponentially and increases in power. To begin, search for YouTubers in your area (city, state, or country) and simply send them a friend request. Also, search for YouTubers by issue or cause, and send them friend requests too. It’s also good to be friends with your local media on YouTube, and with foundations and funders. It’s worth noting that subscribers are much more valuable on YouTube because they see your new videos in their video feeds as you upload them, but having many friends helps increase your avatar visibility within the YouTube community. It’s definitely worth 10 minutes a week of your time to send friend requests.

3. Subscribe to Channels Created by Funders and Partners
Subscribing to a channel on YouTube is the highest expression of support on YouTube. Search for and subscribe to channels created by foundations and businesses that fund your nonprofit. If your nonprofit works in partnership with other nonprofits, subscribe to their channels, too. Also, if your nonprofit has numerous chapters, subscribe and send friend requests to all of them. On YouTube, the more you subscribe to others, the more subscribers you get in return. That said, be more selective in your subscribing than in your friending. You want a subscription to mean more than a friendship on YouTube.

4. Sign Up for YouTube’s Nonprofit Program
YouTube offers a nonprofit program for legal nonprofits in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Australia. There is an application process, and take note that nonprofits that are religious or political in nature are excluded from participating in the program. While the application process itself is fast and simple, approval can often take weeks. You can learn more about the application process and program benefits at

5. Integrate Your Videos into Your Website, Blog, Social Networking Communities, and Mobile Campaigns
Using the embed code that is available with every video you upload to YouTube, you can easily copy, paste, and post your videos inside your website and your blog. The code can be customized in just a few clicks to size your videos and include a border, or not. You can also post your video links directly in Facebook status updates and tweets. Also, replacing the “www” in your video URL with an “m” will automatically generate a mobile version of your video that can be sent in group text messages.

6. Create an Annual “Thank You” Video
Donors and supporters always appreciate being thanked for their contribution, but traditionally most nonprofits express their gratitude via text in e-mails, blog posts, and website pages. A more visual, fresh approach is to create a video each year of staff members, volunteers, board members, and the communities that you serve expressing their thanks. It can be a simple 30-second video of 10 people saying “Thank You” (or holding up a “Thank You!” sign), or it can be more elaborate and longer, with interviews, text, and graphics. Again, a great place to feature this video is on your “Thanks for Your Donation” landing page.

Breaking: #nptech cares more about world changes than Facebook changes

if we want it to…

Climate Change and Moving the Planet Beyond Fossil Fuels

Occupy Wall Street & Changing the System

The technology we need most badly is the technology of community.” -Bill Mckibben

Nonprofit technologists were never about mere nonprofit technology — but about people thinking differently and innovatively about creating whole new models for social change. NTEN wasn’t designed to run webinars forever; Techsoup wasn’t designed to sell old Microsoft products ad infinitum. Yes, we have much to learn about the latest technology — and seemingly always will. But technology was never an end, but the means.

In a year of transformative change, are we called to look beyond Facebook changes? Are this year’s rising social movements getting big and beautiful enough to warrant our solidarity and support? What would happen if more of the world’s top “social media for change” evangelizers put their shoulders behind the uprisings that could change everything?

A Model Cause Marketing Tactic You Could Use in Your Campaign

7 Tips To Help You Focus In Age of Distraction: Are You Content Fried!

This morning I learned a new word for information overload – “content fried” from a colleague at the Packard Foundation.    It resonated.    We have so much content in our professional lives.  I’m talking about the stuff we consume daily to keep inform of our professional field.    It comes speeding at us  from [...]

Location-Based Apps Find Their Place

A woman stops in a BART subway station in San Francisco to send a text from her phone. But she’s not telling her friends she’ll be late for happy hour. By sending a text to a location-based app, she’s trying to save the Earth.

Through this “check-in” on Foursquare, that woman is making a donation to EarthJustice, an environmental law organization. This is one of the many ways that nonprofits are taking advantage of a new generation of applications that utilize physical location information to tie together the online and offline worlds. Location-based apps use GPS or other physical location information to map and keep track of users interacting with the service.

Foursquare is one of the earliest location-based apps to gain popularity. Foursquare is essentially a social network that allows users to “check-in” at a physical location by sending text messages or using a smartphone app. Using the phone’s location information or GPS, the message is connected to the place. Users who check in frequently get recognition; the person who checks in the most a given location is dubbed the “mayor” of that place, for instance. The service is most popular with businesses like stores, cafes, and bars since they are semi-public areas, but nonprofits have started getting in on the action. Here’s a quick run-through on how to set up your nonprofit as a “venue” on Foursquare. A Net2 Local event could become a venue, too, allowing organizers and attendees to see who was there. Check out these five ways that nonprofits are using Foursquare to engage with their supporters, target populations and the public.

In the example above, EarthJustice put up a series of billboards that asked people to check in there. The billboards presented challenging messages about the environment and allowed people to take action immediately. Each text that they received brought in a donation from an independent donor. The campaign was targeted specfically at a younger demographic because they tend to be connected with mobile devices and are usually not receptive to traditional donation calls.

Places was Facebook’s foray into the location-specific field. They’ve now made almost everything that can be posted available to be tagged by location. Organizations can verify their addresses to establish a Place and this will allow other Facebook friends to check in there. Facebook is actively promoting the recent changes that they’ve made to how their location check-ins work. Currently, anyone who checks in at a Place will have that status update added to their Wall. This status update is more extensive than the single line “Facebook User likes Organization X”. This means that a check-in at your nonprofit’s Place gives more visibility than a Like. See this article about their “recommend this place” feature.

Gowalla is another big player on the location-based social network scene. Gowalla rewards users with virtual items that can be kept, traded or dropped off at locations. The service also has users “check in” at various physical locations, but it was originally created in order to let people share meaningful experiences in their lives with others. It is based around the idea of discovering and sharing places in the real world that users find personally exciting, interesting or fun. You can read this How To guide from Mashable to get a handle on the seven different ways that Gowalla has for organizations to connect to its users, with one of the most important steps being “claiming” your location.

There are other location-based social networks and apps, such as brightkite, that are out there, but Foursquare and Gowalla are leading the field so far. Here’s a comparison of the two services to help you get an idea of the hallmarks of each. It’s entirely possible that other services from internet giants like Google or Facebook will rise in prominence as they get incorporated into larger social networking platforms.

The question remains, how can your nonprofit benefit from using them. Some people have already started thinking about this question and some organizations have started using these services in ways that might inspire you. Peter Panepento rounded up a few of these ideas for a guest post on about how nonprofits can benefit from Foursquare. Zoetica co-founder Geoff Livingston dished on the same topic for Mashable. Small Act also touched upon some quick ideas for using Foursquare and Gowalla. Each article covers some ways that nonprofits can use tools such as maps and user rewards for check-ins to boost the interactivity of their online presence and audience engagement. Advice for using location-based apps for cause-focused organizations can be found everywhere from’s blog, to Beth Kanter’s to Selfish Giving’s.

Now that we’ve seen a little of what location-based apps have to offer, how do you think they can benefit nonprofits? Have you put your organization on the map, or are you still trying to find your way?

5 Essential YouTube Tips for Nonprofits

So you have a video.  How do you make sure people actually watch it, share it and get moved to action?

Here are some great tips from Heather Mansfield, author of the new book, Social Media for Social Good.  She agreed to me printing her 11 YouTube Best Practices for Nonprofits here.  Where are the other six, you ask?  Since this is a long list, I’m featuring five today and six tomorrow.  Enjoy.  And check out Heather’s very useful book here.

For the simple reason that YouTube dwarfs all other video sites in terms of users and traffic, it should be the starting point for your nonprofit’s online video campaigns. If you want to expand to other online video communities later (such as Vimeo, yfrog, Viddy, Veoh, and Viddler), then by all means do so. That said, the vast majority of nonprofits aren’t aware of all that you can do with a YouTube Channel in terms of design, branding, and community building. The best practices given here highlight the most important functions of a YouTube Channel and, if implemented, can transform your YouTube return on investment (ROI).

1. Use Your Nonprofit’s Avatar as Your Profile Picture
Your nonprofit’s avatar is very important for branding on YouTube. Your avatar will be displayed on all the channels you subscribe to and become friends with, as well as on the walls of any comments you post. It should be square and include your logo, and it should be the same avatar that you use on your other communities. YouTube is a visual community where avatars trump text or titles, so to maximize brand recognition, never use a photo as your profile picture.

2. Use the Colors of Your Avatar to Design Your Channel
YouTube offers one-click automatic branding for your channel. As with Twitter, you should log in, go to “My Channel > Themes and Colors > Show Advanced Options,” and enter the numeric values of the colors of your avatar. Again, these numbers can be provided to you by your graphic designer or guesstimated by using the 4096 Color Wheel.

3. Limit the Description of Your Channel to Your Mission Statement or One Paragraph
People are not on YouTube to read. They are there to watch videos and be entertained and inspired. Don’t overwhelm your viewers with unnecessary text. Simply go to “My Channel > Profile > Edit” and enter a brief “Channel Description” and link to your website. Disable most categories that you see there, such as age, movies, schools, and music. Keep your profile section simple.

4. Maximize Your YouTube Search Engine Optimization Using Channel Tags and Video Titles
YouTube is now considered the second largest search engine in the world, behind only Google. To maximize the possibility that your videos turn up in YouTube search results, first go to “My Channel >Settings > Channel Tags” and enter a wide variety of tags that you think potential supporters of your work will search for in YouTube. Obvious tags are nonprofit, organization, your city, your state, and your program areas (environment, homelessness, international development, and so on). Next, when you are uploading videos to your channel, again add as many tags as possible to each video, give a strong but brief description, and, most important, title the video to optimize your YouTube search engine optimization (SEO). Titles have the strongest impact on YouTube search results after your channel’s name, so be clever and creative when titling your videos. For example, an excellent video by the Community Housing Partnership with the title “Inside Looking Out” would probably get much more traffic if it were renamed “Inside Looking Out: Homelessness in San Francisco, California.”

5. Enable Channel and Video Comments
YouTube is much more than simply a place to host your nonprofit’s videos. It’s a thriving online community. If you don’t allow comments on your channel or your videos, then you have cut yourself off from the YouTube community. Unless your nonprofit works on controversial issues like religion, politics, immigration, or abortion and you don’t want to have to monitor your comments on a daily basis, enable channel and video comments. The vast majority of the time, the comments will be positive and supportive. For the few that aren’t, if they are exceptionally mean-spirited, then simply delete them, block the user, and move on. That said, there are seemingly more mean and grumpy people on YouTube than on any other community. Try not to be too shocked when you experience your first.

Stay tuned for more tomorrow!

Alignment and Affinity in Cause Marketing

Visual Meeting Facilitation Workshop with David Sibbet

I’ve been a fan of visual thinking and graphic facilitation for many years – and have used the techniques to take notes for myself.    As a visual learner, mindmapping, drawing, and other techniques to think visually have helped me learn, synthesize lots of data, and see patterns.     I have also attended and [...]

G+ Challenge: Vaccines– Diverse Experts, Unexpected Ideas, Lasting Solutions

Seeking Innovative Busines Solutions for Improving Vaccine Delivery, Distribution and Development!

G+ Challenges, part of Gerson Lehrman Group, engages entrepreneurs and thought leaders to solve some of the most pressing and important issues in public health today.


G+ Challenges: Vaccines seeks to promote your innovative business ideas within the vaccine landscape by advancing your solutions towards realization.

In collaboration with IndieGoGo and StartUpHealth, G+ convened a committee of industry executives to identify priorities within the vaccine landscape whose potential solutions will provide the greatest impact to peoples’ lives. These priorities were determined through a diverse set of expert perspectives: from major life science companies, to investment firms, NGOs, medical experts, entrepreneurs and many more. Click here for the Executive Committee Summary.

Who can participate?

You can! We want experts and professionals across all industry sectors globally to submit original, early stage ideas to one or more of the question sets below appealing to Distribution, Delivery or Development. Solutions should tackle existing problems and inefficiencies in vaccine development, distribution and delivery in the field with the goal of advancing your solutions towards realization.

How to Enter:

You will be submitting your ideas through the G+ community. To begin your submission on  G+, click here.

Submission Rules:

1. Submit your early-stage research or business solutions to the below questions before Thursday November 24th, by clicking here.

  o Each proposed solution should include a plainly worded description of the idea, no more than 2,000 characters with spaces in length.

o The proposal should specify why you think your idea has potential to be successful.

2. You will be notified by December 8th if the Executive Group selects your business idea as one of the top 20 eligible for funding through IndieGoGo’s platform.

3. The first five ideas to receive $5,000 in funding, or the five highest earners by January 20th, whichever comes first, will work with Startup Health to polish their ideas, pitches and business models for a G+ Demo Day Conference in early 2012.

4. At the G+ Demo Day Conference, the five finalists will have the opportunity to present their business ideas to an audience of financial service, corporate, life science and NGO professionals, with the influence to advance those ideas towards realization.




There are several qualities on which your submissions will be judged. The first step will consist of screening submissions to ensure the proposal addresses the key points described in the relevant question set (either Development, Distribution or Delivery in the Field). 

Topic Responsiveness – How well does the proposal articulate the key needs through the chosen question sets (either Development, Distribution or Delivery in the Field)? 

Originality – Does your idea offer an unconventional, creative approach to the problem (either Development, Distribution or Delivery in the Field)?

Impact – To what degree does your idea have the potential to create meaningful change in the Development, Distribution or Point-of-Care models at work today?

Viability – Does your idea have the potential to be structured and implemented in a functional way? G+ Challenges is subject to the G+ Challenges Terms & Conditions available here


G+ Challenges is subject to the G+ Challenges Terms & Conditions available here