Charity / volunteer, Facebook, non-profit

How non-profits use social media for social good

If you are interested in using social media for non-profit fundraising, I trust you are aware that Facebook has a non-profit group whereby they share a lot of tips and techniques.

icon for FB washington - summary of non-profit use of facebook for social goodHere is a quick summary of some learnings from the Facebook DC (a page on FB) held a live interview with three very socially active non-profits with Clay Dunn from Share Our Strength, Sarah Koch from Causes and, part of a favorite page for me – Wendy Harman from the American Red Cross.

[ American Red Cross is a page with social media activities I greatly admire – see my post ” The new home page of 2011 is the tab in Facebook“.]

Although I caught only the second half of the presentation (stay tuned for replay link), there were some key messages delivered:

1. Showing the impact that the donations make is valuable today as audiences are exposed to a lot of donation asks.

2.  Don’t forget to engage with those people who are supporting the charity.  Allow them [I would say give them permission – figuratively] to submit photos related to the charity so that they feel they are part of a group that does something.

3. Consider how you use social media for “digital volunteerism” – a new term that I was not aware of.  How do you allow volunteers to contribute and support digitally?

4.  Allow for micro payments which have been easy asks but in volume contributes quite a bit.

5.  consider enabling people, either through communication or online tools, to form a donation wish and then solicit friends to help achieve that goal.  This is really the door-to-door solicitation taken online.  This may sound obvious but in the design of online experiences – this is a functionality to include.

For more tips on using social media for social good – consider reading a post on “The Science of Sharing

I’d also like to point out that Facebook itself does a good job of parsing its audiences into a number of facebook pages and then markets events and information across all groups.  I believe this is a good model for organizations that have non-profit groups as a secondary organization.

Charity / volunteer, Crowd Wisdom, Facebook, fans / loyalty, social networks, youtube

The MAGIC of social media: watch this video pls

I love my peeps! Please watch this amazing song produced by Maggie,  a volunteer member of the growing Scotiabank  BuskerFest social media team!  This is the kind of magic I was hoping for  and we are getting it in spades.

Scotiabank BuskerFest starts this Thursday Aug. 27th at noon.

Blogging, Charity / volunteer, social networks, web 2.0

New Client: Toronto’s Scotiabank BuskerFest 2009


I’m elated to have won Epilepsy Toronto as a new client.   My team and I  are responsible for the social media strategy, planning & execution for Scotiabank’s BuskerFest 2009 – planned for Thursday, August 27 thru to Sunday, August 30th at the St Lawrence Market neighbourhood in Toronto.   [Become a FAN on the Scotiabank BuskerFest Facebook Page or join our twitter @buskerfestTO and #BFTO]

Certainly, coming onboard in July for an August festival has a lot of challenges [and so technically, I call this a social networking marketing plan not social media due to what makes for a reasonable focus in a short time period] and yet, I really heartily applaud Epilepsy Toronto.   They are open minded, familiar with social media, time and resource crunched but willing and interested to barrel forth into new territory.  The leadership team also asks very good questions around our strategies and initiatives – which always makes for interesting work.

Being a time sensitive event – BuskerFest will provide a fast and furious window of learning and experience for an organization that is interested in adopting more social media corporately.   If it weren’t for a major event – social media/networking corporate adoption would plug along much slower.   As part of our path, we have acknowledged there will be collective learning internally, among partners, among all of us.  (It feels like early days web 1999!)  One of our marketing goals, afterall, is to set Epilepsy Toronto up for 2010.

I’m pretty pleased with our plans for creating excitement for social media with Epilepsy Toronto’s volunteers – detailed on the facebook fan pages.

Epilepsy Toronto is currently offering its Secondary School BuskerFest volunteers up to 34 hours of community involvement for those who train and work shifts at the BuskerFest event.

We are now offering an additional 6 hour credit (to get students to the full 40 hour requirement) by introducing social media volunteer assignments.

As a member of our social media team, you get:
• Mentorship from a leading social media industry expert
• Training on ‘writing for social media’
• Identification as an exclusive member of the BuskerFest official social team
• Community involvement meeting a team of other secondary student volunteers from across the city.
• Automatic entry into the BuskerFest citizen journalist contest recognizing the most influential social media marketers/journalists.

For me – I’m really excited about the mentorship opportunities.  I’m not talking about mentorship from myself – I’ll do my fair share, of course – but because I have a great social media network and its all about using the network, I’m hoping I can pair up students producing youtube videos with online video social media experts, or facebook enthusiasts with facebook gurus, etc.   The possibilities would just tickle a match maker.

Blogging, Charity / volunteer, How to, recruiting 2.0, small business, social networks, the 405 club, using social media in job search

For 405 club: Dodging the stigma of actively searching for work

yippeee kiyaaa mfff!  Here’s my first post to the 405 club.

I’ve been volunteering/consulting in social recruiting lately – a high demand and growing area – playing both sides of the fence between consulting with HR/recruiters & execs and volunteering with the painfully transitioned in Toronto.   I wanted to offer suggestions to those who choose not to open up their chest cavity and explain why they are out of work…  AND give a new blog post to the 405 club:  NYC’s official unemployment network who’ve just asked me to be a contributing blogger to the site. <blush>


Perception is Reality

Picture it – you’re sitting in the first interview you’ve managed to get in weeks, its a job that matches your working desires and the promise of pay is in line with your old self – the one that used to work.

The fumble you are trying to avoid is not whether or not you qualify for  the job.  NOOOO its whether or not to pretend that you are not the active job searcher you are.   Damn the stigma of being an active job seeker.

I touched on this in an earlier blog post – social recruiting 2.0.   Quickly – recruiters and hr managers break job searchers into three main groups –

  1. non-seekers – those who have a job who aren’t looking,
  2. passive job searchers – have a job and are mildly searching, and
  3. active job searchers – say no more.

Active job searchers are, at times, avoided under the belief they constitute the undesirable; the belief that they will jump at any job opportunity – qualified or not,  suitable or not and desert jobs when they find what they really want.   I’m sure this stigma is grounded in some reality and yet, in a great recession, employers should not ignore quality candidates regardless of situation.  [Excellent article on out of work stigma fading.]


  • Build your own website – not a online resume, a small business site.  Consider using free blog publishing to get up and running fast.
  • Invest in your own domain name.   I wouldn’t necessarily go with your personal name as a domain but if you can’t dream up something cheap and available as a .com, then go for it.  Some instructions in a previous “how to” blog post of mine using godaddy.
  • Volunteer in a relevant capacity and make an “in-kind” deal allowing yourself to claim the organization as a client, and get website or other exposure for your business.
  • Make the bloody most of every volunteer/contract experience – blog about it, status update it, twitter it if you are on twitter, talk about it.  Use popular tag words in your blog title post so that your post gets auto pulled into silly blogs that add posts based on key word terms rather than content.
  • Update all social networking sites to your new business – linkedin, etc.  [I’m assuming here you are on linkedin.. and you should be]
  • Use a powerful signature linking back to profiles, @twitters or blog posts.  Start commenting as the president and chief pipeline filler in relevant forums, questions & answers paying attention to well attended blogs, websites, facebook fan pages or linkedin discussions as they will feed back traffic through the comments you make.
  • Cross pollinate your social networks.  Add linkedin applications that display your blog in your linkedin e.g. wordpress app, then add linkedin badges to your blog.

At the end of the day – an hr mgr and recruiter will still ask you why you are applying for full time moving away from your business.    My response has always been about the opportunity.  Personally, its hard to fill a pipeline as a small business and work on it.  But being committed to playing in a field you love means that you may have to take on different roles to do it.  Some of those roles are full time – others are contract and others are volunteer work.

Good luck.

Charity / volunteer

Blue Sapphire Ball a hit — Kol Hope Foundation for Children

The Blue Sapphire Ball held to benefit the Kol Hope Foundation for Children was an absolute hit – with me and with my entire table.  There was dancers, an opera singer, a 10 year old flamenco sensation, an original Canadian fashion blue dress design contest and more.  Melinda Rustia delivered a very touching speech highlighting the charity, where it spends its money (wheelchairs at Easter Seals, summer camps for disabled children, genetics reasearch at Sick Kids) and the inspiring story of Kol Rustia.  Kol is Jeff Rustia’s son – who was given six months to live at birth.  He is now turning 12 years old thanks to the constant care and attention from his family and Sick Kids Hospital.

I always love seeing my friend Jeff Rustia in action (go to his website and look up manifesto, visionaire and watch the video kit) (errr.. no direct link given the site is in flash …  grrr.. I can hate flash for that).   He is the circus ring leader and is the one person I personally know that can ignite a room full of excitement.  The ball was catering to a lot of different audiences and it appeals to everyone.  I especially love the high attendance by the Phillipino community because there is is always so much talent packing the room.  (the ball room dancing was amazing!).

Lucky for me – I managed to sneak in good one on one time time with almost everyone at the table.  Sacha Chua and I arrived early and I got to know a bit more about her being someone I admire so much.  I finally met up with Gwen with whom I haven’t seen in over a year and half.  Gwen owns a BAR! in the Kensington market (LOLA’s) and I will heading down there to check it out.

I also caught up with Steve McCormick – who is always great at party.  His business, Lift Communications, is going really well – having won a bunch of RFPs recently.  His backyard is getting a face lift and he is part of tv show.  So much going on for him.

I finally met Rick Declute’s better half and spent an evening with Mary and Anne. 

Great time.  Will have to do this next year.

Charity / volunteer

NOW Sold OUT – Blue Sapphire Ball – this Saturday

The Kol Hope Foundation’s   Blue Sapphire Ball is NOW officially SOLD OUT despite all previous claims.    So.. I had the last ten tickets to this event – mostly because I was slow in selling the table I agree to sell for Jeff Rustia – friend and owner of Front TV, a broadcast design firm.

Now as the proud power seller of the fun table – all my guests get FREE drinks at the after party (where in addition to the 450 guests, 300 more attend)!  Yipeee.

At $100 a seat, I was a bit nervous given – I’m really busy and $100 bucks is a lot for an evening during the great recession.  

But I’ve always supported this charity — The Kol Hope Foundation supports children with genetic disabilities related to having extra chromosomes in their little bodies.   Jeff’s son Kol is one such boy who has been the face to charity supporting hundreds of kids thru sick kids and easter seals.    The Kol Hope Foundation is run by volunteers so most of the donated funds go directly to Sick Kids and Easter Seals, so I pressed on.

I wrote a compelling grovel and spammed my closest 48 linkedin connections.  My grovel went something like this – 

Under great duress (promise of free drinks), I agreed to sell a table. So I’m emailing you – my linkedin power people who I’d love to sit with at a dinner for a good cause. Warning ** it will be so wacky and over the top ….

And that’s all I did and managed to sell all tickets.   Okay – so I forced my husband to go.  But I managed to reconnect and drink coffee with a lot of people during the process.

Among the fun table, I’m really excited to see:

  • Steve McCormick – President of Lift Communications Inc..  Steve always cracks me up.  We were on the CMA together back when he was Director of E-com at Columbia House.
  • Sacha Chua – evangelist, brilliant woman, geek, nominated as one of Canada’s most influential women in social media.  I just want her smarts to rub off on me on Saturday.
  • Gwen Bang – owner, Catering with a Bang.  We car pooled to Great Gulf together saving the environment one car ride at a time and in the process became great friends.  
  • Rick Declute (2)- owner of a very successful real estate brokerage in the beaches, Toronto.  I bought my house thru Rick’s team.
  • Mary Hayes – owner and executive producer of Engage Learning Systems – an e-learning company distinguished by creating really cool e-learning and using new and social medias as part of their delivery platform.  Mary is always on the road so I’m so glad she will be in one place so we can catch up.
  • Anne  – an owner of a North American publishing company whose kids cds & books have been entertaining my kids
  • Philip Schalk – my bro  in law, excellent conversationalist, Pension benefit know it all and socialite at Morneau Sobeco
  • Andrew Schalk – my better half who would probably want me to stop working on the computer about now.