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50 Ways to Make a Difference – Without Spending a Penny

24 Feb

This post is originally from News Blaze, with thanks to Blair Semenoff aka @Flipbooks for pointing it out on Twitter!

“Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does.” ~ William James

50 Ways to Make a Difference without Spending a Penny

By  

So many people have been laid off from their jobs or have had significant cut backs as to the amount of hours worked (which is the case in my family – my husband is not getting a full 40 hour week and boy does that hurt.) The head says “you can’t afford to give and make a difference” while your heart screams “you can’t afford NOT to give and make a difference!”

So, what is a person that has a desire to give BIG (and I’m talking give “Oprah big”) supposed to do when the money isn’t there? Forget about the “BIG” portion of giving and simply do what you can with what you have.

I truly do love to buy things for the sole purpose of giving them away. When my children see things are obviously not for them, they will immediately ask “Who is that for?” because they know that I normally don’t keep things – I give them away. With my husbands hours being cut back, I’m still going to give or do something daily to make a difference. Here are some of the ways I’ll be Spreading Joy while the finances are extremely tight!

1. Pass on a book that you’ve enjoyed. Write a note in the front saying what you enjoyed and instruct the next “owner” to pass it on after they have read it.

2. Instead of “googling” when searching – use Good Search and these guys will make a donation to Spreading Joy. (Use the link above that will take you there)

3. Donate gently used dvd’s, vhs tapes and video games – I’m sure Spreading Joy can find those that will love to use them.

4. Be Positive today – with the depressing economy, bills falling behind – this can really be tough, but it will encourage those around you and in the process bring joy to yourself.

5. Donate expired coupons to the troops overseas.

6. Thank a Police Officer today (hopefully NOT while you are getting a ticket!)

7. Give time to your spouse – do something together, visit a park, bookstore etc.

8. Donate household items to Spreading Joy to pass along to others in need.

9. Hold a yard sale and donate half of the proceeds.

10. Taking the 30 day challenge? Tell me about it here.

11. Baby sit for a friend/neighbor for free.

12. Serve a meal at a homeless shelter or women’s shelter

13. Encourage our soldiers. Send a free letter here.

14. Mentor someone – have you started your own business? Are you an expert in a certain field? Share that talent!

15. Donate unused craft items to a daycare or elementary school.

16. Turn in those Box Tops for Education – found on Pillsbury items. Keep these, even if you don’t have kids. There is a school near you.

17. Smile at everyone you come in contact with today.

18. Offer to let someone ahead of you in line.

19. Volunteer in a Nursing home.

20. Donate blood.

21. Donate Plasma – and get paid for it.

22. Organize a book drive – get your neighborhood to donate gently used books. Pass out a flier asking for books – giving instructions to leave them in a bag on the porch letting them know you will pick them up the next week.

23. Turn in your Campbell’s Soup Labels

24. Have a family meal at the table – talk about current events in the family.

25. Give a handwritten note of encouragement.

26. Start a Gratitude Journal – leave it out for others to see as they visit you.

27. Donate gently used magazines to a nursing home

28. <-this has been missing for a year and a half, and NO one has said a thing to me about it. LOLOLOL just realized today 10.10.10 hahhaha. I LOVE it!, Leaving it and thank goodness for bonuses.

29. Call someone who is not feeling well and talk until you make them laugh

30. Volunteer at an animal shelter – play with the animals.

31. Visit with the elderly or someone who can no longer get out as much as they’d like.

32. Pick flowers from your garden and give away.

33. Volunteer for your local church.

34. Give a thank you card to someone who has made a difference in your life.

35. Run errands for a new Mom (or someone that is sick)

36. Pick up trash you see as you are walking on your route.

37. Volunteer to read to a class at your local Elementary school

38. Write a thank you note to your child’s teacher.

39. Seek out a store manager and let them know what an excellent employee your grocery bagger was. (or cashier).

40. Donate gently used clothing.

41. Volunteer at a hospital.

42. Donate your “free items” from the buy one get one free – to a local food pantry.

43. Leave a note hanging in or on your mailbox thanking your mail carrier for always being so dependable!

44. Speak to the elderly you pass – look them in the eye and smile. We tend to forget about the great individuals who paved the way for us.

45. Say Please and Thank you – show sincere appreciation.

46. Go to Church. There are so many churches. When people get discouraged, that is one of the first places they’ll go. You can encourage so many people this way!

47. Make extra chili and cornbread muffins – and take to a neighbor.

48. Bake homemade cookies with items you have in your pantry and share with neighborhood children.

49. Donate extra blankets to a homeless shelter.

50. Give a basket of home grown veggies.

51. (a bonus!) Host a game night with your family – eat dessert first! Turn off cell phones (ok – kids, you can leave yours on….) but spend time laughing together playing games!
There you have it – 50 ways to make a difference without spending a single penny.

Everyone can make a difference! The real question is – will you?

Follow Amy on Twitter @CharityIdeas, Like GoodPlusTech on Facebook, and join in the fun on Pinterest!

Spark Positive Change 2012: 10 Tools To Make It Easy!

3 Jan

Make 2012 A Giving Year: 10 Creative Online Social Good Resources

This article originally appeared in the Huffington Post.

“No act of kindness, however small, is ever wasted.” ~ Aesop

A question often asked: “What are some helpful sites for helping online?” There are so many, it can be a challenge to select some choice ones for lists. We are all becoming more generous, in part because of online resources, as Forbes notes in “Today’s ‘G’ Generation: Replacing Greed With Generosity.

Blackbaud, a leading provider of software, services, and research for nonprofits, has illustrated a year-over-year increase of 10.6% in online giving as of Fall 2011, and that trend looks to continue. Because the “anytime, anywhere” online model is so convenient, here are a few useful resources to try that might be new or unexpected; they range across volunteering, fundraising, research, donating, pro-bono, mobile giving, and a couple very cool celebrity-backed ventures. All of them are excellent tools. Many of them require only a few minutes here or there… and every kind gesture, no matter how small, adds up! Just click on the name to pay them a visit, and start your New Year off on a Giving note.

Philanthroper

2011-12-30-PhilanthroperHP.jpg

The daily deals site for charity! Get introduced to a new cause every day and give $1 when you’re interested. Awareness plus micro-action! Making doing good an easy daily habit.
Sparked

2011-12-30-SparkedHP.jpg

An opportunity to micro-volunteer anytime, anywhere, online. Projects range from 2 minutes to 2 hours and include many fun, techie things like reviewing social media or translating documents.
Crowdrise

2011-12-30-CrowdriseHP.jpg

Ed Norton’s baby, Crowdrise leverages crowdsourcing for social good fundraising. Any site that uses the mantra “If you don’t give back, no one will like you” is on the right track! Look for their fabulous IYDGBNOWLY T-shirts and set up a fundraising site for your favorite cause.

Kiva

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Welcome to the world of micro-finance! Lend a global budding entrepreneur as little as $25 to provide an opportunity for sustainable business. Kiva supporters have already funded close to 600,000 businesses worldwide.

Catchafire

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“What will your Butterfly Effect be?” Catchafire helps you use professional skills like marketing and PR on a pro-bono basis, growing your own professional contacts and helping social good organizations at the same time. More probono opportunities can also be found at the Taproot Foundation.


Give.Mobi

2011-12-30-GiveMobiHP.jpg

Let your favorite charity know about this resource, and check who’s here that you support. Since give.mobi’s mobile donation platform works on any smartphone or tablet, it’s simple to set up and use to give a real-time mobile donation (or pledge). Perfect for nonprofit events or to call out on radio or TV interviews due to its easy-to-remember name.

KarmaGoat

2011-12-30-karmagoatHP.jpg

Free your stuff, shop from friends, do some good! This works like Craigslist, with all proceeds going to charity. Got something too nice to just give away? Some electronics? A gift you’ll never use? Create some good Karma with it. It will get a new home and love, and a great cause will get a donation.
CharityNavigator

2011-12-30-charitynavigatorHP.jpg

Along with GuideStar, this is a great site to research organizations. It’s similar to a Better Business Bureau, for charities.
SixDegrees

2011-12-30-6degreesHP.jpg

It really is a small world! A partnership between Kevin Bacon and Network for Good, Six Degrees helps you see what causes you have in common with friends and celebrities, and you can “pay it forward” with Good Cards that can be redeemed for charity donations.
VolunteerGuide

2011-12-30-volonteerguideHP.jpg

Self-directed Ideas and resources for volunteering for 15 minutes, a few hours, or on a volunteer vacation. Includes many easy 15-minute activities. You can also search for specific volunteer opportunities locally with another great site, VolunteerMatch.

There are nearly unlimited ways to do good. These are a few easy, fun ones to get started with – how will you use them? Please let us know in the comments below!

Special thanks to Tony Hastings at The Top 10 Blog for the photos, courtesy of each site.

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

Thank You Everyone Who Supported #12DaysofGiving! $13,725 Raised!

29 Dec

I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought; and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.  ~G.K. Chesterton

It’s incredible to think about how everyone came together in social media and in 12 Days of Giving, donated $13,725!  Words alone cannot express enough gratitude…the thrill of seeing the teamwork and passion around this group effort of giving, and the impact that resulted!  Thanks to the 12 Champions and 12 Causes and to Crowdrise for sharing these amazing causes with all of your friends!  Wow.  Thousands of small, meaningful actions really can change the world, and social media proves that every day!

Here’s a list of the 212 individual donations #12DaysofGiving received.  THANK YOU!

:: Thanks! ~>     Rick and Kathy    :: Thanks! ~>     Kathy Meyer
:: Thanks! ~>     Anonymous    :: Thanks! ~>     Hoang
:: Thanks! ~>     Zee from D town !!!    :: Thanks! ~>     Callie Davis
:: Thanks! ~>     Sam & Patti Mccormck    :: Thanks! ~>     Lori McIlwain
:: Thanks! ~>     Tharin Clarijs    :: Thanks! ~>     Cheryl Burgess
:: Thanks! ~>     Shonali Burke    :: Thanks! ~>     @shikemore
:: Thanks! ~>     Sally Stokes    :: Thanks! ~>     April J. Rudin
:: Thanks! ~>     Paull Young    :: Thanks! ~>     @DoinaOncel
:: Thanks! ~>     Fiona & Waffle    :: Thanks! ~>     Jeanine Becker
:: Thanks! ~>     Bridger Hammond    :: Thanks! ~>     @lindsayfultz
:: Thanks! ~>     Harlie Hammond    :: Thanks! ~>     Adam L Stanley
:: Thanks! ~>     Lisa Brookes Kift    :: Thanks! ~>     Mitch, Jody, Derek & Josh
:: Thanks! ~>     Lisa Brookes Kift    :: Thanks! ~>     Anonymous
:: Thanks! ~>     Haney Armstrong    :: Thanks! ~>     fareastphillips
:: Thanks! ~>     Stephanie McAuliffe    :: Thanks! ~>     Paula in Kansas
:: Thanks! ~>     Beth Kanter     :: Thanks! ~>     RachelintheOC
:: Thanks! ~>     Debby Lee    :: Thanks! ~>     @kanter
:: Thanks! ~>     Beth, Walter, Harry, and Sara    :: Thanks! ~>     Gabrielle Gardner
:: Thanks! ~>     Todd Jordan    :: Thanks! ~>     Carolyn Gardner – @OurTownMagazine
:: Thanks! ~>     In Memory of B. Ochs    :: Thanks! ~>     @lisadekleyn
:: Thanks! ~>     Chris Brogan    :: Thanks! ~>     Anonymous
:: Thanks! ~>     AnnTran_    :: Thanks! ~>     Dave J.
:: Thanks! ~>     Amy Neumann    :: Thanks! ~>     Barbara Clark
:: Thanks! ~>     Amy Neumann    :: Thanks! ~>     @RunningMomsRock
:: Thanks! ~>     Amy Neumann    :: Thanks! ~>     Melinda Hersh
:: Thanks! ~>     Gina Stark    :: Thanks! ~>     Amy Neumann
:: Thanks! ~>     Chanti and Lori    :: Thanks! ~>     Jessica Northey
:: Thanks! ~>     Marie Jo Dauphin    :: Thanks! ~>     Anonymous
:: Thanks! ~>     Suada Duvette    :: Thanks! ~>     Anonymous
:: Thanks! ~>     Zan McColloch-Lussier    :: Thanks! ~>     Anonymous
:: Thanks! ~>     @RunningMomsRock    :: Thanks! ~>     Matt Russell
:: Thanks! ~>     @angelicrica    :: Thanks! ~>     Matt Russell
:: Thanks! ~>     Janelle Allen    :: Thanks! ~>     @RunningMomsRock via Michelle Sedas
:: Thanks! ~>     AnnTran_    :: Thanks! ~>     Paul Bernardin and Glen Radewich
:: Thanks! ~>     Joe Baker    :: Thanks! ~>     Andrea Robin
:: Thanks! ~>     Gary Maberry    :: Thanks! ~>     Amy Neumann
:: Thanks! ~>     CrowdRise    :: Thanks! ~>     Aly’s Grammy
:: Thanks! ~>     Anonymous    :: Thanks! ~>     Kelly Vanicek
:: Thanks! ~>     CrowdRise    :: Thanks! ~>     NATIONAL AUTISM ASSOCIATION INC
:: Thanks! ~>     Michelle Sedas    :: Thanks! ~>     Leigh A. Wilcox
:: Thanks! ~>     @RunningMomsRock    :: Thanks! ~>     Larry and Val Ranseth
:: Thanks! ~>     @RunningMomsRock    :: Thanks! ~>     Sue O’Kane
:: Thanks! ~>     Mark    :: Thanks! ~>     Michelle Sedas
:: Thanks! ~>     Diane Boynton    :: Thanks! ~>     Jenna
:: Thanks! ~>     Sissy Northey    :: Thanks! ~>     Michelle Sedas
:: Thanks! ~>     Sueanne Shirzay    :: Thanks! ~>     Amie Hoff
:: Thanks! ~>     Navy    :: Thanks! ~>     SteveAkinsSEO
:: Thanks! ~>     Maggie    :: Thanks! ~>     Amanda Hite
:: Thanks! ~>     Yely    :: Thanks! ~>     Joyce Cherrier & Family
:: Thanks! ~>     Rial Allen    :: Thanks! ~>     Matt R.
:: Thanks! ~>     Barbara Masters    :: Thanks! ~>     Marilyn Terrell
:: Thanks! ~>     Zoetica    :: Thanks! ~>     Tyler, Lana, Lola
:: Thanks! ~>     Paul Sceppaguercio    :: Thanks! ~>     Kevin Green’s RockTheReTweet
:: Thanks! ~>     Sue McFarland    :: Thanks! ~>     Frank Sonnenberg
:: Thanks! ~>     Lisa Hammond    :: Thanks! ~>     Matt Russell
:: Thanks! ~>     Rial Allen    :: Thanks! ~>     Anonymous
:: Thanks! ~>     Kristen Paul    :: Thanks! ~>     John
:: Thanks! ~>     nerdgirlagogo    :: Thanks! ~>     KATHLEEN MCCORMICK
:: Thanks! ~>     @mmangen (Michelle Mangen)    :: Thanks! ~>     colleen holt
:: Thanks! ~>     Betty & JC    :: Thanks! ~>     Amy Neumann
:: Thanks! ~>     Lori Moreno    :: Thanks! ~>     Amy Neumann
:: Thanks! ~>     Gina Stark    :: Thanks! ~>     Matt Russell
:: Thanks! ~>     Gina Stark    :: Thanks! ~>     Matt Russell
:: Thanks! ~>     Gina Stark    :: Thanks! ~>     Hoang
:: Thanks! ~>     Gina Stark    :: Thanks! ~>     Amy Neumann
:: Thanks! ~>     Gina Stark    :: Thanks! ~>     Amy Neumann
:: Thanks! ~>     Gina Stark    :: Thanks! ~>     Amy Neumann
:: Thanks! ~>     Anonymous    :: Thanks! ~>     Amy Neumann
:: Thanks! ~>     Gina Stark    :: Thanks! ~>     Anonymous
:: Thanks! ~>     Beatriz Breton    :: Thanks! ~>     Harry Halvorsen
:: Thanks! ~>     Scott Levy – FuelinternetMarketing.com    :: Thanks! ~>     Michelle Sedas
:: Thanks! ~>     Christopher’s Computers    :: Thanks! ~>     Anonymous
:: Thanks! ~>     Aaron & Marina Knudsen    :: Thanks! ~>     Beatriz Breton
:: Thanks! ~>     Anonymous    :: Thanks! ~>     @MomsOfAmerica
:: Thanks! ~>     Beth Kanter    :: Thanks! ~>     Marty McPadden
:: Thanks! ~>     Social | Impact Consulting    :: Thanks! ~>     Christina Lizaso
:: Thanks! ~>     Esther Neumann    :: Thanks! ~>     Anonymous
:: Thanks! ~>     Kathy Lee    :: Thanks! ~>     Liv Violette
:: Thanks! ~>     Gwendolyn Gleason-Ecochiccouture    :: Thanks! ~>     Anonymous
:: Thanks! ~>     Kirsten Abernathy    :: Thanks! ~>     Dennis Crowley
:: Thanks! ~>     John Neumann    :: Thanks! ~>     Ann Tran Via GN
:: Thanks! ~>     Sarah & Chris Dorsett    :: Thanks! ~>     Aimee Allenback
:: Thanks! ~>     Anonymous    :: Thanks! ~>     diane starr
:: Thanks! ~>     Katie McCormick    :: Thanks! ~>     Paula Kiger
:: Thanks! ~>     Anonymous    :: Thanks! ~>     Anonymous
:: Thanks! ~>     Lalita Raman    :: Thanks! ~>     Anonymous
:: Thanks! ~>     Anonymous    :: Thanks! ~>     Zyljana  M.
:: Thanks! ~>     Henry Chu    :: Thanks! ~>     tracey taylor
:: Thanks! ~>     Geekbabe    :: Thanks! ~>     AnnTran_
:: Thanks! ~>     Christina Luna    :: Thanks! ~>     Anonymous
:: Thanks! ~>     Showshan Yang-Ting    :: Thanks! ~>     Michelle Sedas
:: Thanks! ~>     Michelle Sedas    :: Thanks! ~>     Kaili Hawley
:: Thanks! ~>     Michelle Sedas    :: Thanks! ~>     April R
:: Thanks! ~>     Danielle James    :: Thanks! ~>     Beth Kanter
:: Thanks! ~>     Diana Adams    :: Thanks! ~>     Anonymous
:: Thanks! ~>     Anonymous    :: Thanks! ~>     Beatriz Breton
:: Thanks! ~>     Bill Conlon    :: Thanks! ~>     Anne Thomas
:: Thanks! ~>     Geno Carter    :: Thanks! ~>     Amy Neumann
:: Thanks! ~>     Anonymous    :: Thanks! ~>     Amy Neumann
:: Thanks! ~>     In memory of Frances Richardson    :: Thanks! ~>     Anonymous
:: Thanks! ~>     In Memory of Frances Richardson    :: Thanks! ~>     Anonymous
:: Thanks! ~>     In memory of Frances Richardson    :: Thanks! ~>     KATHLEEN MCCORMICK
:: Thanks! ~>     Natalie “Frugalista” McNeal    :: Thanks! ~>     Anonymous
:: Thanks! ~>     Ryan Setter    :: Thanks! ~>     Beth Kanter
:: Thanks! ~>     cw    :: Thanks! ~>     Beth Kanter
:: Thanks! ~>     cw

Help a Woman Break the Chains of Domestic Violence – #12DaysOfGiving

20 Dec

The Holidays are about giving, sharing, and spreading joy, which is why I’m honored to be part of the “12 Days of Giving!”

Sometimes things aren’t all smiles and happiness, though. As a survivor of domestic violence myself, I’ve had a few rough holidays in the past. So have many others. In fact, according to the CDC, 1 of every 4 women and 1 in 9 men in the United States are victims of domestic violence at some point in their lives.

Luckily, there’s a way to make it easier for a woman (or man) to take the first step to shattering the chains of abuse, by talking with someone about the situation… someone with the knowledge and ability to help.

That’s why I choose the National Domestic Violence Hotline, 1-800-799-SAFE (7233), 1-800-787-3224 (TTY). Hotline advocates are available for victims and anyone calling on their behalf to provide crisis intervention, safety planning, information and referrals to agencies in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Assistance is available in English and Spanish with access to more than 170 languages through interpreter services.

Who are Domestic Violence victims?

Domestic violence can happen to anyone of any race, age, sexual orientation, religion or gender. It can happen to couples who are married, living together or who are dating. Domestic violence affects people of all socioeconomic backgrounds and education levels.

Here are four helpful resources to learn more, help yourself, or help a loved one or friend. And please give if you can.


What is Domestic Violence?

How can I help a friend?

Am I being abused?

What is a safety plan?

If you are a victim/survivor of domestic violence, the important thing to remember is this: It’s not your fault. The abuser very intentionally, methodically, and usually gradually, grinds down your self-worth, isolates you from friends, family, and favorite activities, and increasingly adds verbal abuse, threats and escalating physical violence. Their favorite weapons are secrecy and control. It makes it very tough to have enough courage to break free.

The first step to breaking the chains is telling someone.

The good news is, as in my case, sometimes talking to someone at a hotline like National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233), where they know much more about the process abusers use – the secrecy, control, manipulation, threats, isolation, and violence – makes it much easier. You recognize that you are not at fault. You realize this is actually, sadly, very common – and you aren’t alone. You realize people will understand. You see that it will only get worse if nothing is done. You get help with the process of safely leaving, taking legal action like getting a restraining order, and other things that are not knowledge anyone has until they need it.

74% of Americans know someone affected by domestic violence. And since you just read this article, now you definitely do too. I was able to come out of the dark and break the chains with help. Can you please help another hurting person do the same? Thank you.

If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence, the National Domestic Violence Hotline can help: 1-800-799-7233 (SAFE) or NDVH.org.

Learn more by following @12DaysGiving and the hashtag #12DaysOfGiving on Twitter.

And I’d love to connect with you on Twitter @CharityIdeas!

Podcast (iTunes) #2: Amy Neumann and @CharityIdeas – on ClaireDiazOrtiz.com

5 Dec

Thank you to one of my favorite Social Good Stars, Claire Diaz-Ortiz!  This piece originally appears on ClaireDiazOrtiz.com – http://clairediazortiz.com/podcast-2-amy-neumann-and-charityideas/

The podcast is also available for free on iTunes – “The Claire Diaz-Ortiz Podcast” >> “Amy Neumann & @CharityIdeas”

Podcast #2: Amy Neumann and @CharityIdeas

December 1, 2011 By
Alright folks.  My second podcast episodeis live.  Join me as I chat with Amy Neumann (@charityideason the Twitters) about her passion for technology and how she got started in the business of world changing.  Here!

Click above for the podcast on ClaireDiazOrtiz.com or check it out on iTunes.

Twitter for Good #mybook

Filed Under: Blogging, Podcast

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!

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