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A Dozen #Inspiring Quotes for an Insightful 2015

16 Jan

Will this year be the best one yet? Of course it will! As Sophocles once observed, “Look and you will find it – what is unsought will go undetected.”

These are a few quotes to provide some delicious food for thought in 2015. Enjoy them in tasty bites anytime! (Feel free to pin, post, tweet and otherwise share them and use them on your blog; all the photos are mine and so are free to use under creative commons.)

And as you go about each glorious day, remember: “It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.” – Henry David Thoreau

(If you love quotes, please also download my free “Uplifting Quotes on Gratitude and Goodness to Show Appreciation” for 150+ positive and inspiring quotes at your fingertips!)

Uplifting Quotes on Gratitude and Goodness to Show Appreciation - social good quotes book  by Amy Neumann

Free downloadable collection of quotes!

"Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does." ~ William James #quote http://charityideasblog.com A Dozen #Inspiring Quotes for an Insightful 2015

"The highest forms of understanding we can achieve are laughter and human compassion." ~ Richard P. Feynman #quote http://charityideasblog.com A Dozen #Inspiring Quotes for an Insightful 2015

"It matters if you just don't give up." ~ Stephen Hawking #quote http://charityideasblog.com A Dozen #Inspiring Quotes for an Insightful 2015

"There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle, or the mirror that reflects it."  ~ Edith Wharton #quote http://charityideasblog.com A Dozen #Inspiring Quotes for an Insightful 2015

"How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world." ~ Anne Frank #quote http://charityideasblog.com A Dozen #Inspiring Quotes for an Insightful 2015

"I'm always doing things I can't do. That's how I get to do them." ~ Pablo Picasso #quote http://charityideasblog.com A Dozen #Inspiring Quotes for an Insightful 2015

"Appreciation is a wonderful thing. It makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well." ~ Voltaire #quote http://charityideasblog.com A Dozen #Inspiring Quotes for an Insightful 2015

"Don't raise your voice; improve your argument." ~ Desmond Tutu #quote http://charityideasblog.com A Dozen #Inspiring Quotes for an Insightful 2015

"Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle. Happiness never decreases by being shared." ~ Buddha #quote http://charityideasblog.com A Dozen #Inspiring Quotes for an Insightful 2015

"Action expresses priorities." ~ Gandhi #quote http://charityideasblog.com A Dozen #Inspiring Quotes for an Insightful 2015

"Smile at a stranger, and make two people happy." ~ Amy Neumann #quote on http://charityideasblog.com "Those who bring sunshine to the lives of others cannot keep it from themselves." ~ James M. Barrie #quote from http://charityideasblog.com A Dozen #Inspiring Quotes for an Insightful 2015

"Those who bring sunshine to the lives of others cannot keep it from themselves." ~ James M. Barrie #quote from http://charityideasblog.com A Dozen #Inspiring Quotes for an Insightful 2015

Every day of the year can be a best day. “Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.” ~ Theodore Roosevelt

(That brings us to 15 quotes for 2015. Make it spectacular!)

Amy Neumann is a passionate fan of social good, and is dedicated to leveraging technology to change the world. Follow her on Twitter @CharityIdeas and Pinterest as 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.

2012-01-14-MarkHorvathAnnMarie.jpg

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.
2012-01-13-MarkHorvath.jpg

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.

2011-12-12-12DaysDatemedium.jpg


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!

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!

88 Favorite Social Good Quotes (in 140 or less)

21 Nov

What are you thankful for in this beautiful world?


Thank you to everyone who makes a difference in big and small ways every day!  This is a perfect time of year to express gratitude and thanks.  Here are 88 Tweetable social good quotes to inspire and share positive ideas.

I am grateful for so many things, including great friends around the world, online and off! ~Amy          aka @CharityIdeas

New! Download the printable color PDF version above!

Wherever one turns he can find someone who needs him.  ~Albert Schweitzer
Unselfish and noble actions are the most radiant pages in the biography of souls.  ~David Thomas
The breeze, the trees, the honey bees – All volunteers! ~Juliet Carinreap
There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle, or the mirror that reflects it.  ~Edith Wharton
The time is always right to do what’s right. ~Martin Luther King Jr.
I can no other answer make, but thanks, and thanks. ~Shakespeare
It’s easy to make a buck.  It’s a lot tougher to make a difference.  ~Tom Brokaw
Volunteers do not necessarily have the time; they just have the heart.  ~Elizabeth Andrew
Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.  ~William A. Ward
No duty is more urgent than that of returning thanks.  ~James Allen
Thanks are the highest form of thought; gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.  ~G.K. Chesterton
How beautiful a day can be, when kindness touches it! ~George Elliston
Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle. Happiness never decreases by being shared. ~Buddha
Appreciation is a wonderful thing.  It makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well.  ~Voltaire
The hardest arithmetic to master is that which enables us to count our blessings.  ~Eric Hoffer
No act of kindness, however small, is ever wasted. ~Aesop
The deepest principle in human nature is the craving to be appreciated.  ~William James
The smallest act of kindness is worth more than the grandest intention.  ~Oscar Wilde
Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree. ~Martin Luther
Gratitude is the memory of the heart.  ~Jean Baptiste Massieu
How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.  ~Anne Frank
I am a little pencil in the hand of a writing God who is sending a love letter to the world.  ~Mother Teresa
Better to light one small candle than to curse the darkness. ~Chinese Proverb
We can’t help everyone, but everyone can help someone. ~Dr. Loretta Scott
It matters if you just don’t give up. ~Stephen Hawking
We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.  ~Winston Churchill
Things of the spirit differ from things material in that the more you give the more you have.  ~Christopher Morley
Act as if what you do makes a difference.  It does.  ~William James
You must have chaos within you to give birth to a dancing star. ~Nietzsche
Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could only do a little.  ~Edmund Burke
Philosophy is not best expressed in words; it is expressed in the choices one makes. ~Eleanor Roosevelt
Not only must we be good, but we must also be good for something.  ~Henry David Thoreau
It is when you give of yourself that you truly give.  ~Kahlil Gibran
The willingness to share does not make one charitable; it makes one free.  ~Robert Brault
You shouldn’t go through life with a catchers mitt on both hands.  You need to be able to throw something back.  ~Maya Angelou
The highest forms of understanding we can achieve are laughter and human compassion. ~ Richard P. Feynman
Every person feels instinctively that all the beautiful sentiments in the world weigh less than a single lovely action.  ~James R. Lowell
It is the greatest of all mistakes to do nothing because you can only do little – do what you can.  ~Sydney Smith
If you think you are too small to be effective, you have never been in bed with a mosquito.  ~Betty Reese
We cannot live only for ourselves.  A thousand fibers connect us with our fellow men.  ~Herman Melville
Among its other benefits, giving liberates the soul of the giver. ~ Maya Angelou
Wherever there is a human being, there is an opportunity for a kindness.  ~Seneca
Those who bring sunshine to the lives of others cannot keep it from themselves.  ~James Matthew Barrie
Never worry about numbers. Help one person at a time, and start with the person nearest you. ~ Mother Teresa
If you haven’t any charity in your heart, you have the worst kind of heart trouble.  ~Bob Hope
What this world needs is a new kind of army – the army of the kind.  ~Cleveland Amory
If you want others to be happy, practice compassion.  If you want to be happy, practice compassion.  ~Dalai Lama
I always prefer to believe the best of everybody, it saves so much trouble.  ~Rudyard Kipling
There is no greater loan than a sympathetic ear.  ~Frank Tyger
A kind word is like a Spring day.  ~Russian Proverb
Kindness is in our power, even when fondness is not.  ~Samuel Johnson
The most important trip you may take in life is meeting people halfway.  ~Henry Boye
When I was young, I admired clever people.  Now that I am old, I admire kind people.  ~Abraham Heschel
Let no person pull you low enough to hate him. ~ Martin Luther King Jr.
The best portion of a good life – little, nameless, unremembered acts of kindness and love.  ~William Wordsworth
You cannot do a kindness too soon.  ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
If you wish to experience peace, provide peace for another. ~Dalai Lama
By swallowing evil words unsaid, no one has ever harmed his stomach.  ~Winston Churchill
Being considerate of others will take your children further in life than any college degree.  ~Marian Wright Edelman
The power of a touch, smile, kind word, listening ear, smallest act of caring… all have potential to turn a life around.  ~Leo Buscaglia
Peace, like charity, begins at home. ~ Franklin D. Roosevelt
A kind heart is a fountain of gladness, making everything in its vicinity freshen into smiles.  ~Washington Irving
I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious. ~ Albert Einstein
If you want to lift yourself up, lift up someone else. ~ Booker T. Washington
I’m always doing things I can’t do.  That’s how I get to do them. ~ Pablo Picasso
Where there is charity and wisdom, there is neither fear nor ignorance. ~ St. Francis of Assisi
Peace begins with a smile. ~ Mother Teresa
Don’t raise your voice; improve your argument. ~ Desmond Tutu
Do what you can, with what you have, where you are. ~Theodore Roosevelt
It only seems impossible until it’s done. ~ Nelson Mandela
Remember that everyone you meet is afraid of something, loves something and has lost something.  ~H. Jackson Brown, Jr.
Do good by stealth, and blush to find it fame.  ~Alexander Pope
If we cannot be clever, we can always be kind.  ~Alfred Fripp
The only people with whom you should try to get even are those who have helped you.  ~John E. Southard
To cultivate kindness is a valuable part of the business of life.  ~Samuel Johnson
I was born not knowing and have only had a little time to change that here and there. ~Richard Feynman
The more sympathy you give, the less you need.  ~Malcolm S. Forbes
In about the same degree as you are helpful, you will be happy.  ~Karl Reiland
The greatest good you can do for another is not just to share your riches but to reveal to him his own.  ~Benjamin Disraeli
The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others. ~ Gandhi
Always be a little kinder than necessary.  ~James M. Barrie
Action expresses priorities.  ~ Gandhi
Life is a gift, and it offers us the privilege, opportunity, and responsibility to give something back by becoming more. ~ Tony Robbins
The highest use of capital is not to make more money but to make money do more for the betterment of life. ~ Henry Ford
If you can’t feed a hundred people, then just feed one. ~ Mother Teresa

If you think you can, or think you can’t, you’re right. ~ Henry Ford

Be the change you wish to see in the world. ~ Gandhi
Smile at a stranger, and make two people happy. ~Amy Neumann

Make it a wonderful day!

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.

2011-11-15-Bethkanter.jpg

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.


57 Ways to Spread Kindness and Brighten a Day

26 Oct

57 Ways to Spread Kindness and Brighten a Day

"Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible." ~ Dalai Lama

We’ve all had those wonderful moments where someone “made our day” through even the smallest kind gesture.  As Aesop wisely noted, “No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.”  Perhaps you can be a steady stream of day-making for others?  Here are a few ideas for simple ways to help others, create smiles, and spread kindness.  After all, there’s something quite wonderful about making other people happy.

Have more suggestions?  Please leave them in the comments.  And have a fantastic day!

If you want to lift yourself up, lift up someone else.”                             Booker T. Washington

1.   Smile at a stranger
2.   Put change in an expired parking meter
3.   Send someone a hand-written card
4.   Hold a door open for someone
5.   Volunteer virtually for a few minutes or hours: Sparked.com
6.   Give a friendly wave to a neighbor
7.   Do a simple, free, quick kindness for a charity – 8 examples here
8.   Tell a friend you appreciate them
9.   Plant a tree
10.  Walk instead of driving and absorb the wonders around you
11.  Teach a group in your community about something unique you do or enjoy
12.  Collect books to give to a school or shelter – like this amazing teenagerl
13.  Drop off dinner or groceries to an elderly friend who can’t get out much
14.  Start an affinity group to share a hobby with others – MeetUp.com
15.  Mentor someone, a child or an adult
16.  Create a blog for someone who loves writing but isn’t technical
17.  Help someone get set up with social media
18.  Call your family just to say hi and find out what they’re doing
19.  Invite a friend you haven’t seen in a while to the movies or coffee or…
20.  Find a fun project to volunteer for:  VolunteerMatch.org
21.  Sign up for an unusual class at a community college and see who you meet
22.  Read a book on something new to gain new perspective
23.  Make a Top 10 (or 25 or 100) List of things you’re thankful for and share it
24.  Give a plant to someone
25.  Ask someone for a recipe of theirs that you love
26.  Ask a wise person for insight
27.  Talk to elderly people and listen to their stories to learn about life
28.  Give a stranger a sincere compliment
29.  Say “Thank You” often
30.  Do pro-bono work for a favorite cause: Catchafire.org
31.  Say “I Love You” often
32.  Organize photos in a virtual or paper album for a host/ess as a thank you
33.  Ask someone how their day was, and listen attentively
34.  Invite someone you admire to lunch to hear their ideas and insights
35.  Speak on a topic you know to a community group who wants to learn
36.  Buy a charitable magazine subscription and send it to a nursing home
37.  See the positives in a tough situation
38.  Sell some cool stuff online and give the proceeds to charity: KarmaGoat.com
39.  Read these 25 amazing social good blogs for inspiration
40.  Share inspiring quotes and stories online
41.   Donate your airline miles

Wherever these is a human being, there is an opportunity for a kindness.” ~ Seneca

42.  Pick up an errant piece of trash and throw it away, just because
43.  Offer to babysit for a single Mom or Dad
44.  Run an errand for a busy friend
45.  Donate event tickets to local charity organization
46.  Recycle anything, correctly
47.  Give a gift of housekeeping service to a new parent
48.  Set aside a bit more than last year for charity and add a new one to your list
49.  Tell someone you see regularly at a business how they make your day
50.  Be appreciative and gracious for compliments
51.  Be patient under pressure and use compassion as a guide for disagreements
52.  Smile just because
53.  Dance in your car even (especially!) with people watching
54.  Learn how to tell a few great clean jokes
55.  Create a blog post about a few people you admire and why
56.  Share something without being asked
57.  Compliment a job well done, or a kindness

Those best parts of a good life: little, nameless, unremembered acts of kindness and love.”                     ~ William Wordsworth

You can follow Amy @CharityIdeas on Twitter for more tips and ideas

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