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The Power of Passionate Social Media Users Helps Feed Children

10 Jan

Right before the New Year is a time when people think about the past year, and how they can help in the future. In the effort to help make sure that very soon there’s No Kid Hungry, something amazing happened this past December: the No Kid Hungry 2012 Give-A-Thon.

On December 20, 2012, hundreds of “virtual” strangers came together, and then invited many thousands more of their friends, to help ensure children in these amazing United States have enough food.

No child should grow up hungry in America, but 1 in 5 children struggles with hunger. Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign is ending childhood hunger in America by ensuring all children get the healthy food they need, every day.

Throughout the day on December 20, millions of people saw how important it is that in this beautiful country of opportunity, there should be No Kid Hungry.

In 24 hours, with a small team of passionate #NKH advocates leading the charge, hundreds of donors gave thousands of dollars to No Kid Hungry – to the tune of more than $30,000 (including a match for gifts).  Many donations came in small amounts, from first-time givers led to donate by seeing the passion of other donors on social media. And every penny was keenly appreciated.

And not only social media stars and individuals contributed.  Sponsors like Hotspot Shield  gave 100 donors of $20 or more an annual subscription for their premium online security, privacy and malware protection service, and BTC Revolutions donated an iPad Mini that (almost) inspired riots to help.

NKH2

In this day and age, helping a cause can mean much more than writing a check or giving online.  It can mean getting your social graph – everyone important to you, that you interact with on social media – involved.  And those connections are what make events like #NKH’s Give-A-Thon a way for people to turn a passion for helping little kids eat, into a blockbuster event of giving.

Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry program information can be found here:

No Kid Hungry

1730 M Street NW, Suite 700

Washington DC 20036
(800) 969-4767

Let’s All Help Make Sure There’s #NoKidHungry! 12/20 Give-A-Thon!

19 Dec

Happy Holidays!  This is the time of year when we all are even more touched by that giving spirit, and I am honored to be part of an amazing cause and campaign, #NoKidHungry, that’s fun, rewarding, and easy to participate in!

On Thursday, December 20, please join in the effort to help end childhood hunger by helping spread the #NoKidHungry word through tweets, Facebook posts, emails, and/or direct (gentle?) nudging of friends and family. 😉

We will be having a Give-A-Thon all day 12/20, with some amazing surprises and prizes for those generous souls who spread the workd and MAKE A DONATION!

* A generous Share Our Strength donor decided to do something extraordinary this holiday season: personally match all gifts up to $500,000. This means the impact of our Give-A-Thon will be doubled at the end of the day, making twice the difference for kids struggling with hunger!

Team No Kid Hungry Holiday Give-A-Thon

Our Partners

No Kid Hungry Give-A-Thon 12/20/2012 to end childhood hunger

Author note: Join us! Help us spread the word this Thursday! Visit the Team fundraising page.

This Thursday, December 20, we are excited to work with our amazing online community to hold a Team No Kid Hungry Holiday Give-A-Thon. Why now? Why in the middle of the holiday season? There are a number of reasons.

Primarily, hunger doesn’t take a holiday. When EVERY child should be excited for winter breaks, many know exactly how many school meals they will miss over the holidays, and don’t know from where their next meal will come. It is important for us to remember these children and their families during this time.

Fortunately, you can help. A $25 donation can connect a child to up to 250 meals. Are you wondering what to get that family member who has everything? Or are you trying to find something special for a friend? Consider giving the gift of No Kid Hungry this holiday season – a meaningful, and truly life-changing gift.

Through our countless online advocates and our Team No Kid Hungry community, we are making a day of it, and hosting our Holiday Give-A-Thon, complete with incredible prizes throughout the day that will amaze you! If we hit $10,000* in donations, one lucky donor will receive an iPad mini. Drawings will take place all day, so please spend the day with us!

Are you on Facebook? Be sure to like our Facebook page and follow our posts this week. On Twitter? Follow us here, and join in the #nokidhungry conversation. Check back on Facebook as we post our list of giveaway items!

How can you help prior to the Give-A-Thon? Share our Facebook posts, retweet our Give-A-Thon tweets, and spread the word. Plan your holiday shopping list, and do some one-stop, tax-deductible shopping here on Thursday.

The day will be hosted by our No Kid Hungry Social Council. Find out more, and consider getting involved!  Click “Join the Blogger Council” and we will be in touch. Thank you for all you do, for sharing your strengths with us.

Special thanks to friends (and Good Plus Tech client) AnchorFree for donating many annual HotSpot Shield Elite annual subscriptions (valued at $29.95 each!) , to be given to donors around various goals during the day on 12/20!  Stay safe keeping in touch, shopping, and making donations on all those mobile devices!

 

From @TheTop10Blog: 24 Powerful Voices for Social Good on Twitter

22 Oct

This article originally appears on fantastic blog I love to read, Tony HastingsThe Top 10 Blog.

A big thanks to Tony for the kind surprise of adding me to the list!

24 Powerful Voices For Social Good On Twitter

SEPTEMBER 14, 2012

There is no doubt that Twitter has changed the world and the way we communicate in so many ways and one of the most amazing benefits has been the way in which it has been used to spread the word about social good causes.

Good people across the world have harnessed the power of Twitter to promote causes dear to their hearts both large and small, local, national and international. Although it would be difficult to measure the effect of this there can be no doubt that the combined impact of all those individual Tweets has had a massive impact.

I wanted to celebrate this phenomenon by drawing up a compilation of many of the powerful voices who help to contribute to this force for Social Good in the world. The names are in no particular order, please click on the image to pay them a visit.

Katya Andresen – @katyaN4G

Sean Gardner  – @2morrowknight

#socialgood

Claire Diaz-Ortiz – @Claire

AnnTran – @AnnTran_

Rev Andy Bales – @abales

Scott Harrison – @scottharrison

charitywater

Alyssa Milano – @Alyssa_Milano

Alyssa Milano

Carol Hink – @CarolHink

Heather Robinson –  @MrsRobinsonNJ

Amanda Hite – @sexythinker

Mark Horvath – @hardlynormal

Meg Garlinghouse – @megarling

Beth Kanter – @kanter

Shaun King – @ShaunKing

See the full list and read the rest of the article at The Top 10 Blog here.

Need a New #NonProfit Board Member? Want to Join a Board? Announcing @LinkedIn’s Board Connect

17 Sep

When you think of LinkedIn, you may think of cultivating stronger business contacts, connecting after meeting someone smart at a conference or event, or finding a former colleague or business connection at a new venture.

LinkedIn: All sorts of helpful treats for nonprofits and people who love helping. Photo courtesy of Nan Palmero, Flickr

LinkedIn is certainly good for all of those things, along with keeping up with business news.  They also do a tremendous amount for nonprofits, and offer numerous tools to make finding people who are passionate for social good and causes easier.

One of these things is the newly-announced Board Connects.  For years now, LinkedIn has been a deep well of talented, resourceful, skilled individuals from which to draw.  These same people can make outstanding board members.  And now what was once a popular yet informal use — finding new nonprofit board members — has a helpful, structured tool kit to make it simple.

It’s no secret I am one of LinkedIn’s biggest fans because of the tools and resources they offer non-profits, as Head of Social Impact Meg Garlinghouse  outlined in her Social Good Stars feature in The Huffington PostBryan Breckinridge, LinkedIn’s Nonprofit Success Enabler, also noted how many different, positive things LinkedIn can do for charities and causes in his interview for this blog.

Board Connects takes this grassroots momentum for Good and transforms it into a process that streamlines finding and hiring new nonprofit board members.

Board Connects can also make finding a seat on a nonprofit board easier, which Meg points out, has many benefits:

• Builds your skill set: Hone the skills you currently possess while serving on a board whether you work in marketing, human resources or finance, and learn new skills that you can add to your LinkedIn profile.
• Grows your network: Meet and collaborate with other passionate and talented professionals while serving on a board and make key contacts for the future.
• Builds your brand and the nonprofit’s brand: Not only will your professional brand get a boost from serving as a board member, but you can build awareness and endorsements for that nonprofit through your participation.
• Makes you feel good for doing good: Building social capital will give you that burst of professional and personal inspiration you may be looking for, and there is nothing better than the feeling that you can put your skills to good use.

As Meg explains, “If you are interested in joining a nonprofit board, be sure to add the Volunteer Experience & Causes section to your LinkedIn profile. Expressing the causes you care about and the organizations you support will enable your network to connect you with the right opportunity.”

To learn more and sign up for the program, you can visit LinkedIn’s new LinkedIn for Nonprofits resource page.

Head of Social Impact at LinkedIn, Meg Garlinghouse (@Megarling).

To read more about the Board Connects program details and the inspiration behind it, read Meg’s interview with Forbes here.

Positive Belief Energy – The Inspiration of @LinkedIn’s Bryan Breckenridge

5 Jul

“There is little difference in people, but that little difference makes a big difference. The little difference is attitude. The big difference is whether it is positive or negative.”

~ W. Clement Stone

Being around positive and optimistic people, in person or online, is something that inspires me on a regular basis.  People like Sean Gardner (@2morrowknight) with his Awesome Blog, Ann Tran (@AnnTran_) with her inspiring blog, and countless others.  One of those people is Bryan Breckenridge, whom I first came to know through his amazing social good work with LinkedIn as their “Nonprofit Success Enabler.”  LinkedIn has long been a favorite and often-used site for me, which you can learn more about here.

BeliefEnergy.com is all about positive energy, optimism, and uplifting ideas and stories.                          Photo by Amy Neumann.

Bryan (@BGBreck) spends a lot of time figuring out positive ways to make the world a better place, and shares it on his blog, BeliefEnergy.com, as well as on LinkedIn, where you can find helpful articles like Why Volunteering Is Good For Your Career.  I had a chance to talk with him in a little more detail about Belief Energy, how people can leverage LinkedIn for Good (and business), and how the two complement each other and provide continuous sources of ideas back and forth.

Bryan sees the world through an energetic enabler’s eyes.  In his career, Bryan has helped thousands of nonprofits operate better using online platforms.  Bryan is also helping people from all over the globe experience more optimal living.  In 2011, Bryan joined LinkedIn to launch their LinkedIn Nonprofit Solutions  program.  Bryan also launched his personal development think tank at that time, Belief Energy .  Belief Energy, LLC is committed to helping people experience more optimal living.  Thousands of people from around the world have joined the Belief Energy conversation on facebook.

Your vibrant energy and passion for positive change also extends to your personal life.  Can you talk about your site Belief Energy and how your work at LinkedIn and your personal mission intertwine?

Yes, I bring all of myself to work.  It’s not work for me, it’s a calling.  I intentionally integrate my professional and personal life.  It improves both in my experience.  Especially if I follow a surge and rest approach.  Nobody can go 110% all-out in all categories forever.

Belief Energy, LLC is a personal development think tank that I created in March 2011 after reaching a personal plateau in my personal and professional life.  I knew I could live a more optimal life and roll a significant career upgrade into it, as well.  I’d done it before.  Here’s a video I created for more context on Belief Energy and my quick personal and professional reflection on 2011:

I would not have written the LinkedIn Nonprofit Solutions program business plan if Belief Energy didn’t exist.  I knew what I did next in my career had to enable the enablers.  I knew what I did had to tap into my inner and outer life (my soul/belief and action/energy selves).  When I interviewed with executives at LinkedIn at the beginning of last year I could have sworn many of them were reading entries from the Belief Energy blog word for word.  I couldn’t believe it.  They let me pitch my passion infused business plan for nonprofits.  They loved it and have supported it from the start.  LinkedIn has been 100% supportive of my Belief Energy work, as well.  LinkedIn supports personal and professional transformation more than any company I’ve ever been a part of.  In fact, I plan to host a global Belief Energy workshop in LinkedIn’s global meeting rooms this year.

LinkedIn is a great place to share your volunteering and giving passion. Photo courtesy of Nan Palmero (Flickr).

Your passion for helping your community professionally started in the mid-90s and led to helping nonprofits on one of the world’s largest social networks:  LinkedIn.  Last  year you helped launch the new “Volunteer Experiences & Causes” profile feature.  Do you have a couple tips on how individuals can leverage this?

The “Volunteer Experience & Causes” profile section was one of our most requested Profile enhancements.  It became available to all our members in September 2011.  Everyone knows that volunteerism is good for the world. But according to a recent LinkedIn survey, we now know that volunteer experience also can make candidates more employable. Intrigued?  Consider this:

·           41%* of professionals surveyed state that when evaluating candidates, they consider volunteer work equally as valuable as paid experience.

·           20%* of hiring managers say they have made a hiring decision based on a candidate’s volunteer work experience.

·           *Based on a U.S. audience.

What you can do to help spread the word?

1.       For starters, please complete the Volunteer Experience and Causes section on your LinkedIn profile with past/current volunteer experience, causes you care about, and organizations you support.

2.       Share the new section with your network and encourage your connections to update their profiles too. You can also point them to our blog post for more information.

3.       Finally, ask the nonprofits you support or work for to encourage their support base to do the same.  Some organizations like Green Peace, The Nature Conservancy, Samaritan’s Purse and may more are asking their LinkedIn Followers to populate the section and highlight their organizations.

What resources are available for individuals and nonprofits who want to make the most of LinkedIn?

Two excellent resources:  Our nonprofit YouTube channel and a group I’d invite everyone to join called, “Nonprofits In Success.”

To learn more about how LinkedIn can help your nonprofit or cause here are 7 short videos about using LinkedIn for Non-Profits.

2011-12-29-BryanBreckeridgepic.jpg

Bryan Breckenridge

You can learn more about Bryan at BeliefEnergy.com or on LinkedIn, and follow him on Twitter @BGBreck.

“The sun does not shine for a few trees and flowers, but for the wide world’s joy.”

~ Henry Ward Beecher

Social Media for Social Good :: Your Nonprofit Tech Checklist – @NonProfitOrgs #socialgood

7 Jun

I ran across this post and just had to share it!  The original post can be found here, on the NonProfitOrgs blog. Follow them @NonprofitOrgs for more fantastic tips and ideas!

Original article:

February 8, 2012

At the end of the Social Media for Social Good: A How-To Guide for Nonprofits is a nine-page “Nonprofit Tech Checklist” which I have copied and pasted below. Each item on the list is discussed in the book and some items won’t make sense unless you have read the book, but most will. I hope you find it useful. That was my number one priority when writing the book… to create a comprehensive, useful social and mobile media how-to guide for nonprofits. Oh, and the book tour thus far has raised more than $14,000 for nonprofits. The IRS is still trying to wrap it’s head around that one… a book tour fundraiser. :)

Getting Started: Organization and Planning

  • Subscribe to, like, and follow large organizations with a mission that is similar to yours.
  • Subscribe to social media and mobile technology blogs.
  • Define your goals and objectives.
  • Get the necessary training (HTML, digital photography, video, social media, and mobile technology).
  • Create a master login sheet.
  • Define metrics of measurement and create a social media ROI spreadsheet.
  • Create a Google account.
  • Sign up for Google Alerts.
  • Experiment with social media dashboards.
  • Write social media and mobile technology policies.
  • Hire a graphic designer to design a square avatar(s).
  • Purchase a smartphone and/or tablet.
  • Purchase a digital camera.
  • Purchase a pocket camcorder.
  • Create an e-mail signature that includes your website, blog, and social networking links.

Read the rest of the original article to get the whole checklist HERE!

HuffPost: 7 Steps to Increase Your Creative Output | w @ElizaWing @AnnTran_ @2morrowknight #creativity

28 Apr
Amy Neumann

Writer, Speaker; Social Good Consultant

7 Steps to Take Now to Increase Your Creative Output

Posted: 04/27/2012 10:00 pm

“Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.” — Scott Adams

This post is co-authored by Eliza Wing.

We would all like, no matter our discipline, to increase the quality and quantity of our work. Some artists, writers and business leaders have established routines that help them to get into a creative mode daily. Perhaps the artist shows up at the studio every morning at 8 a.m. and doesn’t leave until lunch, or the CEO takes several afternoons away from the office to write up a strategic plan. But what lies beneath the commitment to create? How can we position ourselves in ways that elevate our work?

What follows are useful qualities anyone can develop to help them along a creative path.

2012-04-24-CloudArtAmyNeumann.JPG

What do you see? Photo courtesy of Amy Neumann.

Question Authority

Who knows what is right? The Creative will not accept what is; he will look at a situation or an image and work to make it his own. Consider one child carefully coloring within the lines of coloring book and then another, blank paper laid out and an array of colored pencils, spread before her like so many pick up sticks.

Many creatives would rather the call of the blank page then the thought of painstakingly filling in someone else’s blanks. Wouldn’t you?

Don’t Act Your Age

Some people report that as they grow older they still feel 8, 13, or 11 years old inside. No matter your “real” age, the ability to connect with all that is wonderful about youth is key to enlivening your creative work. “The young know less, which is why they often invent more,” Jonah Lehrer tells us in his new book, Imagine: How Creativity Works. A child radiates energy, wonderment in the face of something new, or perhaps rebellion — add your own words here. What quality do you wish you could retrieve from your childhood?

Perhaps take back the elasticity of time; remember how endless some days felt then. Delve into a project (whether it is written, visual or business-related) and lose sense of time. It is in those moments when connecting with the process of creating, not watching the clock, making to-do lists or other responsible “grown-up” things one “should” be doing, that we often create the best work.

Give Generously (To Yourself AND Others)

You must take care of yourself first; your health, your sleep, and your psyche should all be nourished. You can ignore all of the above, but you truly cannot operate in a deficit for long. Give yourself space to create, a place where you can dictate the rules. J.K. Rowling wrote in cafes because she knew her baby would fall asleep the way there — it was ensured “quiet” time. Know what you need in order to create and do not relinquish the parameters you have set.

Once you have created an environment and a schedule that works for your circumstances, whatever that looks like, you can and should turn to others. Even though you will find yourself with seemingly less time, the more you expose yourself to others and what they offer in terms of idea exchange and experience, the more you open yourself to the world. This isn’t to say that you should say yes to everything. Take your temperature before agreeing to something. If you are the sort of person who agrees to things and then resents the commitment, go back to the beginning. Perhaps you haven’t given to yourself enough.

“Creativity originates from several basic life elements, one of which is generosity and a heart curved outwards toward the world. Giving time and attention to others, listening intently to them, and taking in all the beautiful, interesting aspects of life – these set the stage for the birth of creative ideas.” — Ann Tran, @AnnTran_

Respect the Practice

Consider the phrase “the force of habit.” We can position ourselves to think and act creatively, hoping that inspiration comes like a crack of lightning and a song, as Carole King says in describing “You’ve got a friend” to Fresh Air’s Terry Gross. “That song, pure and simple, came through me,” she says. “I sat at the piano; the song came…” The key? She sat at the piano, just as a writer must sit at her desk day in, day out. The only way to create a habit is to start doing something habitually. As writer of the best-selling Bird by Bird, Anne Lamott says, “discipline is the path to freedom.” Setting expectations for yourself, forcing yourself to show up regularly and articulate what was just a wisp of a thought at the edge of your mind is what gives you a lift over your hopeful brethren — you know the ones — who are left wondering why they can’t ever write more than the first chapter of that novel they know they have in them.

Be Truthful

There is no point in creating something if it doesn’t ring true to you. Of course, truth is relative and personal. No two people will describe a scene or experience in the same way. This is not a case of finding consensus. The real Creative is always observing and questioning and testing the perceived reality. A fine copy of an artwork is just that — a copy. Under the first layer of our output is another, more subtle line that emerges. That is where the truth of your work resides. It should make you uncomfortable and excited. It should make you look over your shoulder to see if anyone has noticed that sentence you just wrote. You should be a little worried. Maybe even very worried. Keep digging and sorting through those uncomfortable thoughts. Shakespeare was right of course. The truth will come out.

Pay Attention

Twyla Tharp, in her book The Creative Habit , tells of a friend who goes out every day looking for a face to draw. He doesn’t come home until he has found the face and adequately captured it. Think of all the faces you pass by and don’t see. Can you describe what your neighbor was wearing when they took out the trash this morning? You may have waved to them but did you really take note? Details and response to your environment are what make your work sing. This is true for any creative project, it is the attention and understanding of the world around you that lifts your work above the rest.

Be a Dreamer

With all the talk of habits (good and bad) and practice you must also leave room for staring meaninglessly into space, for stopping in the middle of your walk and watching the trees move with the wind. You should grab a nap and let your mind drift in and out of consciousness. Let your mind come and go and notice what it does at the edges of your dreams. If you can’t imagine it, how will you do it?

“Surround yourself with great people, be visionary and determined about your future, and always do your best … and then some! Life is too short to not give it all you’ve got. Let the world see the amazing person you aim to become.” — Sean Gardner, @2morrowknight

Eliza Wing, the former president and CEO of Cleveland.com and president of Sideways, now runs Wing Consulting. Wing, who is also a writer and a painter, brings extensive online editorial and digital expertise to her clients. She strives to integrate creativity and creative thought into all that she does.

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

For more by Amy Neumann, click here.

For more on mindfulness, click here.

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