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It’s So Easy to Help Make Sure There’s No Kid Hungry! Take the Pledge!

2 May

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Guess what today is?  It’s the day you can change an American child’s life in mere seconds!  Take the pledge to be part of Team No Kid Hungry  — #TeamNoKidHungry and @NoKidHungry on Twitter — and become a hero in seconds.  331,000+ Americans are already making the decision to help our kids get the meals they need to succeed.  Let’s drive the number to untold heights and help as many kids as possible!

Millions of kids don’t get enough to eat, but we’re all helping to change that, one pledge at a time.  There are so many little actions, that together, can change the world. If you can make a donation, of course it is most welcome!  And you pledge to help means the world.  Please share your hope and helpful spirit with friends via social media and any way you like to help them take the pledge and help make sure there’s no kid hungry too.

It’s so easy to exponentially increase your help if you tie an event to helping kids!  You can leverage a marathon, bake sale, car wash, or any other event to help feeds kids too.

It’s super-simple to donate once or monthly!

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Thank you!

Tolerance Fair in Cleveland Fosters Compassion and Awareness

10 Mar

Here’s a great, inspiring story from The Plain Dealer.

On Sunday March 10, the Bachman family of Solon is hosting the second Tolerance Fair at the I-X Center to bring awareness and compassion toward differences, like their son Justin’s Tourette Syndrome.  This year, more than 48 charities and 1000 attendees are expected.  The event is inspired by Justin’s less-than-ideal personal experience with people’s lack of understanding about differences.  Ignorance can result in a  lack of tolerance, something Solon’s Bachman family is on a mission to prevent.

“Our original goal was to show people how to become involved as volunteers… We learned that a lot of people were seeking resources to help themselves,” Justin said in the article.

Justin Bachman,  Solon High School sophomore, and inspiration for the Tolerance Fair, March 10  at the I-X Center in Cleveland.  Photo courtesy of The Plain Dealer.

Justin Bachman, Solon High School sophomore, and inspiration for the Tolerance Fair, March 10 at the I-X Center in Cleveland. Photo courtesy of The Plain Dealer.

Admission and parking for the Tolerance Fair are free, and the event will be held from 2-7 p.m. March 10 at the I-X Center.

Read the full article here.

Kyle Maynard, a two-time ESPY sports award winner and a New York Times bestseller author of the book, “No Excuses,” is the Keynote speaker.  Maynard, born a congenital amputee who became a champion in wrestling and in life, will share his inspiring story.

Participants at the event can see what it’s like to have various disabilities by engaging in adaptive sports, like soccer and rugby in a wheelchair.  The Cleveland Sight Center will provide hands-on lessons to aid participants in understanding what it is like to be visually impaired.

Visitors will receive a free resource guide listing the various organizations at the fair with contact information and websites.

Food and beverages will be available for purchase, while book signings and T-shirt sales will go to support Honor Good Deeds.

Learn more and read the original article on Justin Bachman’s story here.

SME Cleveland’s Professional Development Day 2/12/13 – Marketing (w @CharityIdeas)

4 Feb

Exciting!  I’m looking forward to joining the Sales and Marketing Executives of Cleveland February 12 as a presenter for their Professional Development Day – Marketing.  Learn how to:

  • Fine tune your sales skills

  • Implement social media strategies

  • Develop relationship skills to improve your business

SME logo SME logo

Tuesday, February 12, 2013 * 8:00a.m. to 4:30p.m.
DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Cleveland Downtown -Lakeside
1111 Lakeside Avenue
Cleveland, Ohio 44114

R.S.V.P. online at www.smecleveland.com or 216-767-5951

For more details click here.

Speakers presenting:

Bob Sukys
Partner
The Partnering Group

“Using Brand ENRg to Bring Life to your Brand”

Scott Mowery
Cleveland Clinic

Search Engine Optimization

Amy Neumann
cleveland.com

Social Media for Sales and Marketing

Kristy Amy
Smart Business Network

Driving conversation through content

Hope to see you there!  R.S.V.P. online at www.smecleveland.com or 216-767-5951.  Thanks!

Catchafire: Kindle Your Passion To Help Through Pro Bono Volunteering

2 Feb

This piece originally appears in The Huffington Post

Social Good and Technology Devotee; Director SEO/SEM/SMO at Cleveland.com

Social Good Stars: @Catchafire’s Rachael Chong on How Pro-Bono Changes the World – And You

“You are here in order to enable the world to live more amply, with greater vision, with a finer spirit of hope and achievement. You are here to enrich the world.” ― Woodrow Wilson

A few years back I was introduced to Catchafire, and it has become a favorite organization. Rachael Chong is Founder & CEO of Catchafire, the nation’s leading online pro bono network that connects talent and purpose. Rachael is a social entrepreneur, visionary leader, and evangelist of all the ways project-based volunteering benefits the world, and the people who do it. Prior to Catchafire, Rachael helped start up BRAC USA by strategically utilizing pro bono talent. From this success, Rachael founded Catchafire in 2009 with a vision to create a more efficient and effective social good sector, and a world where it is commonplace to serve for the greater good.

In 2012, Rachael received the prestigious NYC Venture Fellowship, the Tribeca Disruptive Innovation Award, and was named one of Fast Company’s 100 Most Creative People in Business. She also writes a new series about generosity.

Rachael shared her thoughts on pro bono work, and why everyone has the power to help create positive change.
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Rachael Chong, Founder of Catchafire. Photo courtesy of Catchafire
You’ve explained Catchafire as a marketplace for talented people to share skills and passion for good. Can you talk about the goals behind Catchafire?

There are two main priorities. First, to create a more efficient and effective social good sector by leveraging best practices from business and sharing knowledge. Second, to create a movement of socially-conscious leaders who are empowered to be change agents, catalysts for meaningful, impactful change.

What inspired your new Generosity series for Fast Company?

The genesis for the series, which so far has highlighted the 10 Most Generous Social Media Mavens andThe 11 Most Generous Designers, was to show that giving is accessible, a day-to-day way of life that anyone can incorporate. By highlighting how successful people are already turning good intentions into actions, it’s easy to relate to their stories. It’s a humanized way of looking at giving and generosity that is practical and doable.
How does Catchafire work?

It’s skills-based volunteer matching. When someone goes onto Catchafire.org, it’s as easy as connecting your LinkedIn profile (or answering a few quick questions.) Then we work the magic behind the scenes to present opportunities you may be interested in to you through email, for you to peruse at your leisure. It’s along the same lines of Match.com or eHarmony, but for voluntering opportunities you’ll enjoy, based on your experience and skills.

Catchafire is all upside. It helps with professional development, and can leverage secondary skills you have but may not use in your daily job (think not only of business skills you use on the job, but also hobbies like photography, writing, film making, marketing and PR, etc.) It can be very rewarding to use a skill around a passion to do good in the world.

The amount of time and level of involvement is up to you and there are options that can fit into almost any schedule. And pro-bono work can give you experience in leadership, project management, sales, creative thinking, and other important management skills.

Everyone already has skills they can use to create positive change in the world, and no one should feel like they’re not “experienced enough” to try pro-bono work. In fact, it’s a perfect opportunity to create deeper experience, and give back in the process!

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Learn more about Catchafire and how you can get involved in pro bono work. Video courtesy of Catchafire

You can learn more at Catchafire.org, friend them on Facebook and follow them on Twitter @Catchafire.

Amy Neumann is a passionate fan of social good and is dedicated to leveraging technology to change the world. Check out her Charity Ideas Blog and follow her on Twitter @CharityIdeas.

 Follow Amy Neumann on Twitter: www.twitter.com/CharityIdeas

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.

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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

7 Ways Your NonProfit Can Make the Most of Holiday Giving

10 Dec

This article originally appears here on the Software Advice blog:  Bringing in 2012: How Your Nonprofit Can Capture December’s Giving Trend | by Ashley Halligan,  Software Advice.

‘Tis the season for end-of-the-year holiday giving!  Ring in 2013 with a bang (and more donations!) with these helpful tips for your nonprofit’s fundraising.

Bringing in 2012: How Your Nonprofit Can Capture December’s Giving Trend

by Property Management Analyst, Software Advice
December 06, 2012

The holidays are upon us, and nonprofit organizations are scrambling to capture a share of holiday generosity. Statistics show that December represents a third of all online giving. And 22 percent of year-round donations accumulate in the last two days of the month.

December Giving Trends

Data supplied by Network for Good’s Online Giving Study.

Additionally, December donors tend to give more than supporters in other months. In fact, Network for Good’s Online Giving Study shows they donate 52 percent more. The study also says,

“December is the strongest month for most organizations offline. It’s even more so online. Further, it’s not just the month of December that’s spectacular, it’s the last couple of days, and even last few hours that make the difference.”

Americans want to donate to charitable causes during this time of year. In a survey conducted by The American Red Cross, 80 percent of Americans surveyed said helping those who are less fortunate is an important part of their holiday tradition. And 70 percent who donated in the last holiday season said they planned to donate the same or more in the upcoming season.

Given this compelling fundraising opportunity, what should nonprofits do to capitalize on the last-minute, year-end giving trend? Here are some suggestions from authors around the Web for organizations vying for a piece of the seasonal pie.

Make Giving Easy

Prospective donors shouldn’t have to search for a donation page. Frogloop writer Allyson Kapin suggests a big, bold, clear call-to-donate button. “This should be incredibly obvious in your navigation and in a callout box towards the top of your website. If you want to raise money, the donate button should not be buried and de-emphasized on your website.”

Keep it Seasonal

Jen Johnson, who writes for Otis Spunkmeyer’s Fundraising Success Tastes Sweet blog, says that including festive elements “adds excitement, spirit and holiday magic to the hard, cold process of raising money.” She suggests seasonal fundraising efforts like wreath auctions, themed charity walks/runs, holiday bake sales, caroling events, and Christmas concerts.

CLICK HERE to read the whole article, and all 7 tips for end-of-year nonprofit fundraising!

14 Unexpected Ways to Volunteer for the Holidays

26 Nov

This article originally appears in The Huffington Post.

14 Unexpected Ways to Volunteer for Thanksgiving (or Anytime!)

Posted: 11/21/2012 6:00 pm

If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion. ~ The Dalai Lama

Every year, Thanksgiving reminds us of all the things we have to be grateful for all year. It’s the launching of a season of extra compassion and kindness.

Because of this, and the feasting of Thanksgiving, many people donate or deliver food or food baskets, or volunteer to serve food at homeless shelters like Union Rescue Mission in Los Angeles, where they serve 3500 meals Thanksgiving Day. Others take time to donate to causes like helping our homeless friends through organizations like Mark Horvath‘s InvisiblePeople, or hungry kids through programs like No Kid Hungry. This is greatly appreciated by the organizations as well as all the hungry people they help. And all are definitely encouraged!

If you are looking to add something new this year, or to include another type of organization, here are a few suggestions. You can also search for new and interesting organizations and volunteer activities all year on VolunteerMatch.org.

Whatever you do to give back for Thanksgiving and the holiday season, it will warm the heart of anyone you help, and also your own.

Help Domestic Violence Victims
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Help support a local domestic violence shelter, or donate an old cell phonefor domestic violence victims and survivors.Photo courtesy of Official US Navy Images – Flickr.

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Amy Neumann is a social entrepreneur, writer, speaker and consultant on social good marketing. Check out her Charity Ideas Blog and follow her on Twitter @CharityIdeas. Amy is also Director of Public Relations for POGCO, the People’s Oil and Gas Collaborative – Ohio, a grassroots organization focused on sustainability, regulatory, safety, and property rights issues in the oil and gas industry. All photos attributed to Flickr users are from Creative Commons.

Follow Amy Neumann on Twitter: www.twitter.com/CharityIdeas

Follow Sean Gardner on Twitter: @2morrowknight

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