Saturday, November 27, 2010

A Master Philanthropist - Paul Newman Tribute

There are role models in life and then there are people you can follow in their footsteps.  When working as the Director of Development for the Phi Kappa Tau Foundation, one of my most exciting moments was to meet Paul Newman.  I was excited not to meet a world-famous actor, but rather a world-famous philanthropist.

Mr. Newman was a member of Phi Kappa Tau and because of his leadership, Phi Kappa Tau adopted the Hole in the Wall Camps as the national philanthropy.  These remarkable camps provide opportunities for children battling chronic and life-threatening illnesses to attend summer camp and have a normal experience yet still receive state-of-the-art medical care.  I heard yesterday during an interview with Newman's best friend for 50+ years, AE Hotchner, that with the development of Newman's Own, more than $330 million has been contributed to various charities.

I had the privilege of volunteering at Camp Boggy Creek in Florida several times.  I visited the Hole in the Wall Gang Camp in Connecticut and had the honor to attend both the ground breaking and the grand opening of the Victory Junction Gang Camp in North Carolina.  With the support of Phi Kappa Tau's Foundation Board of Directors, I established a scholarship program for brothers who would work or volunteer their time to serve as counselors and activity specialists at one of the camps.  I think the proudest moment of my career was learning that because of PKT's commitment to the camps, it quickly became the number one source of male volunteers, a need that was in great demand.

There were countless precious moments that the camps provided these young men.  To say that it was life changing is not an understatement.  These Phi Tau's went to camp as boys but returned as men, forever impacted by the experiences they had working with children.  To know that I played a role in getting that program firmly established is one of the highlights of my career and certainly a legacy I am indeed proud to have left the Fraternity I loved as if I were a member of it myself.

I met Paul Newman on several occasions.  He was a shy man and not one for special accolades.  He told me how proud he was of the brothers who came to camp and was genuinely touched that Phi Tau was so involved with the camps he founded.

He was an incredible philanthropist.  He gave because it was the right thing to do, not because he was getting anything in return.  He embodied generosity, creativity, dedication and hard work.  He made a difference for thousands of children and equally as many volunteers and staff members.  I am forever grateful to have met him and to have been a part of the Hole in the Wall Camp experience.

This video was made by Phi Kappa Tau Fraternity as a tribute to one of their most distinguished alumni, Paul Newman, upon his death.  I am blessed to have been associated with PKT and treasure the moments that I was part of the staff.  Hoo Rah, my brothers!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

2007-2010 Tri Sigma Triennial Achievements

During the 2010 National Convention, I was asked to highlight Tri Sigma's accomplishments during the previous three years.  This is typically a powerpoint presentation where each Council members gets up and shares a long (read: boring) bulleted list of achievements.  I was given some license to present this information in a different format.  I wanted to create something that would wake the crowd up, get them fired up and celebrate what turned out to be a remarkable triennium.

Many thanks to National President, Laura Sweet, and the other members of the Sigma Sigma Sigma Executive Council for giving me just enough rope to not hang myself.

So here it is...the 2007-2010 Sigma Sigma Sigma Sorority Triennial Achievements.  This is not your grandma's sorority!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Hospitals Increasingly Turning to Social Media to Communicate

The Dayton Business Journal published an excellent feature on how hospitals are using social media as a way to communicate and build relationships with patients and families.  I am proud that The Children's Medical Center was prominently featured in this article. There is excellent advice from Betsy Woods, public relations and marketing manager at Datyon Children's (not to mention a quick shout-out to yours truly).   Read the article here.  I would love to get your feedback.  Do you follow any health care organizations?  Why or why not?

If you are interested in seeing what Dayton Children's is sharing via social media, follow us at:

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Social Media Ninjas' (Bethany Deines and Betsy Woods) Podcast about Social Media in Healthcare

Betsy Woods, Marketing/PR manager for Dayton Children's and I will be one of the featured break-out speakers at the upcoming SummitUp confab on October 19 at Sinclair Community College.  We were recently interviewed by David Bowman, the Great and Powerful Oz behind the SummitUp social media conference, about social media in healthcare and more specifically about our experiences at Dayton Children's

Listen to the podcast here and let us know your feedback.  How are you using social media in your own field?  What are your best practices? Pitfalls to avoid? What recommendations can you give us?

Friday, September 3, 2010

Listen Up - Good Social Media Experts to Follow

A colleague and friend of mine, Todd Bolster, at The Basement Design + Motion, were IM'ing each other on Facebook yesterday. I was helping him brainstorm potential prospects and he jokingly referred to me as the Forbes Magazine of our industry.  I think that industry spans some territory: the interfraternal community, nonprofit community, and knowledge about social media.  I took that comment as a huge compliment, because if there is one thing I like to do is network with people and listen to what they have to say.

With that in mind, I thought I would share with you some good people to follow, network with, like, and above all...listen to what they have to say about social media, communication trends, nonprofit technology trends, and other things "tech."  By no means is this an exhaustive list.  This was just my off-the-top of my head list of recommendations to get you started.

On Facebook
NTEN: The Nonprofit Technology Network
Fortune Magazine
Fast Company

On Twitter

You can easily go crazy with following people so I picked out my favorites that post the most relevant and useful content.  I would be interested in hearing your recommendations.  And in case you are so inclined, you can follow me on twitter at @bethanydeines.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Kickstarter - Coolest Idea to Fund Innovative Projects

In the June 2010 issue of Fast Company, I read an short blurb about the 74th most innovative company: Kickstarter.  It was founded by Perry Chen and Yancey Strickler.  According to Fast Company, Kickstarter is a "...platform that lets users crowdsource funding for creative ventures."  Interesting.  I was sufficiently intrigued because I believe 115% in igniting passion and this sounded like a way for creative people to actually get their dreams funded.  Afterall, nothing propels dreams into reality better than cold hard cash.  So, time to learn more...
Here's how Kickstarter describes itself on the FAQ page:
Kickstarter is a new way to fund creative ideas and ambitious endeavors.
We believe that...
• A good idea, communicated well, can spread fast and wide.
• A large group of people can be a tremendous source of money and encouragement.
Kickstarter is powered by a unique all-or-nothing funding method where projects must be fully-funded or no money changes hands.
Here's how it works, according to Kickstarter:
Every project has a funding goal (any dollar amount) and a time limit (from 1 - 90 days) set by the project creator. When the deadline is reached, there are either of two results:

1. Funding Successful: If a project has met or surpassed its funding goal, all backers' credit cards are instantly charged and funds go directly to the project creator. Project creators are then responsible for completing the project and delivering rewards as promised.'
2. Funding Unsuccessful: If a project has NOT met its funding goal, all pledges are canceled.
There are certain Kickstarter guidelines, such as people can't use this for fundraising, charity projects, funding business expenses (i.e. payroll, rent) or asking people to fund personal needs (mortgage payments, travel, medical expenses, living expenses, etc.).  I appreciate guidelines.  I think it gives programs legitimacy and credibility.  Always good to read the small print!

When a project gets listed, someone interested in making a pledge to fund it uses Amazon's payment system.  Anonymous pledges are not allowed.  You have to be okay with using your name and indicating what you are supporting.  I like transparency.  It adds authenticity.
Someone always asks, "What's in it for Kickstarter?"  If a project is successfully funded, Kickstarter keeps 5% of the funds raised.  What isn't completely clear is what the credit card transaction fees are and how those are covered.  But perhaps I just didn't dig deep enough to figure that out.  Nevertheless, if you are looking for capital to make a movie, create music, design something, write a book or do anything else creative and ambitious, this could be a wonderful place to start. There's very little risk but potentially great reward.
There are a lot of great answers to questions on the Kickstarter FAQ page.  Be sure to spend some time on that page if you decide to try this out for your bringing your own dream to life.  
Here's some of the projects that are popular this week:
  • Punk Mathmatics - part math book, part online event
  • Set Music Free - help purchase music that can be released without copyrights
  • Jamie and Jessie are Not Together - a queer lesbian feature film
  • Santa Bring the Funk - a "holidelic" holiday album
The site lists something that likely meets anyone's individual tastes.  Take some time to explore this. It is such an exciting idea...and if you are looking for funding to bring that creative idea you've been tossing around in your head to life, this may just be the answer you are looking for. 

Electric Philanthropy: Social Media What?#links

Electric Philanthropy: Social Media What?#links

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Social Media What?

Here's the Social Media presentation I recently presented for the grant writing professional in Dayton.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Likes, Retweets and Tell-A-Woman: The Power of Personal Recommendations

The modern version of word-of-mouth referrals is Facebook's "Likes."  It's everywhere - you can like just about anything at any time on the internet and can then have your personal thumbs up broadcasted to your entire network of friends.  We all learn that if someone doesn't like something, they will tell 10 people.  If they like something, they generally don't say a thing.  Facebook has changed all that.  If you like something, Facebook will make sure everyone knows about it.  Marketers are just beginning to harness what this means.  As usual, nonprofits are lagging behind.

Here's the danger of not paying attention to who likes you: you are missing an entire audience of people championing your cause.  Give your constituents the opportunity to like you.  Have an up-to-date Facebook page.  Use the new tools to embed into your website so people can share their support of your message and broadcast it to a far greater audience than you could reach independently.  Encourage people to like your blog and then repost the message via their own Facebook page.  It's a viral form of personal recommendations that has a really wide reach. 

People trust other recommendations.  Whenever I book a hotel room, purchase a product, or look for a service, I seek out the section on websites on references.  That feedback is honest, often blunt, and generally spot on.  Sites like Amazon,, Orbitz, CNet use these personal recommedations brilliantly.  Don't buy a product before reading them.  Better yet, take some time to give your own feedback and help others out.  Your opinion is valuable; speak out.

Twitter's Retweet (RT) functionality is nothing more than someone say, "Hey, I like this...check it out."  I am more likely going to read an article that I've seen RT'ed by friends that I trust. There is something very flattering to see a tweet you've posted get picked up and rebroadcasted to their own network.  It gives credence that your message is important, worthy, and valuable.

In the May 31, 2010 issue of Time Magazine, there was an article entitled "Philanthropy Roundtable." It featured various philanthropists and nonprofit leaders and sought out their opinions on fundraising and the spirit of philanthropy.  I was struck by a comment made by Sanjit "Bunker" Roy, founder of Barefoot College.  His organization works in Africa training rural women to be solar energy engineers. He shared some thoughts on grassroots communication, "The best way to communicate is not a telephone or a telegraph. It's tell-a woman....Word of mouth really is the best way to communicate."

Why is word of mouth so effective? Because it comes from someone you trust. It provides opportunities for honest, unprovoked recommendations.  It's organic and not created by a marketing firm or clever campaign. It comes from someone who has truly been impacted. Testimonials are a powerful way of getting your message to new donors, followers, fans, volunteers, clients, employees, etc.  Are you giving people something positive to talk about?  Do you encourage feedback on your Facebook page?  Do you provide the ability for fans to like something on your website and share it with others?  Are you creating forums for people to share their thoughts?  Do you ask for honest feedback?  Are you sharing valuable information that those already networked with you can share with those who are not?

Grassroots organizations need to provide grassroots methods of communication.  The good news is that social media and the internet have made this simpler than ever. It's up to you to simply take advantage of it.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Undeterred by the Economy

This article appeared in Monday's Hamilton Journal News and featured me as a Hamilton "Woman of Influence." Is it too arrogant to share this on my blog? Perhaps, but I am doing it anyhow on the suggestion of co-workers.  Some of the details are not quite accurate (example, I don't supervise our entire development staff but rather our annual giving team) and the story about Nevin should be credited to the Dayton Children's amazing PR manager, Betsy Woods.  But overall, it was very flattering to be featured as a Woman of Influence for what I do at Dayton Children's.  I am blessed to work for an organization that does incredible things to provide the best possible pediatric healthcare for kids in the Miami Valley.  Everyone at Dayton Children's is appreciative of every single gift we receive and every single donor who made it possible.  I sincerely want to thank each and every one of them.

Great Content Isn't Enough

Thousands of businesses have found the value in having a Facebook presence.  They post all of great content, but pushing out content is not enough.  Companies, nonprofits, organizations, etc. need to think of Facebook (or any other social media platform) as a conversation venue.  Posting content is not enough; interaction is a requirement. 

Think of social media as a two-way conversation with real human beings. Why?  Because that is exactly what it is.  The purpose and value of social media is building relationships.  You don't walk into a room, announce the latest and greatest for your organization, and then walk out.  You stick around, ask questions, respond to questions and generate interest.  The same is true when using Facebook.  Respond to the comments on your page.  Pay attention to what is being said.  Bring people to the conversation.  Reference what others are doing.  Don't let this be a one-side conversation.  It turns people off.  And turning people off is the death knoll to building a trusting relationship.

Here's an example of what not to do:

I am an avid reader of a particular magazine (that will remain nameless to I don't embarrass them to pieces publicly).  They had an excellent feature in a recent issue that challenged their readers to participate. But the directions were vague.  So I checked the website.  Same vague directions for how to enter their contest, what to submit, and the rules for how the contest was going to be judged were unclear.  The website gave no opportunity to pose a question.  So I turned to Facebook.

Yes! They had a Facebook page.  But, alas, they are failing at building relationships.  They are posting articles, links and interesting content, yet they never respond to their fans questions.  I certainly wasn't the only one confused about their messaging.  Everyone had similar questions.  No one was getting any answers.  But new content kept getting added to the page.

Here's my thoughts: This company is selfish and one-sided.  They are not interested in their readers/customers' feedback. They are missing the perfect opportunity to build a relationship and show they are concerned about the service they are providing.

Nonprofits can and should take a lesson from this.  Responding to comments on Facebook shows you care in the same way responding to a question in person does.  Does it take some extra time? Yes.  Is it worth it?  You better believe it.  Donors want to be heard and recognized. That's fundraising 101.  Using social media gives you the perfect vehicle for responding...for listening...for caring.  Nothing builds donor loyalty more than caring about your constituents and taking time for them.

Believe me, there are plenty of organizations way off the mark here.  Take the extra minute to respond when people post things on your page, if for no other reason than to say thank you.  It will pay off -- literally and figuratively.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Nonprofits: How Not to Lose Your Mind Using Social Media

The nonprofit hot topic seems to be whether or not to use social media.  The very simple answer is "YES!"  Having a social media presence is the newest and most interactive way to have a presence on the web. But don't let anyone fool you into thinking that it's as simple as adding water and stirring. It takes some time, energy and creativy to have an effective social media presence.  And the vast majority of nonprofit organizations are not going to have the budget to outsource this project or hire staff members simply to be content managers.  Most of us have to add this to our current job descriptions and find the time to actively add content.

So, how can this be done easily and still create results?  Here's some initial thoughts:

1. Multi-task -- If you are creating content for your website, add a link to your Facebook page and Twitter page.  Better yet, set up your Facebook page to automatically update Twitter.  Adding a YouTube video? Link YouTube, Facebook and Twitter together.  You post it one time and it gets distributed to other channels.

2.  Keep The Sites Open -- Keep your social media sites open on your desk top.  It only takes a minute to send out a Twitter update or Facebook update.  Post content when you have a few extra minutes (like when you are on hold or when you only have 10 minutes before a meeting and don't have enough time to start a new project). 

3.  RT -- Not all of your content needs to be original.  In fact, it's better if it isn't.  Social media works best when it really is social, meaning you are part of a larger community.  Share good information from others. Read an article that is informative?  Retweet it or post a link giving credit to the original author. The favor will be returned in time.

4.  Interns -- College students are looking for opportunities to gain experience.  Give them an opportunity to work in your office and as part of their responsibilities, ask them to post content, shoot short videos using a simple webcam of things happening in your organization and posting to YouTube, and respond to content posted on your site.

5.  Respond -- If someone sends you something on Facebook or Twitter or any other place, respond. Remember that social media is not static.  It's interactive and your constituents want, expect and deserve a response. It's the best possible customer service. I read a blog article today on jobs that will be replaced by social media. The role of customer service agents will drastically change as a result of using social media. Not responding is the worst kind of service you can provide.

6.  Make Sure Things Work -- If you are going to take the time to post content, please make sure the links, downloads or video work.  Today I was very excited to download a white paper about social media trends from Sage Nonproft Solutions. I went to their site, completed a form with all of my contact information, and went to click on the "Download PDF" and nothing happened.  I tried it a second time and it still didn't work. So, I then called their 800 number and was on hold for a solid five minutes with no response. I find it hard to believe there is such a demand that they could have a human being answer the phone.  Everything was automated (and that, my friends, is a subject for another day on poor customer service).  The bottom line: I never got the white paper, I ended up hanging up in frustration, and believe me, when I get added to their mailing list or get a sales call, I will not respond. If you post content, make sure everything works.

7.  Job Share -- We share responsibilities at Dayton Children's between the marketing and development office.  Each of us has a different angle for content so it keeps a variety of topics available.  It works out between three people that when one person is busy, another person steps up to post information. We have found a balance over time that ensures we have a myriad of fresh content.

8.  Don't Go Crazy -- Remember the old ad that claimed, "A little dab will do ya?"  Same principle applies here. You only need to have a couple of new posts per day.  Groups that update their Facebook status page 15-20 times per day are going way overboard.  Post a few things on Twitter, respond to a few things and space it out throughout the day. It is easy to get consumed when you enter the social media world. Try not to lose sight of time and be judicious with what you post.

9. Pick Your Places -- Take time to know your audience. Find out where your constituents will be. If you have a small shop, or if you are the only person in the shop, you may only be able to pick a few places to be. I'd suggest Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.  You don't need to be on Ning, Bebo, Myspace, and the zillion of other social networking outlets.  Find a few that work effectively for your organization and stick with it. If you have time to add more sites, grow gradually.  You may not need a Foursquare account yet.

I imagine there are dozens of great suggestions on how to effectively manage social media without losing your mind. Feel free to post your recommendations.  What works for you?

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The Power of a Greeting Card

Do you love getting cards in the mail?  Who doesn't? There's something about seeing a hand-addressed envelope with a real live stamp that makes your heart skip a beat.  It's even better when you receive a card and it's not your birthday or a holiday but rather because someone simply cared enough to send you a note. (I think I now know where Hallmark came up with the slogan "When you care enough to send the very best.")

During the year-end direct mail frenzy, Dayton Children's opted to include a greeting card in our packet for donors to send a personalized holiday card for a patient. The response was outstanding and our response rate was improved and the average gift was about $10 more than usual.  More importantly, however, were the thoughtful messages include in the cards wishing our patients well. For six weeks, we were able to deliver a card to a patient and his or her family every day. It was meaningful for families to know that complete strangers made the thoughtful gesture to think of the children in the hospital. If they knew that a donation accompanied those cards, I think they may have even smiled a bit wider.

Last week I featured a wonderful story from Dayton Children's about Nevin.  Nevin has been an extended-stay patient at the hospital and was disappointed that he couldn't go out to play in the snow. What five year old wants to stay indoors when he could romp around outside in a foot of snow and build a snowman? His physical therapist, Janet Squires, in a very creative therapy session, brought a big bucket of snow into Nevin's room so he could play in the snow and build that snowman. Hats, gloves and boots were all a part of the experience. Take a moment to watch the video...I guarantee it will make you smile. 

The response to Nevin's story has been wonderful. It has been viewed 700+, been featured on WDTN News, and shared on Facebook and Twitter. We didn't do this as some kind of social media experiment but I will admit, we are very pleased with the response. The response from the community has been positive and Janet came up with genius plan #2.

With the support of David Grimes, the local owner of  Ace Handyman Hardware Stores, a mailbox was donated and installed on our hematology/oncology unit at Dayton Children's. Every day, Nevin and the other patients need to walk to the mailbox to check for their mail. While it is a good therapy exercise, the kids look forward to getting their cards and letters every day. Our marketing manager, Betsy Woods, prints out emails to deliver to the mailbox. And the emails have been coming daily.

If you watch the video or look at Nevin's photos on the Dayton Children's Facebook page, you will quickly realized that Nevin has something of an obsession with Spiderman.  I've watched this boy grow up at the hospital and truth be told, I have never seen him out of a Spiderman costume. A note arrived on Friday from The Children's Miracle Network with a special Spiderman Valentine for Nevin. Brothers from Phi Kappa Theta Fraternity at Truman State University (in Missouri!) had visited Dayton Children's a few weeks prior for a national leadership conference. They visited Nevin and many other patients that day. TJ, the chapter president, wrote to me and asked if it was okay for them to send cards and letters to the kids and also inquired if they could send PlayStation2 video games.  Oh, yes!!

This was just the tip of the iceberg. Emails, cards and letters are a welcome sight for kids in the hospital. If you want to help, you can send also to:
The Children's Medical Center of Dayton
Attn: Betsy Woods, Marketing
One Children's Plaza
Dayton, OH 45404-1815

Rest assured, they will arrive in the mailbox or on the meal trays of our kids every day.

A simple greeting card or note to let a sick or injured child know you care. Does it get any easier than that? Getting kids to smile is priceless. It's a really worthwhile investment.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The Spark of Caring - Building a Snowman Inside

Yesterday I wrote an article about the simple gesture of doing something just because it is the right thing to do and that is can bring a smile to someone else's heart. 

In the midst of about a foot of snow, grown-ups can easily forget that kids love to play in the snow. But when you are hospitalized, battling cancer and not allowed to go outdoors, it can really get you down. Today, Dayton Children's put up photos about Nevin.  Nevin experiences long hospital treatment stays.  He has practically grown up at Dayton Children's, as we've all seen him in his Spiderman costumes since he was just a toddler.

Nevin wasn't having a good day. He wanted to be outside playing in the snow and to build a snowman. In a pure act of kindness and creativity, Janet Squires, our rehabilitation services manager, brought the snow in to Nevin. Be sure to click here to see all the photos.  Better yet, take two minutes to watch the video. I guarantee this will warm your heart.  This is what it means to ignite a spark of caring.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Igniting a Spark of Caring

Unconditional kindness moves me.  Random acts of sincere kindness with no ulterior motivation inspires me.  I am fortunate to work at The Children's Medical Center of Dayton where acts of true caring and compassion are a daily occurrence.  It is impossible to work here and not see something that encourages the heart.  I think this is where nonprofit organizations shine their brightest light.  The ability to do good simply because it is the right thing to do is what generates followers.  Yes, I am a passionate advocate of social media, direct mail, digital story-telling, but when it comes right down to it, people support organizations they care about.  Their caring often starts with just that one simple act of kindness that sticks with them forever.  And in just about every case, that comes from a very real, sincere, unconditional demonstration of kindness between two people.

Yesterday, I witnessed something at Dayton Children's that just made me sit back and smile very proudly.  I just happened to be in the right place at the right time to see one of those moments that is so meaningful and inspiring that I've not been able to get it out of my head.  Dayton Children's has an extraordinary corps of volunteers.  More than 600 men and women, from the ages of 15 to 95, come to work at the hospital because they care about this place and our children and their families.  I want to share with you a story about one of our volunteers:  Jamie Hanna.

To begin with, Jamie is one of those women you just like to be around.  She lights up the room with her smile and her laugh. She makes people feel great all the time and she never has an unkind word to say.  (Yes, folks, those people really do exist!).  Jamie has been a long-time member of the TWIG Auxiliary and can always be counted on to step up and help. In fact, this year she is the co-chair of the Gem City Jam Golf Outing -- shameless plug here: the best golf outing in the Dayton area that takes place August 23.  Jamie  has volunteered for years in The Spot Shop, a wonderful gift shop at the hospital.  She is well known at the hospital by our staff, primarily because she goes out of her way to just be an awesome person.  We all love Jamie and appreciate her amazing spirit. Her photo is below with another amazing volunteer, Sue Labatsky. Jamie has the green boa on.

A few weeks ago, Jamie's husband, Jack had emergency quintuple bypass surgery.  It was a fluke that they even found out about the heart blockages.  Jack is just as special as Jamie.  He works hard professionally and he's always there to back Jamie up.  Jack has probably lugged more trees for Sugarplum Festival of Trees, sold more raffle tickets, toted silent auction packages, spotted hole-in-one-contests than any man I  know.  Jamie's the official volunteer but Jack is the extra bonus prize.  We were all devastated to learn of Jack's heart attack but fortunately he is on the mend and he made a foray to Dayton Children's yesterday.

I was eating lunch with several development staff members when Jamie came over to our table to visit. We all had a good laugh and suddenly, Jamie's eyes just lit up even more so than usual.  Up walked Renae Phillips, the Dayton Children's Vice President for Hospital Operations and Chief Nursing Executive.  Renae is everything a pediatric nurse should be: kind, compassionate, capable, organized, friendly, hard working.  She is a role model to our entire institution.  When she saw Jamie, Renae just wrapped her arms around her in a huge hug and they embraced for what seemed like an eternity.  I didn't know they knew each other that well but Renae knows Jamie and knew about Jack's heart attack. It was a really wonderful moment, just seeing these two embrace.  It is an example of the kind of caring we see every day and it is why I love working here.

Renae then followed Jamie over to her table in the cafeteria and Renae gave that same genuine, loving hug to Jack.  There is no doubt that Renae was happy that Jack was getting on his feet.  You can't fake that kind of care and concern for people. 

What I like is that just the week before at a TWIG event, I saw nearly the same episode but with David Kinsaul, the Dayton Children's CEO.  As soon as he saw Jamie, he gave her a huge hug and immediately asked about Jack.  For an institution that has more than 1,500 employees, 600+ volunteers and thousands of community supporters, I was immensely impressed that our CEO knew exactly what was happening to one of our volunteers and reached out to her in a genuine showing of compassion and care.

It's moments like this that makes me realize how special Dayton Children's is that our senior management team is fully aware of things happening in the lives of our "family" and that they reach out to show they care. That is perhaps one of the most important aspects of leadership and it what I believe ignites a chain reaction of caring.  This was a simple act with no expectation of getting something in return. Genuine compassion can easily get lost in a cynical world.  Fortunately, true care and concern beats cynicism every time. It's the Rock-Paper-Scissors game where you always come out on top if you do the right thing because it's the right thing to do.

What does this have to do with philanthropy?  Everything! People want to support an organization they feel connected to.  Strong connections come from people, opening their hearts and doing something that makes ad difference...even if that difference is simply giving someone a hug.  Jamie Hanna is a life loyal volunteer.  I can see why she is so attached.  Then again, Jamie's spirit is what we have to be grateful for in the first place.

I am a lifelong member of Sigma Sigma Sigma and we have a phrase that every member learns from the day they join that helps guide our lives:

"To give much is to receive much."

Jamie, like so many others, gives 110% because that's who she is. It is part of her inherent nature. I know she will be the first to say she receives so much more in return. If we all adopted this attitude to do right by others and give because it is the right thing to do, imagine what kind of change could happen in the world.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Donor-Centered Thank You - Great Example from Best Friends Animal Society

I admit, I think Penelope Burk and her concept of donor-centered fundraising, is a gift to development officers. Her recommendations are based on quantifiable data, expertly researched and extremely valuable. I have had the privilege of hearing her speak at several conference and every time I come back inspired to focus more and more on what donors expect to hear from the charities they support.

In her book Donor-Centered Fundraising, Burk outlines 20 elements of a great letter thank you letter.  Because I think it's important for you to buy and read this book, I won't outline all of those but what always stands out to me is that the letter needs to be personalized and that it acknowledges how the gift will be used in specific terms.  It also arrives immediately and speaks directly to the donor.

I made a small gift via the Best Friends Animal Society yesterday to aid the rescue efforts for animals in Haiti. I was looking at their site for something else and saw the button to give for this special mission. I was familiar with what Best Friends did to rescue thousands of animals after Hurricane Katrina so I knew they would go out of their way to help the plight of animals lost and injured after the Haiti earthquakes.  I immediately felt compelled to make a donation, even though I had already helped with several other Haiti relief efforts.

I was particularly pleased with the immediate thank you note I received in my email after making my gift. I have no problem with email thank yous. It saves postage and even though they are automatically generated (one of the few fouls per Burk's rules), I did like that it told me very specifically how the money was going to be used: to fund a mobile clinic in Port-au-Prince to deliver food and water to animals as well as provide vaccines to dogs to prevent the spread of rabies.

I was also impressed with how Best Friends leveraged social media in the thank you letter, providing me with a link to share with family and friends. They also included an opportunity to sign up to be a monthly donor so that resouces are available when the unexpected occurs.

Finally, I was impressed with the inclusion of the Charity Navigator Four Star Charity link. This lends the charity legitimacy, much like the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval. 

The thank you letter was concise and it made me feel like I was doing something important.  Will I give again to Best Friends? I can't help myself. I think this organization does a remarkable job for helping animals and they do an equally fantastic job stewarding their donors. Best of all, this charity constantly educates its donors on how their gifts make a difference.  Many nonprofits can follow their example on how to foster loyal repeated giving.

Here's a copy of the note I received.

If I could give development officers a couple of pieces of advice: 1) Read and use as a frequent resouce Donor-Centered Fundraising and 2) apply the principles for writing outstanding thank you letters. The positive response from your donors will be worth every bit of time and effort you put forth to change how you focus on your donors, particularly from a stewardship perspective.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Creating a Culture of Generosity

I read a great blog article today on entitled "Establishing a Culture of Generosity."  It is part of a series on undergraduate social entrepreneurship.  I was fascinated first by the inherent inclusion of charitable giving in the overall concept of social entrepreneurship.  I very much like the idea that young people are philanthropically motivated and it appears that with the advent of social media, giving something back to the community, even the global community, is easier than ever.

The article implies that students are in an environment where they want to help one another. Greek organizations help each other and are duty-bound to give to charities. Student organizations have leveraged the desire to want to do something to make social change works well by mobilizing others to donate to a cause. Microgiving is the new trend, when a student simply needs to text in a code to make a $5 or $10 donation.

I am inspired by colleges and universities that encourage students to volunteer and to donate. In creating a culture of generosity, one needs to make sure to include all aspects of how someone can give. That includes gifts of manhours, skills, and money (the proverbial "time, talent and treasure"). I am inspired even more when parents begin to cultivate a philanthropic spirit in children. Parents can set an example by their own volunteer support, charitable attitude, and donations.  My favorite gifts to receive at Dayton Children's are those from kids who saved their birthday money or asked for donations to help sick kids rather than ask for presents for themselves at birthday time. 

Last year, we had an eight-year old girl, Allison, donate $250 to the NICU at Dayton Children's. She said, "I already have enough toys. I wanted to do something for the hospital because they saved my life when I was a baby." From a stewardship perspective, our NICU staff did everything right. When Allison came to make her donation, the entire staff came out to thank her and take pictures with her. They asked a new mom to bring her baby to the window so Allison could see how small she was at her own birth. The nurses presented Allison and her five-year old sister with tiny baby diapers for their dolls. We then invited the entire family to share their story on the annual Children's Miracle Network Telethon.  There is little doubt in my mind that this made a positive impression on Allison and she'll likely donate again and again because it made her feel good and important.  And she was.

The Peter Pan Children's Fund is an amazing organization that encourages children' to give to pediatric hospitals. By participating in the  Peter Pan Birthday Fund Club and collecting donations, the Peter Pan Children's Fund will match those gifts with an additional $100.

Churches can teach children about generosity by having kids participate in offerings. When I was growing up, we had our own tiny offering envelopes. My brothers and sisters and I would put in a quarter of fifty cents and these donations would be collected during Sunday School. 

I participated in Blue Birds and then Camp Fire USA growing up. These organizations, like Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts, instilled a sense of importance for volunteering. My dad was extremely active as a founding member of his Lions Club and we went to dozens of fundraisers and community service projects. For years, my mom was the epitome of a community volunteer. She and a friend managed a Storytime Workshop at the local library (my mom is an artist and she would illustrate stories as her friend told them...magical!). She was active in the church, a professional sorority, SPURS, and our school PTA. I hope parents are setting the same kind of example mine did about the importance of volunteering and donating time and resources.

Microgiving is the rage now with the ability to text donations. Mobile applications are being developed at lightening speed. Facebook Causes offer all types of innovative ways to mobilize donations. There are hundreds of examples of how people have raised money using Twitter. Charitable giving is fun and a cool thing to do, especially for college students. Philanthropy is an affordable thing to do.

The definition of philanthropy means caring for mankind. It is a myth that philanthropists are wealthy individuals capable of giving millions. Yes, those wonderful people do exist, but millions of people became philanthropists during the last few weeks following the earthquake in Haiti. It's not so much the amount of the gift but rather that you made a gift at all that makes you a philanthropist.

The visibility of giving is helping create a culture of generosity. It has people asking themselves, "What can I do?" It is setting the example for children to understand they have a moral obligation to help others in need. I encourage parents to help their kids find a cause to believe in and then find a way for them to volunteer or save their allowance or holiday gift money to make a donation. Whether that is animal welfare, the environment, sick children, global hunger is irrelevant. Something touches children and their first instinct is to want to help. By fostering that caring nature, you'll be creating a culture of generosity that can only grow as kids mature. When they reach college, that attitude to want to help, to want to make a change, to want to make a diference for others should be well entrenched. Colleges won't have to establish a culture of generosity. It will be just a natural part of the experience.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Killer Brownie Bites and Social Media: You Can't Just Eat One

Last week, I mentioned that I was being asked to do a social media presentation for the Dayton Children's Foundation Board and was given five minutes on the agenda. I decided to give the board just a delectable taste of what Dayton Children's is doing with social media, or as I liked to call it, the "Killer Brownie Bite" presentation.

Killer Brownie Bites are just about what they sound like -- a delicious, addicting nugget of a Dorothy Lane Market Killer Brownie.  These melt in your mouth leaving you wanting more.  It's impossible (really, I have tried) to eat just one Killer Brownie Bite.  The are sinfully rich, but you can't help yourself to at least having two of them.

Without trying to sound too cocky, my presentation had a similar effect.  I left the board wanting more. They were so intrigued by what we are doing that they asked exceptionally good questions. Our only problem was running out of time. Just like it's impossible to eat just one Killer Brownie Bite, it's impossible to do a five minute presentation without the audience wanting more.  And that's a very good thing (and way less fattening).

The feedback was very positive. The board, while not at all familiar with social media, is excited to see the exposure our efforts are bringing to the hospital.  They were particularly impressed that Dayton Children's had received national attention from our Twitter posts - @daytonchildren. Both our marketing  manager and I have been invited to do presentations, speak on panels, conduct webinars and consult with other nonprofits and hospitals about using social media. Dayton Children's has been featured on national blogs, most noticeably a blog article by Beth Kanter and compared to the Mayo Clinic in outstanding use of social media.
The big hit of the meeting was using Eric Qualman's  "Is Social Media a Fad" YouTube video to bring attention to how social media is revolutionizing how we communicate, branding and marketing efforts, fundraising, advocacy, and inter-connectedness. 

Following the meeting, the owner of the local Buffalo Wild Wings franchises, John Slaughenhaupt, came up to thank me for the presentation. He said our efforts inspired his own company's efforts to using social media. The Dayton Children's vice president of marketing and external relations, Vicki Giambrone, invited our social media team (Betsy Woods, Jessica Saunders and me) to do a similar presentation to the senior management and management team for the hospital. She felt is was important for the leaders of Dayton Children's to know how social media will play a role in our ongoing customer service efforts.  She also, very kindly, sent me a nice note commending me on the presentation and cc'd my direct supervisor...a very first classs thing to do.

The vice chairman of the board asked if I do personal tutorials on how to use social media. She said, "I'm petrified of learning it but definitely want to get over that fear."  This from a woman who teaches ski lessons all winter long in Colorado. Now, that is scary. This is not. I assured her that I would get her up and running and that she'd be hooked in no time.

This presentation was merely a snippet of what we do with social media but it served its purpose. It gave our Foundation board a taste for how we use social media and left them curious for wanting to learn more. Stay tuned when I serve up the full Killer Brownies!

As a very cool side note: when you shop at Dorothy Lane Market in Dayton and make a donation for the Haiti relief fund, they will match all donations for Oxfam International.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Where Hope for Haiti Now Failed: Blew It With Technology

Like millions of others, I watched the Hope for Haiti Now on Friday, January 22.  I was moved by the stories and the video clips from Haiti.  I was inspired to help, as I have been since this tragedy struck. I don't care where the earthquake struck.  Tragedy is tragedy.  Politics at a time like this does not matter.  I was pleased I had the resources to be able to do something. I believe this Telethon was a good thing.  It was a little depressing.  I would have loved to have seen some musicians carry forth a few more upbeat and optimistic songs that carried a message of hope, but nevertheless, the show was impressive.

Until you tried to make a donation. 

I would like to know just how many more millions of dollars could have been made last night had Hope for Haiti Now been better prepared for the volume of phone calls.  If tens of millions of people can successfully vote for American Idol contestants, why wasn't it easier to get through on the phone lines?

But it got worse. Did you try to make an online gift? Impossible.  Whoever designed this website should be banished from the technology world forever.  I bet the 16 year old boy that lives next to me could have a designed a better, and more importantly, a more functional website.  I tried for hours to make a donation online only to be greeted by a message to try making a gift online later.  What???  Are you kidding me?  Were they so unprepared as not to imagine the volume of people that would try to make an online gift?  That was the epitome of bad technology planning.

So, my next attempt to make a donation was to go to one of the featured charities.  My next surprise was that not one of the charities was linked to this site.  In the words of my favorite ESPN broadcasters before Monday Night Football, "Come on, man!"  That is Web Design 101.  Perhaps they didn't hot link these because they wanted people to make donations on the Hope for Haiti Now page.  But really, that's just more bad management.  I would presume other people besides me wanted to read up on what the charities were doing in the relief effort.  No, that was impossible unless you had to navigate away from the site to search for these charities.

And that is exactly what I did.  I navigated away from the Hope for Haiti Now webpage to seek out these charities and see what they were doing.  They had fascinating stories, live blog posts, twitter feeds from Haiti, video messages, and detailed information about how gifts were to be used.  I made my choice there to support one of the charities directly and made my gift to Oxfam America, as I was particularly impressed by their efforts to provide just the basic necessities of live: water, shelter, sanitation, and food. A pop up window comes up immediately when you go to the site to make a gift. It was a seamless way to make a gift and to feel like you were making a difference.  I felt good about making my donation.  I never needed to go back to the Hope for Haiti Now website.

Hope for Haiti Now: Good concept, ridiculously bad planning in regard to use of technology. And if you wanted to take it further, Hope for Haiti Now wasn't doing anything to promote the use of social media. No mention of where to follow the Telethon. No mention of which celebrities were tweeting. No mention of where to become a Facebook fan.  Plain and simple, this Telethon missed the technology boat.  The sin of that knowing that countless people probably didn't make a donation.  What could have been a technology home run turned out to be a shanked foul ball. 

Side note: I just checked on the Hope for Haiti Now website and it has markedly improved. The donation system works and there is information about the global conversation on Twitter about the relief efforts and a link to the Facebook Cause page to make a donation. There is still no hot link to any of the featured charities though. That's really a shame, as Hope for Haiti Now could have done a much better job promoting the extraordinary efforts of these organizations.

Here's what I hope: Those people moved to give did what I did.  They sought out a place to make an online gift and gave as generously as possible. Whether it was to the Red Cross, the Clinton/Bush Haiti Fund, Oxfam, Project Hope, Children's Miracle Network or dozens of other reputable charities doing God's work.  Giving was the right thing to do. I gave for the right reasons.  I just gave through an alternate route. I didn't give up.  And that's what I hope happens for the Haitian people -- that no one gives up.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Explaining Why Non-Profits Should Use Social Media in 5 Minutes: The Killer Brownie Bite

My boss came to me last week and asked me to do a social media presentation for our Foundation Board the following week.  I had been waiting for this opportunity, as I want our leadership team to understand why we are using social media and the positive results we are having.  Most, if not all of them, are unfamiliar with social media.  They have heard of Facebook or Twitter or LinkedIn but have never used them or taken the time to understand the value of being engaged in any kind of social media networking systems.  I was excited and had some amazing ideas of what I could share. Then I was told,

"You have five minutes."

A five minute presentation.  That's it.  That was all the time I was allocated.  There are day-long conferences on just using Twitter.  There are dozens of hour long webinars that only graze the subject of social media.  I've spoken at conferences and had the same hour long slot where you can only focus on one aspect of a particular platform.  Five minutes? 

There was no time to give a clinic on each form of social media that is out there.  There wasn't even time to given an overview of the most used forms we use at the hospital such as Facebook, Twitter or YouTube.  I did not want to lose this opportunity but I realized I needed to really focus in on some key reasons why we use social media and then show just an example of our pages.  There would be no time for statistics, demonstrations or much background information.  This was needing to be a snapshot...a nugget...a taste test...a Killer Brownie Bite.

For those of you not familiar with the Killer Brownies at the Dorothy Lane Market, these are without a doubt the most delicious, melt-in-your-mouth, leave you dying for more brownies.  One full brownie could put you over the edge. One bite is all you need so in the infinite wisdom of the Dorothy Lane Market bakery staff, they have sliced up the Killer Brownies to make "Killer Brownie Bites."  One bite is all you need to be hooked.  That's what I needed to do...give our board a bite.

I decided to focus primarily on why Dayton Children's uses social media.  The background of each network was not as important as the overall reasoning as to why our marketing and development offices decided to embark on using social media.  The concepts are simple and this would be something the board could grasp.

Why Use Social Media?
Reach target audience:  Our target audience is women, ages 18-49. The demographics for social media meet this head on.

Build supporters/constituents:  Our goal is to build relationships, especially in a participatory method
Two-way communication:  Social media gives our constituents, donors, families, supporters, etc. the opportunity to interact with us and tell their story. We can respond to their questions, comments, complaints, suggestions and most importantly, acknowledge that we have heard them.

Educate:  This spans the range from sharing health and safety tips, parenting suggestions, safety recalls, news from the hospital. 

Tell our story: Amazing stories and miracles happen here every day. We want to share that and let the public know that Dayton Children's is a wonderful place to take kids for health and healing.

Fundraise: We use Causes, viral campaigns, e-newsletters, special promotions and are constantly looking for creative ways to be generate new revenue to support the hospital.

Advocacy: There are few better ways to mobilize the community to be advocates for children's health. We have simple ways to allow friends and followers to send letters to legislators expressing their concerns.

Share video testimonials: If a picture tells a thousand words, a video must share a million. Our videos tell the stories of our patients. I dare you not to be moved by these kids.
Connect families, patients, friends, donors, employees: It's about building relationships with people who all care about the same thing--the health and well-being of children. Our community grows every day and our exposure nationally has developed in ways we never imagined. Dayton Children's is recognized nationally for the work that is done here and we attribute some of that new visibility to what we have accomplished by staying active with our use of social media.
My advice to our board will be to look, listen, and then jump in. I will lead them to the sources: or @daytonchildrens

It's a five minute presentation...just enough to give the board a Killer Brownie taste. I know they will be hooked. I bet they stay after to ask me more questions. It never fails.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

32+ Webinars for Nonprofits - January 2010

Professional courtesy and support is a beautiful thing.  I saw on Twitter a post from Rebecca Leaman (@rjleaman) introducing 32 free webinars for nonprofits.  It was posted at the Wild Apricot blog, a wonderful resource for nonprofits.  I posted a note and asked her if I could repost and here was here response, "Sure, Bethany, go ahead and post on your blog : the more nonprofits who have access to information about free webinars, the more nonprofits will benefit, right?" 


So here you go...a wonderful list of upcoming webinars:

Behind the Scenes: Scheduling in Performing Arts
Tuesday, 5 January 2010
11:00 a.m. (Mountain)

This free webinar from Dean Evans & Associates Inc. offers a quick, 15-minute introduction for Performing Arts facilities on what to look for in a scheduling solution, including reporting, capacity control, charging for space and resource scheduling.

Grantseeking Basics
Tuesday, 5 January 2010
3:00 p.m. (Eastern)

This introductory course provides an overview of the funding research process for those seeking grants from foundations, corporations, and grantmaking public charities. Also available in Spanish.

Grantseeking Basics for Individuals in the Arts
Wednesday, 6 January 2010
2:00 p.m. (Eastern)

This web-based course is geared towards individuals involved in the arts and looking to fund any type of arts-related project, but may be of interest to arts organizations in providing advice and guidance to their members.

Gifts In Kind International 101 Webinar
Wednesday, 6 January 2010
3:30 p.m. (Eastern)

This free webinar provides an overview of Gifts In Kind International's services for charitable organizations. Participation in this session is recommended for newly registered charities, those considering registration, employees new to Gifts In Kind's services or others who simply want to hear about its latest offerings.

Starting a Nonprofit
Tuesday, 12 January 2010
10:00 a.m. (Central)

Barry Silverberg of the Texas Association of Nonprofit Organizations explains how and why you should explore whether the creation of a nonprofit is the best way to achieve the goals or purposes you seek to achieve, and understand what it means to be a nonprofit legally and in management terms before you start the paperwork.

Thanks a Million: How to Thank Your Donors So They'll Come Back and Give More
Tuesday, 12 January 2010
1:00 p.m. (Eastern)

Are you maintaining and building your relationships with donors as well as you could be? Are you saying exactly what your supporters need to hear such that they'll become repeat donors? Network for Good's Katya Andresen and Care2's Jocelyn Harmon delve into effective donor cultivation and messaging in this free webinar, part of the NonProfit 911 training series on nonprofit marketing and online fundraising.

Researching on the Social Web
Tuesday, 12 January 2010
11:00 a.m. (Pacific)

Debra Askanase of Community Organizer 2.0 will discuss how your organization can gain relevant, tangible knowledge from online social media research. Attendance at this webinar is free or by donation, your choice.

What is Wild Apricot?
Tuesday, 12 January 2010
2:00 p.m. (Eastern)

This free webinar, led by Giuliano Valentino, introduces the Wild Apricot software for associations, nonprofits and other member-driven organizations, demonstrating its major features: membership management, web editing, event management, and fundraising.

Proposal Writing Basics
Tuesday, 12 January 2010
2:00 p.m. (Eastern)

In this free webinar from the Foundation Center you will learn the basics of writing a proposal for your nonprofit organization. This course is also offered in Spanish.

Jumpstart Your Job Search in 2010
Wednesday, 13 January 2010
12:00 p.m. (Eastern)

Hosted by NPAG’s Director of Candidate Services, Erin O’Connor Jones, this complimentary webinar from is aimed at nonprofit job seekers, encore careerists and sector switchers searching for their next, great nonprofit job in 2010.

The Power of Social Networking Sites for People with Disabilities
Wednesday, 13 January 2010
1:00 p.m. (Central)

This free webinar will examine what social networking is all about and how it can be leveraged successfully to enhance communication and to break down barriers to full participation by everyone in the digital age. Part of the ADA Accessible Technology On-line Seminar Series to increase awareness on technology accessibility for people with disabilities.

Effective Marketing Communications on a Shoestring
Wednesday, 13 January 2010
2:00 p.m. (Eastern)

Most nonprofit organizations have extremely limited marketing communication budgets, but that doesn’t mean you can’t create and execute effective marketing plans. This webinar from Synthesis Partnership, led by Michele Levy, aims to help nonprofit professionals do just that. Part of the "Wednesday Webinars" series of free one-hour sessions offered by experts in nonprofit management, aimed at providing professional development opportunities for senior staff and trustees of nonprofit organizations.

Your Board and Fundraising: An Introductory Class
Wednesday, 13 January 2010
2:00 p.m. (Eastern)

The purpose of this webinar from the Foundation Center is to help you think systematically through the process of getting your board actively involved with your nonprofit's fundraising efforts.

An Overview of Website Accessibility
Thursday, 14 January 2010
11:00 a.m. (Pacific)

The best practices for web accessibility dovetail with good overall usability, and are easy to implement. This session will cover topics such as understanding the difference between various accessibility guidelines, avoiding common accessibility errors, when and when not to rely on automatic accessibility checkers, and unexpected populations that benefit from accessible websites. Some knowledge of HTML coding would be beneficial to those attending this free webinar from TechSoup Talks.

Creating Energy That Lasts
Thursday, 14 January 2010
2:00 p.m. (Eastern)

Barbara Talisman of Talisman Associates suggests methods to create and maintain positive energy, to keep yourself and your staff motivated. Full participation in the free webinar is applicable for 1.0 points in Category 1.B Education of the CFRE International application for initial certification and/or recertification.

Introduction to Fundraising Planning
Thursday, 14 January 2010
3:00 p.m. (Eastern)

If your organization has never developed a fundraising plan or calendar, this session is for you. You'll learn how to conduct an assets inventory, develop a case statement, identify potential funding partners, and prepare a fundraising plan and calendar.

From Recovery to Prosperity: The Power of Vision and Leadership
Tuesday, 19 January 2010
9:00 a.m. (Pacific)

Designed specifically for existing and aspiring executive leaders, this two-part Webex webinar deals with creating a clear and inspiring vision as one of the most critical ongoing roles of a successful leader.

Engaging Pro Bono and Skilled Volunteers
Tuesday, 19 January 2010
11:00 a.m. (Pacific)

If you're thinking about adding skilled volunteers to your program, or if you've just started, this seminar from can help you make the experience successful for both the volunteer and the organization. Topics to be covered include navigating the introduction of the idea into your organization, developing projects, the art of delegating work to volunteers, and setting achievable outcomes.

Proposal Budgeting Basics
Tuesday, 19 January 2010
2:00 p.m. (Eastern)

This free webinar is geared towards the novice grantseeker. Prior attendance at the free Proposal Writing Basics webinar is recommended but not a prerequisite.

Finding the Perfect Social Media and Communication Blend: How to Break Down Walls and Strike a Balance Between All of Your Online Lives
Tuesday, 19 January 2010
3:00 p.m. (Eastern)

While not specifically directed at the nonprofit sector, this free public relations webinar sponsored by PRSA is an opportunity for marketing and communications professionals working with nonprofits to learn how to harmonize your personal and professional lives online; how different types of social media are looking more and more alike; the best practices for sharing content; how public relations, marketing and customer service can operate symbiotically on the social Web; and how to identify future trends.

Cultivating Stakeholders: A Strategy of Inclusion for Challenging Times
Wednesday, 20 January 2010
1:00 p.m. (Eastern)

Sam Frank of Synthesis Partnership leads this free one-hour session, part of the "Wednesday Webinars" series of professional development opportunities for nonprofit management professionals. Participants will gain an understanding of the basic structure of an effective planning process, ways of adapting it for individual organizations, the roles of various stakeholders and how to engage them, and some specific tools to use in planning.

Before You Seek a Grant: A Checklist for New Nonprofits
Wednesday, 20 January 2010
1:00 p.m. (Eastern)

This webinar will provide you with a step-by-step checklist approach to help increase your organization's readiness for foundation fundraising.

Successful Volunteer Interview Strategies
Wednesday, 20 January 2010
11:00 a.m. (Pacific) introduces a variety of question types used in volunteer interviews and offers strategies for honing your interview skills. Materials will be provided to help you implement this process in your organization, as well as a training syllabus so you can learn how to recruit and train a volunteer staff to assist with prospective volunteer interviews.

Are There Alternatives to Starting a Nonprofit?
Wednesday, 20 January 2010
2:00 p.m. (Eastern)

Is setting up a nonprofit organization the only way to accomplish your charitable goals? In this free live Q & A session, attorney and Nonprofit Law Blog publisher Gene Takagi will share information and answer your questions about alternatives to starting a nonprofit organization.

Getting it Right! - Grant Research & Writing
Wednesday, 20 January 2010
2:00 p.m. (Eastern)

Successful grant writing requires great research, listening and writing skills, as well as time management. This interactive webcast by Barbara Talisman, President of Talisman Associates, will present best practices for writing successful grants and provide you with tools for great grant writing. Full participation in the free webinar is applicable for 1.0 points in Category 1.B Education of the CFRE International application for initial certification and/or recertification.

How to Approach a Foundation
Thursday, 21 January 2010
2:00 p.m. (Eastern)

This webinar from the Foundation Center covers strategies for effective communications with grantmakers, taking you through initial contact to what happens after you receive funding.

How Your School Can Utilize Social Media
22 January 2010
2:00 p.m. (Eastern)

In this free seminar from Blackbaud, Steve Morrill from Loyola Blakefield High School will share his school's success incorporating Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other social media networks into their marketing and communications strategy.

The New Volunteer Manager's Toolkit
Tuesday, 26 January 2010
11:00 a.m. (Pacific)

New to volunteer management? Looking for a refresher on the basics? This webinar from walks you through the three Rs of recruitment, retention and recognition. Topics for discussion include interviews, orientations, volunteer handbooks, etc., as well as the importance of managing risk for your program and your organization. All attendees will also receive a sample packet with examples and program assessment checklists to help you evaluate your existing program.

Introduction to Corporate Giviing
Tuesday, 26 January 2010
3:00 p.m. (Eastern)

This free webinar introduces the world of corporate support for nonprofits and the effective utilization of the Foundation Center's resources on corporate giving. Prior attendance at the Grantseeking Basics webinar (5 January) is strongly recommended.

How to Find Local Grant Funding in Your Area
Tuesday, 26 January 2010
9:00 p.m. (Eastern)

This free teleconference, hosted by the faith-based 501(c)3 organization Urban Awareness USA, is intended to teach urban church administrators how to locate and utilize local grant opportunities.

Grantseeking Basics
Wednesday, 27 January 2010
1:00 p.m. (Eastern)

This introductory course provides an overview of the funding research process for those seeking grants from foundations, corporations, and grantmaking public charities. Also available in Spanish.

The Science of Social Media Marketing
Thursday, 28 January 2010
10:00 a.m. (Pacific)

O'Reilly Media presents an hour-long free webinar with Dan Zarrella, author of The Social Media Marketing Book, including plenty of time for Q&A. Learn what drives people to share information and opinions online and learn scientifically proven best practices for spreading your content virally through social media.

Some additional webinars were added in the comments section so I wanted to include those as well:

Social Business: Taking 'social' to the core of your organization
Date: Thursday, 14 January 2010
Time: 10:00 a.m. (Pacific)
"Join leading thinkers Stowe Boyd, Peter Kim and Jeremiah Owyang in a discussion with Radar's Joshua-Michéle Ross on the concept of Social Business. We will cover:
   * What is the definition of Social Business?
   * Who are the best exemplars?
   * How does the concept of Social Business challenge larger institutions
This will be a fast-paced, structured conversation that will leave plenty of time for audience questions."
Read more about it or register (free) at

GuideStar Exchange: How to Give Donors and Funders the Information They Need and Want
Wednesday, 13 January 2010
1:00 p.m. Eastern
Guest speaker is Karen Rayzor the Director of Nonprofit Relations at GuideStar. During this webinar Karen will provide an overview of the GuideStar Exchange and help nonprofits to understand the benefits of leveraging the GuideStar Exchange and how to get started. This webinar is presented by

Stay Ahead of the Eight Ball in 2010: Tips from the Experts
Wednesday, 20 January, 2010
1:00p.m. to 2:30 p.m. Eastern
Presenters: Katya Andresen, COO, Network for Good, and author of Robin Hood Marketing; Larry Checco, author of Branding for Success: A Roadmap for Raising the Visibility and Value of Your Nonprofit Organization; and Terry Axelrod, founder of Benevon Axelrod.

There are a myriad of excellent resources out there and if you learn of others, I encourage you to let Rebecca Leaman know via the Wild Apricot blog. I appreciate the time, energy and effort she put into compiling this list and her generosity in allowing me to repost the information.