The Circle: Moving Forward by Giving Back

Please welcome Sally Peters, the founder of Speak Art Loud and  this week’s Summer of Small Voices guest blogger.  Thanks for sharing your passion with us, Sally!

It is an honor to be included in Low Hanging Fruit’s summer series showcasing small voices. I follow Maureen on Twitter and read her blog; I have always found her work to be helpful.

Lately I have been thinking a lot about the gift economy. The gift economy is a social system where you give goods and services with no expectation of receiving anything in return, finding pride in your contribution to others rather than pride in your possessions.

My thinking about the gift economy has been inspired, in part, by the book I am currently reading, The Gift: Creativity and the Artist in the Modern World by Lewis Hyde and, even more so, by the support I have recently experienced.

You see, I am in midst of establishing a non-profit organization, SpeakArtLoud
Starting anything new has its challenges. I also have a day-job, home and family obligations, and a social life – all those things that keep us busy. To be
honest, it is not always easy to come home from work and spend the evening laboring on SpeakArtLoud tasks.

But there is something that helps keep me going. Continue reading

Social Media Success Series: 7 Tips for Creating Viral Content

154 Blue Chrome Rain Social Media Icons

Image by webtreats via Flickr

This post is part of a series.  Catch up on other secrets to social media success here.

It’s ok to admit it–we’ve all been there.  At one time or another almost every organization’s social media strategy  basically boiled down to “we’ll make a video that goes viral and then everyone will know and love us.”

As many of us have learned the hard way, setting out to create a single video that goes viral and solves all of our marketing and fundraising challenges doesn’t count as a social media strategy–it counts as a pipe dream.  That having been said, creating the right content and sharing it in the right way can help you build a support base.  These seven tips will help you get started. Continue reading

Online Fundraising for Tiny Nonprofits: A Case Study

Nonprofit fundraising is never easy, but it’s a special kind of difficult for tiny, all volunteer organizations.  The people responsible for fundraising in these organizations generally have little or no experience or training to support their efforts.  It’s also difficult to teach themselves the skills they need since fundraising training resources tend to focus on organizations with professional staff and a donor base far beyond their own.

Therefore, I’m always excited to see examples of tiny organizations coming up with creative ways to start raising the money they need to move up into the “small nonprofit” category.

This is one of those stories. Continue reading

How to Use Twitter Effectively

Image by dpstyles™ via Flickr

Photo representation of Twitter

Used correctly, Twitter is arguably the most powerful social media tool for making connections and spreading messages.  And yet, it’s been dismissed as pointless by giant swaths of the population.  You know why?

There is an invisible barrier between those who use Twitter effectively and those who just don’t get it.  That barrier best described as Twitter culture.

Understanding Twitter Culture

Twitter is not a classroom, podium, billboard or giant, personal megaphone.  It’s not even an intimate soiree with your best friends.  It’s a giant party with 150 million guests all talking about different things with different people at different times. That makes it a great place to meet  friends of friends or overhear interesting conversations.  It’s also a great place to connect with strangers  who share common interests.  You just have to know how to work the system.
Just like at real parties, there are ways to use Twitter as a platform for turning strangers into friends, clients and business partners.  There are ways for news to spread like wildfire from one room to the next.

On the other hand, it’s also possible to make a  giant fool of yourself or to feed your secret fear that no one likes you.

It all comes down to your behavior.

The good news is, the people you want to connect with on Twitter, also want to connect with you.  All you have to do is find your people and let them know you aren’t a jerk.  Here are some tips for getting started. Continue reading