TEDxSJU in the Hawk!

In the latest issue of the Saint Joseph’s University newspaper, the Hawk, there is an article about TEDxSJU.  Not only is it great publicity for our event, but I’ve also made my newspaper debut with a quote! Check out the article here.

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Summer Reading for the Social Changemaker

Every Social Changemaker can use some guidance for how to best use different social media outlets.  The books below provide useful and easy ideas and advice to jump start any nonprofit cause!

The Networked Nonprofit: Connecting with Social Media to Drive Change

By Beth Kanter

This groundbreaking book shows nonprofits a new way of operating in our increasingly connected world: a networked approach enabled by social technologies, where connections are leveraged to increase impact in effective ways that drive change for the betterment of our society and planet.

The Future of Nonprofits: Innovate and Thrive in the Digital Age

By David J. Neff and Randal C. Moss

The Future of Nonprofits helps organizations capitalize on internal innovation and predicting future trends to remake and reshape their culture, structure, and staff. By applying the strategies laid out in this book, nonprofit professionals of all levels can prepare their organizations to take advantage of future trends and develop innovative “internal entrepreneurs” that will grow revenue and drive their mission.

Neff and Moss provide nonprofits with a comprehensive playbook on how to create a new, more flexible, innovative organization along with a look at the future of fundraising and communications trends into 2016.  The book features actionable advice on creating an organization that is primed to grow and thrive in the immediate and long-term future and how to hire, train, manage, and inspire “internal entrepreneurial” employees.

Guerrilla Marketing for Nonprofits

By Jay Conrad Levinson, Frank Adkins, and Chris Forbes

Levinson, founder of Guerilla Marketing Association, teams up with Adkins, VP of Guerilla Marketing International, and Forbes, a certified Guerilla Marketing Coach to unlock the secrets to Guerilla marketing for nonprofit organizations.  They reveal the Seven Golden Rules of fundraising success. With the help of this book you can boost public awareness, increase effectiveness in recruiting volunteers, mobilize advocates, and raise money!

People to People Fundraising: Social Networking and Web 2.0 for Charities

By Ted Hart, James M. Greenfield, and Sheeraz D. Haji

Based on the authors’ decades of combined real-life experiences plus scores of international case studies demonstrating ePhilanthropy success stories from around the world, People to People Fundraising provides a wealth of proven, practical techniques to help you boost your organization’s success. People to People provides cutting-edge strategies, data, and techniques from the world’s foremost ePhilanthropy experts. It gives donors the chance to participate in and contribute to the success of a charity beyond the online gift is proving to be successful for many nonprofits. Find out how to make the most of your online fundraising efforts with the expert advice found in People to People Fundraising: Social Networking and Web 2.0 for Charities.

# SOCIALMEDIA NONPROFIT tweet Book01: 140 Bite-Sized Ideas for Nonprofit Social Media Engagement

By Janet Fouts, Beth Kanter, and Rajesh Setty

Virtually every nonprofit realizes that, pretty soon, social media will no longer be optional. Already several nonprofits ranging from small local groups to international organizations have demonstrated that social media offers unique opportunities for advocacy and fundraising, and for catalyzing change. So if your nonprofit is ready to make the leap into social media, how do you go about it? Most of the information and pointers out there are directed to corporates, and we all know that what works for corporates does not necessarily translate well for nonprofits.  Written in the easy, digestible, and popular 140-character tweet format, ‘#SOCIALMEDIA NONPROFIT tweet’ distils the knowledge and expertise of industry leaders to bring you guidance and wisdom that you can deploy immediately, so that social media can start working for your nonprofit today.

Social Entrepreneurship

“We shouldn’t confuse what is habitual with what is normal.”


David Bornstein and Susan Davis teamed up to write Social Entrepreneurship: What Everyone Needs to Know, which is a guide/ fact book for social changemakers.  Bornstein describes social entrepreneurship as, “a process by which citizens build or transform institutions to advance solutions to social problems, in order to make life better for many.” In order to be classified under social entrepreneurship, according to Bornstein, citizens must not be focused on financial gain but rather they should focus on the amount of change they are able to enact.David Bornstein

I really appreciated how the book doesn’t idealize being a social entrepreneur , and talks about all the time, effort, and energy it takes to cause change.  When it got to the part describing what social entrepreneurs were like, I was a little disappointed.  He starts off describing all the different forms a social entrepreneur can take, and then in the next paragraphs becomes eerily specific in his description.  It seems strange to say that, “Many social entrepreneurs can recall a time in childhood when they were actively encouraged by an adult to take initiative…”(pg. 26).  These specific “qualifications”  also seem to contradict the idea that social entrepreneurs come in all shapes and sizes.  It all became a bit confusing.  Because I didn’t have these unique childhood revelations, does that mean I’m incapable of being a social entrepreneur?!

I found the section on how social entrepreneurship related to government especially interesting, and I agree that both would benefit from working closely together.  I also really liked the part where Bornstein refers to social entrepreneurs as “creative combiners” (pg. 73) because they bring people and ideas together.

The Nature Conservancy


The Nature Conservancy is a non-profit organization, that has branches around the world working to preserve important lands and bodies of water.  Mindy, a representative for the Pennsylvania branch of the Nature Conservancy, spoke to our class about how they use social media to help bring awareness to their cause.  She also offered suggestions for how we could use different social media outlets for our specific class projects.  The Nature Conservancy utilizes sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, and Youtube.  Mindy made a valid point, suggesting that in order to use sites effectively, a cause must actually have a need for the site.Nature Conservancy Flickr

For example, The Nature Conservancy has a Flickr site where users can view and share pictures of nature.  They host contests where users can enter and also vote for their favorite photos.  Not only does this site raise awareness and involvement in the Nature Conservancy, but it also gives them a huge photo database for free.  Members can also start discussions about the pictures they posted/ are interested in, and also about The Nature Conservancy itself.

Plant a Billion TreesThe Conservancy has also developed many creative fundraising strategies, rather than just asking for donations.  Along with celebrity endorsements, they have the Plant a Billion Trees campaign, the Adopt an Acre campaign, Adopt a Coral Reef, Restore the Gulf, and even a program where employees can raise funds and have their employers match what they raise.

Mindy was extremely helpful and had a lot of insight.  We were able to explain to her a little about our individual projects, and she offered specific tips for each one.

Case Study: TOMS Shoes

TOMS Prezi

TOMS shoes has teamed up with designers and celebrities, as well as other charities to further their cause of providing shoes for children in Africa who can’t afford them. One such brand is



Limited Edition TOMS

"Rugby has teamed up with TOMS shoes to take a stand for the social action by co-designing a limited edition run of new styles."


Rugby Ralph Lauren.  Rugby created a line of limited edition TOMS to help boost the One for One cause.  They also hosted an interview with Blake Mycoskie, founder of TOMS.  Rugby’s blog has a section devoted solely to Social Action and they do a lot of charity work and give back to their community.

TOMS also joined forces with well-known skateboard company Element.  Not only did element design a limited edition line of TOMS, but they took the One for One idea a step further.  Element also designed a line of One for One Skateboards, so for every one of these special skateboards sold, Element would donate a skateboard to a child in Durban, South Africa.  Element founded the Indigo Skate Camp in Isithumba, South Africa to provide refuge from the angerous areas in which these children live.  Skateboarding is an outlet for them to escape hardship and stay out of trouble.

One for One shoes and skateboards TOMS has been featured in many magazines including: Vogue, People, Marie Claire, Cosmo, Lucky, and many more.  They are endorsed by these magazines and many celebrities not only for their good deeds, but also for how stylish and comfortable they are.  Julia Roberts, Kristen Bell, Anne Hathaway, and Brad Pitt are among their many famous fans.

Charlize Theron is also an avid TOMS supporter and TOMS donated 10,ooo pairs of shoes toCharlize Theron's African OutreachCharlize Theron’s African Outreach Project (CTAOP).  Charlize also designed a TOMS shoe.  Her charities mission statement is: “The Charlize Theron Africa Outreach Project (CTAOP) is committed to creating a safer and healthier life for impoverished children and communities of South Africa, and other African nations, with a particular focus on individuals suffering from HIV/AIDS.”

charity: water created a shoe with TOMS because, “Shoes and clean water are critical resources for the development of healthy children.  That’s why TOMS and charity: water are teaming up to not only give shoes to children in need, but to build a clean water well to serve a village of 540 people for 20 years.”  This well they teamed up to build is located in One for One shoes and wellsSekura, Etheopia and five dollars from ever charity: water/ TOMS shoe sale went to building this well.

TOMS is a fun, fashionable, and innovative organization that encourages people to give back, while at the same time making it easy to get involved.