Working with nonprofits and charitable organizations has always been something near and dear to my heart. I have worked with nonprofits both as a volunteer in the DC area with Alpha Phi Omega, and as a professional with Bright Beginnings, Inc. That’s why I was so excited to hear that my friend decided to start a nonprofit of her own in the New York area! She is still in the beginning stages of getting it started, but once she gets her nonprofit status approved I can’t wait to see where she takes it. The coolest part- I am helping her develop her brand and web presence! I also get to be on the board! So far we have the website up, a BKF Facebook and BKF Twitter. Next task- email newsletter, Linkedin, blog, mobile site with donation capability, and much more!

Here’s the logo concept I came up with for her:

Main Logo 

Borough Kid Foundation Logo

Social Media Icons

Borough Kid Foundation Social Media Icon

Social Media Cover Photos 


And you can visit the website by clicking on the picture below. Right now the website is more of a holder until she gets approved and starts building her program up, but it I am slowly developing content in the mean time.

Borough Kid Foundation Website

In the spirit of nonprofits, here’s some 2012 tips on how to gain a following through social media for your cause:

  1. Do not underestimate the power of an image. Whether you share on Tumblr, Facebook, Flickr, Twitter, or one of the other countless social media sites a picture can always get you noticed. And a picture that gets to the human root of your cause? That’s an extremely powerful tool.
  2. You can not get big unless you start small. Hyperlocal networking can benefit your nonprofit. Even if you want to expand your cause to a national level, you have to get strong support locally. Network on Twitter and Facebook company pages to let locals know about the work your nonprofit is doing. Do not spam company pages, but a couple posts here and there can do more than you think. Also, even small “celebrities” or influencers can become powerful champions for your cause. Do not rule someone out just because they only have 1,000 followers.
  3. Don’t push, just make it available. Web users, even if they support a cause, are still like regular consumers. Have call-to-action buttons throughout your site to donate, include a donate button on every newsletter, use donation apps on Facebook like Causes, have a mobile site highlighting the donation button, allow people to setup fundraising events of their own through social networking sites like Meetup, include a donation link on your Twitter profile, have downloadable webkits with resources for people to support your cause in their community, etc. There are so many social media sites you can use to creatively allow people to donate, use them! A lot of them are free too!
  4. You’re making a sale. At the end of the day, donating is a transaction between your company and an individual. You might not want to think of it like a sale, but it is. Stay abreast on the latest marketing tips for digital communications to know what trends web users and consumers like so you can incorporate them into your social media program.

I have to be honest, it is hard to offend me or shock me. As someone who spends a lot of time looking at internet trends, memes, and sites as a way to do research and improve the way I handle digital communications, I can honestly say I’ve seen the lowest of human lows. However, tonight someone managed to REALLY offend me.

Now, in email marketing one general tip blogs, PR Gurus, etc. always give is that you should keep things timely and relevant. Finding a way to tie your email into current events is always encouraged (as it often is in PR). However, there are certain current events you should NEVER tie your PR or marketing into. I don’t care how relevant you think it is, it will ALWAYS be disrespectful. That’s why when I got this email from a club promoter, I couldn’t help but post it…

Inappropriate email marketing example.

As you can see, the email’s subject line reads “RIP Whitney Houston:: Celebrate Life 2nite”. So incredibly disrespectful and inappropriate. This is NOT how you should approach email marketing. Never do this!

(Besides the atrocious subject line, the email is fraught with other mistakes. 1) It isn’t formatted correctly despite the fact the promoter is using an established email campaign manager like iContact 2)It also is filled with spelling mistakes, and the overuse of slang words is a huge turnoff.)

First, I would like to thank Villanova’s Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) student group for inviting me to hold a workshop discussing social media and human resources.

On October 18th, I hosted HR students from Villanova and walked them through how their profession is adopting social media. Online and mobile communications are no longer a territory that only marketers and PR specialists have access to. It is time that HR has a say in the discussion involving how to best communicate on digital platforms. Social media can be a valuable tool for human resource professionals, one that helps them articulate their company’s values, mission, and goals. From recruiting, to employee engagement, to training and employee development, HR can incorporate social media platforms and techniques to support their company and achieve results.

Preparing for the presentation was an eye-opening experience, especially because I have traditionally always looked at social media from a marketing and public relations perspective. While I hope the students walked away feeling like I shared some knowledge and practical advice, they also brought something to my attention. Universities are not keeping pace with some of the professions they’re educating students about. Human resources is quickly incorporating social media into their job functions, yet many university classes have not covered the topic in-depth, or sometimes not at all. This is something I witnessed while attending George Washington University (to barely touch on social media in journalism and marketing classes boggles my mind), and it worries me that other universities are following suit. Universities can no longer ignore the changing trends of industries, especially if they are really trying to prepare students for life after college. My observation aside, I hope you will all take time to look at my presentation from the workshop below. Enjoy my doodling sense of humor throughout (I aim to entertain haha). Villanova University is sending me the video from the workshop (hopefully) by the end of the week, which I will post on here as well so you can experience the workshop from the comfort of your own home.

If you want to see some of the discussion notes from the presentation, view my presentation on SlideBoom. Click Here.

View this document on Scribd

(Some of my flashy fonts and styles were removed by both Slideboom and Scribd. Does anyone know of an online document presentation tool that doesn’t strip away styling?)

I particularly want to thank Cynthia Trivella and Rich DeMatteo for answering all of my questions. Cynthia and Rich’s feedback reassured me that the direction I chose for my presentation was the right one. So, many thanks! Connect with Cynthia and Rich on Twitter: @CyndyTrivella and @Cornonthejob

If you are one of the SHRM students who attended my workshop, or even a random HR professional in need of advice or tips on how to use social media, email me with questions at