Elisabeth is Action Against Hunger's senior communications officer, reporting on our impact and current events around the world.
Top Six Ways to Become a Savvier Social Supporter
Because five just aren’t enough! Earlier this week, Mashable hosted its annual Social Good Summit at the 92nd Street Y in New York City. This three-day conference is a forum where big ideas meet new media to create innovative solutions for social problems. Held during UN Week from September 22-24, the Social Good Summit unites a dynamic community of global leaders to discuss a big idea: the power of innovative thinking and technology to solve our greatest challenges. The conference also proved to be a great space to collect suggestions for NGO friends, fans, and supporters on how to maximize the impact of their social and technological activity for greater good.
Six tips, in no particular order
- Be cyber secure: U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano spoke on this important topic, reminding us that our cause-related efforts and advocacy are nothing if our accounts aren’t secure. She encouraged every person in the room to take their cyber security seriously, reinforcing her belief that our country isn’t ready for a large-scale cyber security crisis. (Follow the Department of Homeland Security @DHSgov)
- Remember that “advocacy begins at home”: Claire Diaz-Ortiz, who leads Twitter’s Social Innovation team, firmly believes that the power to make a difference can and often does begin with one person, on his or her computer or mobile device. 92nd Street Y Chairman of the Board Stuart Ellman reaffirmed this, stating that “social media isn’t an agent of change. We are the agent.” Feel empowered in your own personal ability to make change. (Follow Claire Diaz-Ortiz @Claire and Stuart Ellman @bikenyc)
- Behold the power of cat videos: Jessica Mason of YouTube for Good gave a great presentation on what those of us who aim to make good social impact videos can learn from the universally-adored cat video phenomenon. She talked about how cat videos transcend barriers of language and culture. Why? The tricks to success are: 1) telling universal stories, 2) engaging regularly, and 3) being surprising, original, and action-packed.
- Find the others: According to Meetup Co-Founder and CEO Scott Heiferman, successfully motivating your friends and family to support a cause you care about is as simple as “finding the others.” Find those who share the same ethos, values, drive, and motivation as you. Cultivate them. (Follow Scott @heif)
- Make marketing a non-dirty word: Nick Kristof, Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist from The New York Times, remarked that it drives him crazy to constantly get sophisticated pitches from corporations, but rarely from nonprofits. Nonprofits and their friends need to view marketing not as a slick and dirty practice, but embrace it as a needed tactic to grow your base of support and continue engaging with current friends. Embrace marketing. Share your support for organizations like Action Against Hunger frequently online, and feel good about it! (Follow Nick @nickkristof)
- Become a knowledge ninja: New President of the World Bank Group Jim Yong Kim took pride in noting that all of the World Bank’s data is now available online, and that social activists should view it as a powerful resource to create change. Read up on the issues you care about, and keep current on trends and stats. Dr. Hans Rosling, Professor and Chairman of the Gapminder Foundation, seconded this suggestion during his presentation on new trends in global child mortality rates. (Follow the World Bank @WorldBank and Dr. Rosling @HansRosling)
In his remarks, Dr. Rosling also posed a compelling thought to the audience. “The world has become so much better,” he said, “but it still isn’t good.” That’s exactly the spark we all need – positive, motivated, and also firmly grounded in current realities – to continue our collective efforts, online and off, to incite change.
Excited? Put these tips to use for ACF
Many of our supporters also approach us asking what they can do, beyond a simple donation – and the answer is harnessing the collective giving power of your friends, family, and co-workers, and simultaneously spreading awareness about Action Against Hunger and the important work we’re doing worldwide. We’ve built a special platform for you, called My Action Against Hunger. Whatever you’re doing – hosting an event, running a marathon, or celebrating a birthday – you have the capacity to be an incredible fundraiser. Sign up now and get access to an exclusive participant center, where you can personalize your own fundraising webpage, send emails to your friends and family, and keep track of the money you’re raising.
Thanks so much for your support, and see you online!
Tell Us What You Think
Are there examples of successful social media-led change? What conditions or constraints can help or hinder social media’s impact?