Takeaways From #GivingTuesday

Fundraisers have a lot to learn from the success of #GivingTuesday — make it simple, make it social. At the SMWNYC event — Giving Gangham Style: An Ideathon with the #GivingTuesday Team — a social gooderati crowd gathered eager to learn more about the simple-social potion and commune around this holy day.

The #GivingTuesday team panelist, Henry Timms (92Y) Sharon Feder (Mashable) and Aaron Sherinian (UN Foundation) said it all started with a good hook that latched on to the start of the giving season and the Black Friday, Cyber Monday consumer exhaustion. With a good idea in hand, the next step was to go social. Yet this wasn’t to tell everyone what to do, but to invite everyone to the party. The first gift made was this idea to anyone who wanted to get involved.

When 2,600 partners and nonprofits jumped on the platform, the #GivingTuesday team were gracious hosts. They facilitated the event, listened to their guests and then made changes based on their suggestions. Then when someone gave, they felt good about it, felt apart of something and felt ok to brag tweet about their philanthropic ways.

The panel facilitator Susan McPherson (Fenton) outlined three big takeaways:

+ Listen more than you speak.
+ When you have a great idea, collaborate.
+ Use every tool at your disposable.

In other words, anti-nothing and pro-everything is the giving mantra. But how did this diner-menu  strategy not become overwhelming? Again, it was that simple hook and hashtag that acted as a north star guiding everyone to one call to action on one day — give on Tuesday. All everyone else had to do is point to that same star and say yes.

@AmandaLehner is a digital strategist based in New York City.

NonProfit Guide to SMW NYC

At a Social Media Week party last year, I asked a very accomplished entrepreneur, “so, will I see you at SXSW?” He looked at me and smirked, “I don’t go there anymore because everybody is there.” I see what he means. It’s important for a conference to maintain the right balance of top people in the field, great programming and accessibility — that is Social Media Week.

As a nonprofit professional at SMW, I always feel catered to as there are plenty events on using the powers of social media for social good. I also tend to veer from my track to learn from other industries and network with the speakers post event to pitch a corporate partnership (as any self-respecting nonprofit hustler would do).

Here are my top picks for SMW NYC. Also for networking, looks like the Society & Social Impact Hub at 92Y Tribeca is the place for us. See you there!

Tuesday, February 19
Using Film to Galvanize Lasting Social Change
GIVING GANGNAM STYLE: An Ideathon with the #GivingTuesday Team #SMWGT
Rewiring Government for Openness, Connection, and Choice, Featuring Susan Crawford and Beth Noveck
Open and Unfiltered: Defending the Internet, Featuring Alexis Ohanian and Eli Pariser
Keeping Up with the Agile Consumer
Authors Roundtable: Social at the Intersection of Paid, Owned and Earned Media

Wednesday, February 20
A Conversation with Neil Blumenthal, Co-Founder and CEO, Warby Parker
Content Marketing: How to be Memorable and Measurable in 2013
Lean Startup for Social Good: Create a Compelling Website User Experience Using Lean UX

Thursday, February 21
How Social Is Your Foundation?
Societal Brands In a Social World
Social Media Analytics Helps UNICEF Save Lives

Friday, February 22
Keynote: danah boyd on the Ethics and Challenges of Dealing With “Big Data”