Facebook Fundraisers: A Review

IMG_4316.PNG

Tomorrow is my birthday. When you're turning 41, it doesn't have the same allure as it did in the 5th grade. But this momentous occasion wasn't lost on Facebook. I was reminded in my feed several days before that not only was my birthday coming up, but also I could donate the birthday to a nonprofit to fundraise on Facebook. It's called Facebook Fundraisers, and it launched in March of this year.  

The fundraiser part of me perked up—"what a great idea!"

But another part of me reared up at the same time—"Gosh, that might be annoying to my friends, and presumptuous to ask for a gift in honor of my birthday!"

I decided to give it a spin ... 

In just five minutes, I had a personal fundraiser set up. I was a skeptic at first about Facebook Fundraisers, but this may be the slickest peer-to-peer setup I've seen. So why do I think Facebook fundraisers have great potential? 

1. It meets people where they are. No new logins. No uploading friend lists to a new system. It taps into everything that's already created through Facebook. 

2. It's prepopulated. Not a writer? No problem. Don't know the nonprofit's address? Worry not. You can click through with generic content, and voila, you've built a webpage!

3. Built-in reminders. Like Pavlov's dog, a lot of people check notifications on Facebook. This provides a ready way to keep peoples' minds on the fundraiser and energies high. 

If you haven't already, I recommend you take a closer look. For nonprofits, be sure to make sure you have a Facebook page in place that uses pleasing imagery and includes complete information. Facebook Fundraisers leverages all that information in individual fundraisers. 

Young Professionals Coffee Talk – Allie Krumel and Chanelle Zak (Part 2)

21105976_10214464042062701_2226015779238988953_n.jpg

As promised, here is the second half of the conversation between Allie Krumel, Copywriter at M&C, and Chanelle Zak, Director of Communications & Community Engagement at Bishop Sullivan Center. Pour yourself a cup of coffee and have a read…about finding the right path, seeking out continuing education, and networking for young professionals.

Allie: I’m interested in your thoughts on this. You chose a career in the nonprofit sector because you’re passionate about urban poverty. What things do you think young nonprofit professionals need to look for when they’re considering a job or career path?

Chanelle: I see opportunities to incorporate your values and a drive for social justice into just about every career, and I think everyone can and should strive to find that in their work. Even though I landed in the nonprofit sector, that’s obviously not the only place from which you can work to make a change. If people from Wall Street to Bishop Sullivan Center have an ethical, equitable perspective, we will be able to create systemic change.

Allie: Do you have any tips for finding the right path?

Chanelle: Besides developing relationships with internship supervisors and professors, I would encourage college students to seek out events that are tied to the causes they’re passionate about. For example, I’m passionate about racial justice – I loved getting to run into you at the SURJ KC event last night! So obviously, when you go to those events, you tend to run into people who care about the same things you do. Your networks, knowledge, and opportunities build when you show up with a heart to learn.

Allie: We’ve both made new friends just from getting involved in professional and social groups. I think one of the best things about my first year in the professional world has been the continuing education from these groups, and the friendships I’ve made. And I think it’s important to touch base with your employer and find ways to make those things part of your work experience, while seeking them out for yourself. I attended a workshop on organizational storytelling at Nonprofit Connect with Monica, the Creative Director at M&C, a few weeks ago. Even amidst the day-to-day business at our office, we made time for it.

But to take that one step further, I think seeking out groups like The Open Table and SURJKC has helped us be well rounded in our lives outside of work.

Chanelle: Building a life that upholds our values. I feel most like myself when I’m doing at least one thing a day that’s connected to my core values. Going to community events is an important part of this, and I use Facebook to find out what's going on in Kansas City.

Allie: You mentioned using Facebook to look up different events.

Chanelle: Yeah, Facebook’s my go-to.

Allie: That’s a cool way to use social media.

Chanelle: Yeah! It’s actually been one of my favorite things lately. There are a lot of opinions out there on social media, and sometimes I don’t really have the emotional bandwidth to give the attention that all these big issues need. So for a while, I stopped using Facebook. But lately, I’ve been viewing it as a tool that can connect people.

Allie: That’s great. Something else I wanted to bring up…how do you feel about networking? What has helped you make it meaningful?

Chanelle: The word “networking” makes me nervous, and I think it makes a lot of people uncomfortable. To me, it has a transactional connotation. And I worry that, as a young grad, I don’t have something to “give” to a new contact. But, if I meet someone and learn about his or her passions, I’ll definitely think of them the next time I hear about something they would be interested in. I think networking is more meaningful if both parties think of it as an opportunity to build a relationship.

Allie: I also wanted to ask about your hopes and plans for the next few years. I think you and I are in a similar position in that we see a lot of different opportunities ahead. I really enjoy interviewing people and writing stories, but I could see myself continuing down the agency route, being a travel writer, or working for a newspaper someday. But, I want to continue honing my writing, while developing new skills. What do you see on your horizon?

Chanelle: I do plan on getting my Master’s degree at some point. I would like to continue working in programs and community engagement. I’m excited to see what opportunities arise to serve our city and work alongside marginalized communities. I don’t know what the future holds, but I want to be right where my passions and our community’s needs intersect. I plan to keep learning and growing as much as possible so I’m ready for wherever this path takes me!

download.jpeg

M&C is a proud sponsor of YNPNkc, which provides diverse opportunities for networking around Kansas City, and partners with Nonprofit Connect to offer professional development programming for young professionals in the sector.

Young Professionals Coffee Talk – Allie Krumel and Chanelle Zak (Part 1)

21105976_10214464042062701_2226015779238988953_n.jpg

Allie Krumel, Copywriter at M&C, recently sat down with her colleague and friend Chanelle Zak, Director of Communications & Community Engagement at Bishop Sullivan Center, to reflect on their first year as young professionals. Let’s eavesdrop on their conversation.

Allie: So to start off, tell us a little about why you chose to begin your career in the nonprofit world.

Chanelle: When I was navigating the first few years of college, I was looking for a major that would help me serve my community well, and somehow get paid while doing that. And I wasn’t definite on the exact position I wanted to be in every day. I didn’t have a passion for writing like you do, but I knew it could help me help others. I realized I was very people-focused, and that helped me define what I wanted my education to help me do. So with that, throughout school I started to identify the causes I was most passionate about. Then, when I got my job at Bishop Sullivan Center, I learned my role as Director of Communications & Community Engagement so I could serve in urban settings and work with low-income families.

Allie: That’s interesting. I feel like I came into the working world from a different angle, even though we ended up in similar roles. I was asking, “What sorts of writing jobs are out there? How do I find them?” So working in the nonprofit world was a way to follow that passion. So, can you tell me what you enjoy most about working at Bishop Sullivan Center?

Chanelle: Absolutely – my interest in working at Bishop Sullivan Center is rooted in understanding poverty. I want to eventually be able to make big, high-level decisions that could really help communities move forward, structurally and policy-wise. But who was I to think I could make a difference in these communities when I don’t even know what a single mom with a few kids is facing day to day? Or what barriers are holding her back, and what kind of discrimination she faces. So for me, it was a great opportunity to learn about barriers, and learn about how nonprofits in our community work together to serve these individuals and families. And seeing that network that can provide food, help people get jobs and gain work skills, helping them get back to school…this showed me communications enables us to support fundraising for our organization, raise awareness, educate the Kansas City community, and advocate for our families.

 Allie: How do stories and different communications initiatives help you to elevate the mission of Bishop Sullivan Center?

Chanelle: Yeah, it’s definitely multi-level. It helps us reach potential future donors…and I also hope the creative communities in Kansas City see themselves in the marginalized people we serve at Bishop Sullivan Center. So, I see it as being multi-faceted in that way.

Allie: That’s what I enjoy about my job. When I interview a veteran, and if I can share their perspective artfully, maybe it will inspire more people to donate or learn more about veterans’ issues. And when you take that broader picture, you see why good marketing is so important in helping nonprofits work toward their missions. I think that shows the broader impact these communications can have.

Chanelle: Drawing new eyes and new hearts.

Check back next week to read the second half of the conversation – on networking, cause marketing, and community engagement.

download.jpg

M&C is a proud sponsor of YNPNkc, which provides diverse opportunities for networking around Kansas City, and partners with Nonprofit Connect to offer professional development programming for young professionals in the sector.