Hi! I’m Pat, the new VP of Worldwide Sales for Convio. In the short time I’ve been here I’ve learned a lot about you – the passionate people who drive the nonprofit sector. I know you are committed to your communities, resourceful in everything you do and most importantly, devoted to causes that make our world a better place.
It seems a little one-sided though that I know so much about you without revealing hardly anything about myself yet. Let’s change that. I hope this video acts as a good little virtual introduction and I look forward to meeting you in person at Summit next week and through the many other opportunities we’ll have together.
One thing I love doing is talking to people I don’t know. I just can’t help myself. I want to know where they got their shoes. What they ordered that looks so delicious. Where they’re from (this happens often in DC as my city is a spot tourists love to visit!) or the derivation of their message T.
While I was attending the Direct Marketing Association of Washington’s Social Media Day a few months ago, I decided to strike up a conversation with one of the presenters. I was specifically interested in where Tania purchased her shoes (they were sparkly flats which I’d been looking for since a similar pair I used to own died in a tragic walking-home-from-work-in-the-rain incident). We got to talking and I learned of her Convio savvy and love of all things Gigya. So, it was right there, in the middle of the conference, that I asked her to be the subject of my next Connection Café post. And here we are…
Tania Luciow is a lover of sparkly flats, the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, and Convio. This is her story:
EG for CC: What’s your elevator pitch about what the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund does?
TL: We commemorate the service and sacrifice of America’s law enforcement officers, killed in the line of duty by maintaining a national monument in their honor and promoting law enforcement officer safety. Each year we help in organizing National Police Week and hold an annual Candlelight Vigil, with over 20,000 attendees. In addition, we are building the National Law Enforcement Museum, to tell the story of law enforcement in America.
EG for CC: How do you describe your role at the organization to friends at parties?
TL: For starters, I am not a law enforcement officer (a majority of people first assume that after hearing the organization’s name). I manage the Memorial Fund’s online community (Facebook/Twitter/Blogger/Flickr) and am also the staff photographer/videographer, designer, and handle some online marketing and messaging.
EG for CC: Of Convio’s selection of online resources, what have you found most useful?
TL: Hands down, I would say the Convio Community. Many times when I am stumped about how to accomplish or create something, I’ll search through the Community to find an answer. The tutorials and guides have helped, in addition to asking questions if something does not work right the first time.
EG for CC: What are you most proud of regarding your use of Convio with the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial?
TL: Convio has really allowed us to communicate important information to our constituents. Having access to all of the Convio tools allows us to disseminate “Recently Fallen” email alerts, sent out every time an officer fatality is reported. Concurrently, we are also able to provide a forum for supporters and surviving family members to honor the officers that have lost their lives in the line of duty.
EG for CC: Share an anecdote about a project or specific campaign you worked on through Convio that was particularly exciting or interesting or productive. (I know you’ve got ‘em!)
TL: The beginning of 2011 was a particularly deadly time for law enforcement. In one 24-hour period in January, 11 law enforcement officers were shot, with three killed and eight wounded. In response to the increase in violence, we created a “Stand with the Thin Blue Line” pledge. The response was incredible – in the first hour, hundreds of individuals had signed the pledge. To date, over 11,000 individuals responded.
EG for CC: If you had advice to share for a new Convio admin, what would it be?
TL: Use the training sessions online and in person. Also, ask a lot of questions to other Convio users, they can usually help steer you in the right direction, as well as bugging your account manager about solutions.
EG for CC: What’s one secret tip or trick you’ve picked up along the way related to the Luminate Online platform?
TL: Copy and paste. I rarely start anything from scratch. Sometimes tearing already existing content apart is faster than a blank canvas.
Just like adding a current or past job, LinkedIn members can now add a current or past volunteer experience. The information for each listing includes the name of the organization, volunteer role, cause area (like human rights or children), dates and description.
Here's an example from my personal profile.
Right now, LinkedIn helps members by suggesting oganizations as you type but doesn’t connect it back to the organization’s LinkedIn page.* I anticipate that changing in the near future. (It just makes sense if you ask me.) And if I’m right about that change then you are going to want to spruce up your org’s LinkedIn company page in advance.
In addition to a volunteer experience, members can also add broad causes they are interested in. While I don’t see any search functionality related to these causes at the moment, I’m curious to if we’ll see that in the future. Imagine if you could search for people who care about “arts and culture” in “Indianapolis” or who care about "poverty alleviation" in "Portland" to find potential volunteers, donors and even employees.
It’s a new and growing feature on LinkedIn and I see great value add potential for nonprofits. However where the value really is at this moment is for your volunteers. You and your volunteer coordinator probably know and discuss the professional benefits of volunteerism on a regular basis. Volunteering with your organization provides your constituents with the opportunities to build skills they might not be able to nurture in the workplace. Fundraising, fiscal oversight, record keeping and public speaking are just a few of the many that come to mind.
Now LinkedIn is giving them the perfect place to add those skills and experiences to their online resume. In the current economy, and really at any time, volunteer experiences can add a differentiator to a job hunter’s resume. In fact according to the LinkedIn blog “new research from LinkedIn shows that one out of every five hiring managers in the U.S. agree they have hired a candidate because of their volunteer work experience.” It’s good for the volunteer and good for your organization and volunteer retention.
OK - we’ve covered the basics and now I have four action items for you and your organization.
What other action items or insights should we add?
*Update 9/16/11: When I first wrote this post it did not appear that the organization's name was connected to the organization's LinkedIn page. This blog post I read today said that they did so I investigated. I now have three volunteer experiences listed and here's what I found. 1) The very small org that lacks a LinkedIn page doesn't link back to anything. No surprise. 2) The small org that has a LinkedIn page but that may or may not be claimed by the org doesn't link back. 3) The national organization with a robust LinkedIn page is linked back to. All that said, I'm not exactly sure what the criteria is to link back to organizations' pages but it does appear to happen for at least some.
Remember back in sixth grade when you had a summer reading list?
Big nerd that I am, I never quit having a summer reading list. The 2012 Summer Reading List for me included some light reading like The Confession (ok maybe that one wasn't so light...) and Water for Elephants and also some real homework, Socialnomics.
If you are more of a Cliff Notes type student, well, I’m going to be your enabler (though I do encourage you to read it the old-fashioned, word-for-word way). Here are some of the stand-out points from Socialnomics by Erik Qualman.
And since when the teacher asks you for critical analysis you can’t just talk about the stuff you liked, here’s a few points that I disagree with or at least am bummed out by
A few silly/sad points aside, Socialnomics was a good read overall. I was highlighting and note taking up a storm. I recommend picking up a copy for yourself and at the very least knowing and acting on this one decree: Organizations need to be online and interacting. Now.
Last Sunday I enjoyed a moment of pure bliss: getting a pedicure while sipping a glass of wine and reading the August edition of my favorite magazine, Texas Monthly. (Shout out to the Humane Society for their letter to the editor regarding the cruelty of cockfighting.)
I love the regular feature “The Working Life, Stories from the 9 to 5” because they always select otherwise very normal people who have really interesting gigs. For this month it is Cheryl Evans, church sign writer in Amarillo, Texas. And in the second paragraph I knew there would be a related Connection Cafe post.
“I’ve changed both sides of our sign on Forty-fifth Avenue every Monday since. It’s like the church’s Facebook ‘status update.”
What a wonderful, concise comparison. Evans shares how she comes up with the witty, timely and inspirational content for her church sign in Amarillo. Whether she knew it or not, she simultaneously provided great insights for writing social media content.
Whether your platform is as old-school as plastic letters on a church sign or as modern as social networks, the principles are in many ways the same. I hope Evans’ insights will build your org’s confidence in social media, even if you are more the plastic letters on a sign type.
Subscribe to receive posts via email:
Get answers to product questions, join "Birds of a Feather" discussions and more. Join the Online Community
Alltop - Nonprofit
A Small Change
Bob Ottenhoff's Blog
Donor Power Blog
Future Leaders in Philanthropy
Katya's Nonprofit Marketing Blog
Kivi’s Nonprofit Communications Blog
Nonprofit Law Prof
Pamela’s Grant Blog
Sea Change Strategies
Zen and the Art of Nonprofit Technology