Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Thankfully I Grew Up Before Facebook!

So I have been thinking about it a lot and kind of cracking up at the whole Facebook phenomenon and how it is totally transforming the face of the planet. I mean, did you know that if Facebook were a country, it would be the 4th largest? And that is across language, geographic, cultural and other boundaries! Pretty incredible. Talk about global oneness!

The one thing I am most grateful for is that I grew up before Facebook. Now I know that there are many great things about Facebook - reconnecting with old friends, staying in touch with others, learning all sorts of random, relevant and irrelevant, stories through sharing, events, and more. But the truth is, I am really relieved that I didn't grow up with Facebook in my youth, high school and college years.

I mean really, can you imagine the pool parties that used to get busted in high school or the keg stands in college coming back to haunt you 5-10 years later in a job interview? I know those of you who know me are probably thinking two things: 1) what is little miss perfect athlete, student, daughter of an Italian father (and we all know what that means! ;) talking about, she never partied? and 2) what happened to the angelic, guru, yogini?

Ok, so yes even I have some old stories and skeletons in my closet. Don't we all? And that is just the point. Youth may not know the implications their actions can have on them later in life. What a tough way to find out? While I am very glad and grateful that I don't have to deal with that scenario, I can't help but think about what this means for today's youth and how many other unforeseen and unintended consequences there are in this brave new world of social media?

One thing is for sure, it is calling on all of us to show up more authentically in ourselves and to show, and also live, the more positive and beneficial sides to our life, as the alternative might come back to bite us in the butt. While these may be the wrong reasons to do the right thing, it actually bodes well for the overall direction we are headed. It will be fun and interesting to watch as all of the other implications unfold.

Happy Facebooking all! You can find me at
;) p

Thursday, March 18, 2010

What Is Your Gift?

It is funny. A few months back for my company, OneGiving, we created a video entitled, "What Is Your Gift?" ( Over the past week, that question has come up front and center for me more than I ever imagined possible.

We all have gifts. But how many of us see our own gifts? And further, how many of us actually allow ourselves to use and share our gifts in our professional lives, in our personal lives and every day?

I know that may seem like an odd question. Yet so often we are raised to do what is practical, rather than that which allows our hearts to sing, our spirits to soar, and our gifts to be shared. I had a conversation today about Indian culture, Italian culture and other cultures for that matter and how many cultures place value on professions such as engineers, doctors, teachers or similar professions. Being an entrepreneur or working in marketing, writing, social marketing or social entrepreneurism are definitely considered more esoteric and often less valued as "not real" professions.

I was recently probed and asked the question, what are your gifts? What do you love to do? I knew in my heart and soul, that I have the gift of connecting - connecting people, visions and connecting the dots. I am a connector, that is one of my biggest contributions. I was then asked, what if rather than trying to do other work and do, do, do the "work" that I think I am supposed to do, I just be me and connect and consider that my real "work?" Wow, I was stunned. But that isn't the paradigm I was raised in, it isn't the paradigm I have known.

Yet, what if in this new paradigm and new era, this is changing? As the financial systems, education systems and other tumble around us, maybe there is a natural progression and movement in the direction of what is possible, impossible and beyond? What if we are being called out of what is stable, practical and comfortable, to truly cultivate, use and share our gifts? What are your GIFTS? And how will you share them today?

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Latest e-Giving News and Resources

This was taken from our OneGiving™ e-Gifts newsletter. To subscribe, go to: Enjoy!

Giving is everywhere! In writing this month's e-Gifts newsletter, I think back to a year ago when we started these newsletters, to a few years ago when the idea of OneGiving™ was just an inkling of an idea and to over a decade ago when I started working with different sectors on strategic giving. Wow, how much has changed! It is finally time that giving is has become the norm not the outlier for companies, individuals, celebrities and others.

A recent article in the Patriot Ledger ( sums it up: "Campaigns, built around charitable efforts, have become a staple of marketing strategies for many companies... 'Once it was just this niche thing, and now it's generally recognized as part of the marketing mix,'" according to Rich Maiore, VP for public relations for Cone Inc. Below are some of the highlighted articles and news tracking these trends. Enjoy!

Celebrities & Giving
Cyndi Lauper and Lady Gaga Support MAC AIDS Fund - Lady Gaga and Cyndi Lauper love lipstick, fashion and want to tell girls all over the world how to keep their love life safe, seductive and satisfying with eyes wide open to the facts about women and HIV/AIDS. These sizzling, sensuous self-created divas are channeling their high-voltage energy to launch the new M·A·C Cosmetics VIVA GLAM campaign in honor of women who are living with HIV/AIDS. The M·A·C AIDS Fund will announce $2.5 million in donations to fund model programs that address the vulnerabilities and inequities that place women at increased risk for HIV/AIDS.

Politics & Giving
White House Aid Urges Foundations to Take More Risks - Sonal Shah, head of the White House's Office of Social Innovation and Civic Participation, urged foundations to take greater risks, saying one of the lessons she learned in her first year is that the federal government is not easily able to finance experiments with new efforts to treat social problems.

President's Budget Proposes Increase for National Service - - President Obama has proposed increasing the budget for the Corporation for National and Community Service in fiscal year 2011.

Corporate Giving
Pepsi launches Refresh Campaign - Pepsi is giving away millions through its latest corporate social responsibility campaign that it launched in lieu of traditional advertising on Superbowl Sunday. This is one of many companies jumping on the wave of corporate giving and online giving campaigns to position themselves as a leader of global giving. Consumers can go to the site and vote and follow nonprofits of their choice.

Foundation Giving
Grants to Develop, Test Next-Generation Teaching Tools - - The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation announced 15 grants totaling more than $19.5 million to support the development and testing of classroom assessments and instructional tools in math and literacy to help educators better prepare students for success beyond high school.

Nonprofits, Social Media & Giving
3 Reasons the Future of Your Nonprofit Depends on Social Media -, Nonprofit survival depends upon committing to building and maintaining a strong social media presence. Why? Because online giving is up, corporate giving is changing and your donor are online.

5 Insightful TED Talks on Social Media - - As social media has become a game changer for industries across the board, you can bet the experts at this year's Technology Entertainment Design (TED) conference will have their sights set on peeling back the hype and getting at the core of what social technology has in store for this year and beyond. Check out 5 talks from TED's past, with a focus on social media.

Funding Opportunities
Increase Your Green Campaign - HP and have launched a national campaign for schools to apply to green their schools. Projects need to be submitted by April 22nd, so apply now.

Mobile Giving
5 Real Challenges for Non-Profit Texting Campaigns - - Close examination of texting-based fundraising reveals a wide variety of barriers for nonprofits. This Mashable article exams barriers and solutions to texting and fundraising to consider.

Giving Trends
Online Giving Trends from 2009 and the Haiti Earthquake - - 2009 proved to be another important year for online giving by nonprofit organizations. The information in this 2009 research comes from approximately 2,300 nonprofit organizations using a combination of our online fundraising, email marketing, and integrated CRM tools. The analysis represents the largest study of online giving trends in the nonprofit sector.

Millennials: Looking for More Than Just a Job - - An interesting article commenting of the new era of problem solving and social entrepreneurship as the Millenial generation are looking for work that blends sectors and structure and creates meaningful impact.

Giving Resources
10 Free Things Every New Social Entrepreneur Should Have - -A successful social entrepreneur is scrappy and resourceful. They know how to do more with less, and create a social impact while doing so. Check out the 10 resources that are free monetarily, but each is an invaluable tool for launching and sustaining a lean social enterprise.

Giving Measurement/Outcomes/Evaluation
Volunteerism: Glass Half Full or Half Empty? - - Joanne's blog about the recent report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics that revealed that volunteerism did increase, but not as dramatically as expected. Given the publicity it has received and with the high visibility of President Obama and Mrs. Obama in encouraging volunteerism, what does this mean for volunteerism? You decide.

Nonprofit Social Media Benchmarks Study - - A great blog about a social media benchmarking study to create benchmarks for nonprofits on Facebook and Twitter. The blog includes sample research by groups such as Easter Seals, Oxfam, Human Rights Campaign, League of Conservation Voters, and more.

For Discussion
The Age of the Citizen Philanthropist - - This article talks about how our new communications technologies have empowered the individual and the implications of this on the non-profit sector. Is it disruptive or helpful? What do you think? Whatever the case may be it is happening, so how do we steer it in the direction of helpful, productive and useful?

A Lost Generation of Entrepreneurs? - Social Citizens responds to a BusinessWeek article by seasoned entrepreneur and investor, Jeff Bussgang, and argues that the latest generation of entrepreneurs who may focus a little less on profits and a little more on changing the world. Check out this list of individuals with leadership experience and start-up skills that serve as role models for their peers and the next generation of entrepreneurs.

Can an Injection of National Service Heal the Unemployment Problem? - - With the private sector short on certainty and Washington short on cash, creating jobs isn't easy. That's why targeting young people makes so much sense. Jobless youth are in ample supply, cheap to hire and eager to serve. A national network of nonprofits and service organizations already exists to put them to work.

Thanks for your continued contributions and gifts in the world! Keep on giving back! You can follow us on Twitter @onegiving & on Facebook Pages.