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Leveraging Social Media for Fundraising and Events


Events and fundraisers: Getting folks to show up & give

By Suzanne McDonald

It was a pleasure to return to share my insights with AFP-RI at its annual Fundraising Day conference. As with all my talks, this one was very interactive: Attendees shared their insights and asked a number of great questions. Even before we started, chatting with early-arrivers, I was demo’ing Hootsuite on my iPhone. Nothing like digging in!

If you’re not familiar with AFP-RI, these are the folks behind Save the Bay, the Potter League, Butler Hospital, numerous housing, welfare agencies, women’s shelters, arts organizations, and more. My talk eschewed the obvious Kickstarter and online fund-raising tools: This is more about getting people to show up and truly engage.

The slides above offer a roadmap to enhance nonprofits’ online following through social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and much more. Much of this talk is adapted from the Event Planning and New Media course I developed and taught at Framingham State University.

Tweets from attendees Association of Fundraising Professionals

Amy Cogan @cogan715   great talk! Thank you for the fantastic, quick, simple tips!!

Michele Berard @MicheleBerard   @AFPRIChapter thx for sharing your expertise in leveraging social media for FR event. #afpmeet. 

Social Media tactics to promote and boost your eventsGoogle-Analytics-hostbaby

  • LinkedIn: Sharing your event with groups
  • Twitter & HootSuite, which allow you to set up your tweeting automatically
  • EventBrite, a virtual invitation and guest tracker
  • Facebook & its analytic capabilities
  • Google Analytics is also a great tool to determine your ROI

Other Social Media platforms that may boost your reach  Unknown

  • Pinterest
  • Foursquare
  • Instagram
  • YouTube

You can also follow Suzanne by attending her group of networking sessions and events Newport Interactive Marketers.

Designated Editor Offering Small Group Workshops and Seminars in Newport

New Media Workshops and Seminar Series Offered

The 1,000+ who have turned out for Newport Interactive Marketers event have proven one thing: There’s a great thirst for new media insights. So often the hourlong NIM presentation has merely sparked greater interest, without a means to develop the fundamentals.

Designated Editor has developed 2 distinct learning offerings to place small business owners, entrepreneurs, and others in the new media driver’s seat.

What makes these new media learning opportunities different?

  1. You’ll be doing the work with significant guidance and the opportunity to ask plenty of questions.
  2. Small groups provide an affordable way to learn, and learn by doing.
  3. You’ll be learning from Social & Content Strategist Suzanne McDonald, who teaches university-level courses in Social Media and Event Planning.

Leverage LinkedIn & Twitter: Hands-on Workshop

  • Craft an attractive profile for you and/or for your company
  • Find and connect with key influencers: for employment, sponsorship, or partnerships
  • Utilize LinkedIn’s key features: Groups, Events, Skills, Answers, Recommendations, Reading List, and more
  • We’ll also explore Twitter

Limited opportunity, sign up now & for more info

Facebook for Small Brands: Hands-on Workshop

  • Your Facebook brand page up and running
  • An attractive Facebook Timeline
  • Hands-on experience and Facebook know-how
  • Your questions answered so you’ll know what to do next

Limited opportunity, sign up now & for more info


New Media Small Group Seminar Series

This group will meet weekly for approximately 10 hours total. Bring your laptop to become comfortable & successful using new media:

  • How to update a WordPress website & blog
  • Structuring your blog
  • Developing your editorial calendar
  • Relevant social media platforms (LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, etc) and
  • Reaching out to bloggers and media

Limited spots available, for more info. Or email Suzanne for a calendar request: Sue(at)

Mobile-Friendly Makes Your Business Customer-Friendly

Your audience wants to be engaged and informed.  Establishing and maintaining brand loyalty means connecting your audience to social networks, mail subscriptions and mobile devices. This allows the consumer to receive fast, accurate content through multiple channels, making your business’ customers more accessible. With an audience on-the-go, your company needs a plan to become more mobile-friendly.

Newport Interactive Marketers (sponsored by Designated Editor) is starting 2012 off with all things mobile.  Join NIM as Annette Tonti CEO, MoFuse uncovers the best mobile web practices for advertisers and publishers. Strengthen your multi-channel approach by building effective mobile web content that is convenient and easy to use. “Make Your Website Mobile-Friendly” is an event that is open to the public and begins at 6:00pm on Thursday, January 26 2012 at 41North (351 Thames Street, Newport RI 02840).

You will learn

  • Mobile is Local: What does that mean for marketers?
  • How are people using the mobile web and how will that change in 2012?
  • Mobile Web or App, what is the difference?
  • How do you build effective mobile web content?
  • Every marketer needs to include mobile as part of their multi-channel approach.  Which are the best practices?
  • Why and how has mobile web quickly emerged as the most important landscape for mid-tier and local businesses?

No matter what industry your company is in, there are opportunities for growth on mobile devices. Featured speaker Annette Tonti knows this all too well, as MoFuse defends its reputation for powering mobile sites for customers as different as the State Department and Harper Collins.  They also power mobile sites for thousands of local businesses and marketers who use mobile to build mobile ad campaigns.  From Pandora to Ghirardelli chocolate, both large and small brands are engaging audiences in this new, effective way.

How will your mobile-friendly company engage its audience?

With so many new devices and applications hitting the streets at record speeds, it’s easy for your company to put some of these new devices to marketing use.

  • Build incentive programs (i.e. coupons, contests, etc.)
  • Enable financial services such as PayPal for streamlined billing processes
  • Run surveys – feedback directly from the customer makes them feel engaged and appreciated
  • Promote customer service – build a two-way conversation
  • …and much, much more!

Connect with Annette Tonti via Twitter and LinkedIn before the event, and check out MoFuse, too!

For event details, visit

Interns aka digital natives at the Social Media Social


Interns aka digital natives meet pros at the Social Media Social

By Jaclyn Liva
University of Rhode Island

Social Media is being used in almost everyone’s lives constantly throughout the day. The URI Student-led Public Relations Society recently hosted the first-ever Social Media Social. Several students that belong to the University’s Harrington School of Communication were in attendance, along with many Newport Interactive Marketers members and small businesses looking for interns.

University of Rhode Island Social Media professor Suzanne McDonald, founder of NIM, kicked off the event with an informative speech on how the need for digital natives is increasing. It was a great because the students there are all familiar in social media, aka digital natives. Her presentation is available on SlideShare and focuses on “Crossing the Digital Divide” between digital natives (student-interns) and busy professionals.

The Social was an opportunity for students to socialize with business owners and other professionals who are seeking help with social media for their businesses. Suzanne also talked about how important a LinkedIn profile is to have.

Shawn Simmons, Director Public Relations at StyleWeek Providence, @StyleWeekPR was also a keynote speaker at the social. He discussed the importance of branding yourself and offered tips on how to discover your brand. Shawn advised everyone to keep in mind that what other people say about your brand is much more important than what you design your brand to be.

During the event, there was a live Twitter stream onstage. People were tweeting and retweeting questions for the social media experts panel. And #URI_PRS was trending. One student tweeted: “How important are recommendations from co-workers and bosses on LinkedIn?”  The question was answered almost instantly by one of the panelists: crucially important.

It was nice to see even the keynote speakers tweet from the audience. It made the atmosphere of the Social feel much more open.

The Social Media Social panel featured

These pros deftly handled numerous questions and stressed the fact that everything that is put on the Internet will forever live in cyberspace.

The Social Media Social came to an end with a networking session. This gave everyone in attendance the opportunity to meet, mingle, and explore internship opportunities over free ice cream!

Google+ Twitter Q & A at Newport Interactive Marketers

Newport Interactive Marketers shared best practices and techniques to using Google+ and Twitter as effective social media platforms.

Michelle Quillin, social media maven of New England Multimedia and Matt Medeiros of Slocum Design, shared their experience and expertise with the #NIM group.

What did the #NIM audience take away from this Newport Interactive Marketers session?

Google+ offers

  • Targeted messaging
  • Social circles and hangouts
  • Makes online life more “real” via sharing abilities

Tips for Google+

  • Categorize your circles
  • Use Google+ circles to target specific people and avoid over-posting
  • Follow back every follower and then reassign to relevant circles
  • Google hangouts a great connect face-to-face
  • Look for people who are following thought-leaders

Google+ takeaways

  • For now, it’s best for marketers
  • Will not kill off Facebook
  • Will Google+ outrank other social mentions in search engine results?
    • Google says no, NIM attendees say yes

Interact on Google+ and Twitter

  • Tune your voice to fit various social media platforms
  • Matt’s take on finding your social media voice
The NIM group had varied opinions on the relevance of both of these platforms for their individual campaigns. Try them out and see what works the best with your audiences.  Then cater your voice to effectively reach out  to your intended audiences.

Thanks to @PRNick, @wordtracker, @kristinzhivago, @rrenfreehawes, @ChristiesNWPT, @HeatherCinOC, and  @NewprtBridgeRun for contributing to the dialogue.

Looking forward to more #NIM conversations!