Does Corporate Social Responsibility Affect Quality of Communications?

Is a company that has a strong corporate social responsibility (CSR) reputation more likely to be a better user of digital media?  Are its web sites and other digital communications more useful and have better content?  We might expect a connection between sustainability performance and the communication of a company’s CSR program. But is there also a broader connection that […]

Three Ways Content Marketing Helps The Bottom Line

Content marketing. Brand storytelling. Social media. This trifecta is the darling of the digital-marketing world. Reams of posts and pages have been written explaining why you should use these tactics and how to put them into practice.

But at the end of the day, only one question really matters: How do these tactics help the bottom line?

Here are five ways marketers […]

Is Facebook The Most Important Tool for Successful Crowdfunding

Crowdfunding is most successful if charities promote campaigns heavily through Facebook and other social media, try to raise small amounts, and go public with money already committed, an audience of fundraisers heard last week.

Eleanor Harrison, chief executive of GlobalGiving, a charity crowdfunding platform, said that use of Facebook was the single most important tool for success in crowdfunding.

Crowdfunding usually involves […]

The Shaky Moral Compass of The Silicon Valley

When I lived in Silicon Valley, I was struck by not just the region’s income disparity, but also by the lack of compassion that wealthy tech workers sometimes displayed toward the poor.

I would overhear tech employees complain about the homeless in degrading ways — at coffee shops, bars and in parks. Sometimes their disgust spread online. One notorious example took […]

12 Steps for Writing A Kick-Ass Blog Post

Hi everyone, and valar dohaeris to all the Game of Thrones fans. A few people have been asking me, “Vu, what’s your process for writing your blog posts each week?” So today, we’re going to take a break from normal nonprofit topics, and I’m going to meta-blog, which is to blog about blogging—which is nearly as fun as meta-drinking, which […]

10 Issues To Address in Your Nonprofit’s Social Media Policy

Copyright and trademark infringement.  Tip: understand the fair use doctrine.  Trap: expecting attribution to offer protection against charges of infringement.
Fundraising and foreign state registration requirements. Tip: check out The Unified Registration Statement.  Trap: disregarding registration laws and their application to funds raised through social media (see the Charleston Principles).
Events and foreign state qualifications to do business.  Tip: think about whether you are responsible […]

Feeding The Beast: Content Marketing

Turns out, Google’s search algorithms have an appetite for originality and they like to gorge their bellies fairly frequently.

Being successful at content marketing requires that you feed this picky and fussy beast in fairly predictable patterns. While there’s much, by design, we don’t know about the search-engine algorithms, there are a few strategies you can employ to improve your search engine […]

Humanity’s Catastrophe-Narratives Are Incorrect

The catastrophe narratives for humanity are wrong. Here are three reasons why we should be optimistic.

There is a new sense of urgency and momentum. Recently myself, climate scientists John Schellnhuber, Brian Hoskins, and Mario Molina, US economist Jeffery Sachs and colleagues in the Earth League published the Earth Statement, supported by business, religious and civil society leaders. The Pope and […]

New Social Media Platform Facilitates Consumer Citizenship

Silicon Valley start-up Scalechange has announced a suite of programs and services aimed at connecting socially conscious consumers with the causes they care about.

Scalechange, founded in 2014 provides digital marketing, crowdfunding and fund development services to mission-driven businesses such as B-Corps and nonprofits. In addition to providing services to the causes they care about, the team is creating innovative new […]

Social Venture Success: On Stance, Story and Strategy

Everybody has a story. Throughout my 20s, I was a workaholic. I was never present, and my dream was to sell my business. It wasn’t until I achieved my goal and made lots of money that I realized that this kind of success didn’t make me happy. In fact, it made me miserable.

This experience – and hiring an amazing business […]

Is Technology Reinventing Recruitment?

Technology, especially social media, has dramatically changed the way people communicate in recent years, and what I call “digital fluency” has become the business literacy of the 21st century. Digital fluency is the ability to use social and mobile technology to communicate, collaborate and connect with people.

In HR, most recruiters have already realized the necessity of social media for sharing jobs, […]

The Voice of India’s Rural Poor: No Internet Required

At one of India’s most prestigious tech universities, IIT Delhi, assistant professor in technology for development Aaditeshwar Seth has been spearheading a social media network for the country’s rural and largely poor population—no Internet required.

Using non-data feature phones, his Delhi-based enterprise Gram Vaani is connecting India’s remote populations in Jharkhand and Bihar—two underdeveloped states—to critical resources such as information on women’s safety campaigns, […]

Storytelling: Social Impact and Social Media

Humans have been telling stories since the beginning of time. Stories to teach, stories to entertain and often stories that do both. If liberation begins in the mind, then today’s storytellers have a central role to play in advancing life on planet Earth.

“Belief” is the theme of the 2015 Skoll World Forum, and there is no more powerful way to […]

Pregnant Supermodel Stands in Solidarity with Orphaned Whales

Marisa Miller put herself in the position of captive orca whales in a PETA campaign protesting SeaWorld.

 
The supermodel, who is pregnant with her second child, posed nude in an empty bathtub to bring awareness to mother orcas who are separated from their calves, which are taken to separate parks and ultimately confined to tanks.

“Being a mom and seeing [the SeaWorld-critical […]

Does Green Need A New Color?

The economic downturn of 2008 sharpened the call for green as people tightened their belts. Suddenly, what you bought and its impact on the environment got married. Why pay more when “reduce, reuse, recycle” cost less? Green was hot, and profitable.

Books like Green to Gold told stories of Dupont and 3M making environmental changes to capture tens of millions of […]

Five Ways Social Media Is Driving Corporate Social Responsibility

With key sustainability credentials often hidden deep within long annual reports, businesses are increasingly embracing the likes of Facebook, Twitter and YouTube to communicate directly with their customer base.

Global brands have long purported to place sustainability at the heart of their business plans, but actually getting customers on your side over big sustainability issues has become crucial for business survival […]

3 Ways Brands Can Use Corporate Social Responsibility Principles To Create Better Advertising

Dove’s “Real Beauty” campaign. Chipotle taking a stand on factory farming, with an assist from Fiona Apple. Patagonia giving away boatloads of lightly worn clothing. These advertising campaigns all have one thing in common: They take corporate social responsibility (CSR) principles and deploy them in ways that are far more effective than traditional ads.

In a new report, the firm BSR examines […]

The Nonprofit Branding Bandwagon

I first wrote about the branding bandwagon back in 2007, when it seemed that every large nonprofit I knew was  spending serious money — and I mean hundreds of thousands of dollars —  for corporate style tag lines, logos, commercial partnerships and strategies that they thought would attract media coverage and recognition from potential donors. At the time I complained […]

Tips on How to Get Content Shared on Social Media

This morning I was having a conversation with a colleague about some intriguing discoveries he’d made on his crowdfunding-related website where people are invited to post their videos. While analyzing how and when people tend to click on videos tweeted out, he noticed that when he tweeted a link to someone else’s videos it was clicked on and retweeted far […]

PR Meets Advertising: Start with A Simple Idea

This is the story of an ugly-duckling billboard; an opportunity that was nearly missed; and of a simple idea that created a positive media storm across print, broadcast, online, and social.

It All Started with the Ugly Billboard
The billboard in question sits atop a warehouse building that’s across a shared parking lot from our office, just outside the large windows of […]