Darian Heyman, Social Media for Nonprofits, Women Moving Millions and Next Gen NGO Leadership

I was recently invited to speak on a panel at the Utah Society of Fundraisers Fundraising Day on women’s giving. Preceding it was a luncheon with keynote speaker Darian Heyman and let me say, WOW!! Darian spoke about the future of fundraising including how social media can be utilized to reach millions.

So how do you go “viral”? He laid out the answer by means of  a simple equation, C+C+C=C. Darian explained that in order to have your message go viral it needs to be “COMPELLING” –  why should anyone care about your message? Secondly, it needs to be “CONCISE.” Unless your message is to the point and easily accessible, people will miss the purpose. Third, it has to be “CREDIBLE.” In Darian’s words, “Great, so you’ve engaged me and done it quickly, but if you try and tell me that your magic beans are the cure to cancer tomorrow, I’m onto whatever else my fascinating network of do-gooders and colleagues is up to.” The three C’s come together to create a “CONTAGIOUS” message thus going “viral.”  This was clearly the secret sauce with the internet sensation  the KONY 2012 campaign which was viewed more than 100 million times in just under a week making it the most viral video in history. By utilizing social media to transmit a message the potential for online fundraising or raising awareness is dramatic.

So what does the future look like in terms of online fundraising? According to a report by Blackbaud (“The Blackbaud Index of Online Giving ) looking at total giving for 1,700 organizations of varied sizes the average online revenue accounted for 6% of their overall fundraising revenue. This number is growing  with The Index of Online Giving “showing a 23% increase in March to May 2010 revenue over the same period in 2009 across the 1,787 organizations tracked, with large organizations (revenue over $10 million) showing a 28% increase.” If you don’t have an online strategy, you will be missing a potentially very big boat.

Though online giving has huge potential Darian also said that one of the most powerful forms of fundraising ask is the “peer ask.” I loved this as this is what Women Moving Millions is all about. He said that being asked to give to an organization by one of your peers is more powerful than being asked by someone you don’t know and does not know you. Better yet if that person is asking you because you have already shown an interest in the issue areas of that organization. I feel strongly that we have come to rely  to much on the development efforts of our NGO partners. Of course professional fundraisers are very important and needed, but it can and should not be a substitute for a committed Board of Directors and current donor network, and now these online possibilities.

Raising money is both hard and expensive. Though the number varies hugely depending on the type of organization it can be said that 10-20% of revenues go towards raising those dollars. If WMM is successful, our measurable impact will be to dramatically reduce the overall development costs for the women’s movement.  It was always the vision of our Co Founder Helen LaKelly Hunt that WMM would become a development engine for women’s funds and that continues to be our vision.   Current donors should take a more active role in fund raising for the organizations THEY care about most.  WMM exists to support these efforts by supporting our member’s philanthropic leadership.  Perhaps our motto should be ‘Step up, give and bring others with you.’

The power of the peer ask is what is behind the online potential of fundraising through platforms such as Facebook. When people like you, and you like a cause, and are willing to  press for support, money follows. This is especially true for micro-donations where giving a small amount for someone you care about is a relatively easy thing to do it. Though not all small gifts will lead to bigger levels of involvement, some will.  Years ago I dreamed that one day we would  be able to share with all who are interested the causes and organizations we care most about, and now we can!  We have gone from fav book to fav NGOS, social change videos, and more. Further I imagined an “amazon’ type thing for giving where if you shared what organizations you have to, others would be suggested with like missions. I am dreaming this in to our web platform for WMM and perhaps more generally.

Darian’s facts around social media lead to a powerful conversation around next generation leadership. With nearly 78 million baby-boomers and just about 38 million Gen Xers there are about half as many people to take board positions for many nonprofits. We are not preparing our organizations for this potential problem.  BoardSource Nonprofit Governance Index 2010 reveled that only 3% of board members are under the age of 30 and nearly 50% of board members were between 50-64 years old. The current age of board members is not an accurate representation of the community many organizations serve. Empowering younger team members to get involved and to get “social” makes smart business sense. One of Darian’s points, which is a bit harsh but ultimately true, “This country is an alcoholic, we have to hit rock bottom to realize we need to change.” Whether it’s in reference to needing younger board members, more female board members or needing more substantial social media fundraising strategies, we’ve got some work to do and let’s not hit rock bottom to make it happen.

You can get a copy of Darian Heyman’s new book, “Nonprofit Management 101: A complete and practical Guide for Leaders and Professionals” here.

Additional resources Darian mentioned-

Social Entrepreneurship Websites

Skoll Foundation
Social Enterprise Alliance
Tap Root Foundation (Where skilled professionals can donate their time to nonprofits)
Social Media for Nonprofits Websites
Beth Kanter Blog
Social Brite
Social Media for Nonprofits
Nonprofit Technology Network


The White House Forum on Women and the Economy

Last Friday, President Obama hosted a White House Forum on Women and the Economy. The forum addressed the important role that women play in the economy.  There are pages of facts in our resources section organized by category if you want to take a look.

As part this forum the White House Council on Women and Girls released a new report entitled, “Keeping America’s Women Moving Forward, The Key to an Economy Built to Last.” This report examines the Administrations persistence to ensure women have support through all stages of life. The Executive Summary itself is bold, compelling, and empirically sound!  Could this serve as a wake call to as the economic power and possibility of women? He certainly has the women’s vote in this country and this is why.

The report states, “Today, more than ever before, women are playing a central role in the American economy. Women now make up nearly 50% of our workforce, are a growing number of breadwinners in their families, and are the majority of students in our colleges and graduate schools. American women own 30% of small businesses, which generate $1.2 trillion a year in sales. Since 1962, women’s participation in the labor market has risen by 20 percentage points while the United States’ Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has more than quadrupled. And according to a report by McKinsey, if the United States raised female labor participation rates to the average participation rate of the top 10 states, our economy would add 5.1 million women workers, the equivalent of a 3-4% increase in GDP.”

With women owning 30% of small businesses, controlling 80% of consumer discretionary spending, and accounting for 67% of college graduates (70% of the 2012 valedictorians) it is right for the administration to have this focus.  More surprising is how this did not come to be prior to 2009. The shocking contrast is between these measurements of presence and impact ( current and potential)  and the lack of representation in leadership positions in this country across all sectors.

As a father of two young girls President Obama said, “Every decision I make is all about making sure [my daughters] and all our daughter and all our sons grow up in a country that gives them the chance to be anything they set their minds to; a country where more doors are open to them than were ever open to us.” As the mother of a son and daughter, I could not agree more.

Though I do have some issues with our President on the economic front, his stand for women and girls is notable.

You can see President Obama’s full address here.  Worth a watch!!!!


FACEBOOK.  I feel like it has become a new marker in our society, BF ( before FACEBOOK) and AF ( after FACEBOOK).  BF we relied on email, phone calls,  and in person conversations to stay connected, and now,  we don’t. AF we can now stay connected with hundreds, if not thousands of people by just parking ourselves in front of our MAC. You might think that is a good thing, a bad thing, or a mix of the two but the point is it exists and personally, I love it. It has been and will continue to be a game changer.

In case you have your head in the sand you know that FACEBOOK is soon to go public.  They will raise billions of dollars to expand their control of the universe and will be doing so with a board composed exclusively of white men. This is despite the fact that women make up the majority of FACEBOOK users and account for 62% of the content produced on the site.

Today, the FACE IT campaign was launched in response to Facebook’s all-white, all-male board representation. The FACE IT campaign, which has been endorsed by well known organizations such as 85 Broads, 2020 Women on Boards, Women Corporate Directors, and The 30% Coalition ( which I am a part of), stated in their press release that they will, “call attention to the failure of Facebook’s all-male board to represent the company’s diverse public and its own corporate mission.” (which is stated on their website as, “Facebook’s mission is to give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected.”)

In case they don’t think it is just the RIGHT THING TO DO research conducted by Catalyst found that for the return on equity for companies with at least three or more women board directors outperform those with none by 46%, for Return on Invested Capital it’s 60%, and for Return on Sales it’s 84%.  As a future shareholder you should want diversity on the board as it is likely to prove good for the stock price. But do we really need to make the business case for it?

The FACE IT campaign intends to use Facebook to “spark meaningful change in corporate America- starting with Facebook itself.” According to TechCrunch  women’s representation on corporate boards is dismal.  “While women comprise 51% of the population, they make up only 15.7% of Fortune 500 boards of directors, less than 10% of California tech company boards, and 9.1% of Silicon Valley boards.” Through the Campaigns website (www.faceitcampaign.com), petition, YouTube video, and Facebook page, FACEBOOK is asked to  go public with a board that reflects its user base and the company’s mission. They powerfully state that “without women on its board, Facebook disconnects itself from its public and forsakes its social aspirations.” Simply put –  ‘Seven white men? That’s ridiculous!'”

I throw my support behind this initiative and hope you will to.  A heartfelt thank you to the campaign organizers who took it upon themselves to say as users of FACEBOOK, this is not OK,  and we are going to try to do something to change it.