Charity’s Best Practices – Busted Foundation – Mailchimp, Google Hangout, Google Drive, Social Media

For many years, Busted Foundation was a one-woman-show with one main event. So Stephanie LaHart, the founder of Busted Foundation, decided to form a Board of Directors composed of her most loyal volunteers. I am on the Board of Director for Busted Foundation where I am responsible for the marketing strategy, including all their social media and community outreach. The Board decided to streamline all our tech practices.

We started a monthly newsletter to update our supports and volunteers on any news. We selected Mailchimp because of their user-friendly interface, their integration with our main online fundraiser, Stay Classy, and design templates. The first issue was a challenge since we had 3 separate mailing lists from our 3 cities, which needed to be consolidated. Stephanie and I had multiple skype chats and webinars to get this up and running. We just did it wrong to start…then decided to follow instruction. Hmm, don’t know why we thought that was a good idea. Oh well, we live and learn…. so now we know what not to do.

Since several of some board members are not in Los Angeles, Skype video conference was the way to go. Just recently, we decided to give Google Hangouts a chance because they have a free multi-party video conferencing, which on Skype each person would need to upgrade to premium. Coincidentally, I was already scheduled to go attend a special non-profit community outreach training at the Google-San Francisco office.

To get setup Hangout you will need to upload their software,

  1. Add your group members to your Google+ circle,
  2. Create the meeting,
  3. Invite your friends to attend the hangout. Join.

Hangout has similar perks of Skype, for me the most important is the screen sharing. They have some goofy ‘effects’ which are hilarious time killers. The head/motion detection technology is very innovative. Definitely fun for long distance dating but not for professional meetings. I enjoyed having a 1/3 bar with text intro, makes me feel this a newscaster since it displays my name and title which we found useful. Being able to see our shared Google Docs (now Google Drive) in the same window, makes it very efficient. Drive is like Google Docs meets Dropbox. This is very useful for our organization since we share a variety of documents and use a variety of devices to access our data.

I decided to set-up Busted Foundation with its own Twitter handle @BustedFd because we were using @Bowling4Boobies, which was our main event, but is now only one of our events. George Ludwig of 6Builder allowed me to be one of his beta testers for this product. 6Builder aggregates Twitter articles and sources into a consolidated list based on keywords; where the user just needs spend a few minutes to curate the articles. The system automatically posts the articles with links at random times after your approve your selections. The system also determines who to follow and unfollow.  The end result is less time spent on researching and curating content for our social media sources, increased followers with more meaningful interactions. In the 3 months I have been using this, there’s been a 10x increase in our followers on @BustedFd which also lead to increased Facebook followers. 6Builder is still in bootstrap development mode but I feel this definitely has big potential.