Posts Tagged ‘social networking’

We are all Kiva partners (Somos Todos Socios de Kiva)


Sheethal Shobowale, KF9, Peru

Wordreference translates Spanish word socio as member or partner.

Yesterday, on my first day as a Kiva Fellow at Asociación Arariwa, I got to see my first group loan disbursement. Raquel (the Kiva coordinator at Arariwa) described the borrowers as Nuestros Socios (our members). In a group loan at Arariwa, the borrowers are Socios del banco. A lender who joins the Kiva community can also be called a Socio de Kiva. I translate Kiva’s partner MFIs as Socios de Kiva (Kiva partners) and I describe myself as Socio de Kiva (Kiva Fellow). And one more: here’s a past blog post by another Kiva Fellow, Michelle, about Socios Dinámicos.

Of course we all have other names –

  • Institución de Microfinanzas – Microfinance Institution: Asociación Arariwa
Asociación Arariwa: Institución de Microfinanzas - Microfinance Institution

Institución de Microfinanzas - Microfinance Institution: Asociación Arariwa

  • Prestamista – Lender: Kiva Lending Team Amigos de Asociación Arariwa
Kiva Lending Team Amigos de Asociación Arariwa

Prestamista - Lender: Kiva Lending Team Amigos de Asociación Arariwa

  • Prestatario – borrower: Ayda from Asociación Arariwa, Cusco, Peru
<b>Prestatario</b> - borrower: Ayda

Prestatario - borrower: Ayda from Asociación Arariwa, Cusco, Peru

  • Voluntario – Volunteer: “Lethal” Sheethal Shobowale, Kiva Fellow, KF9, Peru
Voluntario - Volunteer: "Lethal" Sheethal Shobowale, Kiva Fellow, KF9, Peru

Voluntario - Volunteer: "Lethal" Sheethal Shobowale, Kiva Fellow, KF9, Peru

but I really like the idea that we are all socios (partners or members) of Kiva, of microfinance and in alleviating poverty. And going back to Kiva’s mission, Connecting People through Lending to Alleviate Poverty, being connected as socios seems to make sense to me.

Please consider becoming a Socio of Asociación Arariwa by lending to Arariwa borrowers and joining our Kiva lending team – Amigos/Amigas de Arariwa!

Sheethal Shobowale is currently serving as a Kiva Fellow (KF9) in Cusco, Peru.


#4change – A Monthly Twitter-based chat on social media for change

Yesterday I participated in the third monthly Twitter discussion called #4change.  This month’s topic was Opportunities for Collaboration through Social Media.  Some background reading @peterdeitz collab & competition @hildygottlieb

By the way, for those that don’t know, hashtags (# + a subject such as #4change) are used to follow conversations on Twitter pertaining to a specific subject.  For example, #kiva or #brooklyn.  You can read about hashtags here or just a quick search on the web.  There are many people discussing this topic at the moment.

(@ plus a phrase such as @LethalSheethal), is a Twitter username.  The @ sign signifies a specific Tweeter



This was the first time I’ve participated in anything like this.

I was training for my triathlon this Sunday so I was a bit late, but when I joined my first reactions were –

  • It’s hard to follow a Twitter chat (it’s like listening to 20 conversations at once) because people are replying to each other at different paces
  • Why can’t I filter for certain discussions to follow certain threads?  Perhaps “sub-hashtags” for threads within a chat?
  • Why do I have to spend so much time trying to figure out how to fit my thought and reactions into 140 characters and make it make any sense to someone reading my Tweets?
  • This is information overload.  I had to bookmark several links to check out later.  I am definitely a serious multi-tasker and a bit ADD, but no way could I read, follow, react, analyze and tweet

After getting over the initial issues, I was able to participate with thoughts of my own about collaboration facilitated by social media.  Some thoughts got lost and untweeted because the subject shifted.  To reiterate, it was difficult to read, react, analyze and tweet to everything.  I haven’t been on Twitter very long, so it could be that.  I would have loved to mention some examples of cities collaborating with their citizens through social media and some crowdsourcing examples.  I thought of mentioning umbrella groups asking for examples gaining scale from collaboration.  Someone probably said those things but I probably missed them.

Putting these logistical issues aside, I have many positive takeways from this virtual chat –

  • @engagejoe: I now see more kinds of collaboration: ppl-within-org, org-2-community, community-2-community, org-2-org
  • @engagejoe: I now see more kinds of collaboration: ppl-within-org, org-2-community, community-2-community, org-2-org
  • @tomjd: we must learn to collaborate as individuals first, then teach our organizations how
  • @socialedge: use socialmedia 4 greater transparency, efficiency gains thru shared knowledge/less redundant work+more sector/cross-sector collab
  • I learned again how many non-profits are having issues with social media because of the staff time, funding, etc
  • I met some great people involved with social media for positive change around the world and we are now connected
  • The discussion was still going last I checked although it was only supposed to be 2 hours long
  • KEY: Social media can be a bit chaotic and unfocused, but in this chaos, there are gems of creativity, knowledge sharing, community-building and collaboration just figuring it all out

And of course some links related to collaboration wrt social media to peruse in more depth at your convenience. – a platform to engage and inspire the 25 year olds of today -First Open Database of Social Entrepreneurs – Top 10 Social Media Presentations from @socialedge – Crowdsourcing for Social Good from @SocialEarth – online project management software – web-based project collaboration tool

Things I will do next time to make this experience better –

  • Set up the #4change search beforehand so I can follow better from the onset
  • Expect to miss the point of many @ replies without context
  • Look out for more resources to explore outside of the discussion time
  • Focus on the people and the network
  • Keep an open mind

Thanks #4change for setting this up!  Look forward to the next one.  Hopefully I’ll get my issues sorted before then.

Updating multiple social networks with

Check out for updating multiple social networks.

This site allows you to easily update Twitter, your Facebook Page status or Fan Page, Linked In status, and so many more other networks with the same post.

Here’s an image of some of the networks.  This is only screenshot of the first page.  Clearly they have covered their bases.

Update multiple social networks in one place with

Update multiple social networks in one place with

What’s great about this site is you can broadcast one message everywhere with very little effort.  It’s much easier to manage your organization’s social media campaign when you only have to update your message in one place.  Plus you can also keep your mzessage consistent across the public domain.

However, if you want to post different messages in different places or post only to some of your social networks, you can set up groups of networks.  For example, I only use Twitter and LinkedIn for professional comments but I often post personal comments on Facebook.  For this reason, I have created a professional and personal profile so I can post to different networks based on the content of the update.

One thing that complicates this “post to all places” idea is that people on Twitter use hash (#) tags to tag posts while Facebook does not.  (For example, #kiva if you are talking about Kiva, so when people search for posts, they see yours.  Hash tagging makes your posts more visible to Tweeters.)  It might be useful to set up a Ping group for Twitter separately because you may risk alienting those on other networks who don’t read the hash tag language.  Any thoughts on this issue, please post a comment or message me.

Please feel free to ask me how to get started with!

The Extraordinaries: Will Microvolunteering Work [for financial literacy]? : NPR

The Extraordinaries: Will Microvolunteering Work?

via The Extraordinaries: Will Microvolunteering Work? : NPR.

The gist:

Got five minutes? Got a cell phone? Want to do good?  The Extraordinaries can help. It’s one of a number of newly hatched social-media enterprises that champion speedy cooperation. Here is the 30-second elevator pitch: The Extraordinaries delivers microvolunteer opportunities to mobile phones that can be done on-demand and on-the-spot.


Would this concept work for a financial literacy mentorship program?  It does mention “giving advice to college applicants” as one of the microvolunteering possibilities.

What financial literacy questions could be answered for a mentee while waiting in line at the supermarket?

Could this make sense?


More on this as I explore the concept a bit more…  Just wanted to get a thought started before my ADD-ness causes me to move on to something else before I record it.

Have a good weekend!

Acumen Fund CEO Jacquelyn Novogratz at the Paley Center for Media

Tonight I attended an event called Building a Movement in an Interconnected World, A Conversation with Jacqueline Novogratz, CEO of the Acumen Fund at the Paley Center for Media.  The conversation was enlightening and inspiring and definitely humbling.  Here are some thoughts from the event that may be applicable to you and your organization.

Jacquelyn recently published a book called The Blue Sweater.  She started writing in 1999, in the voices of the women she met in her work, but left the book when she started the Acumen Fund. She finally went back to complete her work.

The moderator Pat Mitchell, President of the Paley Center, started the conversation with historical examples of media used to foster social change

  • Civil rights march – videos of protesters
  • Vietnam war – TV footage helped end US involvement
  • Rodney King beating – amateur video started community reaction
  • Burma protest – amateur footage shot with digital cameras, blackberries, etc
  • Iranian elections – use of Twitter

The last couple of examples were situations where main stream media could not go, showing the new power of community media

More discussion of media use

  • In Rwanda, the local media played a role in the genocide in a destructive way as a propaganda tool.  Before you could control the message through the media, or just cut off contact.  The landscape of what you could control or not has changed.  Now it cannot be controlled.
  • Al Qaeda uses social media to mobilize.
  • In Iran, we are connected to the individuals through their personal messages versus a broadcast message.
  • In Pakistan, a video of women being flogged changed the conversation.  You can’t hide from visuals.
  • Obama is a great example of using media as a mobilizing force

Challenges with new social media
The Acumen message is complex.  They experiment with packaging the message so it can go viral

Acumen Message

  • “Patient capital” – basic services through entrepreneurship and sustainable models
  • Use philanthropic money and invest, high tolerance for risk, long time
  • $40m investment so far – 25,000 jobs created
  • Want to fundamentally change the way aid works and show financial markets to have patience
  • Acumen does experiments and then creates a model to scale to other places

Acumen use of social media

  • Blogs – Several years ago Acumen started a blog.  Acumen Fellows also have a blog.  They plan to merge the two.  Online travel diary
  • Video – Small video stories online
  • Content – Balance between small, digestible bits and longer form content for those who want to go deeper.  The world has changed become more open.  Global stories more interesting to people.  Acumen is an “innovation story and a business story.”  New media is a way to get the voices of the people they serve to speak for themselves
  • Learn by doing – Marketing the book has helped them learn.  And they have Seth Godin and Chris Anderson of TED helping them.
  • Research – people twitter messages they like so they use those messages in mainstream.  Using the market as a listening device
  • Connection – Young professionals group stays updated through social media.  Leaders have to recognize they are connected to many people.  Institutions (educational and others) have to determine what to teach the leaders of tomorrow.
  • Sharing articles and ideas – For example, here’s an article on ambulance device we are supporting.  Get feedback on others who are doing similar things

Acumen Social Media Dream

Using social media beyond describing the projects to help make structural changes (as a force against corruption) to fundamentally change the system. For example, one project, 1298 Ambulance Service was able to get a corruption case to the Supreme Court.  What’s important is the story has to be real.

Acumen’s overall influence is based on telling the stories through media. They have to get the investments right first and then tell stories right.

Examples of the Acumen Fund and the power of social media
Story of Jane – Jacquelyn met Jane on a trip to Nairobi.  The Acumen fund has an investment in a housing development nearby to the slum in which she lives.  Jane was born in the slum and as a child, she wanted to be a doctor and to marry a good man.  She was not able to go to school and her husband left her soon after the birth of her second child.  To support her family, she became a prostitute but she wanted better.  So she bought a sewing machine and and got into the secondary clothing business, refashioning gowns for sweet sixteens.  After several years she earned enough to put a down payment on a house.  She has HIV but serves the community by talking to HIV patients, “giving out hope.”  TED put story the online and people from the slum comment on story online and over 150,000 people know the story now.

Book Club – One of the Acumen Fellows gave the book to someone in the slum and he wrote a review of the book.  Now they have started a book club and expect to remain in contact.

After the conversation, the moderator announced a new initiative called Think Social headed by some social media heavy hitters – Jamie Daves and Toby Daniels. ThinkSocial is a platform dedicated to advancing the public interest through social media.  Looking forward to hearing more from them!

McKinsey on Non-Profits: Managing the Economic Downturn

I attended an event at McKinsey last night about non-profits managing during a downturn.

The main question of the night was: “How do you manage your organization with decreased revenue (through decreased foundation, government and individual giving) + increased demand for services?” Since many McKinsey alumni participate on boards of non-profit organizations (my husband included), McKinsey held this session as a way to be part of the conversation.

The speaker (Steve Davis of the Seattle McKinsey office) discussed several “checklist” items at a high level in 4 buckets –

  • strategy
  • finance
  • operations
  • organization

I am most interested in the marketing and development aspects of the conversation so that’s what I will focus on in this post.

A summary of his thoughts about marketing and development –

Fundraising – targeting is key to keep fundraising working during this time. Use very specific messaging to connect with your constituents.

For example, one of the largest universities in the countries made a commitment to need-blind admission. However, with this commitment they created a gap between income and spending.  To help alleviate this issue, they targeted their fundraising efforts with a specific message stressing this commitment even during the tough economic times.  And in doing so, they were able to fill in the gap through their alumni giving.

New community engagement – go out to the community, open up, be transparent.  Of course proprietary information should be kept that way, but whatever you can share, you should.  Now is not time to retrench. My favorite thought:  Engage the community online! Get away from the “we control the message” idea.  Let them be part of the conversation about philanthropy in their community. Steve is a web guy too, having worked with Bill Gates in a past life.

When asked the question, he didn’t know which orgs have used web 3.0-type tools successfully but I will follow up with him. I think there are many organizations using online tools well.

Here are three of my favorite examples.  Please feel free to add some of your own in the comments.

  • Kiva
  • NYPL
  • NPR

Comment from Nancy L. Raybin, Raybin Associates, Inc. (her firm publishes Giving USA, an annual report on fundraising trends) – Giving last year was $300 billion, which is still a big number, even in this environment.  Religious giving was up last year because people were scared so they went to their churches, mosques and synogogues for solace.  Public-society benefit* giving  was up.  Social service organizations didn’t have the means to organize in the same fashion as religious groups and public-society benefit organizations so they suffered.

I spoke to Nancy for a few minutes after the talk, and she said there is a huge opportunity to reach the under 30 set who are completely missed by direct mail.
I also chatted with Steve for a few minutes and he agreed that there is huge opportunity to foster the Obama-style community-driven giving like never before.  Besides fundraising potential, it fosters the community to support your work (as a volunteer, board member, donor, etc)

And of course, this requires engaging the community in conversation online and offline.

*organizations such as the United Way, Jewish federations, and freestanding donor-advised funds. It also includes organizations formed for research in the sciences or social sciences, policy institutions, advocacy groups focused on civil rights and voter education, community and economic development organizations, and groups working to serve veterans and military families.


Steve Davis, MA, JD, is a senior advisor for McKinsey & Company’s Social Sector Office, where he focuses on global health, development, and philanthropy. He is also a consultant and community volunteer active in many nonprofit organizations and business enterprises, and he recently served as interim CEO of the Infectious Disease Research Institute (IDRI) in Seattle. Mr. Davis is a lecturer at the University of Washington’s School of Law in the Intellectual Property Program. Until 2007, Mr. Davis was the president and CEO of Corbis, a global leader in creating, sourcing, and distributing digital media. Before joining Corbis in 1993, he practiced law with the firm of Preston Gates & Ellis in Seattle, specializing in intellectual property issues. Prior to that, he held various positions in international refugee and human rights organizations. Mr. Davis currently serves on the boards of PATH, IRDI, the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, The Seattle Foundation, Global Partnerships, Crucell, Intrepid Learning Solutions, and PlanetOut, and he is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. He previously chaired the Technology Alliance, United Way of King County, and the International Practice Section of the Washington State Bar. Mr. Davis received his BA from Princeton University, his MA in Chinese studies from the University of Washington, and his JD from Columbia University School of Law, where he received the Faculty Prize in international law.


Email signatures and website links

Someone who supports your organization may be interested in going one step further to spread your work to their networks.  And you can make it easy for them.   Something as simple as an email signature that includes a link to your organization can give you a lot of exposure.

Kiva on my email signature

Kiva on my email signature

Many people ask me about Kiva after receiving an email from me because every email I send includes an email signature that points people to my Kiva lender page.

Some of my friends have joined me in lending to entrepreneurs in the developing world through this promotion.  And some of even added a link to their Kiva lending page to their personal emails.

My signature is just text because gmail doesn’t allow images in the signature. However, it would be even more effective to show the Kiva logo and a photo of a lender. Other email programs allow this.

Kiva goes one step further and has a page on their website with a form to invite your friends, images you can embed in your website and email signature messages.  All the supporter needs to do is copy and paste the given code on their site.

Kiva Borrower Banner

Kiva Borrower Banner

Kiva logo banners

Kiva logo banners

Small things like this multiplied by many supporters can go a long way!  It may make sense for your organization to add this method of promotion to your marketing toolkit.