As part of the 11th Annual Games for Change Festival taking place April 22-24, Schusterman is teaming up with Games for Change to sponsor a game design contest! Games for Change is a nonprofit organization that catalyzes social impact through inventive digital games. They are known for bringing together and propelling the brightest minds passionate about incorporating gaming into daily life in order to advance society.
Schusterman is excited to partner with Games for Change in helping to advance the understanding of games and game thinking within its network of young Jewish change makers! We believe that this initiative will tap into a network of young Jewish adults eager to apply technology for social good in Israel, the Jewish world and beyond.
As part of our partnership with Games for Change, Schusterman invited eight representatives from organizations in our network to come together for a two-day workshop at Soho House in New York City. The workshop helped to advance understanding of the potential of digital games to engage new audiences and to move each organization’s mission forward.
As a result of this workshop, SpaceIL was selected to see their plan through, and we are now calling on game builders far and wide to apply their skills to a worthy mission!
SpaceIL, an Israel-based nonprofit organization and one of the leading teams competing for the Google Lunar X Prize, is aiming to land a spacecraft on the moon by 2015. Through this endeavor, SpaceIL aspires to create a new “Apollo effect,” inspiring the next generation to think differently about science, engineering, technology and math.
The game contest invites designers and developers to envision an interactive experience that encourages players to learn about space exploration and, at the same time, captures comprehensive real-world data that will inform the mission of SpaceIL.
Ideally, the game will allow the SpaceIL team to learn about potential spacecraft designs and possible orbits from online players who are able to land virtual spaceships on the final frontier.
The Games for Change Festival will take place as part of the Tribeca Film Festival in New York City. Three finalists will present their ideas on stage in front of attendees, potential funders and a juried panel, and the winning team with the most innovative proposal will receive a grand prize of $25,000 and have the opportunity to collaborate further with SpaceIL on their mission to the moon!
We are officially on the hunt for creative entries and are excited to see young innovators in our network put their skills to the test! Click here to submit your proposal.
Want to go to the Games for Change Festival but not interested in building a game? No problem! You can purchase tickets here and receive 10% off festival registration using the Schusterman code: schusterman-g4c14! Festival-goers will get to experience presentations from icons of the gaming world. Please visit the Festival website for more about this exciting event!
Enhancing your social media and video use can be hard and sometimes daunting work. But never fear: if you are curious about how to up your online presence across platforms, you can now access the collective resources and learnings from The Jewish Day School Social Media Academy and Jewish Day School Video Academy programs on a new website!
The Jewish Day School Social Media Academy is a year-long intensive program now in its third cohort which helps schools mature their social media use to achieve specific goals, such as recruitment, alumni engagement, community building, and fundraising. The Jewish Day School Video Academy is a contest and program created to help schools use video to support their goals. Since the inception of these programs, we’ve seen some patterns emerge that lead us to two important lessons about advancing your school’s work.
- You don’t know what you don’t know. Often, schools will think they’re doing a fine job with their Facebook page when, in fact, they aren’t using it to the fullest to accomplish their goals. Consider this: you can be proud of yourself when you’ve just memorized your multiplication tables, but you have no idea that there’s more to learn in algebra, or how this new knowledge could actually be useful.
- It’s easy to stick to what you do know. Staff (and in some schools, volunteers) who are excited about social media and video often focus on activities that they know and love, doubling down on what they are already doing well while ignoring other areas that need maturation. Perhaps you’re really good at live tweeting events and photos in real time, but haven’t yet ventured into creating purposeful and high quality videos to market your school. Or you love telling stories, but haven’t been tracking metrics to understand: What tone of voice (for example: serious or funny?), time of day, or visual content gets the most engagement, or farthest reach?
After working with Academy participants to help them understand these two points, we wondered: How can we help you understand where you have room to grow and mature, and then help you take important next steps? How can we support you in trying new things, integrating digital tools into your communications and development work, and rounding out your social media skill set to advance your school’s mission and goals?
To help you and your school advance your work, this week we are launching the Jewish Day School Social Media and Video Academy website, which includes a powerful assessment tool that will help you identify what you’re doing well, where (and how) you can improve, and in which areas you should be investing your time and energy. After completing the assessment, you’ll receive personalized recommendations from the Academy designers and experts from Darim Online (an organization dedicated to advancing the Jewish community by helping Jewish organizations align their work for success in the digital age) and See3 Communications (a digital communications agency that works with nonprofits and social causes to engage and activate people) to help guide and inform your next steps.
The website also includes a wide array of resources: recorded webinars where you can learn to tell your story through video and develop strategies to engage alumni, helpful articles, award-winning videos made by day schools, and examples of best practices in social media.
We’ve designed this site for you to have ah-ha moments, to feel excited and inspired, and to think, “Oh yeah, I should do that!” We also hope the recommendations it provides will be great guidelines for your team and administration to prioritize which approaches to pursue, what professional development is most necessary, and where to focus your social media investments.
Want to connect with other Jewish day schools using social media in creative ways? You can also join the JDS Social Media Academy Facebook Group!
Announcing the 2014 DoGooder Video Awards!
Presented by See3 Communications, YouTube, the Nonprofit Technology Network, The National Youth Media Network and National Alliance for Media and Culture
See3 Communications (which merged with Darim Online in 2012) is once again teaming up with the amazing partners listed above to host the 8th Annual DoGooder Video Awards. This is a HUGE opportunity for Jewish organizations to showcase fantastic videos created in 2013, and to get the word out about the good you're doing. Check out the video and the press release below for more information, and let us know if you submit - we'd love to cheer you on!
See3 Communications, the leader in online video for nonprofits, and YouTube, the world’s largest online video community along with the Nonprofit Technology Network, announced today the launch of the 2014 DoGooder Video Awards. The DoGooder Awards recognize the creative and effective use of video in promoting social good. Cisco, a global leader in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), is generously contributing a cash prize to one contest winner. Cisco combines human and technology networks to multiply its impact on people, communities, and the planet. The National Alliance for Media Arts and Culture in partnership with the National Youth Media Network & with support from The National Alliance for Media Literacy Education and others, will also provide additional prizes to the winner of the new Youth Media category.
In addition to prizes provided by Cisco and the National Alliance for Media Arts and Culture, contest winners will receive free registration to the Nonprofit Technology Conference, the signature event hosted by the Nonprofit Technology Network (NTEN). Finally, the winners will see their videos (and their message) featured on the hugely popular YouTube Spotlight Channel.
Now in its 8th year, the DoGooder Awards program is dedicated to giving those cause advocates that use video a place for their work to shine. This year, the program is excited to open up participation to include younger do-gooders ages 12 to 21 who best communicated their thoughts on pressing social issues in a way that inspired others.
"We are really excited to launch another year of the DoGooder Awards," said Michael Hoffman, CEO of See3. "When we started the awards 8 years ago, no one knew why they needed to focus on video. Now, the majority of all bandwidth is video and video messaging has become more important than ever for nonprofit organizations around the world. This year, we are pleased to present the Most Inspiring Youth Media Award, where we can showcase the up-and-coming video makers dedicated to social change. Once again we have the investment of YouTube, NTEN and Cisco to make this all possible and we are grateful for their dedication to the nonprofit sector."
Beginning February 1st, video submissions will be accepted via the contest website until February 15th, in the following categories:
- The ImpactX Award: honoring those videos that have demonstrated impact for their causes.
- The Best Nonprofit Video Award: honoring nonprofit organizations using video to make change.
- The Funny for Good Award: Recognizing effective use of comedy to make people laugh and take action.
- The Most Inspiring Youth Media Award: For youth who best communicated their thoughts on pressing social issues in a way that inspired others.
Members of the YouTube community will have the opportunity to vote for the best among the finalists from February 28th through March 10th.
The winning videos in each category will be featured on YouTube’s coveted Spotlight Channel, receive a free registration to next year’s Nonprofit Technology Conference and will be recognized at the Nonprofit Technology Conference in Washington, D.C. on March 13, 2014. The winners in the ImpactX category will receive a cash prize from Cisco to help them harness the power of human and technology networks to multiply their impact on the people and communities they serve. Additional prizes will be awarded to each winner as well.
Celebrating its eighth year, the DoGooder Video Awards has awarded thousands of dollars in grants and prizes to support the work of organizations doing good. Last year, over 800 entries were submitted from more than 300 nonprofit organizations, with winning videos from Rainforest Alliance, Pathfinder International and more.
Organizations and individuals can enter the contest by going to www.youtube.com/dogooder.
As part of the #NetTalks Alumni Engagement Webinar Series, Beth Kanter, nonprofit social media and engagement guru, taught an important lesson during her recent presentation: you must invest in building your online alumni ecosystem, and then you can turn to activating it to achieve your stated goals.
You don’t just want people to “like” you. And you don’t actually want them to start engaging the moment they become alumni. And you don’t really want to share information about your program with them. Really.
- Because “liking” your Facebook page or your content is just the beginning. It’s potential, but it’s not the goal. You want alumni to follow you, engage, advocate for you, and donate. The “like” is merely one early step along this path.
- Because beginning to engage should happen before they become alumni – focus on developing long term relationships and mature communication channels that flow in both directions!
- And finally, because you want to be in conversation with alumni, not broadcasting information at them.
Building your online alumni ecosystem cannot be based on one-directional broadcasts, nor rest primarily on reminiscing about the past. The opportunity to leverage social media and networks is huge, but requires that we pivot our approach to be more empowering, more conversational, and more personal. (Join the next webinar with James Fowler on Feb. 19th to learn about “Mobilizing the Network: The Power of Friends”.)
Take this example from URJ Camp Kalsman: When beginning to hire staff for the summer, they turned to their alumni (and potentially current older campers and parents of current campers) on Facebook to ask, “We are in the midst of hiring our summer staff and we want to hear from you! What do you love to see in a camp counselor?” By asking a question, the camp invites engagement, values the perspective and experience of alumni, and gains important insight for their future hiring. They’ve moved from “liking” to “engaging” and those who respond actually may influence the experience of future campers.
Beth also showed several examples from schools that are using reminiscing as an entry point to strengthen their network. Their “Throwback Thursday” photos are intended to go beyond reminiscing – they are getting alumni to tag their friends in the group photos, which creates or re-creates a strong group dynamic and builds energy.” It’s not about the school, it’s about the relationships that were fostered there. The Shulamith School for Girls in Brooklyn, NY had 78 comments on a photo from the 1970′s, as alumni talked with each other and reconnected with old friends.
Moving from engagement to activation, The Jewish Community High School of the Bay featured photos of beloved teachers and coaches holding signs (“Coach says GIVE!”) that prompted alumni to join in the communal effort to reach their fundraising goal – tagging friends to contribute and asking for photos of their favorite faculty.
Social media is social as much (or more so) than it is media. As a professional seeking to engage and activate your alumni community, consider yourself more “party host” than “alumni magazine editor”. To play this role, you must have the right tools in your toolbox and know how to use them. However, doing it well goes far beyond technical proficiency. Be a good listener, steward conversations, and empower your biggest fans to enrich the network with their voice, actions and relationships.
If you missed Beth’s webinar, view her presentation here. To learn more about activating an alumni network, join the next #NetTalks webinar with James Fowler on Feb. 19 on “Mobilizing the Network: The Power of Friends”. Register here.
I was putting together a presentation for Jewish communal folks on developing an effective professional presence online, including some bits about the personal/professional continuum, some about reputation management, some about privacy vs. publicy, and other technical tips. Before I finished the presentation, I asked my network: What advice would you give? Here are their answers…
Rebecca: Creating separate lists for professional contacts and adjusting privacy settings accordingly.
Arnie: Ask questions consistently. Value people’s responses. Engage them in conversation. Respect them. Maintain a sense of humor and a sense of perspective.
Deborah: Just like in in-person communication, consider verbal, vocal (tone) and non-verbal (appearance). They all make an impact.
Stephanie: Nothing is truly personal. You must always represent yourself professionally, even in your personal spaces (i.e., your hobby blog, your “personal” Twitter.
Liz: Don’t just “sell” your programs and/or yourself. Also answer others’ posts, share others’ ideas/posts, participate in the on-line community.
Peter: Be a digital role model (easier said then done).
Ken: Don’t just talk to your own pals. Better yet: try and make new pals, as often as possible.
Lisa: Be generous — respond when people ask or share. Also, re Stephanie’s comment which I 100% agree with, look at the ratios of personal sharing, professional sharing/promoting, generosity/appreciation for others, network engagement, etc. Only a small percentage should be the cute things your kids said (that don’t relate to anything else), otherwise professional contacts will have a hard time taking you seriously. All about the ratios.
Mimi: Connecting with people authentically, keeping things light/funny (the new professional) and warm! AUTHENTIC. GENUINE. REAL. HONEST. (Grabbing my thesuarus here ;)).
Asaf: To the point about reputation maintenance online, I think the best term is personal branding. I think from a professional point of view, people should consider their online presence as supporting the brand that is them. This relates to what they post,where they post, and to whom they post.
Isaac: To be a brand you need to have a consistent voice, tone, message and point of view. To be a personal brand, the above needs to be authentic and closely connected to your actual personality and style.
Big thanks to everyone who contributed to this post! Check out the presentation here.
What advice would YOU give?
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Dan Mendelsohn Aviv
Rabbi Ed Bernstein