Avi Chai Foundation Gets Social

Cross posted from Allison Fine’s blog, A Fine Blog In partnership with my friends at Personal Democracy Forum, I have had the great pleasure of working with the Avi Chai Foundation since last May. Our engagement has two sides; working with the foundation staff to help them use social media, and developing efforts to strengthen the ability of their grantees and community, particularly Jewish day schools, to become more adept at using social media to build and strengthen their own networks. The foundation has been very courageous and forward thinking about using social media. They are sunsetting in 9 years and want part of their legacy to be a growing “tribe” of Jews that are connected with one another and Judaism. It’s a fascinating notion. They’re not interested in leaving buildings and legacy organizations but want to leave the capacity of a network of people to continue to grow and thrive. We are beginning with a set of experiments with day schools including a training academy for which we will have the great fortune of working with Darim Online, a video contest and online fundraising match. The foundation has taken concrete steps to enter the social media waters. Staffers have started tweeting. Deena Fuchs, the director of special projects and communications, came up with a great idea yesterday. For the next two weeks, the staff is going to have a contest to see who can gain the largest number of new friends on Twitter. We couldn’t decide on a prize. Any ideas? In addition, we agreed on social media policies to provide guidance for staff and boundaries for management. A very interesting point that someone brought up at the meeting is that these really are communications guidelines, that there shouldn’t be an artificial distinction between policies related to social media versus traditional media. Here are their policies. I think they’ve done a great job of keeping them simple, manageable and direct: The AVI CHAI Foundation Social Media Policy AVI CHAI encourages staff and Trustees to be champions on behalf of the Foundation, LRP, day schools and overnight summer camps. The rapidly growing phenomenon of blogging, social networks and other forms of online electronic publishing are emerging as unprecedented opportunities for outreach, information-sharing and advocacy. AVI CHAI encourages (but does not require) staff and Trustees to use the Internet to blog and talk about our work and our grant making and therefore wants staff and Trustees to understand the responsibilities in discussing AVI CHAI in the public square known as the World Wide Web. Guidelines for AVI CHAI Social Media Users 1. Be Smart. A blog or community post is visible to the entire world. Remember that what you write will be public for a long time – be respectful to the Foundation, colleagues, grantees, and partners, and protect your privacy. 2. Write What You Know. You have a unique perspective on our organization based on your talents, skills and current responsibilities. Share your knowledge, your passions and your personality in your posts by writing about what you know. If you’re interesting and authentic, you’ll attract readers who understand your specialty and interests. Don’t spread gossip, hearsay or assumptions. 3. Identify Yourself. Authenticity and transparency are driving factors of the blogosphere. List your name and when relevant, role at AVI CHAI, when you blog about AVI CHAI-related topics. 4. Include Links. Find out who else is blogging about the same topic and cite them with a link or make a post on their blog. Links are what determine a blog’s popularity rating on blog search engines like Technorati. It’s also a way of connecting to the bigger conversation and reaching out to new audiences. Be sure to also link to avichai.org. 5. Include a Disclaimer. If you blog or post to an online forum in an unofficial capacity, make it clear that you are speaking for yourself and not on behalf of AVI CHAI. If your post has to do with your work or subjects associated with AVI CHAI, use a disclaimer such as this: “The postings on this site are my own and don’t represent AVI CHAI’s positions, strategies or opinions.” This is a good practice but does not exempt you from being held accountable for what you write. 6. Be Respectful. It’s okay to disagree with others but cutting down or insulting readers, employees, bosses or partners and vendors is not. Respect your audience and don’t use obscenities, personal insults, ethnic slurs or other disparaging language to express yourself. 7. Work Matters. Ensure that your blogging does not interfere with your other work commitments. 8. Respect Privacy of Others. Don’t publish or cite personal or confidential details and photographs about AVI CHAI grantees, employees, Trustees, partners or vendors without their permission. 9. Don’t Tell Secrets. The nature of your job may provide you with access to confidential information regarding AVI CHAI, AVI CHAI grantees, partners, or fellow employees. Respect and maintain the confidentiality that has been entrusted to you. Don’t divulge or discuss proprietary information, internal documents, personal details about other people or other confidential material 10. Be Responsible. Blogs, wikis, photo-sharing and other forms of online dialogue (unless posted by authorized AVI CHAI personnel) are individual interactions, not corporate communications. AVI CHAI staff and Trustees are personally responsible for their posts.

#11NTCJEWS – The Jewish Community at the Nonprofit Technology Network Conference

Thanks to the 70 people who came out this morning to learn, share, problem solve and mature the Jewish community’s use of technology, new models of leadership and creative thinking. Due to the overloaded wifi network (a problem when you bring 2000 techo-philes into one hotel network), the live evaluation and feedbacks were slow to post today. Thus, I’ve embedded them here, both for the participants and others who may be interested. We used Poll Everywhere to enable everyone to text in their questions and see what others were thinking. You can also find the slides and other related links below.

And slides from today:

#11NTCJews – JNMIF & 10 New Rules of the Game

Darim’s Networked Nonprofit Book Club on Facebook: http://on.fb.me/netnonbookclub
Recommended book:
The Networked Nonprofit by Beth Kanter and Allison Fine
Empowered by Josh Bernoff
Open Leadership by Charlene Li
Thanks to everyone for coming, sharing and leading. We invite additional comments, reflections, ideas and requests in the comments here. We’ll also be following up with the resources discussed in Rachel’s problem solving session, and emailing updated info, links, roster, etc. to all.

LAST CALL: Join the Schusterman Foundation and Darim Online at the 2011 Nonprofit Technology Conference!

Weve said it before and well say it again: the Schusterman Family Foundation and Darim Online will be at NTENs annual Nonprofit Technology Conference in Washington, D.C., March 17-19, and we think you should us join there.
While we wont repeat all of our Top 10 Reasons to Go to the 2011 Nonprofit Technology Conference, we do want to highlight the three exciting Jewish-themed gatherings weve got planned just for you.

1) The State of the Jewish Digital Nation. Thursday, March 17 8-11 am Washington Hilton

The Schusterman Family Foundation and Darim Online are hosting an affinity group meeting that will inspire, educate and assist you in your work. The agenda offers both an expansive and detailed update on the field, including:

  • A debrief of the Jewish New Media Innovation Fund from Adam Simon of the Schusterman Family Foundation;
  • New Rules of the New Media Game from Lisa Colton of Darim Online;
  • Case studies from accomplished organizations inside and outside of the Jewish community; and
  • A fantastic problem-solving adventure led by NTEN rockstar and Senior Manager of Marketing & Communications at TechSoup Global, Rachel Weidinger.

We know its early in the morning, but well make you a deal: you can come in your pajamas and well provide breakfast.

2) Field trip to the Sixth and I Synagogue
Thursday, March 17 Early evening 600 I Street Northwest

In anticipation of Purima holiday on which we are actually commanded to be joyful and engage in revelrywe will take a field trip to the historic Sixth and I synagogue for a private viewing of JT Waldman’s illustrated Megillat Esther. Wine, beer and noshes will be provided. Learn more about Waldmans work and Sixth and I

Thanks to the Jewish Communal Service Association for hosting this event!

3) Shabbat Dinner
Friday, March 18 6:00-8:00 pm Location TBD

Join your friends and colleagues for Shabbat dinner to share, schmooze, reflect and relax. Dinner location is being finalized, but it will be within walking distance from the hotel and kosher-style options will be available. This will be the perfect preamble to the many NTC after parties that will kickoff in the hotel around 8:00 pm.

So there you have itthree awesome events designed with you in mind. There is no cost to attend any of them (except perhaps a cab or metro ride to Sixth and I), and they are open to Jewish professionals and lay leaders whether or not they are registered to attend the full NTC conference. We do, however, need you to let us know if and when you will be joining us so we can plan for space and food, and forward details to you. Please complete this quick form to let us know where we can expect you: http://bit.ly/Jewish11ntc

Feel free to forward this information to those who you know are coming to NTC, or who are in the D.C. area and may be interested in participating. If you do plan to attend the entire conference, you can also still take advantage of our discounted rate by following these steps:

  • If youre new to NTEN, youll have to set up a free and easy account. (Or login to your NTEN account.)
  • Go to 2011 Nonprofit Technology Conference
  • Select Darim Online in the How did you hear? field when registering to receive the NTEN member rate.

Please do not hesitate to reach out with any questions. We look forward to seeing you in Washington, D.C., on March 17!

Warmly,

Your friends at the Schusterman Family Foundation and Darim Online

Playing Like Lion Cubs

I’m recently back from 2 Jewish education conferences — #JEA59 (Conservative Jewish educators) and #NATEseattle (Reform Jewish educators). Both conferences shared a theme about technology, and I fully enjoyed the opportunity to both teach and learn. In Seattle, Charlie Schwartz and Russel Neiss of Media Midrash did a session on mobile technologies, which I loved. They demanded that we all bring our phones and ipads fully charged and ready to go. They reminded us of the educational power of the tools students bring with them into the classroom, and guided us to the productive and creative ways to use them. But it wasn’t PollEverywhere or SCVNGR that really got me excited. It was that we were all playing. That’s right. PLAYING.Lion Cubs at Play

 

Mid-text message, while the educator’s snarky responses to Charlie and Russel’s questions were popping up on the gigantic screens, and giggles were erupting throughout the ballroom, I had this vision in my mind:

We’re all lion cubs.

Children, of all species, play. They play not just because they’ve got nothing else better to do, but because they need to play to learn and practice the skills they will need to employ as adults. We play to learn balance, boundaries, social skills. As adults, we often forget how to play in this way. We’ve grown out of it. It’s natural. But in an environment where we continually need to be learning new boundaries, new skills, new tools, this kind of play is actually really important.

While we often focus on "professional development" and "training" (both of which are important and have their place), I was struck by these conferences’ ability to help us play. In my pre-conference Boot Camp at NATE, participants launched Twitter accounts, and tried their hand at blogging for the first time. Low risk, just play. At JEA, a "technology theater" gave participants permission to sample tools and dabble in a simple, exploratory way.

In our work at Darim, we often observe that the "accidental techies" are educators. "Accidental techies" are the people who are intrigued with a tool, play around, and start to accept responsibility for the organization’s social media activities. I don’t think this is a coincidence. Perhaps educators feel more permission to play. Perhaps people who like to play as adults become educators.

Regardless, I encourage you to embrace your furry playful lion-cub self. Go ahead, play a little! And thanks to Russel and Charlie for presenting your rich and educational session is such a fun and playful way. Kol HaKavod. You taught us more than perhaps you had planned to.

Darim Awarded Covenant Grant for Work with Innovative Jewish Educators

Darim Online is thrilled to announce that The Covenant Foundation has awarded us a grant to work with two cohorts of innovative educational organizations in 2011-12 and 2012-13. The program will be a national Social Media Boot Camp for Jewish Educators, combining the best attributes of our Learning Network for Educators, and Social Media Boot Camps.

Participating organizations will bring teams of 3-5 staff and/or lay leaders to a series of online workshops and trainings to learn about the influence of technology and social media on their field, and practical applications of these powerful tools in their work for marketing, communication, professional learning, and program delivery. Participating teams will also receive private and small group coaching and consulting to help them design and implement a technology related project in their work.

Darim is seeking to build a cohort of innovative and risk taking organizations for this program. We define these terms broadly. Applicants need not demonstrate any particular level of technical proficiency or experience, but do need to have a track record of innovation and/or risk taking in some area of their work – from program design or teaching methods to communications or staffing.

Interested? Complete this brief form and we’ll make sure to notify you when the application and more information is available in the coming weeks.

Top 10 Reasons to Go to the 2011 Nonprofit Technology Conference!

On March 17-19, NTEN will host its annual Nonprofit Technology Conference in Washington, DC. The Schusterman Family Foundation and Darim Online will be there, and we think you should join us. NTC_vert_rgbWhy? Thought you’d never ask … 10) You’ll get to learn from experts in the nonprofit sector in person and learn from their practical experience. 9) Speaking of, where else will you get to attend sessions facilitated by rockstars like Beth Kanter and Allison Fine, authors of “The Networked Nonprofit,” Wendy Harman, of the American Red Cross and Stacy Monk, founder of Epic Change and Tweetsgiving campaigns? (See our list of the top 10 must-attend sessions.) 8 ) A wide range of nonprofit professionals—executives directors, marketing and communications professionals, development and program staff—and organizations will be there. 7) It’s a great way to step outside the silo of our community while creating partnerships and mentorships within it. 6) It’s fun! NTC is not your average stuffy professional conference. You get to enjoy ice cream bars at the mid-afternoon break and cocktails with friends at the After-Party. Yes, you read that right—ice cream and cocktails! 5) We’re offering a discount to the members of our network (see below for how to take advantage). 4) The adventurous-and-always-fun-to-learn-from Esther Kustanowitz will be there. 3) Can we get you a warm chocolate chip cookie with that ice cream bar? 2) Guaranteed free wifi throughout the conference. You’re encouraged to fool around on your iPad/blackberry/laptop during sessions—but only if you’re tweeting or live blogging. Finally, the #1 reason why we think you should join us at NTEN this year is … 1) We’re hosting two really awesome gatherings just for you! The first will take place on the morning of Thursday, March 17, before the NTC officially gets underway. We will gather from 9 am – noon, using these three hours to:

  • Get an update on the state of the Jewish digital union, including a debrief of the results of the Jewish New Media Innovation Fund;
  • Discuss the new rules of the digital game and how they apply to your work;
  • Hear a few case studies of leading practices in the Jewish and nonprofit sectors; and
  • Work through an obstacle-busting exercise based on the issues your organization is facing.

The second gathering will be Friday evening for a light and easy Shabbat dinner. Come to eat, schmooze and continue the conversations sparked by Thursday’s gathering. Nothing fancy—just food, new friends and some time to TGIF. You do not have to register for the entire NTC conference to attend these events (though we do encourage it). Sold? Ready for next steps? Great! A) Sign up for NTEN. To take advantage of our special rate, you will need to follow these steps:

  • If you’re new to NTEN, you’ll have to set up a free and easy account. (Or login to your NTEN account.)
  • Go to 2011 Nonprofit Technology Conference
  • Select “Darim Online” in the “How did you hear?” field when registering to receive the NTEN member rate.

B) Fill out this form to let us know you are coming and if we can expect you for Thursday’s gathering, Shabbat Dinner and/or the entire conference. Again, you don’t have to register for the NTEN conference to join us at one or both of these events. C) Take care of the details like transportation and hospitality. D) Let us know if you have any questions. Until next time! Your friends at CLSFF and Darim Online

Networked Nonprofit Book Club

I pre-ordered The Networked Nonprofit and cracked it open the day I received it last summer. Authors Beth Kanter and Allison Fine are gurus of nonprofit social media and the implications for organizations, and I was eager to continue to learn from them. What I didn’t realize is that the book would provide both conceptual and tactical frameworks for advancing any organization’s work, regardless of where you are starting from. While I’ve recommended the book to many, here at Darim we were eager to really engage with others about what this means for Jewish organizations, their leaders, and the community as a whole. On Monday, we’re launching Darim’s Networked Nonprofit Book Club. Based in the new Facebook Groups, we’ll be posing discussion questions from one or two chapters each week. We hope to learn what you’re thinking, doing, learning, and struggling with. And we hope to learn from each other, help each other solve problems, and also get a sense of where Darim’s efforts could make an important difference for you and others. We’re also learning, as this is our first book club adventure and our first large scale experiment with the updated version of Facebook Groups. So far, 137 people have joined — which has far exceeded our expectations! Even authors Beth Kanter and Allison Fine are on board. We hope the opportunity will help participants learn the “ins and outs” of this new tool along with us, and consider how it can be useful in their communities too. We welcome your input, suggestions and reflections on it — leave a comment here, in the group, or email us at [email protected] to share your thoughts. Want to join us? No cost – just swing on by: http://on.fb.me/netnonbookclub We have posted some initial info and guidelines for the Book Club. In the interest of sharing and encouraging others to experiment with Groups, book clubs, and online community facilitation, we’re posting the information here (see below) and will be sharing updates in future blog posts. Everything on this blog will be tagged "bookclub" and "#netnon". Tweeting? Use #darim and #netnon (which is the hashtag for the book in general). Hope to see you there! It kicks off Monday, though you’re welcome to swing by and join the conversation anytime. How We’ll Work Together We will focus on one or two chapters each week beginning January 10. Each week, Darim staff will kick off the conversation with one or two questions per week that relates to themes in that chapter and implications for Jewish organizations. Together, we will reflect on what that means for our work as Jewish professionals and lay leaders. Respond to our discussion questions by commenting on that post. You can also pose questions to the group, or share links or other information by posting your own status updates to the group. We encourage you to participate in ways that are most meaningful to you. Feel free to jump into – and even initiate – conversations, and to post relevant links and resources to share with the group. If you prefer to dip in and out of the discussions, that’s cool too! There are no preconceived expectations — we want you to learn, experiment, share and connect with others. Tips for Using Facebook Groups Notification settings: BY DEFAULT, You will receive any status that is posted to the group. If you comment on it, you will also receive notifications of any additional comments on that posting. If you’d prefer NOT to receive these notifications, you can click “unsubscribe” next to that specific posting. If you’d like to receive notification about a posting that you haven’t commented on, you can click “subscribe” next to it. To change your default settings, please visit “edit settings” in the top right corner of the group. Adding members: You probably noticed that you can add your Facebook friends to the group if they are on Facebook. Please feel free to add anyone who would like to join – we only ask that you check with them first to see if they are interested. You will find the “Add Friends to Group” link under the Members photos on the right hand column. You can also email them the link to our Group so they can opt in if they’d like. http://on.fb.me/netnonbookclub Group Chat: You can chat with group members who are online in real time by clicking on the “Chat with Group” link under the Members photos on the right hand column or by clicking the tab at bottom of the page. This is a fun way to make a personal connection with others in the group. When the chat box opens, you’ll see photos of group members — those with a green box are currently online. You can elect to have group chat messages sent to you going to “edit settings” and selecting that option. Living Room Policy: While we have very few rules, we do want to make the Book Club experience as fun, useful and efficient as possible for everyone. Thus, we ask you to abide by the Living Room Policy, which is basically this: If I were to invite you into my living room, I would expect you to be courteous and sociable. You are welcome to disagree or challenge me or anyone else, but you must do so respectfully. Also, vibrant discussions require good listening and asking questions or others, not only talking about yourself. Finally, please refrain from using this as a platform for marketing unrelated products or programs. And if you have any questions, please feel free to ask us at [email protected] It may take a little time for you to determine your personal preferences and customize them to fit your needs. Don’t be afraid to take them out for a test ride, tweak as needed, and/or ask us if you need help. Interested in more technical details? You can learn more about Facebook Groups here: http://bit.ly/fvSAor Resources for the Book Club If you have not already done so, please be sure to order your copy of The Networked NonProfit by Beth Kanter and Allison Fine. Here is a link to Amazon: http://bit.ly/aOa6nX And please feel free to view the recording of the recent Darim webinar with Allison Fine and Lisa Colton in which they discussed networked nonprofits and Jewish organizations: http://bit.ly/c8Iudm Are you tweeting? #netnon is the hashtag for the book, and #darim is for our community. Want to learn even more?! Join us at NTC in DC! Join us at NTEN’s annual Nonprofit Technology Conference (NTC). And by “us” we mean a whole bunch of Jewish leaders like you – in addition to the fabulous NTC program (where top notch thinkers like authors Beth Kanter and Allison Fine regularly speak), the Schusterman Family Foundation and Darim Online are hosting a series of events for our members. Click here to learn more about it: http://bit.ly/igDAzB – we hope to see you there!

Your Invitation to Join the Jews at 11NTC!

Technology, marketing, communications, leadershipall vital ingredients to advancing your mission, all key topics to be discussed at the 2011 Nonprofit Technology Conference (NTC).

CLSFF and Darim Online have worked with the event organizer, NTEN: The Nonprofit Technology Network, to offer the members of our network a discount to attend this important gatheringthanks, NTEN!and we are extending an invitation to you to join us there for an intimate discussion about the role technology and new media has to play in advancing our Jewish organizations.

Need another reason why YOU should attend? Well give you three:

  • Its a rare opportunity to connect with, learn from and share knowledge with peers and experts in the nonprofit sector. A wide range of nonprofit professionalsexecutive directors, development professionals, marketing and communication folks, IT staff, program staff and othersfrom both very small and very large organizations will be present to connect with and collaborate on creating change.
  • A playground for the tech-friendly and curious Jewish professionals, the NTC will help you step outside of the silo of our community to learn from the rockstars of the nonprofit technology field, gain insights and skills you wouldnt find elsewhere, and enjoy ice cream bars at the mid-afternoon break and a cocktail with friends at the After-Party.
  • Schusterman Family Foundation and Darim Online will be hosting unique gatherings at the NTC just for the members of our networks: on the morning of Thursday, March 17, we will be facilitating an intimate learning-and-networking event, and on the evening of Friday, March 18, we will be hosting Shabbat dinner.

More details to follow on both events. Please click here to let us know if you are interested in attending and here for your chance to win a free pass to NTC!

In the meantime, to take advantage of our special rate, you will need to follow these steps:

  • If you’re new to NTEN, you’ll have to set up a free and easy account. (Or login to your NTEN account.)
  • Go to 2011 Nonprofit Technology Conference
  • Select Darim Online in the “How did you hear?” field when registering to receive the NTEN member rate.

Please note: the member rate will increase along with the regular rate as we get closer to the event so register as soon as possible! If you do it by Dec. 7, you will get the lowest rate of $359! Have money left in your 2010 professional development budget? This may be just the way to spend it wisely!

To learn more, visit www.nten.org/ntc, and please do not hesitate to reach out with any questions. We hope to see you in Washington, D.C., in March for an invigorating gathering and schmooze sessions!

Opportunity: Tell Us How You Tech!

Have you or your organization used new media technology in an effective, creative way to activate your network? Tell us the details of your story, and be entered to win a free pass to the 2011 Nonprofit Technology Conference (“NTC”) from the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation and Darim Online. NTC, an annual event organized by NTEN: The Nonprofit Technology Network, will take place March 17-19 in Washington, D.C. It is a rare opportunity for the tech-friendly and curious Jewish professionals to connect with, learn from and share knowledge with peers and experts who are dedicating their talents to the nonprofit sector. A wide range of nonprofit professionals—executive directors, development professionals, marketing and communication folks, IT staff, program staff and others—from both very small and very large organizations will be present to discuss how technology, marketing, communications and leadership are essential to advancing your mission. Do not miss out on this amazing opportunity to step outside of the silo of our community to learn from the rockstars of the nonprofit technology field while also engaging in facilitated discussions and schmooze sessions with your fellow Jewish professionals. Better yet, you can earn the chance to do it for free simply by telling us how you are using technology! Leave a comment below! Deadline for submissions is December 15! Thank you to the Nonprofit Technology Network for donating this conference registration to the Jewish community!

Need A Hanukkah Gift For Your Boss?

YScreen shot 2010-11-19 at 3.34.26 PMou’re looking for the gift that keeps on giving, right? I’ve got just the thing for you. Pick up a copy of Beth Kanter and Allison Fine’s book The Networked Nonprofit. A fun read with great stories and case studies, this book will help any nonprofit leader better understand the impact and opportunities of working in a networked world. THEN SIGN UP FOR OUR ONLINE BOOK GROUP! That’s right. Starting in January, we’ll be hosting a free online book group to discuss the concepts and their application to our work in the Jewish community. Bonus: experience the joys of the new Facebook Groups feature while you’re at it. You can join the book group now, and we’ll kick off discussion in January. That gives you just enough time to get copies for your co-workers, plus one for yourself, and read it in mid-December while everyone else is still scrambling for that other holiday, or by a cozy fire, or on the beach in Hawaii or where ever you might take a winter vacation… Have you read the book yet? What are you interested in discussing? What ideas grabbed your attention?