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Taking a Deep Dive Into Something New

11 Comments 24 February 2014

 

Image courtesy of Sum_of_Marc, Creative Commons license

Image courtesy of Sum_of_Marc, Creative Commons license

If you’ve taken a look at my blog lately, you probably noticed that the blog has been dark since January 1, 2014. Whenever I’ve taken a break from blogging in the past, I notified readers ahead of time. In January, I faced a quandary: I didn’t want to post to this blog while I was considering a staff position at a nonprofit organization. I felt it was most ethical for this blog to “stay dark” until I had made a final decision, and notified all of my current clients. I am thrilled to announce that beginning March 1st, I will be the full-time Director of Outreach at the National Brain Tumor Society.

I will be working for an organization that is constantly striving to do better, reach further, and think out of the box, the National Brain Tumor Society. They state that the organization is “fiercely committed to finding better treatments, and ultimately a cure, for people living with a brain tumor today and anyone who will be diagnosed tomorrow. This means effecting change in the system at all levels.” They are working day in, day out to change systems, which you can read all about here. The CEO constantly pushes me to think outside of the box, and supports innovative ideas. I’m so pleased to be part of this effort.

As Director of Outreach, my job is to think about how the organization can best utilize the social web to create relationships with stakeholders, deepen existing relationships, find opportunities to connect people to each other and the organization to other strategic partners, and support the work of the organization. The National Brain Tumor Society hosts fundraising walks, rides and races across the country, and my job will also include supporting the recruitment and retention of fundraisers and volunteers for those events.

It’s a fabulous opportunity to “dive deep” within an organization. The organization has not yet had a full-time staff person dedicated to thinking about social in this expanded way. This is an opportunity to develop new internal systems, social media strategy, campaigns, and test tactics. It was a tough decision to stop consulting, but this is the right opportunity. I am hopeful that I will still be able to speak at conferences about the work of the organization, and nonprofit technology.

I will continue to teach social media at the Graduate School of Marlboro College, about which I am over the moon. When I am teaching a class, I am sure that I learn at least as much from the students (if not more, at times) as they do from me. I am working with the head of the MDO degree program to develop new classes for the 2014-2015 year. Stay tuned as I continue to blog my learnings from developing and teaching new courses.

In 2014, I plan to continue blogging here, at Community Organizer 2.0. Ideally, more than ever before. I’ll continue to offer case studies and insights from other organizations, post slide decks from presentations, workshops, and teaching at Marlboro, and blog about the changing intersection between social media, technology, activism, and nonprofit organizations. Additionally, if you are interested in writing a guest blog post about your nonprofit’s social media efforts, let me know through the contact form on this site.

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  • http://mod-lab.com/ Seth

    Congrats Debra! Exciting news.

    [Reply]

    Debra Askanase Reply:

    Thanks, Seth. Much appreciated. And yes, exciting news!

    [Reply]

  • Joanne Fritz

    Congratulations! I will await your new insights!

    [Reply]

    Debra Askanase Reply:

    Thank you Joanne. Very generous — I hope I can live up to those expectations!

    [Reply]

  • http://about.me/maayanale Ma’ayan Alexander

    Congrats and good luck. I’m looking forward to read about your impressions and new insights.

    [Reply]

  • jakilevy

    Such great news! They are very very lucky to have you @askdebra:disqus – excited to see this!

    [Reply]

    Debra Askanase Reply:

    Jaki – thanks. As always, you’re a huge support.

    [Reply]

  • http://www.WaxingUnLyrical.com/ Shonali Burke

    I am catching up very very late, but HUGE congrats, Debra! You’re about three weeks into your job now, and I imagine you are super-crazed and busy, but what a wonderful cause to work for. They are indeed lucky to have you!

    [Reply]

    Debra Askanase Reply:

    Shonali, thank you! I am busy with the job, but also love learning new things and trying out new things. Stay tuned as I (hopefully am able to) blog about them! Thanks for the kind wishes, and I look forward to staying in touch and continuing to learn from colleagues like you.

    [Reply]

  • http://www.davidbcrowley.com/ David Crowley

    Belated congrats on the job! I’m sure it will be an interesting new twist doing a “deep dive” with one organization that you are clearly excited about. Best wishes there.

    [Reply]

    Debra Askanase Reply:

    David – thanks so much!

    [Reply]

About

Debra Askanase is an experienced digital engagement strategist, non-profit executive, and community organizer. She is the current Director of Outreach at the National Brain Tumor Society. She speaks at conferences worldwide on the intersection of technology, social media, and nonprofit organizations.

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