About Debra Askanase

My philosophy? It’s all about engagement.

I consider myself an Engagement Strategist: I help organizations and brands engage with their stakeholders in a deep and real manner. Organizations can move online supporters to action by engaging them in relevant conversation, listening, and offering real value; my company works with nonprofits to do this every day. My strengths are in training staff and teams to use social media effectively, developing goal-driven online strategies and campaigns, auditing existing efforts, and developing metrics to measure social media success and engagement.

I chose the name Community Organizer 2.0 because I utilize basic community organizing principles when I work: creating strategies for listening, engaging and moving people to act, online. As an engagement strategist, I translate basic organizing principles into online social media strategy. I listen and ask questions to determine what the appropriate strategy should be for each organization. Social media supports organizational goals, and its success can be measured. There’s more in this interview about my approach to online engagement and strategic digital marketing.

As of March 1, 2014, I will be the Director of Outreach for the National Brain Tumor Society. I am so excited to be putting my skills to use at this fabulous organization.

Presentations and Trainings 

I am also a presenter and trainer. You can view all of my presentations and webinar slides on the presentation page of this website, as well as contact me about speaking engagements. My presentations always include peer learning, and I bring the audience’s knowledge into every speaking engagement and workshop.

Want to hire me as a presenter or start a conversation? Let’s talk! Just fill out this form.

A little bit about my professional background

Community organizing has influenced my career and outlook. I worked as a community organizer for over ten years, working with multi-issue community organizations, member organizations, and tenant associations. My role as an organizer was to develop strong leaders, create community, and identify strategic paths to change. I loved working with leaders stepping into their power, just as I love advising clients who see the potential of social media.

For the next ten years I worked in economic development for various non-profit organizations in the Boston, MA area. I was the Executive Director of a local community organization dedicated to revitalizing and promoting a neighborhood business district through the joint efforts of neighborhood volunteers, organizations and businesses. I also directed the Entrepreneurial Programs division of a local community development corporation. I consulted individually with hundreds of emerging entrepreneurs on all aspects of starting a business, developed intensive entrepreneurial training programs, and worked with the community to develop niche entrepreneurial training programs.

In 2007 I moved to Israel with my family, and graduated Bar Ilan University’s MBA program in 2008, with a business degree focused on international business and marketing. Upon graduation from Bar Ilan in 2008, I founded Community Organizer 2.0, and began working with a variety of nonprofit and corporate clients in Israel and around the world. My work has included social media campaign and strategy development and implementation, competitive assessments, ongoing strategic coaching, and social media training. I loved living in Israel and working alongside an incredible community of peers and entrepreneurs.

After three years in Israel, my family and I returned to Boston in August 2010. Since then, I have consulted to mission-driven organizations through my company, Community Organizer 2.0. I love working with mission-driven organizations to create digital strategies that engage, create trust, and move people to action. Ask me how I can help your organization achieve its digital communication goals, and move stakeholders to action.

Connect with me

Find me on twitter @askdebra, view my profile and send me a message on Linkedin, follow what I’m reading through my delicious bookmarks, subscribe to my Slideshare presentations, or connect with me on Google +.

Of course, you can always drop me a line “web 1.0-style” and send an email to Debra Askanase.

I look forward to the conversation!


Debra Askanase is an experienced digital engagement strategist, non-profit executive, and community organizer. She is works with mission-driven organizations to develop digital strategies and campaigns that engage, create trust, and move stakeholders to action. Debra speaks at conferences worldwide on the intersection of technology, social media, and nonprofit organizations.

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