Data checking ourselves slide

Matterness, metrics, presentations

Social Media Metrics That Matter

No Comments 31 August 2015

I had the privilege of presenting at the Dallas and Austin Social Media for Nonprofits Conferences this month on the topic of social media metrics. As some readers may know, I’ve recently started a collaboration with colleague Allison Fine to create Matterness Consulting, a consultancy focused on bringing Matterness to the way that mission-driven organizations […]

Continue Reading
Image courtesy of Kenno McDonnell, Creative Commons license

presentations, storytelling

Creating Stories that Compel: Video Storytelling for Nonprofits

No Comments 17 November 2014

As humans, we tell stories in order to make events that have happened to us relatable, we re-tell stories we've heard because they are memorable, and we tell stories to make sense of our world. Why wouldn't we do the same when explaining a need, cause, or event? In October, I offered a workshop for organizations participating in Valley Gives 2014, highlighting what makes a good story, the stories you have right now, and the types of stories that can power your fundraising/crowdfunding campaign. This is a summary of the workshop content, with embedded slide presentation.

Continue Reading
Screen Shot 2014-08-10 at 2.54.43 PM

case studies, presentations, social media campaign

Designing Effective Online Engagement Campaigns

3 Comments 12 August 2014

One of my favorite types of online campaigns to run are online engagement campaigns. Once an organization has built what it believes is a steady and committed following online, I strongly suggest testing fan commitment by designing an online engagement campaign. Engagement campaigns serve the purposes of identifying who is most engaged with your organization online, whether online fans can be moved to action, and testing new ideas. What's the secret to designing and executing a successful online engagement campaign? In this blog post, I outline the assets needed to launch and run a successful campaign, timelines, elements of engagement campaigns, and two case studies. A comprehensive slide deck is included.

Continue Reading
Screen Shot 2014-07-06 at 11.18.12 AM

community, conferences, presentations

Unlocking Community Conversation: Cantors Assembly Keynote Address

No Comments 07 July 2014

We all want to connect with others, and to be valued and heard. Even a conversation with a barrista at Starbucks can increase our happiness, as the studies show. In this blog post, a writeup of the keynote address that I gave at the Cantors Assembly, I offer a workplan for creating real community online. If we can "unlock the community conversation" in our online social spaces, then doesn't it follow that it's a hop-skip-jump away to increasing connectivity within our offline communities, and to creating the groundwork for long-term viable 21st century communities?

Continue Reading
Screen Shot 2014-03-22 at 10.07.33 PM

conferences, presentations, social media policy

50 Shades of Social Media: Navigating Policies, Laws & Ethics at #14ntc

1 Comment 24 March 2014

As the manager of your nonprofit’s social media presence, knowing what you (and your colleagues) can say or how you should respond gets tricky. Establishing solid social media governance policies and understanding your legal and compliance obligations are both important aspects of your overall social media strategy. But, where do you turn when you encounter a dilemma that isn’t easily solved by turning to the law or an existing policy? At the 2014 Nonprofit Technology Conference (#14ntc), myself and three fellow presenters addressed these and other social media questions during our "50 Shades of Social Media" workshop. This blog post includes a session summary, our slide deck, and highlighted takeaways of the legal, cultural, ethical and policy considerations for organizations using social media.

Continue Reading
Next Up Fdn other

presentations, storytelling, technology

Share Small Moment Stories Using Digital Stortytelling Tools

8 Comments 31 October 2013

On Tuesday, I offered a workshop at the Massachusetts Nonprofit Network’s annual conference on Digital Storytelling Tools, subtitled “The One and Only Storytelling/Digital Tools/Speed Dating Mashup.” The workshop had four goals: leave with a solid “small moment story” idea, have an idea of how to use stories to reach organizational goals, develop at least two […]

Continue Reading
Screen Shot 2013-09-12 at 10.47.48 PM

engagement, network weaver, presentations, social media policy

Moving From Stakeholder To Network Weaver

9 Comments 13 September 2013

What can we do to move stakeholders, those who are already invested in some way in the success of our organizations, up a ladder of engagement to become network weavers? To then become fundraisers? In this blog post, I highlight a presentation that I gave this week entitled "Empowering Your Stakeholders to Become Network Weavers" as part of the Women in Philanthropy speaker series. It's a "playbook in four-part harmony" that includes encouraging staff to actively use social media channels, developing social media policies, training staff/volunteers/board members on social media use, and assigning private online spaces for online network weavers and more highly-engaged fans to use.

Continue Reading
Screen Shot 2013-06-27 at 11.52.43 PM

fundraising, presentations

Turning Traditional Donors into Online Evangelists

1 Comment 28 June 2013

On Monday, the Boston 501 Tech Club and Eventbrite hosted the workshop "Turning Traditional Donors Into Online Evangelists." The presentation and discussion focused on strategies for moving those donors who are traditionally more comfortable supporting an organization offline to becoming online supporters and evangelists. The core of the strategy for turning traditional donors into online evangelists revolves around creating and supporting a Digital Support Squad, illustrated both in featured blog post image and explained in detail within an embedded slide presentation.

Continue Reading
The network weaver builds communities 2

case studies, collaboration, conferences, presentations

Empowering Everyone To Be A Network Weaver

1 Comment 25 March 2013

What if everyone who works at an organization, or cares deeply about a cause or organization, acted as a network weaver? How would that change the way that organizations communicate? How would that change how and the extent to which organizations raise funds online? That was just the conversation that I had in mind when my colleague Scott Remington and I presented a working session at the Jewish Federation Young Leadership Conference. We had one overarching goal: to empower every person in the room to become a network weaver. In this blog post, I overview the presentation and its five primary segments: redefining leadership, developing your own brand, mapping your own network, the network weaver and online fundraising, and two case studies of network weavers succeeding with online fundraising.

Continue Reading
Community Leadership Model

community, presentations, social media strategy

Redefining Community Leadership for an Online World

13 Comments 13 February 2013

At the North American Jewish Day School Conference, I offered a session entitled "Redefining Community Leadership for an Online World." The session explored how traditional "offline" organizations might open their communities beyond the those tied to the brick-and-mortar building, to include online fans, friends, and followers. In particular, I wanted to grapple with the sticky questions of sharing leadership, merging online community with offline, the value online leaders might bring to a bricks-and-mortar school, and for what purpose. On other words, I wanted to explore the broadest, most generous definition of "community," and the role that community can play in the development and enrichment of a traditional organization tied to a physical and geographic location. In this blog post, I consider who is the "legitimate community," how to identify and vet your online community leaders, and how to support those leaders within your virtual communities. The blog post also includes the embedded slide deck from my conference session.

Continue Reading


Debra Askanase is an experienced digital engagement strategist, non-profit executive, and community organizer. She 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.

Follow Debra

Subscribe via email




© 2015 Social Media Strategy for Mission-Driven Organizations.

Site by Arrow Root Media