Vote and Comment for ALL these Awesome Nonprofit Panels at SXSW! | Beth's Blog

Vote and Comment for ALL these Awesome Nonprofit Panels at SXSW!

Conferences, Influencer Strategy

Illustration by Jonny Goldstein of my SXSW panel proposal. Jonny will provide live graphic facilitation of the highly interactive and fun panel.

The SXSW Interactive Festival (scheduled March 11-15, 2010 in Austin, Texas) is a mega huge social media industry event.  The final program is done through a combination of an open submission and voting process.   The panel picker process has opened – so you can vote for the panels you think are worthy of being on the program until August 27th.

The nonprofit presence at SXSW has been growing steadily over the past couple of years.  In 2008, I was honored to be on one of the few nonprofit panels on the agenda.  It was organized by Ed Schipul.  At the end of that panel, we all hoped there would be a larger nonprofit presence on the agenda for this 2009.    And yes, indeed, in 2009, there were more nonprofit focused panels and happily the trend continued at SXSW 2010.

So, let’s get out the nonprofit vote for the nonprofit panels at SXSW 2011!

I hope you’ll also vote for my panel proposal,  Nonprofits and Free Agents in A Networked World and while you’re there vote for the other awesome nonprofit panel proposals (I’ve shared a list below).  But first, let me share the description and what I’m planning:

This interactive session is based on a key theme in the book, The Networked Nonprofit, co-authored by Beth Kanter and Allison Fine.  We will explore how nonprofits can unleash the power of social good by transitioning from stand-alone institutions to networks energized by abundant resources in their ecosystem. In order to do this, they need to work with free agents, hyper-connected individuals who are passionate about social change, but don’t work within institutional walls. Free agents use social-media channels like Facebook and Twitter and can create social movements in the palms of their hands. They organize supporters, raise attention to important social and political issues, seek donations, and organize supporters to walk, run, shout, protest, and vote, things that were once done mostly by nonprofit organizations. The free agents do it when and how they please, making them distinct from and more powerful than traditional volunteers. But free agents are smashing headfirst into nonprofit fortresses—organizations with high walls and wide moats that work very hard to keep insiders in and outsiders out. Our session will explore how and why this needs to change. Kanter will bring together a group of highly visible free agents working on important social change causes and representatives from different nonprofits for a lively discussion with the audience

1. What are the change issues for traditional nonprofits that want to become “networked nonprofits?”
2. What are the techniques and strategies that nonprofits use to find free agents?
3. My nonprofit has found a free agent, now what?
4. What are the lessons learned from Free Agents about working with nonprofits?
5. In what instances is it just better to let Free Agents be?

I’m going to bring together some of the best free agents out there and folks from nonprofits responsible for social media to discuss best practices.    This will be an interactive session with real and remote audience participation.    Jonny Goldstein will do real time illustrations of the ideas swirling around the session which will be projected live and that will help us move towards a common understanding and enable us to share an artifact with others.  (Check out his illustration of the panel)

In addition to the graphic facilitation, there will be other interactive learning elements.   Trust me.  In 2008,   I designed the Nonprofit and Social Media ROI Poetry Slam and last year was a panel on crowdsourcing that modeled crowdsourcing in the design and delivery.

Here’s my picks for SXSW Nonprofit Panels:

A Conversation About Change Agents Through Social Media Social media is causing a revolution in how information is shared and communities are formed. Its true impact has yet to be measured, but Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare, and every other social media platform have already caused a revelation in how people want to communicate. They want to connect. They want to share in more than one medium. They are in control. The challenge for every business, organization, and nonprofit or for-profit company is that the world of social media is like the Wild Wild West. Everything is changing so fast it’s hard to keep up. What’s new? What works?

The Tools Artists Need Geeks To Create Join us to discuss the digital tools being used and abused by theatre makers, dancers, musicians, crafters, wordsmiths, cinematographers, photographers, painters, and other multimedia artists. There are over 200,000 professional artists in the US — and a bunch of them have problems the techies could help solve. What should we be building to help artists make and sell art, engage their audiences, and connect to other artists? What are we cobbling together today from existing technology, and what could we be doing tomorrow? What artistic problems need a dose of geek teamwork? What are the geeks doing that needs better artistic focus? What lies just beyond the current state of the art, for the arts?

Tiny Strategies: Social Media in 60 Minutes or Less In this quick-hit, practical-tips-focused panel, nonprofit social media experts will share their strategies for maximizing their social media impact with very little time to devote to it. We’ll go round-robin style to find out how you should spend your time, whether you have 10 minutes, 30 minutes, or 60 minutes a day to devote to social media.

Putting the Public Back in Public Media Think NPR and PBS are just broadcasters? Think again. Public media is no longer just a one-way street. In many towns, NPR and PBS stations are the only locally-owned media organizations, and their mission to serve the public demands that they develop new ways of engaging and strengthening those communities.   They’re convening Barcamp-like unconferences called PubCamps all over the country, allowing local techies and citizen journalists to forge collaborative projects with NPR and PBS stations, both online and offline.

Crowdsourcing the Corporate/ Nonprofit Partnership. Who Wins? Online contests that award dollars to nonprofit causes are here to stay. Corporations use these contests to engage potential customers. Nonprofits use them to rally supporters. All participants are grappling with how best to use social media to find and mobilize an audience. Come learn the ups and downs of these contests from brands that sponsor them.

Doh! Lessons from Nonprofit Screw Ups Nonprofits are often team-centric, mission-driven organizations—which can lead to exuberant group cheerleading in the face of mediocrity. In this session we’ll throw those rosy-eyed glasses onto the bonfire and talk (nicely) about notable social media campaigns that didn’t deliver. Each panelist will provide in-depth analysis of a notable social media screw-up they’ve been involved in, isolate key failure factors, analyze the broader lessons, and talk about how these specific organizations improved on their mistakes.

Turning Facebook Followers Into Change Agents 100,000 followers, and you still want more. What are they good for? Online numbers don’t always equate offline results. How do you build an online community that makes a serious impact for your cause? Nonprofit social communications wizards share examples and tips to get your fans mobilized for action.

SoTropia Life in 2040 Let’s peer into the near future. It’s the Year 2040, 35 years after the social networking revolution began. How has human behavior changed? Just how blurred are the boundaries between public and private persona? How much do we share? And how will this impact the way we build relationships and find information? This visionary panel will explore the premise that openness will be ubiquitous by 2040 – when the debate will no longer be private vs. public, but instead public vs. broadcast.

No Hype Online Fundraising A panel of nonprofit fundraisers will cut the hype on text-to-give, email solicitations, social media, e-Cards and other interactive fundraising strategies. We’ll let you know what worked and what didn’t. And, when it depends, we’ll let you know what it depends on.

Getting Advanced With Social Media for Social Good
Online supporters are working to save the world one Tweet at a time. But how can nonprofit and philanthropic causes take their efforts to the next level and stand out from the crowd to increase the success of social campaigns? Hear from technologists and nonprofits on how to define and implement the ideal strategy and get advanced with metrics to make social a key component of online fundraising and advocacy campaigns.

You Mobile Non-profit: a play in three acts
Mobile is changing our lives, but it’s also changing the world for the better. We’re dying to share tactics, tools and trip-ups from organizations who have ventured deep into mobile and lived to tell.

Just ‘Cause: Can Technology Make Brand Irrelevant?
Thanks to technology, the line is starting to blur between the power of a household name brand and the passion of scrappy mission-focused organizations. Yet when it feels like nothing short of a crisis will engage people with your cause, how do you compel them to act? The battle of Cause vs Brand is on.

Creating Successful Collaborations: Right now, with the rapid changes in technology, media and globalization, the ability to quickly create successful collaborations is key to taking things to the next level. Whether you’re a solo-entrepreneur, creating award winning films and documentaries, innovating new or improving old technology, creating co-working environments, or building cross-industry relationships, knowing how (and when) to build successful collaborations allows work to happen in ways brings the most creativity, diversity, and strength to your group and project.

Method Tweeting for nonprofits: Much Ado About Something
When organizations use Twitter to promote themselves, it’s largely about playing a role. The person tweeting is tasked to be on message as the voice of the organization while creating a unique and engaging personality to draw an audience in. If Shakespeare on Twitter, how would he tweet?  We’ll pick the brains of people who live this challenge daily in the nonprofit sector.

Some other nonprofit SXSW lists:

Mark Horvath (@hardlynormal) list
BeaconFire list

So, go and vote for my panel and these others.  If your panel isn’t on the list, add a link and title in the comments.

10 Responses

  1. In addition to the great proposals above, Fractured Atlas has two in the ring, one in Interactive and one in Film:

    Agile Community Design: We Collaborate Better Than You

    Small, not-for-profit cultural organizations have it rough when it comes to tech. They are strapped for cash, strapped for time, and staffed by people who would rather be making art. They live on a wing and prayer and the generosity of their peers and benefactors. They don’t have time to update their websites, much less implement “new” technologies that the rest of world has been using for years. And this is why they make great software designers. These organizations are filled with smart people skilled in expression who are really good at explaining how their processes could be improved and how their tools could work if they only had the time and money to make it happen. By combining the inclusive, productive design strategies of the community-source movement with the lean development practices of the Agile software movement with their own fundamental strengths in expression and collaboration, shoe-string cultural groups are finding the time and money to make things happen. Our panel will discuss the emerging practice of Agile Community Design and look at projects employing it. We will discuss the practices of both big and small teams employing the Community Design process and discuss what works and what doesn’t. We’ll talk about how to reconcile collective design and developer independence. We’ll talk about how groups can start such projects and how organizations and individuals can become involved with existing projects.

    Fundraising in a Box: Crowdsourcing Microgrants

    traditional philanthropic incentives to bring in non-traditional funding. Crowdfunding, combined with fiscal sponsorship, is a powerful and effective way to use online social networks to cultivate new donors. The panel will focus on how to successfully use crowdfunding in conjunction with fiscal sponsorship. The panelists will bring their own experiences to contextualize how crowdfunding can amp up a film’s fundraising campaign in a short time frame. Find out how you can make crowdfunding work for you, including ways to create an amazing pitch clip, offer perks that work, frame your fundraising campaigns so your donors become your audience and remain connected, plus more. We’ll bring together professionals from the front lines of crowdfunding, fiscal sponsorship, and successful crowdfunded projects who can help you navigate the cutting edge of funding.

  2. Oops, the first sentence of the second panel’s description should have read: “This panel will focus on ways that filmmakers can use new and unique web-based tools along with traditional philanthropic incentives to bring in non-traditional funding.” Blasted cut-and-paste!

  3. Annie Lynsen says:

    Thanks for including the “Tiny Strategies” panel in your post, Beth!

    Small Act is also presenting a panel on Social Customer Relationship Management tools and how they can help nonprofits and businesses:

    Let’s Go Stalking! Fun With SocialCRMs
    Scary or not, here they come! Now that organizations and businesses are entering the social media space, they need to hyper-target and engage users of certain demographics. Social Customer Relationship Management systems (SocialCRMs) make it possible to find and engage your base and get results, fast. By interviewing experts in the SocialCRM space, we’ll discuss what the SocialCRM landscape looks like now and how it is going to revolutionize the social media sphere in 2011 for organizations and businesses. We’ll also discuss how others have used SocialCRMs successfully to turn fans into donors and customers.

  4. Jim says:

    Beth, have you done a post about social media/new media conferences in general? I’m looking at a number of “gatherings” at the moment (including the New Media Expo and SXSW) as possible options for the coming year. My specific professional area is non-profit performing arts presentation, but I’m looking for a social media/new media gathering that isn’t specifically arts focused. Any thoughts?

  5. Mary Joyce says:

    Also for your consideration;

    Ending the Lazy Discourse of Digital Activism
    vote at

    With thanks from the Meta-Activism Project

  6. Anastasia says:

    Hi Beth — great picks. I hope folks will also consider our panel, which aims to spark discussion around the internet and mental health issues and is being moderated by me in my new role at Inspire USA Foundation, the non-profit behind Hope to see you in Austin!

  7. Jo Miles says:

    Thanks for the shout-out for Beaconfire’s panels, Beth! We’re organizing two other panels that are also very relevant for folks doing nonprofit tech (particularly, for building great websites on a tight budget):

    Money for Nothing, and Your Software for Free

    Free beer! Free kittens! Free software! We all love to get something for free, especially when budgets are tight. We dream of the free product that will, like magic, solve our problems without costing a cent. (If you aren’t, your boss probably is.) But free things almost always come with hidden costs, and free software is no different. It won’t give you a hangover, or get fleas, but it could eat up your staff time, control your data, or change the rules on you without notice. This was spectacularly clear when Ning eliminated free accounts, leaving users with the choice of paying up, or losing years of hard work. Or when Facebook suddenly turned fans into “likers,” forcing page administrators to change their outreach strategy. But not all free software is created equal, and it’s not just about open source vs. closed source. Some tools give you great power – but you have to know how to use it. Others limit your options, or ignore what you really need. But some may be just what you’re looking for. We’ll explore the ins and outs of free and low-cost software, and ask: what does free software really cost?

    Guerilla Usability Testing: Creative Techniques for Great Results

    While no one could deny the importance of web usability, the sad truth is that the high cost or effort of usability testing experts, tools and/or facilities often de-rails this activity for organizations and small businesses. However, it doesn’t have to be this way. You can go guerilla with your usability testing in either your approach and/or the tools you use and still achieve effective results. Remote usability testing using simple, web-based tools that you may already use for other parts of your business is one way to simplify the logistics of testing without sacrificing results. Getting out of the lab and testing in the field with a portable setup is another option in going guerilla with your approach. Still too much for your timeline and budget? There are also a number of low-cost, automated tools that you can setup and activate with little monitoring that can tell you quantitatively how your interface is measuring up. In this session, the panel will discuss how organizations can go guerilla with usability testing. We’ll show how effective tests can be easily crafted and executed using tools that they likely already have in the organization’s toolkits. Also, we’ll share stories and examples from the testing trenches, to see what’s worked and what hasn’t.

  8. Chris Tuttle says:

    I’d also suggest Frank Barry’s “NonProfit Social Media Jam”

    As more nonprofits turn their sights to the social web to further their missions, inspire advocacy, and raise money and awareness, more for-profits are supporting them in their efforts with specialized programs. Hear about the latest social innovation initiatives underway at leading technology companies like Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and Foursquare, and learn how the technology industry is contributing to social media for social good.

    Questions Answered
    1. How to use Twitter for social good.
    2. How to use YouTube for social good.
    3. How to use Facebook for social good.
    4. How to use Foursquare for social good.
    5. How other nonprofits are using these services to do good in the world.

  9. impro says:

    Hello just wanted to give you a brief heads up and let you know a few of the images aren’t loading properly. I’m not sure why but I think its a linking issue. I’ve tried it in two different browsers and both show the same results.

Leave a Reply