Posts Tagged ‘facebook’

Social Media and You – Meet Bryn Warner

October 25, 2012

Bryn Warner

AFP Suncoast has some truly talented members. Our own board member, Bryn Warner is among them. He has joined a growing number of AFP Suncoast members who are becoming presenters and teachers. Almost as if planned, he will be teaching at the Nonprofit Leadership Center of Tampa Bay on a topic near and dear to this blog – Social Media!

Attend either of his workshops and earn CFRE credits while building your personal and your organization’s online sociability:

10/31/12 LinkedIn: Building Your Personal Brand

11/28/12 Facebook: Communicating Your Message

If you haven’t met Bryn, why not shake his hand at the next AFP Suncoast luncheon or attend one of his workshops? Growing your network is so easy in AFP! And, of course, now you’ve seen Bryn’s picture and have something to say to start the conversation.

Do you know an AFP Suncoast member we should feature on the blog? Contact Jen Filla at 727.231.0516 or email her at jen at

Other Blog Posts of Interest:

Social Media and Fundraising: Metropolitan Ministries

Social Media and Fundraising: The Florida Aquarium

Social Media and Fundraising: Tampa Metropolitan YMCA

Social Media and Fundraising: The Florida Aquarium

September 4, 2012

Mark Haney

Continuing my pursuit of how social media can be used to raise cold hard cash – or not – I had the pleasure of interviewing Mark Haney, Vice President of Advancement at The Florida Aquarium. I will admit to being distracted by the stingrays entertaining visitors in front of us, but it made me aware of what a picture-intense, storytelling powerhouse opportunity the Aquarium has in social media. So what are they doing?

Tweeting It Up

A couple of years ago the aquarium hosted a Tweet-up event. They invited all of their Twitter followers and some hand-picked bloggers to join them at the Aquarium for free. The friend-of-friend reach was fantastic. Their Facebook page, which had fewer than a hundred friends a few years ago, as of this writing has 25,537 likes with 1,086 people talking about them. The objective was to raise awareness – and the Tweet-up did a great job of it!

Asking for Cash Gifts+

This growth in social media activity is important for the Aquarium because direct mail is a small percentage of their fundraised dollars. Especially through Facebook, Mark tells me they have been very successful promoting their special events. But they have also been able to use social media to raise cash gifts.

Remember the cold Florida winter of 2009-2010? More than 4,000 sea turtles were distressed by the cold and needed help. The Florida Aquarium sent the message out through Facebook and Twitter asking for all kinds of help, including cash gifts. The Aquarium raised $5,000 in less than a week! It was a time-sensitive, specific ask – and it worked. Social media is extremely low cost compared to traditional direct mail.

Mark mentioned a relative newcomer to social media platforms – Pinterest. The Aquarium hasn’t made a plan yet, but the picture appeal of animals is transparent. How to raise money from Pinterest is not clear, but I’m confident they will figure it out!

About Those Major Gifts

But what about major gifts? Is the Aquarium using social media in their major gifts program? Mark told me that they have been successful at getting traditional media coverage of their major gifts. Now they are piggybacking on this success and using social media to expand the reach of those messages. As we were wrapping up our conversation on the subject, Mark took me to see the Aquarium’s donor recognition board.

The Florida Aquarium Donor Recognition Board

Wow! We couldn’t get close and play around with it because there was a mom and her son engrossed in a digital game just beneath it. The Florida Aquarium has a digital donor recognition board made up of four panels. As you can see from the picture, the left panel currently has the various gift levels which also line the tops and bottoms of the other panels. Because it is digital it can be completely changed at any time.

The truly exciting bit is that coverage of major gifts could be used in all sorts of ways with the digital display. Major donors could be interviewed, benefits touted and pictures displayed. Mark couldn’t resist another benefit of the digital donor recognition board – revenue! When the Aquarium hosts events the board can be rented out. Plug and play makes it all possible.

Coming up next…

Visiting The Florida Aquarium is always a fun time and Mark took me out the long way, showing me the new animals. My next member interview is with an entirely different kind of organization. Justine Burke and Jim Alexander from Metropolitan Ministries share how they use social media to raise more gifts. Their tactics may surprise you.

Other Posts of Interest

Social Media and Fundraising: Tampa Metropolitan YMCA

About the Author, Jen Filla

Jen Filla is a roving reporter on the AFP Suncoast Communications Committee. She is president of Aspire Research Group LLC where she uses her direct fundraising experience to help you close major gifts, translating your donor information into actions you can take to raise more money now!

February Got us Talking

February 23, 2010

Yup. It happened. We lost our luncheon speaker in February. He’s not hurt thank goodness! So in lieu of a speaker I facilitated a discussion among our members on social networking success stories. Here’s what people shared:

As best I remember, the most funds were raised for urgent time-limited causes – Haiti, sea turtles dying from cold, and special events. Marla Grant shared in-person and on our Facebook page, how she used Network for Good to collect donations and was able to track her donors. Other success was in using social media as a communication tool among committees and to engage donors in real time for activities they would otherwise not be able to experience.

So can social media raise the money or is it only useful for short-term fundraising and engaging new and current donors? I’m no expert on the subject, but after February’s meeting I’ve been seeing conversations, blog entries and comments about it. Here’s a link to the Connection Cafe blog: Peer to Peer Fundraising and Social Media

If you have other great articles and comments to share on the subject, won’t you comment on this blog or on the AFP Suncoast Facebook Page?

January 21, 2010

I didn’t catch up with any new members at the Jan 19 monthly chapter meeting and I didn’t take any photos. I’ll get back on track next month, but I’ve substituted this photo to demonstrate just how much fun I had at the meeting!

Why did I have so much fun? Was it because John Elbare’s presentation was so full of information that could be instantly and easily applied back at the office? Was it because I met some new people and said hello to others I already know?

Yes and Yes, but I think the shift from interesting to FUN was because I am intimately involved with the chapter as a volunteer and board member. AND because when asked our membership IMMEDIATELY responded with a willingness to volunteer for the chapter. The communications committee alone now has Donna Houchen for the Job Bank, Tracy Blalock as a freelance writer, Victor Teschel managing Facebook, Theo Renaud managing LinkedIn, and Todd Marrs and Ann Madsen on public relations. WOW that is a lot of energy!

Under the leadership of Melody Marrs your chapter is becoming increasingly more about YOU the members. Take about five minutes and answer the survey here before 2/12/10 and let us know what YOU like, don’t like and want to see happen.

And for heaven’s sake, become a fan of AFP Suncoast on Facebook and start talking to other members. At the February 16 meeting we will draw two winners from the first 50 fans for a complimentary lunch.

If you want to see photos of real members and philanthropists, visit the photo album on our website. All of the National Philanthropy Day pix are up there now. If you’d like copies, just email me at

I promise I’ll deliver a new member interview next month!

Are you my friend?

December 6, 2009

Well, you probably knew it was coming sooner or later. The AFP Suncoast Chapter has officially presented itself on Facebook. It’s as easy as typing “AFP Suncoast” in the search box and there we are. Become a Fan today!

And the beauty is that these blog posts will be there too. We’ll even remind you about upcoming meetings. Yup. All in one neat little package for you Facebook addicts out there. And if you’re not on Facebook, don’t worry. We’re still friends – on email, phone, and the web. Heck, we’ll even see you in person at the monthly meeting!