Posts Tagged ‘tampa’

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: Metropolitan Ministries

October 20, 2012

The next stop on my journey to discover how social media is impacting AFP member organizations and whether it is helping to raise dollars was at Metropolitan Ministries. There I had the pleasure of talking with Justine Burke, Director of Marketing, and Jim Alexander, Digital Marketing Coordinator.

Marketing Mayhem

You might be wondering why I was talking to the marketing department instead of the fundraising department. And if you weren’t, I was! It turns out there is a very good reason for that. Justine explained that she sees a shift where development and marketing are beginning to merge. She likens the change to when IT and development became bedfellows.

It also begins to make more sense when you realize Metropolitan Ministries is a direct mail marketing powerhouse. And it works. At least half of their online donations come as a result of direct mail. But what does all this have to do with social media? Plenty.

Especially after talking with Justine and Jim, there is one adjective that instantly pops into mind when I hear Metropolitan Ministries – discipline. The merging of marketing with development has created an extremely disciplined approach to all of their fundraising efforts. For Metropolitan Ministries, social media is integrated with and invested in just like other marketing channels.

For the past four years, Metropolitan Ministries has been active in social media. They have merged all of their marketing and fundraising messages, including social media, into overarching themes that reflect Metropolitan Ministries’ mission and vision. Their core themes are faith, love and children. This way, no matter what is happening, it all matches the same theme.

Instead of shopping for an engine, tires, and body, you get to shop for a car. Instead of being confused by a different event, mail appeal, Facebook page or newsletter, you give to Metropolitan Ministries.


This kind of coordinated messaging takes discipline and planning. But Metropolitan Ministries also tracks, measures and evaluates their efforts. Every time someone clicks the donate button on their Facebook page they know it. It’s not enough to push content even when it is coordinated content. You must be able to determine what works well and what doesn’t work as well.

Coordination and evaluation requires that you stay ahead of the messages and be proactive instead of reactive. Not an easy task, but it does explain Metropolitan Ministries’ success!

Does social media raise money? Yes!

Social media is not a magic fundraising wand, but when there are clear objectives for its use and methodical and consistent messaging, it works successfully together with other fundraising efforts.

Want to see Metropolitan Ministries’ social media in action? Click the links to connect:

Facebook   Twitter @MetroMinistries   YouTube  Pinterest

P.S. Time Sensitive News!

The Nonprofit Leadership Center of Tampa Bay is hosting a Development Professionals Forum 11/1/12 9-11am on…SOCIAL MEDIA! Specifically, what role does social media play in development are what are the best ways to use it?  Register today for only $15 by visiting

Other Posts of Interest

Social Media and Fundraising: Tampa Metropolitan YMCA

Social Media and Fundraising: The Florida Aquarium

About the Author, Jen Filla

Jen Filla is a roving reporter on the AFP Suncoast Communications Committee. She is also president of Aspire Research Group LLC where she works with organizations worried about finding their next big donor, concerned about what size gift to ask for, or frustrated that they aren’t meeting their major gift goals.

Social Media and Fundraising: Tampa Metropolitan YMCA

August 14, 2012

by Jen Filla.

Kathy Rabon, CFRE CFRM

In an effort to feed my curiosity on the subject of social media, I decided to interview some of our AFP Suncoast Chapter members on how they are, or are not, using social media in their fundraising efforts. Is it all hype? Is it a resource drain? Or is it a powerful, inexpensive tool that can be leveraged to bring in money for the mission?

My first interview was with Kathy Rabon of the Tampa Metropolitan YMCA. (Yes, there will be more interviews!) She told me that in 2010, the national office underwent some re-branding. As a result we now refer to the organization as “The Y”. But more than the name, the re-branding hopes to raise awareness that the Y is more than a gym. The Y has three core areas: youth development, healthy living and social responsibility.

Benefits of Social Media

Kathy told me that in her office they are actively using Facebook, Twitter and a YouTube channel. Social media provides the Y with the opportunity to use new words, a new organizational language, to communicate its core areas. Social media also helps them interact and engage a new, noticeably younger, demographic. It is also true that those affiliated with the Y are already there. For example, running clubs and other groups in and around the Y have Facebook and other social media spots to communicate and share.

Fundraising with Social Media

So it’s wonderful that the Y in Tampa is using social media to communicate, but what about fundraising? Kathy shared with me that they are planning a social media campaign for a specific need that has resonance with the social media crowd. They want to raise somewhere around $50,000 for a social entrepreneurial program in an area of Tampa that has a media income of $10,000. This lawn service business would promote beautification and a sense of pride while employing and training residents.

Kathy told me that this campaign is still in its planning stages. That means that you have the opportunity to tune in to the Tampa Metropolitan YMCA and watch the story unfold! I’ll be following-up with Kathy post-campaign to report back her experience with the project.

Kathy’s Social Media Harvesting Techniques!

What I didn’t expect to learn was that Kathy was using social media very effectively to re-purpose existing material for stewardship, public relations and other needs. She told me that because of a staff vacancy she had to step-in and create the Y’s e-newsletter herself. This inspired her to take existing stories – such as video footage from events – and edit into great, shareable stories. Beyond her e-newsletter, she shares these stories on the website, social media platforms and has “trained” reporters to look at her content for news stories. After initially reaching out and cultivating reporters, Kathy finds that they are now reporting stories without additional encouragement from her. Wow!

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!

Librarians as Fundraising Powerhouse Guides!

July 12, 2012

ImageLiz Mueller is the librarian at the John F. Germany Library in downtown Tampa who can help you navigate the Foundation Center database and book collection for FUNDRAISERS and anyone else searching for funding. Liz is there to help you use these resources and, this being a public library, her one-on-one appointments, workshops and general presence are all free of charge to you as a fundraising professional. Look in future AFP Suncoast e-newsletters for announcements about upcoming events at the library!

And why not read the June 7, 2012 article about her in the Tampa Bay Examiner or call and visit her in person:

John F. Germany Library
900 N. Ashley Dr. (across from the Straz Center), Tampa, FL 33602
Phone: 813-273-3652
Contact: Elizabeth Mueller, Librarian

Hours: Sunday – 12:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., Mon, Tues, Weds – 10:00 a.m to 9:00 p.m., Thurs -10:00 a.m to 8:00 p.m., Fri, Sat – 10:00 a.m to 6:00 p.m.

Mayor Buckhorn’s Proclamation

October 30, 2011

(L-R) Judy Anderson, Leana Lopez, Mayor Buckhorn and Sue Levitt

Mayor Buckhorn Declares November 16 National Philanthropy Day in the City of Tampa

By Mayoral Proclamation, Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn recently declared Wednesday, November 16 as “National Philanthropy Day” in the City of Tampa.
During a recent ceremony at City Hall, the Mayor presented a proclamation to Sue Levitt, President of the Florida Suncoast Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, Leana Lopez, Chair and Judy Anderson, Co-Chair of the National Philanthropy Day Committee.  He urged all residents to join him in saluting the AFP Suncoast Chapter and especially the recipients whose contributions will be honored next month.
Philanthropists from the Tampa Bay area will be recognized for their dedication to community service and giving at a luncheon on National Philanthropy Day, November 16, presented the Florida Suncoast Chapter of AFP and our Presenting Sponsor, Community Foundation of Tampa Bay.
“National Philanthropy Day recognizes and salutes the great contribution that philanthropy, and those people active in the philanthropic community in the Tampa Bay area, have made to our lives, our communities, our nation and our world,” said Sue Levitt.
There is still time to purchase an individual ticket or a table for the event.  Single seats are $50 and table sponsorships are $500-$2,500 Please see website for sponsorship details or email Bryn Warner at for additional sponsorship information.  To register online, visit by November 11, 2011.
For more information, contact Leana Lopez at the University of South Florida, (813) 974-1894 or

Nt’l Philanthropy Day Winners in GoodLiving Magazine!

February 7, 2011

GoodLiving Magazine featured AFP Suncoast chapter’s National Philanthropy Day award winners in its most recent issue! Maybe you have met Pamela Settle, GoodLiving’s publisher and editor, at one of the chapter’s monthly luncheons?

It’s always exciting to see philanthropy getting kudos in local media. Thanks Pamela!