Back in Feb 09, I began volunteering for Heifer International and started a blog for Heifer International Portland as a communication tool for our volunteers and supporters in the local area. At the same time I tapped into social media networks of Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, and many others, to promote Heifer International’s work, particularly in the Pacific Northwest. Since then, things have grown tremendously with opportunities I could have never imagined.
The Success of Heifer Portland. At the beginning, throwing myself and Heifer Portland into the social media community came with trial and errors. Fortunately, I’m a quick learner. Around the beginning of summer of 2009 we started seeing the fruits of our labor. More and more people came out to our events as our message started to spread in the online and offline communities. We were getting invitations to several other events.
Social Media Conferences. Since diving into the social media community pool, I’ve attend numerous of social media conferences (there are hundreds of them each year). The three conferences that stand out are Gnomedex, Blog World & New Media Expo, and South-by-Southwest Interactive Conferences.
The Gnomedex conference is held in Seattle, WA, and it was my first dip into the social media waters. At Gnomedex, I got to meet some of the influencers of the social media world and see for myself what this new media community was all about. The result — passionate men and women who love what they do and want to share it with the world.
At the Blog World and New Media Expo in Las Vegas, NV, it was the same, but 10x bigger. And South-by-Southwest Interactive in Austin, TX was 50x bigger! Attending these conferences I was able to build my social media tools kit and network with some of the superstars in the social media universe.
Kompolt’s “Name Your Cause Contest.” It wasn’t until the NameYourCause.com contest (Kompolt) that gave me the idea of starting [B]cause Media. Kompolt held a contest for nonprofit organizations to win tickets to The Blog World & New Media Expo. The top 10 charities that won, including Heifer Portland, were smaller nonprofit organizations with little to no budget but knew how to harness the power of social media to get their message out and galvanize supporters (here is Heifer Portland’s story). We beat out some of the largest nonprofits like LiveStrong, Charity Water, and Susan G. Komen for The Cure.
[B] caring, [B] giving, [B] awesome. With the successes of Heifer Portland, validating the power of social media, and my passion and enthusiasm for social cause media and new media (along with my other qualifications) — [B]cause Media was founded. We want to help small businesses and small nonprofits succeed, using tools and marketing strategies that can catapult them above the fray and noise by strengthening their brand, spreading their message, and increasing new customers.
[B]cause Media is a reflection of my own personal mission statement: “You are defined by what you give.” We encourage our clients to get involved in their community through volunteerism and charitable donations with our pricing structure. It starts with our custom [B]cause Media charity business cards (TisBest Philanthropy Charity Gift Card), where you can make a donation to your favorite charity immediately. We “walk the talk” with our tag line: “Good for Business. Good for the Community.”