5 Simple Steps to Active Social Media for Non-Profit Organizations

My terrific friend Hillary Chybinski (who writes her personal blog at hacscrap.com) has a strong affinity for social media for non-profit organizations. She helps them get their social media presence started and develops their strategies for continued success. I asked Hillary if she would kindly share her tips for new NPO’s looking to get started with social media. Here are her 5 simple steps to social media for non-profit organizations, in her own words:

Non-profits, especially the small, grass-roots variety, are known for skeleton staffs of mostly volunteers and small budgets. Those two factors have an enormous impact on how the non-profit operates. But small staffs and low-budgets aren’t a reason to shy away form social media. Your non-profit has a message to share and a mission to accomplish, and social media can be your best friend.

The best part about non-profits using social media to share their message, is that social media is free for the most part. All it takes is time. So if you set a little time aside for these tasks, you will soon have an efficient social media strategy that gets you the results you’re looking for.

  • First set up the basic accounts. Start with Facebook and Twitter. After you are up and running comfortably, you can determine if and when you can better achieve your goals and mission with help from YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram, or another social network.
  • Spend time on pictures. Social Media, is well, social. It is also very visual, so you should have a bright, clear picture that depicts your non-profit. This picture can be used as your cover photo in Facebook and your header photo in Twitter. You will also need a smaller “profile” picture for both. This can be a person or a logo.
  • Use your description to encourage engagement. Don’t just copy and paste your mission statement as your Social Media description or about. Take some time to craft a creative invitation to people to get to know you better. Be sure to include a link to your website and use terms that will make it easy for others to find you.
  • Listen to what’s being said about your area(s) of interest. Now that you are there, you want to spend a little bit of time just listening. What are people saying about keywords relevant to your non-profit? Who are the stakeholders in your non-profit? Are they on Social Media? Follow them. Like them. Watch their methods of interaction.
  • Join the conversation. Once you get a feel for what’s being said, it’s your turn to speak. Don’t be afraid. Start with a few RTs (retweets) of relevant links or events. Reply to questions and conversation starters. Send out a daily message with a link to your website, calendar, etc. Share pictures of events and happenings. Send out conversation starters of your own.

As you get more comfortable, you can start to build lists in Twitter and take on other, more strategic initiatives to grow your followings. And remember, it’s not always about the numbers; it is about the engagement.

Eva Longoria’s New Fragrance to Help Her Charity

On Thursday, March 29th, Eva Longoria will be introducing her new fragrance, EVAmour on HSN.  The Desperate Housewives star will be donating $1.00 to the Eva Longoria Foundation for every bottle of EVAmour sold.  The foundation helps the Latina community to build better futures through education and entrepreneurship.

EVAmour will launch exclusively on HSN during their Spring Beauty Event on March 29 on HSN at 10 a.m., 5 p.m., 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. EST.  The fragrance will also be available on HSN.com and HSN mobile.

For you fragrance buffs, the scent is comprised of blossom, apple and red currant, with floral notes and a warm vanilla, amber and musk ending.  The fragrance collection includes the perfume in various sizes as well as a gift set which includes the 3.4 fl oz, a mini travel bottle, a rollerball of the fragrance and a shower gel.  


Great Gifts That Give Back

If you want your gifts to mean more this season, consider giving gifts that give back.  There are some amazing items available for everyone on your shopping list.  Here are some suggestions:

For the animal lover, you can adopt over 100 different species of animals or let your recipient choose the species they want to adopt.  With their symbolic adoption through the World Wildlife Fund, recipients will receive: a soft plush version of their animal, a card full of information about the animal, an adoption certificate, a color photo of their animal and a drawstring gift bag.  The adoption supports the World Wildlife Fund’s conservation efforts around the world. http://www.worldwildlife.org/gift-center/gifts/Species-Adoptions.aspx

I am a huge fan of the Arbor Day Foundation and always buy trees on behalf of someone’s passing.  Yet you can buy trees in someone’s honor too and it is a gift that will last for generations to come.  The Arbor Day Foundation also sells a variety of coffees which are grown under the canopy of the rainforest.  http://www.arborday.org/shop/index.cfm

Global Girlfriend sells women-made, fair trade and eco friendly.  In addition, Global Girlfriend donates a charity royalty o5-30% to Camfed (Campaign for Female Education), a nonprofit organization dedicated to eradicating poverty in Africa through the education of girls and the empowerment of young women. https://www.globalgirlfriend.com/store/site.do?siteId=344

Charity Buzz auctions are fabulous but not for the faint of wallet.  If you have money to burn you can get a fabulous gift, most of which are celebrity related, and all of the proceeds go to charity.  www.CharityBuzz.com

If you want to shop at a more traditional retail outlet, look no further than Nordstrom and Macy’s.  I have written about the Heart of Haiti collection at Macy’s before because their products are terrific value and they are handmade by artisans in Haiti.  To learn more about the initiative, read here.  There are holiday items, home décor, jewelry and more.  (I have the cow horn bracelet and I love it.)  www.Macys.com/Haiti

Lastly, Nordstrom is selling Kiehl’s limited edition Jeff Koons Crème de Corps Holiday Collection of moisturizers. Jeff Koons is one of the foremost internationally recognized American contemporary artists and the bottle features a balloon flower from his Celebration series.  Kiehl’s will donate 100% of the proceeds on this collection (up to $200,000) to The Koons Family Institute on International Law and Policy, an initiative of the International Centre for Missing & Exploited Children (ICMEC.)  http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/kiehls-jeff-koons-limited-edition-creme-de-corps-8-4-oz-size/3232494?origin=keywordsearch&resultback=2303

Nordstrom also carries the full, vastly extended line of TOMS shoes. With every pair of TOMS shoes purchased, TOMS gives a new pair of shoes to a child in need.  Over the past year  TOMS shoes has given shoes to thousands of kids in need of new shoes.  How admirable is that? http://shop.nordstrom.com/c/toms-shop?origin=brandindex

So there you have it. Why not consider a gift that gives back this year?  Your gift could benefit amazing organizations such as the Arbor Day Foundation, the World Wildlife Fund or the Koons Family Institute on International Law and Policy.  Happy shopping!

If you have any other suggestions of gift ideas that give back, please leave them in the comments section below!


Please note that there are no affiliate links in this post.  Found the Marbles proudly supports non-profit organizations in their mission to serve.

Hey, Kids. Can You Hear Me Now? @starkeycares

“Listen to me. Be quiet. Turn that down. Pay attention. Stop screaming. That’s too loud. Indoor voices.”

How many times a week have we said those words (or similar ones) to our kids?  My five year old gets asked to turn down the volume on his beloved Madden NFL game several times a day and my older son to turn down the volume on the TV just as often.  Frankly, I do it because all that noise drives me bonkers.  Yet I recently learned that should continue to do this not only to save my sanity but also to protect them from hearing loss.

According to USA Today, one in five teens has noticeable hearing loss.  That number is over 30% more than just ten years ago.  Those numbers are staggering and they are continuing to rise.  Hearing loss among children is a real and serious issue.

The Starkey Hearing Foundation is working to promote hearing health awareness and education.  Along with celebrity supporters such as Mily Cyrus, the movement is trying to teach children and teens that music is so much more than a noise streaming through headphones. If they choose to listen carefully rather than loudly, they will be more likely to take in the beat, the lyrics, the instruments, the notes and the rhythm of the music. However, if they continue to listen at such high decibels, they may simply lose the ability to hear the music at all.  Noticeable hearing loss among kids can be prevented in many cases.

Several other celebrities have gotten involved with the Starkey Hearing Foundation movement too, such as Adrian Peterson, Giuliana & Bill Rancic and the New York Yankees.  For more information about the amazing work of The Starkey Hearing Foundation in preventing noticeable hearing loss in children, go to: http://www.starkeyhearingfoundation.org/index.php

Lowering the volume of headphones is such a simple thing to do. It could possibly even save their ears from hearing loss.  Protect your child’s hearing now by continuing to encourage them to lower the volume.  Our children’s hearing is more fragile than we knew so let’s encourage them not to listen loudly, but rather to listen carefully.

I don’t know about you, but I’d be pretty happy if my children were listening to me more carefully!

The National Institute of Health has tips on their website for protecting your child from hearing loss at http://www.noisyplanet.nidcd.nih.gov/parents/Pages/Default.aspx

Let’s help our kids learn to listen so that they may continue to hear.


The Starkey Hearing Foundation delivers more than 50,000 hearing aids annually through more than 100 hearing missions a year in countries stretching from the U.S. to Vietnam.  Found the Marbles supports non-profit organizations in their goal of serving others and did not receive compensation for this post.  Photo Credit: © Richard Thorp | Dreamstime.com  Source: USATODAY.com

What You Didn’t Know About Amy Winehouse

Her talent was undeniable.  Her story was tragic.  What you may not know about Amy Winehouse is that despite her own internal struggles she was dedicated to giving back.

Here are just some of the ways Amy Winehouse extended herself to give to others throughout her career:

-In April 2008, she appeared naked in Easy Living magazine to raise awareness for breast cancer.

-She avidly helped young musicians in the Caribbean, having called St. Lucia her second home.

-In 2009, she supported the Hear the World campaign to raise awareness of hearing loss.

-Also in 2009, she was one of several musicians who collaborated with Cuban musicians on a CD singing Cupid to raise awareness of climate change.

-In 2010, she donated her song, Back to Back to the Global Fund’s Born HIV Free campaign (www.bornfreehiv.org).  She allowed the song to be used for the fund’s animated film, Baby in the Sky.

-In March of this year, Amy donated designer over 20,000 in British Pounds of clothing to a charity shop in London.  Her donations included items from Alexander McQueen and Luella Bartley, causing a frenzy of activity at the boutique.

To her fans, Amy Winehouse will be greatly missed for her musical talent.

The causes she supported will miss for her kindness and her heart.


The sources for this post include: Look to the Stars, Ecorazzi, The Telegraph and YouTube.  Do you know someone who has found their marbles?  If so, send an email to Jessica@FoundtheMarbles.com.