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8 Social Good Changemakers to Watch

Folks, just figured it was about time to highlight some more social good changemakers who really have their boots on the ground creating real change. These people are disruptors, they're inspirational, and they're the real deal.

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  1. Jillian York -

    Director for International Freedom of Expression at the Electronic Frontier Foundation. Her work is at the intersection of tech and policy, with a focus on the Arab world. Her Twitter feed's been described as "Grim reality mixed with activism, humanism, feminism and a dash of humor."
  2. Rinku Sen -

    President and Executive Director of Race Forward: the Center for Racial Justice Innovation, formerly known as the Applied Research Center (ARC) and Publisher of Colorlines.com. A leading figure in the racial justice movement, Rinku has positioned Race Forward to bring systemic analysis and an innovative approach to complex race issues to help people take effective action toward racial equity through research, media, and practice. More about Rinku here.
  3. Van Jones -

    Senior Fellow at American Progress focusing on “green-collar jobs” and how cities are implementing job-creating climate solutions. Jones is a globally recognized, award-winning pioneer in human rights and the clean energy economy. He is a co-founder of three successful nonprofit organizations: the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, Color of Change, and Green For All.
  4. Amy Sample Ward -

    CEO of NTEN. Amy is a conversation-starter and thought-leader, writing about strategic uses of new technologies for communities and organizations on her blog and the Stanford Social Innovation Review. She is dedicated to educating and supporting nonprofit and community organizations in using technology to make lasting change. She is the co-author of the nonprofit best selling book Social Change Anytime Everywhere co-written by Allyson Kapin.
  5. James Rucker -

    Chairman and Co-founder of ColorOfChange.org and Citizen Engagement Laboratory (CEL). Founded in the wake of Katrina, ColorOfChange.org is the leading online citizen lobby for African-Americans and their allies. CEL was founded three years later to serve as an incubator and accelerator for online organizing efforts.
  6. Tinia Pina -

    Founder & CEO of Re-Nuble, an organics-to-energy social enterprise based in the D.C. area. Tinia founded Re-Nuble with a mission to “Redefine Waste” within local, urban communities. Nuble, Inc. increases recycling by the food service industry while providing employment to D.C. residents with criminal records.
  7. Rabbi Sarah Bassin

    Executive Director of NewGround, a joint Jewish-Muslim organization training emerging leaders to collaborate and overcome entrenched conflicts. Deeply interested in interfaith relations, Sarah entered the rabbinic program at Hebrew Union College with the intention of pursuing a rabbinate in community relations. During the year in Israel portion of her rabbinic education, Sarah became both a participant and a facilitator for Encounter, helping Jewish leaders better understand the Israeli/Palestinian conflict.
  8. Scott Beale

    Founder & CEO of Atlas Corp, and an experienced social entrepreneur who has started three nonprofit organizations and helped thousands of people in his generation become agents for social change. He has worked on four continents, with nonprofit, government and business leaders from around the world. More about Scott here.

Who would you add to this list? Please share, and I'll keep 'em in mind for a follow up post.

We're Giving $50k to America's Heroes Right Now

Hey, the second annual Veterans Charity Challenge just launched over on CrowdRise at noon EDT. We've expanded the challenge this year to benefit police and fire fighter nonprofits, in addition to veterans and military charities.

This year’s Veterans Charity Challenge 2 is a follow-up campaign to last year’s campaign, which raised more than $445,000 for veteran, military and their family-affiliated nonprofits. The Challenge began today (May 22) and ends on July 3 at 12:00 pm EDT.

I'm giving $50k in cash prizes to encourage folks to raise money for their favorite “American Hero” nonprofits during the Memorial Day and Independence Day holidays.

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The challenge is taking place over on the CrowdRise platform. Fundraising teams participating in the Vets Charity Challenge 2 will compete to raise the most money for their org and win additional cash prizes for their causes.

The nonprofit that raises the most money by the end of the Challenge will receive a $20k donation that I'm giving on behalf of the Veterans Charity Challenge 2.  Second place will receive a $10k donation, and third place will receive a $5,000 donation. An additional $15k in Bonus Challenges will be given to participating nonprofits over the course of the campaign.

I just think if someone's willing to serve and even risk their life for me, I should give back. And it's not only those who serve, it's also family members who give up a lot for all of us. This challenge is for the folks who really have their boots on the ground, and who're creating real change.

So far there's more than 60 charities signed up for the challenge. Any nonprofit organization benefiting veterans, military personnel, police, fire fighters or their families can sign up to participate in the Challenge until June 6. Note: after June 6, individuals can sign up to raise money for organizations, but no new orgs can participate.

I'd really appreciate it if you're able to give back. This is the real deal, and it's important to help out. I'll be keeping you updated about winners and the important work they're doing throughout the challenge.

Visit the Veterans Charity Challenge 2 to either donate to your favorite charities, register to participate, or sign up to fundraise for an org you're passionate about.

7 ways to get involved in tech right now

The best way to get stuff done is to get involved, and to connect those who already have their boots on the ground.

Summer is almost  here, and it's a really good time to get involved. My team and I have compiled a list of ways you can get involved in tech.

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Ways to get more involved in tech:

  1. Either join a Girls Who Code club in your area, or start one if there's not one already. Girls Who Code partners with school networks, community based orgs, libraries, faith-based centers, labor unions, and tech companies to bring Girls Who Code Clubs to communities all across the country.You can start a club if you’re a girl, parent, teacher, school or community leader, or anyone else who wants to bring computer science ed to your community.
  2. Get a ticket to the NonProfit 2.0 Unconference in DC. I'll be keynoting with Majora Carter, and will be talking about grassroots organizing from the bottom up. The Unconference is only $45 on June 26, and you can use the code nptech for 10% off.
  3. Host a screening of the Black Girls CODE documentary in your community.  Black Girls CODE's more than a program, it's a movement. The film tells of the movement, created by San Francisco-based computer programming pioneer Kimberly Bryant, to expose young black girls to the world of computer programming and all the possibilities that they can achieve.
  4. Visit a hackerspace. Hackerspaces are community-operated physical places, where folks can get together and work on their projects.
  5. If you're a DIYer, stay up all night trying to install linux on your laptop, or take your laptop apart and put it back together. Perhaps, make a social network in your dorm room.
  6. Get involved in an open source community as a tester. You can find Drupal's community here, and you're able to find out more about how to contribute to WordPress here.
  7. Get involved with Code for America in your city. Their philosophy's that citizens have the power to help their cities.

What would you suggest folks do to get involved in the tech space? What motivated you to get involved? Leave a comment, I'd love to hear your story.

Tips to Drown out the Twitter Noise

Folks, this has become a big issue on Twitter –  how do you get to the real good stuff on your Twitter feed? Where are the tweets from your community? And how do you make an effort to use Twitter most effectively for you and your organization? My team and I compiled a list of tips to drown out the Twitter noise so you can easily access the most useful content and conversations.bird

  • Use hashtags - Hashtags are still really useful. People and orgs will tag their content based on the topic, and this lets you find the latest trends or the niche content that interests you. For example, nonprofit tech related tweets tend to use the hashtag, #nptech, progressive groups use #p2 and #activism, feminists tend to use #fem2, and other good hashtags include #gov20, #vets, #milfams, #philanthropy, and #socent (social entrepreneurship).
  • Keep an eye on #FF - When tweeters that're the real deal post a Follow Friday (#FF), they're carefully selecting people who are the real deal. This is an effective way to find "friends of friends" in the Twittersphere.
  • Don't be afraid to unfollow tweeters - If you follow someone and realize that their tweets just don't interest you, don't hesitate to unfollow them. It's not rude, it's efficient.
  • The mute button - Twitter just rolled out a new mute button yesterday, and everyone will have it soon. The point of the button is to silence people you don't want to unfollow, but are tired of seeing their tweets in your feed like if they are live tweeting a conference for several hours. According to Twitter:
      • To mute a user from a Tweet, tap more and then mute @username. To mute someone from their profile page, tap the gear icon on the page and choose mute @username.
      • The muted user will not know you’ve muted them, and of course you can unmute at any time.
      • The muted user will still be able to favorite, reply to, and retweet your Tweets; you just won’t see any of that activity in your timeline.
  • Build lists on Twitter - You can organize your Twitter followers into different lists. If you're into tech, for example, you can have a tech list where you group all the techie folks, if you are following people who tweet about journalism ethics, you can make a list for them. Once you have a list, you can click on it and just see a stream of users' tweets who you've assigned to that list. To manage your lists, go to your Twitter dashboard, click "More" then "Lists" and you'll be taken to a page that lets you do everything Twitter List related. (See image below for more…)
  • Subscribe to lists on Twitter - Other people have already done a lot of the work for you by creating their own lists. You can seek out lists that interest you, and subscribe to them. This will help you to further involve yourself in the Twitter community, and is a good way of finding others who tweet about your interests without much effort.

Craig Twitter Dash

What tricks do you use to manage your Twitter account and drown out all the extra noise?

Nonprofit 2.0 Unconference is back for social change

Folks, the Nonprofit 2.0 Unconference is back, and I'm keynoting this year alongside Majora Carter, who's the real deal. Nonprofit 2.0 is DC's only Unconference dedicated to the social cause space.

Here's some info about the conference according to co-founder, Allyson Kapin, who also happens to be part of the craigconnects team:

"Nonprofit 2.0's more than just a conference on the next generation web. It’s a next generation conference in format. Have you ever gone to a conference just for a keynote, but the workshops weren't up to par? Nonprofit 2.0 delivers the best of keynotes and workshops, offering keynotes led by innovative nonprofit campaigners, thought leaders, and strategists in the space, but in an unconference way, with no PowerPoints, 15 minute leads, and open questions and dialogue to give a voice to everyone."

Following the keynote sessions, Nonprofit 2.0 shifts into a full-on Unconference with workshops facilitated by DC’s brightest minds strategizing for social change.

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What's an Unconference? Well, you start with a blank wall and, in less than an hour, with a facilitator guiding the process attendees create a full day, multi-track conference agenda that is relevant and inspiring to everyone in the room. All are welcome to put forward presentations or propose conversations that you'd like to have with others and:

  • questions you want answered;
  • information you want to share/present;
  • a project you would like help on;

As people register, the conference organizers will be posting proposed topics on their blog.

Last year's event sold out pretty early, so get your tickets now, if you're able, and don't miss out.  You can use comp code nptech for 10% off registration fees.

As I mentioned, I'll be keynoting this year with Majora Carter, one of the biggest activists and disruptors tackling urban revitalization in communities that are often ignored. The smart Craig Newmark will be talking about the non-traditional business philosophy of "doing well by doing good," and my belief in the advantage of “bottom-up” grassroots action.

I've heard that Majora will discuss her journey, message, and vision to revitalize communities that are forgotten. Her TED talk on Greening the Ghetto is the important stuff.

Join us on June 26thth at SEIU for what promises to be a 4th sold out unconference. Folks, this is the real deal, and tickets are just $45. Plus, I can get you 10% off with the comp code nptech. It's not altruism, it just feels right.

And, please note that any net proceeds will be donated to a local charity.