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NEW Home for BC/DC Ideas

March 31, 2011

Check out the new home of BC/DC Ideas at! We will no longer be updating this blog – join us on our new home to keep the great ideas flowing!

YNPN Triangle NC Social: March 15, 2011 #ynpn

March 3, 2011

I hope to see you at the March Social for the YNPN Triangle NC chapter. This monthly gathering welcomes anyone who is interested in meeting and networking with young nonprofit professionals. By connecting with other community leaders you will grow professionally and personally to make a difference in the Triangle and the world.

The February Social was a smashing success, can’t wait to see everyone at the March event!

A little bit more about YNPN Triangle NC:

It’s FREE to be a member of YNPN Triangle. YNPN Triangle is a new chapter of the national YNPN network. In 2011, we are focusing on membership recruitment and retention through social and educational events. Our membership consists of young people who work for nonprofits or are interested in starting a nonprofit career with an age range from college to 35. Our organization is in the developmental stages and we are looking for strong, qualified nonprofit professionals to join us!

For more information, please visit or email

Join the listserv for job postings, upcoming events and other goodies. Be part of the conversation on Twitter at @YNPNTriangleNC and on Facebook at

Win $10,000 for Your Nonprofit! #ctkgrant

March 1, 2011

So, do you have a poet or songwriter trapped inside your nonprofit? It’s time to unleash your muses for a good cause!

Here is a great grant opportunity that has just opened up through the CTK Foundation Fund. Nonprofits of all types and sizes in the US, UK and Canada are invited to apply for the following grant opportunities:

  • 1st place award is a cash grant of $10,000 (US)
  • 2nd place award is a cash grant of $5,000 (US)
  • The 2011 Blogger’s Choice Award, whereby a randomly selected blogger (hopefully me) participating in spreading the word among nonprofits about the H&SGrant Award Program will choose an applicant of his or her choice to receive a $1,000 cash grant
  • 2 steel-stringed guitars, signed by all members of Los Lonely Boys, the Grammy Award winning, internationally-acclaimed band, for auction and fund raising
  • Up to 20 technology grants, valued at $10,000, to nonprofits that indicate an interest

A few things to note:

In order to win, you have to channel all your creativity to write an original four-to-eight-line poem that reflects the work and/or mission of your nonprofit organization. This poem may be written by staff members, clients and/or volunteers of the submitting nonprofit, and must be wholly original.

There is a quick turnaround on these grants—you must submit by midnight on March 28, 2011, and will be notified if you have won on April 10, 2011.

One more thing:

The 1st place award winner will also receive a professionally-produced song to be used in public education or awareness, based upon the selected nonprofit applicant lyrics. This year, the song will be written and recorded by Bill Dillon and produced by Jim Tullio of Butcher Boy Studios of Chicago, Illinois.

To apply now, visit and please come back and post in my comments to let me know you applied and (fingers crossed!) if you are one of the winners. Good luck!

Disclosure: I was recruited to participate in a secret blogger launch of this campaign – if I recruit the MOST nonprofit entries I get to select a winner for the Blogger’s Choice Award

SAVE THE DATE: Triangle #Twestival 3/24 – follow @raltwestival

February 25, 2011

Save the date for another great fundraiser in the Triangle…

Triangle Twestival – March 24 at 7:00 p.m. location TBD

This is truly an international phenomena…

Twestival (or Twitter Festival) uses social media for social good by connecting communities offline on a single day to highlight a great cause and have a fun event. Twestival is the largest global grassroots social media fundraising initiative to date. Since 2009, volunteers have raised close to $1.2 million for 137 nonprofits. All local events are organized 100% by volunteers and 100% of all ticket sales and donations go direct to projects. Over 200 international cities from Buenos Aires to Bangalore, Seattle to Seoul and Hong Kong to Honolulu have participated in Twestival.

The 2011 Triangle Twestival planning committee will have more details in the weeks to come. Follow all the details on Twitter at @raltwestival.  They are hustling up some really great things for the event!

The 2011 Triangle Twestival will support ME³ an incredible local nonprofit that connects individuals and groups to volunteer opportunities with over 70 local nonprofit partners. Through volunteer service, as well as outreach and education about how to get involved, ME³ strives to create a culture of caring and community involvement in Wake County, North Carolina.

Do you want to get your brand in front of some of the most influential social media gurus in the Triangle?

Triangle Twestival is Looking for Sponsors & Silent Auction Items!

If you are interested in finding out more about sponsoring, donating silent auction items or volunteering at this year’s event contact me at dawnacrawford AT

At the last Twestival in 2009 we were able to attract over 200 attendees and raise $3,000 for a worthy nonprofit. For 2011, we are planning just as successful an event. Businesses and service providers are welcome to sponsor or donate silent auction items to raise funds for our nonprofit beneficiary.

For our contribution, you will receive varying levels of inclusion on social media profiles, visibility at the event, etc. We have many sponsorship levels to fit your needs.

More than the promotion you’ll gain from participating in this event, you will also benefit from 200 of the most important social media folks of the Triangle being exposed to your brand at the event. This is an amazing opportunity to get your company in front of these influential and free megaphones of promotion. The promotion opportunity for your business will reach beyond the venue’s walls to the social media community of the Triangle and beyond. As this is an international event, all the Twitter updates will be part of a global awareness of your business and contribution to the local nonprofits of the Triangle.

We really need your support. The event has a budget of $0.00 and is completely focused on raising funds for a worthy nonprofits. We cannot afford any overhead to make this event happen. We are planning on having a cover fee for the event and have a team of volunteers recruiting sponsorship as well as collecting silent auction items to bolster our fundraising total. This also means that your donation will be 100% tax-deductible.

Remember that 100% of your donation will be tax-deductible.

Shock and Awe #scio11

February 22, 2011

I am in total shock and awe after my experience at the Science Online Conference. It has taken me a long time to write this post because I wanted to fully express my admiration and intrigue about this event. I don’ t know if that will ever be fully captured, but I need to share this experience with everyone. If there is a case study of perfect community building and social media execution this group is it.

Bora (on the right) - Image by Kzelnio

The community around this event is powerful and inspiring. Over the past five years, conference participants and countless online viewers have made a living breathing community out of a conference. This annual meeting is a breeding ground of ideas, discourse and collaboration. The participants were focused during the meeting and then unleashed their ideas on the web through  100+ post-event blogs. Incredible.

The creators Anton Zuicker and Bora Zivkovic are humble, gracious and generous people. The crowd orbits around these two natural-born leaders. Their simple idea of bringing an online community to offline reality is still so novel for so many organizations trying to chase social media success. I harp on making social media networks real and making IRL connections. Anton and Bora have mastered the talent of seamlessly weaving online and offline. That is the true power of social media – it’s in the people.

Anton - Image courtesy of Lou FCD

And of course, there were the magical details that made the event sing. Anton is a master of details and has an intense level of care about this project. This was best seen in the scientific cookies that he ordered from A Cookie a Day Bakery, a local baker who makes the cutest cookies. Also the work of author coordinator Karyn Traphagen was performed with so much care. All the way down to the luminaries withe Science Online log, she cares so deeply about this event and this community.

That is the key, it is in allowing people to care about your community. It’s a two-way street of conversation, engagement and understanding. It’s masterfully shepherding conversation to useful ends. That is the real achievement of Science Online.

One of the most beautiful outcomes of the event was the Belly Button Biodiversity citizen science project from the Museum of Natural Sciences. The BBB team came to the conference to collect swabbed samples of bacteria from participant’s belly buttons. Watch famed science writer Carl Zimmer swab his innie. The participants were audibly excited to swab their belly buttons in the name of science. Getting this type of response from an event is about knowing your audience so well that you know what builds excitement and genuine engagement.

Our contribution of event logistics and social media coordination kept this well-oiled machine on its tracks, despite a serious coatroom FAIL. We felt like such a small piece of this amazing whirling orchestra of awesome. That is how you should feel if you are part a community. Never the center, but in an important networked connection.

Congratulations to Anton, Bora and everyone who touched this amazing event. I can’t wait to be part of it in 2012!

UMD’s Empty Bowls: March 3, 2011 #UMDEmptyBowl

February 17, 2011

Join us at this delicious event. Good soup from Durham’s top restaurants for a good cause? Who wouldn’t go?

Fill your belly with delicious soup and help the hungry in our community. Celebrating its 5th year, the Urban Ministries of Durham’s Empty Bowls event mixes together the best of Durham with tasty results. Chefs, philanthropists, artists and foodies alike come together to raise funds to provide hot meals and fill the UMD food pantry for those who would otherwise go without.

The event will be held on Thursday, March 3 at the Durham Armory, 220 Foster Street in Durham, from 5:30 to 8:00 p.m.

No bowls will be empty as attendees sample tasty soups from Durham’s best chefs  from blu seafood & bar, Toast, Papa Mojo’s Roadhouse, Revolution, Watts Grocery, Whole Foods, Thrills From the Grill Catering and Guglhuph Bakery.

Local celebrities will be the judges to award the coveted “Best Soup of Durham.” Attendees will also get in on the fun picking the crowd favorite. Throughout the night, attendees be tweeting soup reviews with the hashtag #UMDEmptyBowl.

Tickets are $30 each, which includes a one-of-a-kind keepsake bowl created by a local artisan. There are also tickets available for $15 if participants want to sample soup only. Children 6 and under are free. This soup-tasting event makes a perfect evening for business professionals and families.

The 2011 Empty Bowls event is made possibly by presenting sponsor MindWorks Multimedia, plus gold sponsors Apogee Medical, AICPA, parker and otis, SunTrush and ABC 11.

Due to the popularity of this event, tickets are limited. Tickets will be available for purchase at the UMD website, by calling UMD at (919) 682-0538 or in person at 410 Liberty Street, Durham.

About Urban Ministries of Durham: The mission of Urban Ministries of Durham is to provide food, clothing, shelter and support services to people in need in Durham, NC. It strives to create a welcoming, caring, and compassionate environment that affirms the dignity of our guests, volunteers, and staff. To learn more about how you can do more to support Durham’s clients in need, visit

Guest Post on Beth Kanter’s Blog

February 15, 2011


We were honored this week to be able to write a guest post for the world-famous Beth Kanter! She is one of my personal nonprofit heroines. Her ingenuity, skill and generosity is inspiring. When you meet her, despite her considerable online fame, she zones in on getting to know you and listen to your questions. It is this skill of taking the online experience offline is what we’re all about at BC/DC Ideas. Take a chance and make a real world connection, you never know what may happen.

Tips for Shooting A Winning Video For Your Nonprofit

A huge thank you goes out to the Autism Science Foundation for allowing us to feature their video in this post. Thank you!