The photo above is me at age 14 in Alaska with my mom. We did a cruise up the inside passage and visited the small towns along the way. I being a typical teenager who didn’t want to be away from her friends, so I really didn’t enjoy the natural wonders of Alaska and even refused to eat a salmon dinner.
Thanks to the Rasmuson Foundation, I’m getting a second chance to experience the beauty of this state as well as learn a lot about the nonprofit and philanthropic community’s use of social media.
Today, I will be speaking at The Foraker Group Leadership Summit on September 20 at 3:30 p.m., and will be giving a free talk about themes from The Networked Nonprofit on September 20 at 5:30 p.m. at the Providence Cancer Center for the Alaska Chapter of PRSA. I’m doing various other trainings, book parties, etc.
Upon my arrival in Alaska, I checked into the airport on Facebook Places and saw a welcome Tweet from the Foundation. I also spotted an Alaskan moose too.
On Sunday, I attended a gathering and dinner with representatives from community foundations around the state of Alaska hosted by the Alaska Community Foundation.
I facilitated a discussion with the group about whether and how their community foundations, located in very rural areas, might embrace social networking. What’s the potential benefit? It is difficult to imagine the use of Facebook in a community when chance meetings in the grocery stores is a key communication channel.
One thing we discovered through the conversation, is that they could connect with each other easily to share stories. So, stay tuned.
Later, we were treated to a dinner at the Rasmuson’s CEO Diane Kaplan’s home. After dinner, the community foundation people where invited to tell stories about their work has changed the way people think about philanthropy in their villages and communities. I captured two of these with my flip camera and put them on YouTube.
Sue Paulson tells the wonderful story how her small community foundation met a $50,000 match in less than 30 days. The Petersburg Community Foundation is devoted to improving the lives of the young, the elderly and vulnerable populations as well creating recreation, education and safety programs.
Next I Joe Page from the Jessica Stevens Foundation told the amazing story of how the Talkeetna Bachelor Society has started a donor advised fund to raise money to support women and children in their village. A fabulous story.
I couldn’t help but think – what if each of these people had a flip camera or inexpensive digital camera and shared their stories on the Alaska Community Foundation wall.
That’s a big step, but there are some small steps they could take leading up to that …