Posted on January 4, 2010 by Roxanne Darling
About a year ago I founded the Hawaii Chapter of the Social Media Club. It is part of a international nonprofit organization of social media practitioners and exists to develop and share best practices and ethics on the social web. One of the first goals we had was to get the word out in the community about our organization. My fellow volunteer and Program Chair Tess Staadecker came up with the idea to hold a contest and offer six months’ support to local nonprofit. We would walk them through the stages of setting up the social web assets.
About the Contest
It was a great idea! We had 15 applicants and over 1000 votes. The winner was a small nonprofit based in Hana, Maui, supported by Rick and Kirsten Rutiz to teach the high school youth about construction. They then build housing, gardens, arts centers, and wheelchair ramps in the community. Ma Ka Hana Ka ʻIke did not have a blog, or a Twitter account, or know anything about Facebook or RSS, but they did tap into their network of friends, who used word-of-mouth marketing to tell a wider circle of friends, and take them to the winning position in the contest.
But First! A Word for Our Sponsors!
We were very grateful to have the support of a few sponsors in this effort as well – as we didn’t plan on the winner coming from a neighbor island, though we did open the contest to all Hawaii nonprofits! Hawaiian Airlines, Bare Feet Studios (yours truly), and the Prince Kuhio Hilton Waikiki provided transportation and lodging for Rick and Kirsten over the six month support period. We also implemented a lot of technology – and on two occasions beamed in Rick and/or Kirsten live via video chat. We are ever grateful to the ING Direct Cafe for hosting our monthly meetings free of charge, enabling us to do the same for you.
So what did we accomplish?
Our primary goal was to get Ma Ka Hana Ka ʻIke excited about sharing their stories with the world, so the world can support them in their mission. to this end, we all were incredibly successful. Our roadmap, was one that any nonprofit can follow along. We provided over 60 hours of free consultation and training, much of it open to the public at our meetings and in follow-up emails. Here is what all was created:
This truly is just the beginning though – now the folks at Ma Ka Hana Ka ʻIke aka HanaBuild can continue using the tools to tell their stories. Key to this is scheduling time each week to attend to the various conversations and communities to which they now belong as well as adding new photos, new blog posts, and new videos. I invite you to connect with them and help us support their ongoing accomplishments to the community of Hana!