Second Half of 2019
I conducted advanced grant research and writing for a startup, Rock the Street, Wall Street. To read my thoughts about this initiative, follow the link to, “Financial Literacy: The M in STEM” on Carolyn’s Nonprofit Blog.
On a part-time basis from May through December 2019 (and a few months into 2020), I worked with TechSoup on a disaster preparation and recovery program. While focused initially on Hurricane Harvey-impacted regions of Texas, the project and the resulting curriculum are helpful to any nonprofit, church or library (and business). The program was underwritten by a the Center for Disaster Philanthropy.
What we have learned as a team working with TechSoup is there is no time like the present to plan for a potential disaster. And once you plan for that “just in case” moment, you need to review your plan annually. Disasters happen quickly and often without notice. By putting a plan in place, you will protect your staff, your volunteers, and you will help your organization resume normal operations more quickly. The program includes worksheets you can download for planning purposes.
If you have questions, use my blog’s secure contact form to reach me.
March 2018 through June 2019
From March 2018 through June 2019, I worked part-time with the Port Aransas Art Center. Infrastructure modernization, prospect research, grant writing, donor stewardship, digital communications, annual and major gift fundraising were the focus of my activities. To read more, follow this link. I worked primarily from my home office in Bee Cave, traveling to Port Aransas for occasional meetings as needed with the Board. We achieved a lot done in a year’s time, and I loved this assignment.
During 2018, I also worked on a few brief projects for Austin Free-Net and Community Presbyterian Church of Port Aransas.
July 2016 to December 2017
I moved to the Texas Hill Country on February 28, 2017. Please see the Media Room of this website, as I was busy during this time with public presentations, publications and more for the benefit of the nonprofit community.
It was nice of the staff at Meetup headquarters in New York to notice and to commend my efforts on the platform. For NetSquared early in 2017, I gave an hour-long ReadyTalk webinar about how I setup and manage Meetup, for the benefit of tech club organizers across the U.S. and globally. NetSquared is now called TechSoup Global.
I created an Angel List profile in 2017, and I have suggested projects for funding/investment. I have for several years contemplated developing and seeking funding for projects that I have generated, and some brainstormed with friends. You will find the list on AngelList.
This is something I would never have done without getting to know Capital Factory and its crew of inspiring innovators the past few years. If you have an interest in one of my projects, let me know. I would be delighted to draw up a budget for each.
Two activities I enjoyed supporting starting in summer, 2017 involved grant research and writing for work underway at Texas Sealife Center (South Texas) and Austin Free-Net.
Texas Sealife Center, an all-volunteer veterinarian-driven nonprofit, seeks to fund facility improvements to provide better medical care for injured and stranded wildlife. With the advent of Hurricane Harvey, the Center had to double-up and take in a large number of additional wildlife, as another partner organization to the north was badly damaged during the storm. Approximately $250,000 in grant proposals were researched and prepared; I completed the Center’s first full GuideStar profile (securing the gold seal for transparency); I completed its first GreatNonprofits review profile (I’m enjoying those reviews very much!); I created a “draft” WordPress website (for potential modernization); and I have helped introduce the Center to a larger number of volunteers and potential sponsors. To read my blog post about Texas Sealife Center, “Hurricane Inspiration on the Gulf Coast,” follow the link. Please contact them (or me), if you are interested in supporting the Center’s lifesaving work. Currently they focus on sea turtles, shorebirds, raptors and eventually the Center hopes to support area dolphin populations.
Austin Free-Net has several digital inclusion programs in the works in Travis County, Texas. “New technology promises opportunity for all, but only on an equal playing field with equal access to information, education and involvement in the community. Anyone having the desire should be able to access the Internet to improve their lives and contribute to society. With this in mind, Austin Free-Net exists to make equal access to computing resources a reality.” I updated the organization’s GuideStar profile and helped it attain the gold seal for transparency. In November, Juanita Budd and I were pleased to receive notice of two new grants on which we worked, one from Spectrum and another from Texas Innovative Adult Career Education (ACE), valued at more than $450,000 (for two separate computer education programs). We are energized, and work continued on new proposals.
Austin Free-Net’s mission is one of the most important of any nonprofit today. To read my blog post on the topic of digital inclusion, follow this link.
April through June 2016
I enjoyed a brief, three-month assignment with Freedom Flyers, a nonprofit organization devoted to honoring veterans and community heroes.
My work for Freedom Flyers involved website and social media improvements, and expansion to new platforms, prospect research, case statement enhancement, identification of new partners and making introductions, securing testimonials (GreatNonprofits), upgrading the GuideStar profile, establishing a presence on Crowdrise, and creating a new email list and email platform via iContact. I also produced two e-newsletters and one e-announcement. I left behind an enhanced Gmail account with tandem platforms Google Drive, Google Photo and YouTube, populated with a variety of helpful documents for carrying forward, including a few YouTube videos.
My immediate family has a history of working with the U.S. Military in the aerospace industry, so this assignment was an enjoyable one.
August 2015 through February 2016
I enjoyed working with TEXSAR: Texas Search and Rescue between August, 2015 and February, 2016. I helped this decade-old, all-volunteer nonprofit move from total volunteer administration, to establishing a formal presence. This involved identifying its first paid employee, conducting prospect research for a number of major potential gifts for critically needed search and rescue equipment, and composing and submitting a number of grant proposals valued at several hundred thousand dollars. I launched a new digital communication program on iContact, so TEXSAR could begin communicating more frequently with its ever-growing constituency (September 21, 2015 through February 5, 2016).
I bolstered TEXSAR’s infrastructure by identifying a professional accounting firm to prepare and file TEXSAR’s first full tax return; by formally acknowledging in writing more than 100 donors; and by researching, writing and producing its first annual report. I was also pleased to help TEXSAR secure the GuideStar gold seal for operational transparency (they have since moved up to platinum level). Last but not least, I fine-tuned TEXSAR’s social media platforms, and added SlideShare and ISSUU to the mix.
To view a PowerPoint I created for a presentation to Travis County Kennel Club, follow this link to ISSUU. It remains one of my most popular!
September 2014 to July 2015
I continued to take meaningful time to polish my online presence, central to which is Carolyn’s Nonprofit Blog. Blog visitation was the highest ever during 2015 (more than 100,000 visitors from some 200 nations since it was launched in 2011). I continued to volunteer for several organizations.
For NTEN, I served on the 15NTC Host Committee (the national conference was held at the Austin Convention Center in March, 2015), I volunteered during the conference, spoke during the 15NTC (WordPress Day), and organized and hosted a dinner for NTC speakers and leading nptech experts. During this time, I set up a webpage for Nonprofit Tech Club Austin (formerly on Meetup). I was pleased to organize and implement a summer, 2015 program at Google Fiber Space for area partners involved in the Google Digital Inclusion Fellowship. One highlight of 2015 for our #NPTechClubATX was chatting via Google Hangout with Forbes Contributor Devin Thorpe at the offices of our new local club co-sponsor, Capital Factory.
One special treat during this time frame was being the focus of an hour-long podcast (#29) in October, 2014 about asking for donations (with a corporate executive focus), with Steve Vick of Nonprofit Ally in Alaska, a “DIY” (do it yourself) resource for nonprofits.
Social media reporting remained a constant activity, with attention being paid to engagement and polishing my existing online activity.
I also mentored aspiring grant and blog writers, as well as a few young but promising nonprofit organizations. If you would like to visit with me about this or to simply ask my advice, use the secure contact form on this website.
August 2013 through August 2014
In late July, 2013 I moved to Austin, Texas to help a young nonprofit, EcoRise Youth Innovations expand its program to middle and high schools across Central Texas and statewide. I worked with EcoRise for a full year. My work consisted of research, grant writing, in-person donor meetings, events, infrastructure improvements, blogging and social media management (in other words, not just fundraising, as one might expect for a small shop).
During my tenure, I researched and wrote numerous grant proposals (valued at approximately $500,000). I introduced EcoRise to new funders with whom I have worked over the years (including The Meadows Foundation, which was kind enough to support EcoRise’s statewide expansion). Among the other successful grants I helped secure were from 3M, RGK Foundation, Samsung, Patagonia and Time Warner Cable. I also made introductions to Texas state government agencies, to help facilitate future partnerships (Texas Water Development Board and Texas Commission on Environmental Quality – I also nominated EcoRise for an education award from TCEQ and they did win a few years later).
For the final seven months of my tenure, I wrote, designed and distributed seven e-newsletters and cleaned and revamped a 3,000+ person database by hand (Z2 NEON). That involved reviewing all entries, updating and fleshing-out contact information, and adding approximately 1,000 new names to the database. I assumed responsibility for authoring monthly blog posts during the second half of my tenure. In terms of social media, all social channels were revamped during this time frame, and I assumed daily social media management and launched EcoRise on new platforms. I also handled social media reporting assignments (and photo documentation) for donor, student and teacher events. I set up the 2014 Amplify Austin (annual giving day) profile on I Live Here, I Give Here, and managed online promotion before, during and after the event. I helped EcoRise secure a $1,000 “booster” price from Breed & Company, by encouraging the Board and friends to make pledges to EcoRise during a specified time during the giving day.
I enjoyed serving as an EcoRise student showcase/student invention judge, and I suggested and implemented the organization’s first Leadership Council reception (at dwg. studio). I represented EcoRise at such events as SXSW Eco, SXSWEdu, Earth Day Texas and Silicon Labs Employee Volunteer Day. I also suggested EcoRise apply to be matched with a filmmaker to create a new film via Lights. Camera. Help. EcoRise was chosen in 2014. Last but not least, I created the organization’s first GuideStar profile, and it attained the GuideStar Exchange Gold Seal for transparency. It was a busy but productive year!
To read more about my experiences on Carolyn’s Nonprofit Blog, follow the link:
During this year, I also found the time to speak during the 2014 AFP DFW Philanthropy in Action Conference at the Irving Convention Center, and before the Texas Library Association’s Annual Assembly at the Hyatt Regency, Austin. I also served as one of a team of teachers for the summer, 2014 CFRE Review Course in Austin (to help aspiring CFREs prepare for the certification examination).
Fall 2010 to Summer 2013
In October, 2010, I moved from Corpus Christi, Texas – my home of ten years – to San Antonio. While there, I met new friends and professional colleagues, learned about and expanded my presence on social media, and became a, “social media reporter.” This was during the economic downturn in the United States, and new projects were few and far between. I used my time wisely, however, launching Carolyn’s Nonprofit Blog, learning how to use social media, and doing more public speaking in Texas and beyond.
Among my speaking engagements were a presentation about the use of social media in major gift and planned giving settings: 2011 CharityChannel Summit in tandem with GPA: Grant Professionals Association in Las Vegas; 2012 Crescendo Interactive, Inc. Practical Planned Giving Conference in Orlando; and 2013 AFP DFW Philanthropy in Action Conference at the Irving Convention Center.
Quick links for my biographical pages: