To My Mom

My beautiful mother and I. She is my world.

My beautiful mother and I. She is my world.

Victoria’s Secret is having a contest for mother’s day. Daughters can submit an essay on why they love their mom to win a trip for two to New York City.

Being a daughter and having the world’s best mom, of course, I decided to enter.

Read my submission on why I love my mom and vote for us!

“Love You Mom!”

Sponsored by Victoria’s Secret
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Waterloo Arts

In light of my Monday plans to see Cloud Cult and Margot and the Nuclear So & So’s at Beachland Ballroom tonight, I’m posting a local shout-out to Arts Collinwood.

Cloud Cult will perform at The Beachland Ballroom on Monday, April 13

Cloud Cult will perform at The Beachland Ballroom on Monday, April 13

Art-rock band Cloud Cult will mix live music with studio art tonight as two artists paint onstage to the rhythm and flow of the live music. After the show, paintings will go to the highest bidder and proceeds will support the regional art organization, Arts Collinwood.

Arts Collinwood & Beachland Ballroom

Arts Collinwood supports local artists

Arts Collinwood supports local artists

Located in Cleveland, Arts Collinwood and Beachland Ballroom share the same ‘hood. Beachland Ballroom is a hip venue for local and national bands, drawing an audience of young, eclectic musicians and enthusiasts. Arts Collinwood, a growing nonprofit, supports artist communities in the same neighborhood on Waterloo Street.

Arts Collinwood and Beachland Ballroom share the same business objective to make the neighborhood a bit more open to entertainment. The two organizations have teamed up, realizing their power together, in joint neighborhood fundraising and activities.

Music on Waterloo and Food in the Neighborhood are weekly events combining the love for local music, art and food in the community. The objective of these events is to attract audiences, mostly the art enthused, to the neighborhood which hopes to become one of Ohio’s leading art communities.

The Waterloo Arts

Beachland Ballroom is a hip venue for indie bands

Beachland Ballroom is a hip venue for indie bands

In 2000, Cindy Barber remodeled the old Croation-styled home on Waterloo Road to the hoppin’ Beachland Ballroom & Tavern that it is today.  With the help of the Waterloo Arts and Entertainment district, as well as Arts Collinwood, the community has taken full swing in 2009 to making Waterloo a full entertainment community.

According to Barber’s press release, neighborhood plans are right on track. The community includes:

  • Arts Collinwood, a growing nonprofit
  • Music Saves, an indie record store
  • Shoparooni, an eccentric novelty store
  • Waterloo 7, a fab art galley
  • Blue Arrow Records, a used-vinyl store just opened
  • Blitz BBQ, owned by Billy Blitz, brother of the Dead Boys’ drummer Johnny, is set to open across from the Beachland this summer

We’re also working on the East 185th LaSalle Theatre renovation and redefining our lakefront area, because we really are the neighborhood where “the city meets the lake.” We hope to restore some of the Euclid Beach atmosphere with a new fishing pier and more.

The neighborhood’s development plans were made possible with the colliding efforts of community nonprofits and forprofits with activities and fundraisers. Judging by the growing crowds on weekends and the increase in media exposure, plans seem to be taking off. The initiative to turn Waterloo into a highly trafficked and cool art scene is a growing success.

You can catch updates on Waterloo’s art community venture at Nan’s Neighborhood News from Arts Collinwood.

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Need Funds Quick?

With a weak economy, small nonprofits are having a tough time raising funds. With that challenge, organizations need to completely rethink strategies and implementation.

Follow the Challenge

One Home Many HopesA Boston-based nonprofit, One Home Many Hopes is a home for orphaned girls in Mtwapa, Kenya. The organization currently provides 35 Kenyan girls a nurturing home, proper health care and an education.

In the fall of 2008, One Home Many Hopes struggled to raise funds and entered the We Need Funds NOW! Challenge.

The challenge was prompted by Kristy Hall, a nonprofit mastermind, through her site Nonprofit Super Series. One Home Many Hopes was given 30 days to raise $20,000 by following the principles and strategies of the We Need Funds NOW! Program created by Hall herself.

Get the Results

Results of the challenge were double the expectancy. By following Hall’s 30-day program, One Home Many Hopes accomplished multiple objectives:

  • Raised over $40,000
  • Increased their donor database from 180 people to 1,000 people
  • Received press coverage in The Boston Globe, The Chronicle of Philanthropy, Charter Magazine and more

$40,000 is One Home Many Hope’s annual budget and was raised in only one month. This money will provide housing, education and medical care for the 35 Kenyan girls for an entire year. Even better: the impact of 1,000 new members will last longer than the money.

Achieve Similar Results

  1. Set a goal to raise $20,000 in 30 days or less. Focus on individual donors as well as corporate ones. Spread out donations in $10-20 increments from person to person. By aiming to reach a thousand people or more, you will increase awareness and membership of your cause and organization. You will need help from volunteers to go  door-to-door.
  2. Understand the elements of a great pitch. Allow potential contributors to know exactly where his or her money will go. Tailor a message for your audience and train volunteers how to deliver the pitch.
  3. Learn how to build nonprofit corporate partnerships. This is one of the best PR strategies in nonprofit brand building.
  4. Take advantage of online methods. Social media costs practically nothing and can reach large audiences. Use online fundraising, the latest trend in nonprofit PR.
  5. Lastly, learn how to identify and approach potential joint venture partners.

Get Free Advice

President Kristy Hall of Universal Synergy Group, LLC, helps nonprofits and NGOs all over the world to accomplish their mission. Hall provides successful and professional guidance to organizations on leadership, advocacy, fundraising and development.

Check out Hall’s site for a free copy of her book, “7 Secrets Every Non Profit Should Know To Find Funds Fast.”

To receive more tips about Hall’s program, register here cost-free to receive useful material on quick nonprofit funding.


Filed under fundraising, PR Case Studies, PR Tips

A Powerful Campaign


CARE is a humanitarian organization fighting to end global poverty. The organization focuses on helping women in poverty stricken areas gain power to escape these communities. CARE focuses on improving basic education, preventing HIV, increasing accessibility to clean water and providing economic opportunities while protecting natural resources for poor communities. CARE also services victims of war and natural disaster through rebuilding.

CARE believes by teaching women self-help and addressing discrimination it’s possible to make a difference. CARE takes on the global responsibility of serving the poorest communities by strengthening their power to eventually eliminate global poverty.


Teaming up with other nonprofits

CARE teamed up with ONE, Fathom Events and the U.N. Commission On The Status Of Women to help the global fight for women’s rights. Together, these organizations coordinated an event held on March 5 in honor of International Women’s Day: A Powerful Noise Live!

A Powerful Noise is an acclaimed documentary about women changing the world. The feature focuses on three women from Mali, Vietnam and Bosnia and their struggles and triumphs. After the exclusive screening of the documentary, top experts and celebrity activists led a panel discussion about women’s rights in third world countries. Among the panelists were Christy Turlington Burns, Nicholas Kristof, Dr. Helene Gayle, Madeleine K. Albright and Natalie Portman.  A Powerful Noise

The documentary was open in select movie theaters nationwide, making it accessible for a large audience to spread awareness. A Powerful Noise Web site allowed Web goers to submit questions they wished to be answered during the panel. The team of organizations thought clearly and consistently on who their audience was and properly tended to everyone.

Also included on the website was a widget to help spread their message on social networking sites such as Facebook, MySpace, your blog or Web site. Now they’re thinking in terms of viral marketing, clever.

Not to mention press kits, posters, logos and event planning guides were available for download on the site for humanists willing to disperse. These organizations did a great job publisizing, creating knowledge and spreading awareness of their cause and event. They also succeeded at maintaining their audience’s interest through the event and celebrity appearances.

Using Twitter to raise money

CARE hosted a four day “Tweet-a-thon” fundraising event in March. It was technically the first ever sponsored “Tweet-a-thon.” The campaign honored International Women’s Day and the upcoming event A Powerful Noise Live! Each tweet unlocked a 10 cent donation to CARE. All one had to do to generate a donation was include the hash tag #apowerfulnoise after a supportive message. For example:

I support empowerment of women worldwide with this tweet. Each tweet raises 10 cents for CARE. #apowerfulnoise

The “Tweet-a-thon” fundraiser was successful, raising $2,800. This tactic accomplished a few objectives: raising awareness and money. Results made such a splash, the entire campaign rests at the top of all search engine optimizations in news articles and blogs. Overall, the campaign to raise awareness and money for the cause of women’s rights was a success.


Filed under PR Campaigns

FedEx Supports Its Customer’s Economic Needs

Although FedEx is a for-profit company, its PR campaign this week deserves attention  for its relevance to the economy and service to America as unemployment swirls.

FedEx Office offered the service at 1,600 stores nationwide

FedEx Office offered the service at 1,600 stores nationwide

On Tuesday, FedEx offered one day of free resume printing to help job seekers through harsh economic times. Each person was able to receive up to 25 free copies of his or her resume on professional paper.

President and CEO of Dallas, Texas-based company, Brian Phillips said in a press release, “We understand that the economy has affected many people in a very profound way. Printing resumes is one small way we can use our resources to help those who need it.”

The campaign benefits FedEx customers, and those seeking employment. FedEx benefits long-term because it has established a loyalty and appreciation among its customers. Stores were even sitting people behind computers to demonstrate how to create a resume before moving onto the printing stage. The campaign was a success in terms of reach and news coverage.

FedEx saw a great opportunity to service its audience in a PR campaign that will be remembered. A newsworthy event, FedEx made headlines and drew millions of frantic Americans desperate for employment to its stores. One day of free short-term support to a mass population in need will generate long-term trust and loyalty among customers.

Other companies participating in offering free goods include Starbucks, Ben & Jerry’s, Krispy Kreme and Denny’s.

According to a Yahoo! News article today, the U.S. unemployment rate continues to increase:

U.S. unemployment will approach 10 percent as the country endures its worst recession since World War Two, leaving more than 13 million Americans jobless, according to a Reuters poll of economists.

On Tuesday, thousands of job seekers stood in the rain, clutching manila envelopes with resumes at the Greater Cleveland National Job Fair. According to The Plain Dealer, 7,500 people showed eager up to apply to the 1,000 jobs available. About 1,400 people were turned away when the job fair ended at 3 PM.

When developing a campaign for an organization, it’s important to be aware of what’s going on in the news and how it affects your audience. Always plan the, “What’s In It For Me?” statement your audience will wonder. A good strategy is to read the news and keep your audience in mind. Ask yourself, how can I apply this to my organization? You can create buzz for your organization by helping people, who hopefully one day can return the favor.

Think Tiny Footsteps

It’s okay if your organization isn’t based on a national level like FedEx. Simply take FedEx as a large-scale example and make it apply to the size of your organization’s audience.

For example, say your organization is a battered women’s shelter. Chances are single women and mothers have lost their jobs and need to desperately get back out there. Do some research. Perhaps they don’t have access to a computer or have the skills to make a resume. Can you find a college student available to volunteer and conduct a seminar on how to build a resume? Befriend a reporter who’s willing to write a story about your organization’s mission. Not only will it attract women scanning the job section of the newspaper but it will publisize your organization. Who knows, maybe your local FedEx will help.

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Unique Publicity Creates Buzz

Representing Blue Planet Run Foundation, Katie Spotz raises awareness on the right to access clean water through her campaign Row for Water:

This December, I am rowing a boat solo across the Atlantic Ocean in an attempt to become the youngest person and first American to row an ocean solo from continent to continent. The journey will begin in Senegal, West Africa and finish in French Guiana, South America. During the 2,500 mile journey I will be rowing a 19′ rowboat for 70-100 days, alone.

It’s not all about the records and there is a much bigger purpose to this challenge. I have partnered with the Blue Planet Run Foundation whose mission is to help the billion people around the world who lack the most basic human need─ safe drinking water. I hope to raise enough funds to provide 1,000 people access to safe drinking water for life.

The Row for Water campaign is a huge success.  Spotz is blogging about her adventure on the Row for Water website.  Hundreds of Facebook followers are inviting friends to join groups supporting the campaign. Spotz is even tweeting on Twitter. Row for Water has accomplished international coverage, TV coverage and print coverage.

Spotz’ unique campaign warrants buzzworthy publicity for Blue Planet Foundation and the urgency for the right to clean water. Spotz’ interaction with followers online will cause people to stay tuned to her journey and donate to the cause. Spotz is a great example to all organizations that a creative campaign and full utilization of social media can bring positive results.

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Be Heard On YouTube

YouTube has designated a “Nonprofit” channel to launch campaigns, supporting organizations with limited funds. Through YouTube, the world’s largest online video community, you can launch your organization’s message. Creating an account will allow you to connect with supporters, donors and volunteers.

Other benefits include:

  • Branding capabilities
  • Drive fundraising through a Google Checkout “Donate” button
  • Exposure for your organization on YouTube Channels and Videos pages

Thousands of charities are registered within our country alone.  The need to stand out is important when trying to attract attention and raise awareness among people.

An effective campaign stimulates a person through visuals like photographs and videos.  Images of the issues your organization fights will resinate in a person’s mind longer and more effectively than a press release.

Apply now!

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Filed under PR Campaigns