Kayla L. McKinney

Time to Give a Little

posted by
Kayla L. McKinney,
Project Specialist
(Marketing/Communications)
ASU Lodestar Center

Reality: I think your cause is awesome. In fact, I think your cause is fantastic. You want to help the homeless? Me too! Rescue dogs? Me too! Make sure everyone has access to clean water? I’m on board! 

Other reality: I don’t have the time or money for your cause.

One more reality: I still want to help.

 

I know a lot of people who understand my plight. I’m a grad student, after all! And being a grad student means I’ve got more than a few limitations, economically speaking. So, how do you, as a nonprofit organization, get me to help you?

Jump head-first into the world of microgiving.

Microgiving is when a person donates small, seemingly insignificant amounts of money to a cause or a nonprofit. And it’s exploding in popularity, especially with our increasingly digital lifestyles. Many microgiving websites make it outrageously simple to donate, and with mobile giving on the rise, we can definitely expect an increase in the number of smaller donations.

I had a chance to chat with Leo Ramirez, President, CEO, and Co-Founder of MiniDonations, and he summed it up excellently: “When compounded, small donations of one's time, talent, and treasure can profoundly impact our world. Not only are these gifts more accessible — regardless of age or income — they're habit-forming: transforming a small giver today into a major donor tomorrow.”

In other words, it’s worth your time to get into the microgiving spirit. And there are lots of ways to approach it. What makes microgiving so neat is how creative some of the organizations have gotten with it. Below are a few of my favorite microgiving options — some your organization can use, some you can be inspired by, and some you can donate to yourself. So, go ahead - think small!

Jungle of Trolls: Coping with Social Media Disasters, Controversies, and Blunders

posted by
Kayla L. McKinney,
Project Specialist
ASU Lodestar Center

A few weeks ago, we at the Center had a fiasco on our hands. What happened, you ask? We entered the wild, savage jungle of Internet Commentary.

Here at the Center, we're a calm bunch. We're extremely respectful of one another, and we get along like fuzzy critters in a Disney movie. Nothing particularly controversial happens, except when someone eats the last Reese's cup in the candy jar.


traviscandy
Pictured: Travis "Sweet Tooth" Butterfield

So, in June, when one of our blog posts sparked a heated discussion in the comments section, we were all caught off guard. The blogger, Katie Hawkes, had written this post encouraging our audience to be optimistic about volunteering. We've had a couple bloggers explore similar sentiments, too, including my fellow Lodestar staff member Laura E. Tan and Public Allies Arizona alumna Angela Soliz.

But not everyone agreed with Katie.

As the first negative comments rolled in, one of my coworkers told me he was concerned and believed we should delete them. I imagine he reacted like the majority of people would, probably even you. You want to defend your friends and coworkers (or, you know, at least the ones you like...). The best way to do that would be to make the problem disappear, right?

Making Philanthropy a Lifestyle, 365 Days a Year

posted by
Kayla L. McKinney
,
Project Specialist
ASU Lodestar Center

So, I'll admit it. I have a rough time donating to nonprofits. At this point in my life, I only give money to one nonprofit organization, and I do that through automatic monthly payments, with little thought at all to the whole process. I always have excuses -- I'm too busy! I'm a grad student! I'll get it together and shape up next month!

But what if I did make it a priority? What if I decided that, every single day, I'd devote a little bit of time and a little bit of a care to a different nonprofit organization? Well, that’s just what Carlo Garcia did.

In 2010, Carlo made a commitment - to give to a different charity each day for an entire year. That's 365 charities in 365 days. A native Chicagoan, Carlo cites many reasons for his journey on his blog. He explains, "I thought to myself, it's not important how much you give, as long as you give on a regular basis. So, I decided I am going to dedicate myself to giving every day for a year and documenting my journey, so that others may be able to follow and if they feel inspired, take on their own mission of giving. I also believe that we as youth generations need to become the leaders of a new movement of philanthropy. It is our responsibility to set the standards of giving for future generations."

And he's certainly got the right idea. Carlo's mission made me step back and rethink my own approach. How am I impacting my community, and why am I so gosh darn lazy when it comes to helping out local nonprofits?

Picture This: A Look Back at This Year's Spring Forum

posted by
Kayla L. McKinney
,
Project Specialist
ASU Lodestar Center

Attending this year's Annual Forum on Nonprofit Effectiveness for the first time, I was really excited to see the communication between grantees and funders. The Forum, which was presented by the ASU Lodestar Center and the Arizona Grantmakers Forum, enabled the two groups to meet on equal grounds and see things from a different perspective. It was also fun for me to meet some other students who attended. They were happy to share stories about all of the great connections they were making, which, for me, showed how valuable the Forum is for a variety of nonprofit professionals.

Twitter Dashboards and the Dark Side of Tweeting

posted by
Kayla L. McKinney
,
Project Specialist
ASU Lodestar Center

As a Project Specialist at the ASU Lodestar Center, I get to put my social media skills (and many hours spent facebooking…) to good use. With the explosion of micro-blogging, the nonprofit world has a fantastic new tool to connect with the public in exciting and creative ways. But what happens when bad tweets happen to good nonprofits?

A few days ago, as part of ASU Lodestar Center's promotion for our upcoming 13th Annual Forum on Nonprofit Effectiveness, we posed this scenario to our social media followers:

A nonprofit has a public scandal. How does it go about restoring credibility with existing funders and position itself with possible new funders to help "bring them back" and make the organization stronger than before?

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