NonProfit POWER Speaker Spotlight: Julia Campbell
This summer, NonProfit PRO is bringing you a brand-new, invite-only, tech-focused conference called NonProfit POWER, where you will have an opportunity to network with like-minded individuals who are the leaders of the nonprofit arena, and learn from the technology strategy partners who are driving that change.
What makes NonProfit POWER different is that you will be able to network and learn in an intimate setting without all the clutter and noise that you would get at a traditional conference. With only 60 attendees, you will gain invaluable knowledge from your peers at stimulating keynote sessions, boardroom case studies and one-on-one meetings, which you can then take back to your organization, implement them into your strategic plan and get one step closer to achieving your mission.
NonProfit POWER will have nonprofit experts who will give you insights on how to navigate through this new landscape and how this fundamental shift will help your organization’s long-term, sustainable growth.
One of our speakers is Julia Campbell, author of “Storytelling in the Digital Age: A Guide for Nonprofits.” Julia is on a mission to make the digital world a better place. Through speaking and consulting, she guides nonprofits on the best uses of social media and storytelling to build communities, showcase impact and advance their causes.
After serving in the U.S. Peace Corps from 2000 to 2002 and working beside many nonprofits, she started her full-time career in nonprofit fundraising and marketing. Since then, she has been a director of development and marketing, an outreach director, a volunteer coordinator, and a board member, helping nonprofits of varying sizes. Currently, she works with nonprofit staff to accomplish their goals, increase their confidence and clarity around digital tools and social media platforms, and develop plans to best leverage available technologies to raise money and increase the visibility of their cause and their organizations.
We did a short Q&A with Julia to find her thoughts on our technology landscape.
In your opinion, how does technology fit into the nonprofit arena?
"Technology has the power and potential to make nonprofits more effective in accomplishing their missions, as well as driving donations and to raising awareness. I firmly believe in the power of digital tools to build movements. You can’t build a movement without attention, participation and investment. Social media and digital platforms—when used STRATEGICALLY—are the perfect way to do all three of those things.
Beyond the possibilities for marketing and fundraising, social media represents a total revolution in the very way in which humans interact and communicate with each other. You can vilify them all you want—and you certainly would be justified in doing so in some cases—but these platforms have entirely changed how we discover, share and discuss information."
What is a widespread challenge for nonprofits, and how can they use technology to mitigate that challenge?
"The main challenge facing nonprofits is a lack of capacity and resources to invest in and to leverage technology adequately. Often, nonprofit staff have serious passion for the work, but they may lack formal training in business development, marketing and fundraising.
The overhead myth is prevalent and destructive, leading many nonprofits to dramatically under-invest in staff, infrastructure and other things they call "overhead" for fear of challenges from funders and donors. This can lead to a cycle of failure where staff are overextended and under-prepared, constantly putting out fires and attending to crises rather than thinking long term and innovating.
Technology can help manage the daily workflow, bring together staff across the field, deepen connections with donors and supporters, and more. The possibilities for technology to change the ways that nonprofits work and accomplish their missions are infinite, but the capacity and resources to leverage these tools are often limited."
Name a new technology trend that you think will significantly impact the future of nonprofit.
"Early adopters in the sector are embracing chatbots and artificial intelligence, and these technologies have the potential to transform nonprofit marketing and fundraising.
Environmental advocacy nonprofit Climate Reality Project uses a bot on its Facebook page to encourage supporters to become more involved in the fight against climate change. When you sign up, you'll get alerts featuring ways you can help solve the climate crisis and combat climate change denial. This bot also generates leads for the organization.
text4baby, a free nonprofit service from Wellpass in cooperation with CTIA Wireless Foundation, uses a chatbot to provide critical health and safety information for pregnant women and moms with infants. This chatbot covers an impressive array of critical topics including nutrition, immunization, breastfeeding and car seat safety."
What new technology solution would you like see emerge in the nonprofit sector in the foreseeable future?
"Mobile apps that make giving easier and part of our daily lives, as well as apps that help coordinate volunteering and in-kind donations. Forward-thinking mobile app companies are thinking strategically about the myriad of ways in which people are already using their devices—and they are fitting their business models into people’s existing behavior, rather than trying to change human nature.
The Point app connects would-be volunteers to local volunteer opportunities based on their interests and their availability. The new Millie app—called "Tinder for charity"—puts the power of giving directly into the donors' hands. I foresee apps like this being more widely used and adopted by younger generations who want the flexibility and instant gratification that comes from using their smartphones to make transactions."
If you’re interested in hearing Julia and other influential speakers discuss the convergence of nonprofit and technology, come join us at NonProfit POWER. Click here to see if you qualify.
Nhu Te is senior content manager at Fundraise Up, the AI-powered online donation platform for enterprise nonprofits. In her work, she focuses on helping nonprofits create more impact through personalized donor relations, digital fundraising and thoughtful use of technology.