Resource Guide

Turning Food Ethics Into Action - BlogHer Food 2014

General Resources & Ideas

Have a clear mission statement - What problem are you trying to solve and how will you go about solving it? Use this mission statement to keep you grounded as you grow.

Give people a “Call to Action” and empower them with tools to make it easy for your project to go viral.

Identify easy, small steps that people can take to make a difference - don’t overwhelm possible partners with requirements or it will be a disincentive to participate.

Outsource what you’re not good at!

Choose a compelling hashtag for social media

Social Media Sharing Buttons with Pre-written Language, such as a Tweet button with a link and your hashtag

Create a Group Pinterest Board

Create a Facebook Group, Page, or Google+ Community

Host a Google Hangout On Air on your topic and invite a notable guest or two; or hold a “Twitter party”

Design a logo, blog button/badge, funny meme, or other graphics that others can use and share, put in their sidebar, etc. Don’t know a good, independent graphic designer? Logo Tournament or 99Designs. Then share the code for those tags, so people can simply cut & paste it onto their own sites (here’s an example), or include social media sharing links, etc.

Twibbon - Lets users add an image/logo to their profile pictures on social media. Paid version includes lots of sharing tools to help your project go viral.

EventBrite - Event ticket sales.

Sched.org and Shdlr.com - Use to schedule an event, creates a mobile app for attendees.

Zazzle Store - For logo swag.

MailChimp - Great for managing multiple email lists & campaigns at once. Mad Mimi is another good mailing service; a little less expensive than MailChimp.

Mandrill - If your site/server sends transactional email (email confirmations, password reset, comment notifications, etc.), Mandrill can help improve deliverability. Free for up to 12,000 emails/month. The wpMandrill WordPress plugin makes setup easy.

HootSuite - Great if you’re running a blog + a business, handles multiple social media platforms simultaneously.

HARO (Help A Reporter Out) - From Vocus; Awesome publicity tool; Get daily emails that have requests from reporters in various fields for interviews on your area of interest. Great way to drum up some free publicity (often from big/popular news outlets and magazines).

Google Forms - Quick and easy to set up for an application or submission from readers; imports all data to a spreadsheet.

WuFoo - Highly customized online forms, hosted by them or embedded on your site.

Trello - Web-based, collaborative project management. Andrew uses for “To Do” lists.

Business/Marketing Training: (Free online webinars/blog sites)

Amy Porterfield / Marie Forleo / Ryan Deiss / Social Media Examiner

WordPress Plugins

Akismet - Helps filter spam comments. Comes with WordPress, but needs an API key to activate.

Participants Database - Andrew uses this for October Unprocessed to set up a “pledge” form and display a list of participants.

Gravity Forms - Advanced forms for WordPress sites.

bbPress & BuddyPress - Add forums and more to WordPress to build community

Legal Structures

For non-profits:

IRS releasing a new 1023 EZ form sometime in the next few months; will expedite non-profit certification process (right now IRS is up to 10 months behind)

Grants for social enterprises: The Awesome Foundation; Echoing Green; Ashoka; Schwab Foundation

Also: LLC (Limited Liability Company); L3C (Low-profit Limited Liability, commonly called a HYBRID); sole proprietorship

Five Easy Steps to Start a Petition:

1. Decide what you want to change - pick something very specific. Target one company or organization, rather than try to make sweeping changes all at once.

 

2. Determine who’s responsible for making the change. Ask yourself – who has the power to make this change happen? This will be the target for your campaign.

3. Gather all the facts. Extensively research the reasons why this change needs to be made.  Why is the current situation so bad?  What research studies back up your claims?  What benefits will we have after the change is made?  

4. Reach out for help. Do you belong to any organizations that would help you with the petition? Do you have friends in the blog world with similar interests and goals? If you plan on using a petition platform like change.org, contact them for help in advance. They may have someone who can help get the word out or devise a strategy to win.

5. Post your petition. You can post it on your own blog using software like Salsa Labs, and/or platforms like:

Andrew’s Thoughts on How to Change the World:

(Originally published here.)

Change happens on multiple levels and from all directions, and I believe that every action — and every interaction — makes a cumulative difference, no matter how small. When you make eye contact and say “Thank You” to someone, you make the world a better place. Sure, it’s a tiny bit, but it’s still something, and you never know where it’s going to lead you.

It’s not about subject matter, expertise, or even a specific topic. It’s all a matter of style.

Be positive.

Nobody likes a downer. Uplift people with your message of hope and optimism, don’t bring them down with fear, frustration, and dread. Pessimism won’t get us very far.

Be enthusiastic.

Cliché because it’s true: Enthusiasm is contagious. When you meet someone who is interested and excited about something, don’t you get at least a little bit of that spark? Enthusiasm is kind of like being positive, on steroids.

Ask questions.

Asking someone a question engages them. It starts conversations, and you never know where they’re going to lead. (Corollary: Listen to their answers.)

“I don’t know” is okay.

Yes, even if you’re supposed to be the expert, it’s perfectly fine to say “I don’t know.” As long as your next step is to go find the answer.

Find allies.

Then do everything you can to support them. They will, in turn, support you. (Corollary: Be inclusive.)

Don’t judge.

When was the last time someone told you bluntly that what you were doing was bad/wrong/evil/destroying-the-world?  I’d bet that wanted to make you do it more, not less, didn’t it?  (Corollary: Don’t preach.)

Empower people.

Be sure to give people the tools to actually do something. For me, that means providing helpful and encouraging information, resources, techniques, recipes, and every so often, issuing a specific call to action. For you, that probably means something else.  Whatever your method, it’s important to give people the tools and ability to make change, not just talk about it.

Above all else, be genuine.

Be absolutely, positively, without a doubt, 100% sincere in what you’re doing.