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Amy Sample Ward

Amy Sample Ward's Articles

  • Live From SXSW: Digital Currency, Banking the Unbanked

    By Amy Sample Ward — March 16, 2015

    For many people around the world, digital literacy is more than gaining access to online content but truly having access to independence through education and banking. At SXSW, Sophie Kelly, CEO of The Barbarian Group, facilitated a discussion about the benefits and challenges of digital currency with Roya Mahboob, co-founder of Digital Citizen Fund, and Joyce Kim, executive director of Stellar.

  • Live From SXSW: Battling Online Harassment

    By Amy Sample Ward — March 16, 2015

    There are inevitably many formal sessions at SXSW Interactive, virtual announcements or product launches, and hallway conversations about new platforms and mobile apps. Many are designed to bring people together to share stories and content, create digital watering holes, and make connections.

  • SXSW: Embracing Social Media Failure, Innovation

    By Amy Sample Ward — March 12, 2013

    SXSW Interactive in Austin, Texas this week is, inevitably, packed with people launching new applications, cool mobile tools, and big brand campaigns. With thousands of people all in one place, it can actually be difficult to find your peers.

  • SXSW: Tips for Nonprofit News Groups

    By Amy Sample Ward — March 12, 2013

    As for-profit news organizations struggle to maintain previous levels of reporting, nonprofit news gathers are proliferating to fill the gap in coverage. “These new nonprofit media outlets are experiencing the same problems that longtime nonprofit publications such as The Texas Observer have been tackling for years,” said Cherilyn Parsons, director of development and strategic initiatives at the Center for Investigative Reporting.

  • SXSW: New York City’s Data Hacking for Good

    By Amy Sample Ward — March 12, 2013

    More and more city governments are working to share data and engage citizens in creating information systems and solutions that support engagement, access to resources, and much more. At SXSW Interactive, Rachel Haot, Chief Digital Officer for the City of New York, shared an update about the city’s attempts to open up data and collaborate with developers and the public.

  • Hot Button Issues at SXSW: Kony and Homeless Hotspots

    By Amy Sample Ward — March 15, 2012

    We’ve all experienced videos, blogs, photos, or topics “going viral” online before our eyes – the number of views increases, our Facebook timeline fills with reposts of the story, or a hashtag rises up the trending charts. At SXSW, there are enough people and enough conversations taking place that hot topics go viral in a similar way, spreading through lounges, parties, and coming up as questions in session after session. This year was no different, and those viral conversations included the Invisible Children “Kony 2012” campaign and video, and the Homeless Hotspots.

  • Crowdfunding Social Ventures at SXSW

    By Amy Sample Ward — March 14, 2012

    Start Some Good, a platform for social good groups – whether nonprofit organizations or not – to raise funds and build community, highlighted eight diverse projects working for social impact at an evening event hosted by Center61 at SXSW. Each project was given five minutes to pitch to a packed room before each attendee had the chance to vote for their favorite project. The winner received $1,000 from rackspace and a free organizational membership to NTEN.

  • Personal and Professional Identity: Social Media Policies for Nonprofits

    By Amy Sample Ward — March 13, 2012

    I was joined today for a panel at SXSW to discuss the blurry or blurring lines of personal and professional identify online. With me on the panel was Debra Askanase, Jess Main, and Vanessa Rhinesmith. This topic was especially relevant at a festival like SXSW where many attendees are representing themselves, their organizations or companies, and even side projects or local groups. Most of the people in the room said they represent both themselves and their organization through their personal profiles online, like Facebook and Twitter. The panel shared a few key directives for nonprofits working to support staff with social media.

  • Tendenci Released as Open Source by Schipul

    By Amy Sample Ward — March 13, 2012

    Schipul, a web marketing agency based in Houston, Texas, announced yesterday during the 2012 South by Southwest Interactive festival that Tendenci, a content management system (CMS) will be released as an open source solution. Tendenci was developed by Schipul especially for nonprofit organizations and associations over the last decade as a proprietary Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) product. The platform is currently supporting hundreds of nonprofit and association websites around the world, with over one million users. The open source solution will be available to download at the 2012 Nonprofit Technology Conference, taking place April 3-5 in San Francisco.

  • Tech Talk at SXSW

    By Amy Sample Ward — March 13, 2012

    South by Southwest Interactive is a major hotspot for new tools to launch, applications and platforms to find early adopters, and those looking for ideas or suggestions to get recommendations from others already exploring the newest, shiny toys. I’ve been taking notes on the tools, whether brand new or just new to some, that have people talking.


Sponsored Podcasts

Welcome to the Raise & Engage podcast, a filters-off series for nonprofit professionals hosted by Blackbaud's straight-shooting expert Danielle Johnson Vermenton. During this open-mic session, you’ll hear honest advice to help YOU do more for your cause.

Episode 6: The Power of ‘No’ at Work|| daniellejohnson-76

You have a job description, but on any given day, you're probably doing dozens of things outside the scope of that description. Combine that with the challenge of a fast-paced environment and the shifting priorities of funders, colleagues, and board members and it’s easy to fall short of doing your best. By being mindful of your limitations and capacity—and saying “no” when your plate is full—you can actually do more for your cause. In the sixth installment of the Raise and Engage podcast Danielle Johnson and Robin Anderson discuss the power of saying “no” at work.

Episode 5: Professional Development: Getting Un-Stuck|| daniellejohnson-76

In the most recent episode of Raise + Engage, Danielle is back with Brian Reich from little m media to discuss how nonprofit professionals can stay motivated and energized in their day-to-day roles. Brian shares his experience working with nonprofits and the lessons and tips he's learn from and shared with them over the years, including tips for avoiding a professional rut, creating forward momentum in your career and pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone. If you're considering making a career move or want to ensure you're on the right path, you won't want to miss this inspo-packed episode!

Episode 4: Apps and Hacks to Stay (Mostly) Sane || daniellejohnson-76

Episode 4: Apps and Hacks to Stay (Mostly) Sane, is all about tips, tricks and tools for sanity. Blackbaud’s own interactive product marketer, Julia Lenz, joins host Danielle Johnson to share some high tech. (and no tech.) productivity tips to help nonprofit professionals stay sane in the crazy world of philanthropy.

Tune in to hear:

  • Tips for how to spend the first 30 minutes of your day
  • The benefits of 15 minute meetings
  • Why notebooks are still relevant to a successful organization
  • Ideas for better managing your inbox
  • Why you should take lunch outside the box
  • ...and much more!
Don’t forget to visit the #NoFilterNonprofit Hub afterwards to download our newest tip sheet10 Productivity Hacks for Nonprofits.

Episode 3: Tech. Connection: Solutions, Strategy, and Staff || daniellejohnson-76

Episode 3: Tech. Connection: Solutions, Strategy, and Staff In episode 3 of the Raise + Engage podcast, Danielle Johnson is joined by Chris Geady and William DaSilva, two IT experts in the nonprofit space, to talk technology integration for NPOs: when you need it, when you don’t, and how to do it successfully.

Tune in to hear:

  • When to say NO to integration
  • How to set your strategic plan before even looking at technologies
  • Ways to get your entire team on board
  • The importance of identifying a project lead
  • The RFP process - how it should and should not go
And William shares a story about a nonprofit that may or may not have still been using a typewriter. You don't want to miss this one!

Episode 2: From Socially Awkward to Socially Awesome! || daniellejohnson-76

According to Danielle Johnson, straight-shooting host of the Raise + Engage podcast series, if your staff members aren’t the number one advocates for your cause on social media, you’re failing. In the most recent episode, Danielle is joined by Blackbaud’s own social media guru Madeline Turner to discuss overcoming social struggles and creating a social ambassador program at your organization. This entertaining and insightful duo dishes on the importance of making your social media presence human, making the case for a formal social program to leadership, how University of Michigan turned a one time social media campaign into a long term social program, and how Madeline's mom unknowingly became a social ambassador on #GivingTuesday.

Episode 1: Corporate Culture & Development: Shake It Up! || daniellejohnson-76

In the premiere episode of Raise & Engage, Danielle is joined by three straight-shooting nonprofit rock-stars: Jodi Smith of Sanford Health Systems, Veronica Brown of Chicago Public Library Foundation and Ali Burke of Southlake Regional Health Centre Foundation. The group talks organizational culture, problem employees, why its important to celebrate and how to shake things up this year and build a better more authentic team that gets stuff done!


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