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August 29, 2012 in #cunysps, BA in Communication and Culture, Events, Komen Race, Uncategorized, Virtual Campus | Tags: #cunysps, Alexandra Hertel, American Cancer Society, Breast Cancer, Communication and Culture, CUNY SPS, Facebook, Fitness, Fundraiser, Professional Studies, School of Professional Studies, Social Media, Social Networking, Student Blog, Susan G Komen, Twitter, Virtual Campus | by xahndra | 2 comments
With the start of the Fall 2012 semester this week, those of us who took the summer off are quickly reminded of the juggling we will need to do in order to maintain our family responsibilities and jobs. Schedules need to be re-arranged, social outings declined or cancelled, and sometimes we have to ask others for help. I’ve already had to ask my brother to spend time with Athena, my daughter’s Chihuahua, because we are both keeping long days with work and school, and in my case, training for the marathon too.
Asking for help has become a new talent of mine. It is how I have been able to raise over $2,500 for the American Cancer Society and how reaching the goal of $3,500 is attainable. Since the CUNY School of Professional Studies has an opportunity to fundraise for Komen’s Race for the Cure, I thought it would be fun to share a few of my fundraising secrets that have made “asking for help” a lot easier than it sounds.
Social media has been my number one source for donations. Using Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, Google+, LinkedIn and blogging, I make the opportunity available to many potential donors. I engage my audience of friends, family and colleagues by making meaningful posts about my progress, set-backs, victories and challenges. I invite others to comment, share, and get involved. I offer opportunities to support me with either financial support, moral support—or both.
One of the most engaging tools I’ve used is MapMyRun. While running, it tracks me and my friends can watch me live on the app. (Feel free to add me if you use MapMyRun, user name: xahndra.) One of the coolest features with MapMyRun is that when my run is complete, it posts a map and a custom message with my mapped run. I set the program so that it will automatically post to Facebook and Twitter after my run with a link to my fundraising page. My online community sees that I am doing the work and that their funds mean something to me. (It also socially holds me responsible to stick with my program and training days… Win Win!)
I try to think of gimmicks and mini-goals. For example, the hashtag on Twitter, #FF stands for FollowFriday. Many Twitter users actually search for that hashtag to see what fun people to follow on Fridays. Also, people pay attention to the #FF in their Twitter feed. So, I made #FF stand for something else. FUNDRAISING FRIDAY!
Fundraising Friday works best when you have some sort of mini-goal associated with it. For example, a few Frundraising Friday’s ago, I was very close to the 50% mark. I needed just a hundred dollars or so. By the time #FF Fundraising Friday was almost over, I needed just $19.25 to hit 50%. I sent out a tweet and status update requesting that amount and instead I received two more $25 donations pushing me well over 50% of my goal. It’s fun because now some of my teammates are using #FF Fundraising Friday and having success as well. Try using #FF this Friday as a member of the CUNY SPS team for Komen’s Race for the Cure. Let me know if it worked for you too!
In all my tweets and updates through social media, I try to engage others. If I can get a well known handle to retweet me or donate their status update for me, it’s a good day for my awareness. I always tag organizations on Facebook and Twitter. I’ve actually been retweeted by authors, sporting good stores, and the American Cancer Society. When this happens, it’s a great day for my awareness campaign! I’ve even asked for a status updates and tweet donations from my friends and followers. It’s really helped me reach the friends of my friends. In the last 3 months, I’ve actually doubled my number of Twitter followers. This will really help me for the next time around.
Outside of social media, I write bi-monthly email updates to all my contributors, family, friends and colleagues. This keeps them engaged and aware of the huge impact they’ve made in my life and reminds them of the good cause they have contributed to. I write updates to the blog on my fundraising page regularly, reporting my progress and milestones. I’ve held two happy hour fundraisers with friends and colleagues and I plan on doing a bake sale in the office. There really are so many little things that a #CharityRunner could do to raise big money without costing too much time.
So, here’s my personal challenge to the CUNY SPS community. As a team, let’s try to raise some serious cash for the Susan G. Komen #RaceForTheCure! So far we have 17 team members. If each of us raised $100, we would be making a huge impact with $1,700 raised as a team. That’s almost half of what I am raising on my own for the American Cancer Society. Can we do it? I think we can! To join our team and efforts, please visit http://bit.ly/CUNYSPS.
Alexandra Hertel is an Ohioan living in Brooklyn, New York. She attends CUNY’s School of Professional Studies and works full-time in the events industry.
May 20, 2011 in BA in Communication and Culture | Tags: Communication and Culture, dream, Ed Burns, film, goal, Internet, Louise Marie Russo, movies, music, New York, Online Education, Pat McCormack, Patrick McCormack, Social Media, Social Networking, Student Blog, surreal, Technology, Tribeca Film Festival, Twitter, Virtual Campus | by louisemrusso | 1 comment
The wonderful world of Twitter is to thank for my latest blog post! A little over three weeks ago now, I was going through my normal morning routine by surfing through my three favorite websites (the NY Times Homepage, Gmail and Twitter) when I came across the actor Ed Burns’ latest post about a winner for a song for his new movie “Newlyweds.” That is where I quickly clicked on @mrpatmccormack and found the man who won the contest; which then lead me to his website and contacting him personally. At first I had to congratulate him on his winning and of course than thank him for us little people who try very hard to follow our dreams. He entered a contest and won a once in a lifetime dream! After a few emails back and fourth I asked him if he’d let me interview him for the CUNY blog and he said yes!
I asked Patrick to tell us a little bit about himself before we started the questions …. I’m a singer, songwriter and film composer originally from New England. Last spring, I recorded and independently released my debut EP, “Fresh Paint.” I pride myself as a self-sufficient recording artist, performing guitar, drums, piano, vocals and all other instrumentation. I’ve spent the past 3 years living in Chicago, playing in my band, T & The Wonder, while writing and recording my original songs. In addition to singing and songwriting, I spend equal time composing and producing instrumental music for independent films.
· If you had to describe your music in three or four words, what would you call it?
Sentimental | Folk | Pop
· What made you first realize you wanted to pursue a career in music?
Growing up in the 1990′s was a very inspiring time for popular music. When I heard stuff like Beck, Beastie Boys, or Cake all over the radio, it just seemed so relatable. Even if it got me nowhere, making music is such a versatile form of expression. I felt like such an underachiever by NOT having a band, even when I was 10. As far as actually pursuing music, I saved up for a four track cassette recorder. The first batch of simple folk songs I made on cassette really kickstarted my obsession with layering instruments and vocals. That’s also when I realized you can make a record completely by yourself. With enough practice, and commitment, I learned bass, guitar and drums; the brick foundation of every rock song.
· I saw through Ed Burn’s personal Twitter Account that you’ve recently entered a contest sponsored by him through Twitter; can you tell us about that experience? How has it changed your career?
It was a huge surprise to me. My friend Giancarlo even had to talk me into entering the contest. Burns chose “Ovenbird” from my “Fresh Paint” EP. This could not have been any easy choice for him, I think there were about 100 song submissions from some very serious musicians. Luckily, they had a pair of tickets to the premiere for me, so I flew into New York about 36 hours after finding out I had won. Very surreal. The film was amazing, so just being attached to it was such a thrill. Edward Burns was extremely encouraging when we spoke in person. Getting complimented by such a legendary filmmaker,I couldn’t even mentally process it. A large part of my career focus is composing music for film. Right now I’m scoring a few short films and other instrumental projects. Getting the credit of an Edward Burns film is a huge boost for my future in cinematic music.
· What are your up-to-date performance plans? New Releases? Tours? News?
Sometime in the next week I will be releasing the “Mile Away” single, along with some other material. This is a prelude to a new album, which has no official release date yet. I’m at my home studio just about every day, working out the details of my new songs. Should be around mid summer, so look for that. Currently, the “Fresh Paint” EP is ‘name your price’ on bandcamp.com, in other words, FREE. I strongly encourage anyone with an interest in independent music to download and listen. Each track is original, and every instrument was performed by me, including all vocals. I’m very proud of this EP and I can’t wait to share my next one.
I’d like to personally thank Patrick for lending me his time to answer these questions for his blog post! If you’d like to find out more about his work, check out his website or follow him on Twitter @mrpatmccormack
Louise Marie Russo is currently an undergrad at The School of Professional Studies majoring in Communication and Culture. She enjoys traveling, cooking, baking, photography as well as volunteering. Her goal one day is to work with a non-profit organization advocating for the homeless population of New York City and one day publishing a book of photography.
#CUNYSPS is a new weekly column running on the SPS Community blog that will delve into various ways social networking and other advances in online media can be used to foster and grow a dynamic environment that serves the diverse community at CUNY’s School of Professional Studies.
Today, I tagged friends in photos on Facebook after tweeting about a news item I read on a blog. When I arrived at work, I checked in on Foursquare, pinging all of my friends to let them know where I was.
That was today. Ten years ago though, that sentence would have made no sense at all. But welcome one and all to 2011 and the second decade of the 21st century, a time that will be defined by the new levels of social interaction being pioneered through various new online platforms.
I’m a bit obsessive about some of these sites and platforms, but it’s the users that have more casual interactions with Facebook, Twitter and the like that are guaranteeing that this is nothing short of a fundamental shift in how we communicate and interact with each other. From the sharing of content and ideas, to the ease in which we can stay in touch with one another, we’re living in a golden age of connectivity.
The ecosystem being cultivated through sites like Facebook is ideal for community building in a place as diverse as CUNY’s School of Professional Studies. From our online only students, to students working full time jobs that make more traditional interaction less manageable because of an already packed schedule. Through online interaction, our students can engage and interact on a schedule that works for them, and bolster a network that can be just as beneficial professionally as it is socially.
And this is the foundation from which our Virtual Campus will be built. We will foster communication on platforms you are already invested in. It’s already well underway. You just didn’t notice it because it’s natural at this point. The #CUNYSPS column will highlight ways that this is being done, and spotlight some new technologies you may not yet be aware of.
And if the idea of Facebook, and Twitter, and blogs scares you? Well then you’ll get a lot out of this column as well. You’ll see just why these sites aren’t scary, or the waste of time you may be concerned about. And to get you warmed up, as I sign off, I’d like to share this video with you. Some food for thought until next time.
Shawn Abraham is SPS’ Virtual Campus Manager, which means he gets to have a lot of fun building an online community for the school. He also has a lot of fun reading books about zombies. These two things rarely intersect.