What Do You Stand4: Interview with Andy Hill Founder of Social Good Startup Stand4

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Stand4 helps you make your mark on the world. They’ve made it extremely easy, through their app, to support whatever causes you want, whenever you want, and however you want. Whether it be through donations in which they don’t take a percentage, to petitions that can be signed with a swipe of your finger, to (my personal favorite) sponsoring stands that actually donate for you every time you perform a challenge. Any time you do easy things like drinking a beer or checking-in, they’ll donate to whatever cause you care about. Simple as that.

What’s really exciting is their ability to track and show your impact. So if you drew a 4 on the App to give a child a cup of clean water, they’ll actually send in-the-moment project updates of the filters being made, filters being delivered, and the exact school you gave water to. It’s legit. Here is my interview with Andy Hill founder of the social good startup Stand4.

Stand4 is a social impact app that empowers people to change the world without donating a dime. 

Let’s first talk about how this idea came about and when was the ah-ha moment, when you said ok I want to really launch this?

screen1136x1136Andy: About 9 months ago, my partners and I started studying the social and economic philosophies on why people give and what we found very interesting is that when an individual gives, they’re doing it because giving carries with it a sense of fulfillment; a sentiment, unlike any other, that is fostered in the belief that their contributions lead to a better, more desirable world. But we, as individual givers, never get to see our impact on the world, whether it be with a single event or as a collective sum. And therefore our fulfillment is minimized by an outdated charitable system.

At Stand4 we were founded in a belief that the way we change the world hasn’t changed in 150 years. We believed (and still do) that there are causes and stories that resonate with each of us, and we are intrinsically motivated to help. So Stand4 set out to create a new system. One where we could support what we care about further than our wallets would allow and even more importantly, then be able to see the exact impact our support helped accomplish.

Can you explain how users can make a real impact without actually having to donate money?

Andy: Stand4 actively partners with corporate sponsors who set aside a pool of funds for donation through our app. Our users choose where this money is allocated by ‘taking stands’ for their favorite causes. Every time a stand is taken, a monetary donation is made. This empowers people to make a significant impact in the world, without worrying about their wallet. Everything that comes as a result of their stand is collected and showcased on their profile, giving them the ability to immediately see all the lives they’ve touched, problems they’ve helped solve, and overall impact they’ve made on the world. Nowhere does this exist today.

How many organizations can users choose from when wanting to take a stand? Is an organization teamed with a particular stand?

Andy: Stand4 has initially partnered with some of the world’s most innovative non-profits including Kiva, Invisible Children, The Adventure Project, and Watsi. We’ve also partnered with several smaller non-profits we believe are making a big difference. In total, users can stand for 7 different organizations right now. We’re rapidly expanding tho and expect to bring on another 20 partners in the next month.

When we bring on a non-profit partner we work with them to determine what a particular stand will equal. Below are what each stand goes towards.

Kiva: 1 oz of food
Watsi: 1 medical treatment
Invisible Children: 1 come home message
The Adventure Project: .1% raise in income for a Kenyan farmer
May We Help: 1 part of a custom medical device
TruWater: 1 cup of clean water
Miami Children’s Initiative: 1 minute of education

Did you have a certain idea of what corporate sponsors you wanted to work with? How did the process go in terms of choosing sponsors you wanted to team up with?

Andy: Our corporate sponsors say a lot about what we as a company stand for – so it’s very important to us to partner with companies who share our innovative vision for change. Some of our beta sponsors include Pasta Chips (www.pastachips.com) and KIND Snacks (www.kindsnacks.com). We’re on-boarding more sponsors as we speak.

At the core level is the app intended to be a social network of like minded individuals collaborating for causes?

Andy: Stand4 is the social network for social impact. It’s a place where users can discover the causes they care about, support them in multiple ways, and see their entire footprint on the world in one place. Our app empowers users to showcase what it is they stand for in life and interact and collaborate with individuals who stand for similar causes.

ST4ND is currently available for download. You can download the app, sign in, and start making stands, but what type of features are available in the Stand4 app? 

You can now tag anyone if you want to comment on a Stand, comment on an interesting story you saw, or on fun challenges you saw friends take. Users can now challenge anyone to take a stand with you. Take a pic of a sunset post it and challenge you friend to take pic of the sunset wherever they are at. Once the challenge is completed your friends will have 24 hours to vote on the winner. When a challenge is completed it triggers a 2x donation to that particular stands cause for double the impact. Also, you can now search your entire home feed for specific stands, stories, or challenges. You can also search the Stand4 community to find other people on the app.

Explore all of the available Stands and uncover how effortless it is to impact the world. Make your mark by snapping pictures, answering fun questions, and a whole lot more – for every Stand you take, we donate.

Download the Stand4 app and start making an impact – iOS –  Android

We bring your entire charitable footprint to the digital world. Share the impact that you’re making with your friends and see the impact that they’re sharing with you. Watch your collective footprints pave the way to a better and brighter future.

4 Pitfalls to Avoid When Using the Internet to Find a Job!

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Many of you reading this may be recent or soon to be graduates, and/or  you have been looking at the job market with abject terror. You might feel somewhat akin to how a deer must feel as they are staring at an oncoming car. You know that you need to find a job, but you also can’t seem to make any moves to do so. Well don’t let opportunity pass you by! Don’t fall into these technology pitfalls that can make finding a job even harder!

1. Searching websites like Idealist, Indeed, Craigslist

Yes, those websites are great, but they also create several problems:

  • They encourage you to apply for job with companies that you don’t know about. Which is fine, but you are far more likely to get a job with a company that you know and love.
  • Everyone else is seeing these same jobs, which means you have to stand out in an even bigger crowd
  • These websites can be outdated, there is no guarantee that you applying for a job that even exists!

Solution: Find organizations you know and love! Look for jobs on their website, even better call their HR department. Yes, they might just tell you to look at the website, but you have made an impression that you want the job. The person is even more likely to remember your name. You may also hear about a job before it is posted!

2. Not having a complete Linkedin profile

Good job, you made yourself a Linkedin! Oh, you didn’t complete the whole thing. I guess that is fine, I am sure the person hiring you for your dream job will fill in the blanks though it might not be with what you should expect.

If you are going to have a Linkedin you need to complete it and continue to update it.

  • A post once a week is good, once a month as a minimum.
  • You never really know who is going to look at your profile. You might be missing out on any number of opportunities.

Solution: Complete your Linkedin profile, for those who are not tech savvy and are having a hard time there are many guides out there, call a friend and you can even email me and I will look at your profile and give you some free advice!

3. Mixing Work and Play

  • I am all for people using their computers for fun! By all means have a Pinterest about your favorite band, cat pictures etc. Use your twitter to talk about the latest celebrity idiocy, but please, oh please….
  • Have separate accounts! The last thing you want an employer to see is your drunken, misspelled political rant on twitter.

Solution: Use an Alias for your personal accounts, or just your first name! Make sure they are not linked to the same email address. Setting things to private is not adequate, as nothing is really private on the internet.

4. Not promoting yourself

Again, we live in an age where you never know who might be looking at your online profile!

  • Put your best face on!
  • Make sure your contact information is up to date and most of all promote yourself. It is ok to shamelessly ask your friends to share, retweet, and pin your posts because you will do the same for them.
  • The point of this whole social media world is to have as many people as possible see your best face.

Solution: Share, share, share: make sure you post once a week at least and share it. If you are in a resume pool and the hiring manager has read your blog and loved it you are going to have a huge advantage over someone they have never heard of before!

Now, you know technology can help you find a job, but it can also hinder you.  Make sure you are using it right and remember nothing beats good old fashion legwork!

Using Twitter as a Virtual Organizing Meeting for Nonprofits

virtual-meeting

When trying to build a coalition or community organize around a specific event or cause, it is necessary to have community organizing meetings to help coordinate efforts, disseminate information and build your database for future calls to action. To be effective, online community organizing must be done in conjunction with boots on the grounds efforts in order to reach the level of success that most advocacy groups desire. However, the challenge for advocacy groups in online community organizing is identifying and capitalizing on opportunities for engagement. The functionality of Twitter provides several opportunities for advocacy groups, and this week I will be discussing how to use twitter as a virtual organizing meeting for week 3 of my evidence based Twitter Study.

Online activism can be expressed in three different ways. When used by boots on the ground individuals, it has the ability to create awareness and draw in individuals who are not at the event. With using this approach only, the primary purpose serves to create awareness and boost interested for increased engagement on the ground for future events. Slacktivism,also known as arm-chair activist, are typically criticized for mounting protest using social media while being to lazy to participate on the ground. However, this pessimistic view does not take into consideration the disabled, non-participants being activated, travel limitations, and so forth. The last and most effective expression of online activism uses a hybrid model of coordinating between slacktivists and “boots on the ground” in an effort to expand reach on social media.

This week, I wanted to explore using Twitter to facilitate a virtual organizing meeting via a live tweet chat format. In this tweetchat, I wanted to provide information on how to use twitter to identify collaborators and create allies. Most importantly, I wanted to help users understand twitter reach, and how to maximize hashtags and followers to expand reach. Last, I wanted participants to help identify non-social work organizations and individuals that social workers should be engaging with on Twitter. I used a 7 question open ended survey for participants to identify organizations and hashtags of non-social work organizations to create a master list for social workers. To view the archive of Sunday’s tweetchat, you can view http://sfy.co/edhM.

Tweets of the Week

Also, Sprout Social responding to a tweet is a perfect example of how mentions and tweeting to influential accounts can help get your brand and message in front of a bigger audience.

Challenges, Barriers, Limitations

By using this type of forum for a community organizing meeting, I wanted to narrow the focus on the highest priority information to be disseminated and the highest priority action I wanted participants to complete. Understanding twitter reach and asking participants to complete the survey in order to create a master list was the highest priorities were the top priorities for this chat. When using this type of forum, you have the ability to engage people from a variety of background. However, you should not assume because someone has access to a certain technology that they also understand how to manipulate it and extract data.

We are crossing the halfway mark of the #SWHelper Evidenced Based Twitter Study. Join us next week on April 6th at 3PM EST using the hashtag #swhelper. We will be discussing using twitter for advocacy, and a detail article on Sunday’s chat is forthcoming.

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