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Think Before You Tweet

For years we’ve had an editorial cartoon hanging up in my office’s kitchen that shows a stern-faced reporter holding a microphone out to an activist, asking, “In 30 seconds, can you tell us why your complex, multi-layered message isn’t getting through to the public?”

In a nutshell, social media poses the same problem. Twitter limits you to 140 characters, but add in a user tag and a hashtag or two, and it can seriously squeeze your main message. Sometimes distilling a message down into a sound-bite fundamentally alters the intent. It can be worse than saying nothing at all. Continue reading


Honoring Our Fallen

Originally published April 30, 2013, on InterAction’s blog.

Every year since 2006, InterAction has honored aid workers from among our member organizations who have lost their lives helping others. We display their names on a memorial that stays in our main conference room year-round. Continue reading

Imagining “Bold Endgames” In Global Health

Originally published April 12, 2013, on InterAction’s blog.

On Monday, InterAction published a new briefing book, Global Health: Investing in Our Future, on the most critical health issues our members tackle around the world. It highlights how much good U.S. health programs have done around the world, including:

  • Over the last three decades, the U.S. has helped about 5.1 million people living with HIV get treatment.
  • More than 2.5 million children survive each year because of U.S. vaccination programs.
  • We are on the cusp of eradicating polio around the world, an effort the U.S. has invested in for years. Continue reading

Thankfuls Are All Around Us

Originally published November 21, 2012, on InterAction’s blog.

One of the reasons I’m glad that #GivingTuesday came to life this year is actually pretty selfish on my part.

For the last three months or so, I’ve been doing social media work for #GivingTuesday on InterAction’s behalf –TwitterFacebook and Storify. And since November 1, I’ve been creating tweets for the blogs in the Huffington Post #GivingTuesday series that we’ve worked with our members to curate. I’ve read each of the posts from nearly 50 members and a dozen partners about hundreds of people who looked around them – at friends and neighbors or total strangers – and found a way to help someone else. Continue reading

Working Global, Giving Local

Originally published October 26, 2012, on InterAction’s blog.

When I talk about donating, volunteering or supporting a cause, I often get the perplexed response, “But you already work for a nonprofit.” My answer is always, “So?” Yes, I do communications work for InterAction. I try to share the stories of people halfway around the world, who I’ll never meet, and I hope that the work I do makes an indirect positive difference in their lives. But just because I chose a job whose ultimate goal is helping others doesn’t mean I should ignore other ways that I can make a difference. Continue reading

Many Ways To Fight Poverty

Originally published October 15, 2012, on InterAction’s blog.

This Wednesday, Oct. 17, is the UN’s annual International Day for the Eradication of Poverty. This week we’ll be showcasing several blogs from InterAction members on their work around the world. Continue reading

Community Resilience

Originally published October 5, 2012, on InterAction’s blog.

How, in today’s world of increasing urbanization, can we better prepare for increasingly frequent natural disasters and extreme weather events? One answer is to focus on communities, said speakers at a recent event dubbed Cities and Climate Change Adaptation: What We Can Learn About Resilience from Those Living on the Edge. When people living in a neighborhood trust and rely on each other enough, evidence shows that they work together and rebuild more quickly after a disaster. Janice Perlman, who moderated the event organized by CHF International and the U.S. Green Building Council, argued that organizations must involve the knowledge and creativity of the people who live in affected communities, emphasizing, “It’s not just their sweat equity we want.” Continue reading

Forum: Thanks, And Looking Forward….

Originally posted on the InterAction blog on 5/2/12.

Getting to see the last several Forums has been a real privilege for me. Watching it grow, watching how keyed up people get when they come, getting to see new connections made … it makes it worth every drop of sweat that we at InterAction put into Forum. Continue reading

Forum: Exploring The Exhibit Hall

Originally posted on the InterAction blog on 5/1/12.

I love the exhibit hall at Forum – it’s such a hub of activity. During exhibit hours, attendees can come and connect with other organizations that can help them grow their work. Last night, we had a rocking happy hour and scavenger hunt there, and it was great to see attendees connecting with each other and finding ways to help each others’ work. Continue reading

Forum: Making Connections

Originally posted on the InterAction blog on 4/30/12.

One of my favorite things about Forum is connecting with others. As a communications professional, I’m pretty tied to my computer, so Forum gives me the opportunity to meet people I regularly connect with, or catching up with old colleagues who’ve moved on to other organizations. Continue reading