Writing Help For Non-Profits: How To Create A Perfect Blog For Your Organization

by Gloria Kopp

If you want to get noticed, you need a top notch online presence. In the case of nonprofit organizations, it’s vital you catch people’s attention online to spread awareness of your cause. Want to start blogging? Here are some tips to help you get started writing quality blogs for your site.

Decide on what your blog should do

First things first: What does your blog need to do? Will you be writing about the people that your organization helps? Will it be raising awareness of your cause? Will you be calling out for volunteers and donations? Once you’ve decided on what your blog will be used for, stick to those themes to make it more cohesive.

Who’s your audience?

Next, you need to decide what your audience is. As you’ve already decided on the point of your blog, this shouldn’t be too difficult. For non profits, it’s likely that your audience will be a) people who are interested in furthering your cause, b) people who may want to volunteer with you, or c) people who will want to donate. When you write your blogs, always keep them in mind.

Try online writing tools

Writing on your own can be difficult. Luckily, there are plenty of tools online that you can put to use:

E.ggtimer

This app allows you to manage your time effectively. Set the timer to a doable amount of time, such as 30 minutes, and spend that entire time writing. When the timer goes off, take a break. Keep going in that pattern and you’ll be amazed how much you can get done.

Boom Essays service

Another great editing tool, the writers at this site can offer to pass their trained eye over your work. Send them your drafts for editing, and get straight onto writing the next one.

Canva

All blogs need visuals, but if you’re not a natural artist though, it may feel a bit intimidating to try and make artwork for your site. Canva is a great tool for making professional looking graphics with minimal skills needed. You can either use their images, or upload your own, and you’ll have a great image to use within minutes.

PhotoPin

When you need additional images, PhotoPin is a fantastic resource. They search thousands of Creative Commons images for you, letting you pick out the perfect image for whatever you need.

Essayroo

Based in Australia, this writing service can help you put together quality, engaging blog posts. They can proofread, edit and rewrite posts for you, so you know your content will draw in readers from all over the web.

HootSuite

HootSuite lets you control all of your social media accounts from one app, making promotion simple. It also gives you reports on the reach of all your posts, and allows you to schedule posts for the future.

BuzzSumo

This tool is a great way to analyze just how your posts are doing. Just paste in your domain name, and you can see who’s sharing your posts and where. With this info, you’ll know exactly where to make tweaks.

Readability Score

This tool allows you to paste in your work, and get an instant score of just how easy it is to access. It’ll also give you the average reading age that the work is aimed at. It’s a great way of checking that you’re pitching your writing at the right audience.

X-Essays

Outsourcing can be a great way to maintain good output without running yourself ragged. This site has many qualified writers who can create amazing blogs for you, freeing you up.

Blog Topic Generator

Stuck for what to write? Try this tool! Simply input the topics you want to talk about, and it’ll give you several blog title ideas to get your creative juices flowing.

Hemingway App

This editing tool can be a lifesaver. Paste your blog into this app, and it’ll highlight all of the areas that need attention, such as spelling errors and overused words.

Portent’s Content Title Generator

Need a catchy title? Put the topics of your blog into this tool and it’ll give you a sample title, as well as some suggested topics and quotes to use in the blog itself.

Use SEO techniques

SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is a technique that ensures that you bring the right audience to your blog. The use of the correct keywords in your blog will mean that people searching for those words in search engines will come across your site. For example, if you’re writing about a pet adoption centre, you may use the words ‘dog adoption’ or cat adoption service’ throughout the piece.

With these tips, you’ll now be able to create engaging, interesting blogs that will further the cause of your non profit. Get blogging, and see just how much it can help your organization!

Communication Breakdown: When Poor Practices Hinder Local Social Change

By H. E. James, MBA

Fostering social change is why many people volunteer with local grassroots nonprofit organizations and movements.  We see a need or we have been touched by a crisis, and we are moved to invest our time, and often our money, to committees and events we feel will do the most good.

As fund raisers and events near, production is undertaken by the diehards.  Social change efforts have missed their mark because of a host of issues that all come down to one problem: communication breakdown among the group.

Managing Strong Personalities

Volunteer groups attract a host of people with varied life experiences.  One volunteer may be working with a grassroots in order to fulfill an education requirement.  Another has suffered a personal crisis related to the event and is compelled to offer her time.  Along with this diversity comes strong personalities.

Applying principles of workplace group dynamics is a great way to manage the score of styles and experiences.  First and foremost, a group needs strong leadership.  This doesn’t mean nonprofit managers should dictate every move a committee or board of volunteers makes.

Instead, they should empower their volunteers to lead themselves through a variety of tools.  One of those tools, writes nonprofit communications specialist Deborah Zanke, is a volunteer manual.  This should communicate to volunteers exactly what is expected of their particular roles.

For volunteers who choose or are chosen for leadership roles, managing the strong personalities becomes their responsibility.  It’s only natural for people to disagree, even butt heads.  When this happens, leadership can communicate clearly what was and is still expected of volunteers, and even remove trouble makers if necessary.

Managing Expectations

At the same time, if expectations are neither set nor communicated, it becomes difficult for volunteers to remain engaged.  While recognition and non-monetary compensation are nonprofit management 101 for motivating volunteers, the most successful social change managers know that what motivates volunteers is being involved in the process.

Volunteers don’t always automatically know what needs to get done.  Certainly, the veterans know how to solicit donations or raise funds.  Even the veterans, however, need to know the simple things, like when and where.  Why do these details get lost?

They get lost because leadership has not defined communication expectations among volunteers and volunteer groups.  Too often, the communications strategy becomes less about strategy and more about letting volunteers communicate however they wish, with each other and with the public.

Instead, the organization and volunteer leadership need to set the communication rules for the group at large.  Coordinators may argue that because volunteers are just that they cannot be expected to use a communications technology with which they are unfamiliar.  However, volunteers are often professionals and are indeed the unpaid workers of a nonprofit.  Treat them as such.  If they are unfamiliar with Gmail, train them.  If the new social media manager is great at Twitter but has never used HootSuite, show him how.

Managing Impact

Social change and nonprofit work is all about having an impact.  As Mohan Sivaloganathan described for Fast Company in 2015, nonprofits that manage themselves like for-profits impact communities through purpose, talent, and innovation.

This impact cannot happen without clear, coordinated communication from leadership down through the ranks of volunteers.  No one clear communication model will fit each group, but letting it go undefined will only result in chaos, and in the end, this chaos hinders the overall goal of social change.

Practitioner Profile: Jon Bougher, Co-Founder & Director of Content, Emic Films

IMG_0158We recently had Jon Bougher, Co-Founder & Director of Content at Emic Films, join CSIC for our Office Hours Series (learn more and sign up for future sessions here). Jon met one on one with students in the Journalism and Public Relations and Corporate Communications program and then sat down with CSIC to tell us a bit more about his background. Read on for more!

Center for Social Impact Communication: Describe your career path and your current position.

Jon Bougher: I studied film as an undergraduate, but switched my major mid-way through to focus on social work and community development. I worked on a Native American reservation for a couple years doing development work, but found myself drawn to documentary film. Living on the reservation, I developed a few youth film workshops and reservation film screenings. From there, I earned my MFA in Documentary Film and produced a series of documentaries focused on social issues, traveling to Haiti, Afghanistan, Nicaragua, Armenia and other countries. I lived in Haiti for a few years and discovered an expertise in producing documentary-like stories for international organizations including UNDP, Red Cross, Oxfam and others.  I met my business partner there and we decided to move to Washington, DC to form Emic Films – a video production company focusing on commercial quality, social impact video storytelling.

CSIC: What is your best piece of career advice?

JB: Do the work that you want, and let business find you.

It’s easy to be reactive in any industry, but following your true interests will not only create your best work – it will also bring opportunities your way.

Most of my early opportunities came from people I met pursuing films that didn’t necessarily have a direct business benefit. This allowed for more natural introduction and opened career paths I may have never previously considered.

CSIC: What career accomplishment are you most proud of and why?

JB: I made a 30-minute documentary in Haiti about the eviction of a tent camp following the earthquake. The film is not the most successful work I’ve done, but it was true to the kind of films that interests me – intimate, first-person stories that really take time to understand their subjects. I partnered with Amnesty International and screened the film across the United States. This experience connected me to a variety of social impact communicators and helped launch my current business.

CSIC: What can someone do early in their social impact career to secure a position similar to yours?

JB: If you’re interested in film/video, there is really only one way to do it – get involved. This can mean making your own films, joining a small company as a producer or interning with a film festival/non-profit that specializes in outreach/advocacy. Everyone in this industry is extremely open, but it requires you to do the work and really have a sincere commitment.

CSIC: What skills are necessary to work in film production, especially video projects that focus on advocacy or are educational in nature?

JB: It depends on what you want to do. If you are interested in the hands-on aspects, then you need to learn how to film, edit, etc. Even if you want to be involved in a Producer/Marketing capacity, this is helpful, because it allows you to communicate to people who are doing the hands-on work. At the very least, you need to understand how to tell a story. Understanding creative details like narrative structure, character, etc are essential in telling any kind of video story. This will help you even if you’re working on the advocacy/outreach.

CSIC: What is your go to source to learn about cause communication trends?

JB: I look at recent documentary film festivals, and then follow organizations that work with filmmakers on outreach/advocacy strategy (Picture Motion, Fledgling Fund, Working Films, etc).  I try to attend events in the city from groups like the Un Foundation who tend to have the funding to be on the front line of video communications, including Virtual Reality. In addition, I try to stay updated on non-profit communication conferences and follow the work of key speakers.

CSIC: We have to ask… is your organization hiring? 

JB: Definitely! We’re a young company, but always looking for the right kind of young, savvy marketing professional who would be interested in working with us on outreach. We’re selective, but definitely open to finding the right person to be a part of the team.

CSIC: Thanks so much for the chat, Jon! We look forward to seeing future Emic Films projects.  

IMG_0159

Tools for Better Business Writing

by Kimberly Wells-Ball

Marc J. Epstein in an interview with R. Kanini said

“One of the biggest deficiencies…[of nonprofits as well as for-profit social enterprises]…is the lack of clarity and rigor around specific project or organizational goals. Without a clear articulation of what an organization is trying to achieve, measuring success and impact is quite challenging.”

Well, one would think ‘what the heck writing has to do with it?’ And, well, it has quite a lot. You can’t expect one to start a nonprofit without getting oneself into some basic business writing activities. Emails, proposals and business plans and pitches are needed to get others support you and your cause. The way you’re able (or unable) to express yourself reflects on your organization’s reputation and standing. So, you want to get it right.

Still, not everyone is expert in writing. So, it’s worth the time and investment in acquiring one or several tools in order to ensure your business writing is as rich and error-free as a monthly report.

If you often find yourself in a situation when you just sent a very important email or social media post and you realized you made quite a few grammar and spelling mistakes, you should think of buying Ginger. It not only saves you from making embarrassing mistakes, it also gives you a personalized tutorial on common mistakes it sees you making. Designed to support over 65 languages and also offers translations for 40 languages. Basic and premium plans available starting at $5.10/month. Surely, Ginger isn’t a must. Still, we all make typos (I personally cannot writing something without making few), and here your choice could be either Ginger, or paying attention to what Microsoft Words highlights.

Also, WhiteSmoke could become your lifesaver in those embarrassing situations simply because it checks not only for grammar and spelling mistakes, but plagiarism, punctuation and style issues. Both regular and premium versions offer a full-text translator that translates into 45 different languages. Only the premium version offers writing and grammar tutorials and document and letter templates. You can pay monthly, starting at $9.95 for basic services and $14.95 for premium or order a lifetime service at $159.95 for basic services and $299.95 for premium.

For editing you can also use HemingwayApp. The desktop app costs only $9.99, but you can also use the browser version for free to get a general idea about what should be changed. What I love most about this app is the readability score it assigns to your writing. Basically, the app is all about how to make your writing simple and readable. And where’s simplicity, there’s clarity.

Another tool – well, it’s more of a service than a tool – I want to talk about is AceWriters Paper Writing Service. This one is for those who actually can’t write at all, or just need a second opinion on a piece. There you can edit and proofread your work to make sure everything sticks together. Besides, an actual living person (not a machine) will be reading though your piece so you will get a pretty good feedback on what it lacks and where there’s too much. It won’t hurt to get a second opinion.

Of course, you may not need all these, but if you are stuck with writing a business plan, you could check out Business Plan Pro. It offers you tutorials in both plain text and videos, educates you in the language of business financials, checks your figures to make sure the math adds up, and gives you over 500 business plan templates. The standard version goes for $99.95 while the Premier version goes for $159.95.

Another business plan application – Enloop – that features an AutoWrite system allows you to simply input your company’s data while their program creates the business plan. The app automates the accounting for you in whichever currency you choose, too. Spell checking for 16 different languages is available. Basic, Advanced and Professional plans are available at different price ranges. What I like about any tool is a free trial version since you get to check out whether it is worth pay for it; Enloop provides trials for users. Still, remember to give everything a look – don’t rely too much on apps.

Finally, I’ll talk about the app called WordStream that can keep you up to date with new search engine algorithms. It’s pretty important for your website or blog to be SEO current if you want the right people find you on the web. WordStream claims to convert 60% more leads and cut costs by 10%. Their pricing is appropriately graded to the size of your company’s search spending. You get a free tryout, too.

So, all in all, whether you need to build a business plan from scratch, have access to business document templates or stop sending out emails with spelling errors, these applications will help you improve your business writing, thus improving your impact and consequently your business.

Practitioner Profile: Roya Soleimani (SFS’11), Google.org

Roya+Soleimani.High+ResRoya Soleimani (SFS ’11) is a Communications Manager in Global Communications & Public Affairs at Google.org, where she focuses on People Operations, Diversity, Workplace, Education and Philanthropic initiatives. You can learn more about Roya by visiting her website or following her on Twitter.

Center for Social Impact Communication: Good Afternoon, Roya. Thanks for taking the time to speak with us. So, we’ve heard that you’re a Hoya!?

Roya Soleimani: I am! I studied in the School of Foreign Service in the Center for Contemporary Arab Studies and graduated with my masters. I stayed in DC for a year after graduating – I was there for five years total – and then moved back to my home state of California. I loved my time in DC, and actually moved back to California without having the job fully secured. I took a a bit of a reboot, and I’ve now been back in California for four years.

CSIC: Describe your role to us and how you ended up where you are today?

RS: I am a Communications Manager on the Global Communications and Public Affairs team at Google, and my job is media relations and public relations in its truest sense. When I first started at Google in 2012, I was focused on communications for Google SearchGoogle Translate and Google Trends. Even though I was working on the product side, I always found ways to go back to my former world: whether it was volunteering my time, working with Google Ideas (now Google Jigsaw), our think/do tank, or finding unique projects. And, as of last fall I’ve been focused on social good and social impact with Google.org.

My job includes everything from pitching proactive stories about product launches or new features, to putting on the flak jacket as a PR person and doing crisis comms when something goes wrong. My background is interesting, I didn’t actually have formal communications training – and in many ways I wish I did – so a lot of it has been learning experientially on the job and going back to what I learned in previous positions.

When I was in college, and later in DC, I would go and listen to incredible speakers and one of the number one things I always heard people say and – now this has become completely tangible for me – is that things often take unpredictable and unexpected turns, but that’s what makes them really exciting!

Since I was a kid I was really involved in community events and community affairs with the Iranian American community: I did a lot of public speaking, I was involved in civic organizations and local politics in my hometown, I even had my own TV show, called News Television. Everything I’ve done since I was young had this external representative role and function to it. I was a trustee on the school board, I ran several organizations, I served as Editor-in-Chief of a magazine, I was Chief of Staff in the Office of the President at Cal. Everything I did had a theme of leading by example and a theme of uncovering narrative and strategy and representing that work, whether it was at the magazine doing fundraising or trying to land stories or do that sort of work.

When I first moved to Washington I interned at C-SPAN for a semester in 2005 through the UCDC program – the University of California’s DC Internship Program – and I absolutely fell in love with DC and wanted to be part of the political energy that was there. So I went back to Berkeley but I kept up my relationships, which is something I always recommend to people. I would see something relevant and find a reason to email my school internship advisor or see a relevant story and send it to the producer that I worked with at C-SPAN. After college I worked at the University of California, running events and conferences and, through that role, started a public service fellowship program. The position was doing a little bit of everything: I was formally an “Event Manager” but I expanded my role to include everything from PR for both UCDC and for our clients, to taping down microphone wires before an event. I was always ready to roll up my sleeves, and that’s been one of the best takeaways of my career.

After two years, I was accepted into Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service. During my time at Georgetown I had the opportunity to take Secretary Albright’s class, which was one of the best experiences of my life, and I had the opportunity to intern at her strategy firm. Upon graduating, I remember I had an offer from a consulting firm in the DC area but also the opportunity to go to Voice of America and the Persian News Network. I asked to grab fifteen minutes with Secretary Albright, to run the opportunities by her and she said that public service was a higher calling and I should go for it and, with her recommendation, I did.

I spent a year with Voice of America and in that time I worked with different pockets of the organization, including one team that was focused on a satire show. As a part of that team, we created an online-focused information platform to raise awareness about internet censorship around the world, which we launched at SXSW in Austin, Texas. At the time I had been applying for jobs to leave DC, but I didn’t have the street cred yet. I didn’t have the technology piece, on paper I look like a Middle East analyst, but I knew I could represent a company like Google. I was particularly interested in Google.org and the impact space, but really I knew I had to pitch myself first. That VOA project made my application pop for the recruiter and in 2012 I joined Google after undergoing ten interviews, which was quite the process.

CSIC: That is quite the path!

RS: Yes! Unexpected twists and turns along the way.

CSIC: It sounds like Secretary Madeleine Albright’s class was really impactful for you, were there other ways that Georgetown played into your success today?

RS: Definitely! I went to University of California Berkeley as an undergrad, which is an incredible institution, but it’s a pretty big place and sitting in the lecture hall with 800 students can be daunting. To be able to study with the professors and the students, my colleagues and fellow classmates, at Georgetown in such an intimate setting was remarkable. Imagine sitting around a table with twenty students and Secretary Albright on a weekly basis, with her calling on you by name to ask your opinion on weighty world issues.

I also learned Arabic while I was at Georgetown, through the Center for Contemporary Arab Studies, so I had Arabic every day for several hours in a tiny class with some of the most energetic and passionate professors I’ve ever known, many of whom I’m still in touch with. The relationship building that is able to happen in that setting is what really sets Georgetown apart. There’s the history, of course, there’s the relationships you forge while you’re there, but there was something magical to me about sitting in such an intimate setting with such brilliant minds, something that would get lost in a larger setting.

My first year at Georgetown I had the chance to work as a research assistant for one of our professors. Professor Rochelle Davis had a grant from the State Department and we traveled to Syria and Jordan to assess access to information, education, and overall livelihoods for Iraqi refugees. I can’t think of another environment or school where I would’ve had that to be so involved with critical research like that..

CSIC: What an incredible experience! You’ve mentioned this idea of connections and maintaining connections and it sounds like that has been advice that you’ve both received and like to give. What other advice would you give to our students?

The overarching piece of career advice that I’ve learned is to be your own advocate, whether you are in the job market and looking for something new, or you’re in a role and you don’t feel like you can grow, or you want to try to do your own thing or try something new.

You have to be able to see yourself in other people’s eyes and actually work to build that personal brand for yourself.

When I was deciding what my next move would be after VOA, I thought about my network and I realized that if I was thoughtful about it, they could help me, but the only way they would do that is if I asked. I needed to advocate for myself. I first needed to make sure that I’ve built strong relationships and bonds, that I’m not just asking for favors. Secondly, I needed a very specific ask, a clear call to action. I can’t tell you the number of emails I get from people who say, “I would just love to pick your brain… in general.” When someone is busy it’s hard to respond to that. So as you’re advocating for yourself and as you’re reaching out for help, be sure you have that very clear ask.

Be gracious, yet persistent. I always remind people that one person getting back to you  may be the most important part of your day, but it’s very likely you’re not the most important part of theirs. Its a good reminder whether it’s a recruiter, hiring manager, internal or external stakeholder that you’re waiting to hear back from. Your work or your future might hinge on that one email to them, but they likely have dozens of other things on their plate.

And I say that as someone who learned this empathy myself as I was waiting in the job process at Google. I thought “Oh my gosh, it’s been a week since I talked to my recruiter, what’s going on!?” Now that I’m on the flip side help interview, I realize that you need time for thoughtful feedback, to connect with the other interviewers, oh, and you have your own full time job.

It’s always giving people a little bit of credit and again being gracious, but persistent.

Finally, start to think of networking as all of your day-to-day interactions. Networking is not some foreign thing that happens separate from who you are. It could be a conversation you’re having with someone you’re sitting next to in class or someone you’re at an activity or event with it. It could be happy hour, it could be someone you meet at the gym… Any of those are networking opportunities. Make sure that you’re authentic and consistent in the way that you manage your relationships. That will pay dividends in your life.

CSIC: That is excellent advice, Roya! So, what career accomplishment are you most proud of and why?

RS: That’s a tough one! I just turned 31 on Monday [CSIC: Happy Birthday! 🎉] and you know, whenever you have a birthday you take stock of what you’ve accomplished and still hope to achieve. The milestone of getting to Google was a huge career shift, that was one of the really exciting moments that has happened and there have been so many victories in my time here because I get to work with such passionate, incredible people every day. Here’s an example:

Earlier this year we were seeing news stories about Zika, and we were seeing that the world is curious, confused and concerned about this pandemic that’s happening. With something like Ebola, there were people in need of immediate humanitarian assistance and immediate medical care, but in the case of Zika a lot of people don’t even know they have it because a lot of the time people don’t show symptoms. So Goolge.org committed a million dollars to UNICEF to help them build awareness on the ground in Brazil and beyond. But even bigger than that, it was the crafting of our strategy and the narrative and pushing our team to make sure that we were giving the best of Google to this area. So in addition to the million dollars, it was having our engineers and our US designers, our data analysts sitting with the innovation lab at UNICEF to analyze data and try to build a data platform to anticipate where this disease might be going next. Then we added pieces to Google search for symptoms and WHO and CDC alerts and reactions.

Being able to pull together a global team to quickly respond and then to land the story – we got over 1,800 news articles in the English language cluster alone on this topic and we were able to carve out the narrative in the way that really highlighted the best of Google. Anyone who is working in a position where you’re representing a company and the work that they’re doing, you always want to highlight the best of that company, and to me this is one of our most recent examples. Another recent example is the work we did with the refugee crisis last fall – it is just perpetually amazing and keeps me motivated and excited.

CSIC: Those are both great examples of Google working on big problems with incredible partners; what skills are necessary to work in community partnerships from a corporate communications perspective?

RS: I think the key to success is to engage authentically and genuinely with everyone you meet and work to understand the efforts of that cause. My colleague, Justin Steele, Principal at Google.org, was focusing a giving portfolio on racial justice grants – at first in the Bay Area and now nationally. This is such an important topic for our country, for our region and an area that we have not seen another technology company enter into. I work through Justin to learn more about the partners, which allows me to not just pitch the story as “Google commits this money,” but to step back and examine what this partner is doing and how that ties back to Google’s core mission and values.

When you engage authentically, taking the time to listen and learn about what they’re doing, you can make the connection that on its own it may not have been a natural fit for Google to fund racial justice organizations, criminal justice reform or mass incarceration, for example. When you frame the narrative around the organizations and the work they’re doing, it shifts: it’s an obvious part of Google’s continued commitment to making sure that people have universal access to information and to making sure that some of our biggest social justice issues are being tackled in a disruptive, innovative way.

Another thing I have found really exciting is that a lot of the nonprofits that we work with don’t have their own PR apparatus, as these are lean, scrappy organizations. Most recently we had our Google Impact Challenge | Disabilities – this was a $20 million  commitment and we had an open call to organizations around the world who focus on technologically innovative solutions in the field of accessibility. We had two organizations, Perkin’s School for the Blind based out of Boston, and the Center for Discovery that I was able to pitch individually to different reporters, WIRED worked directly with the Center for Discovery and CNN worked with Perkins. Now each of these organizations are getting this cascade effect of more stories and attention because we were able to use the Google relationship as a news hook, but let the organization shine as the practitioners who are going to actually do the work and use the funds to make things happen for their communities and their stakeholders. If you engage authentically those partners become your best third party validator.

A note about the racial justice grants, they started because we were doing an open call every year for Bay Area nonprofits to apply for grants and there was a moment when we realized so many of the organizations that applied were racial justice focused. The team was able to carve out a separate $5 million fund just to focus on that specific area. So again, that’s all authentic. This isn’t just a reaction, but really something that ties back to our DNA.

CSIC: What are your go to sources to learn about communications trends?

RS: My typical reading material is everything from The New York Times Magazine to Harvard Business Review to WIRED. I also pop in to TechCrunch and Refinery 29 – all sorts of different things. My goal is to make storytelling in the social impact space something that is accessible to everyone, versus a particular, focused outlet.

I feel like I’ve done my job well when my mom calls me and says “Did you hear about this thing that Google.org did!?” because our message has made it not only to a consumer audience, but to my mom.

I worked on a WIRED piece for a couple months, Giving the Google Way, that explained how we’ve been working on impact for a very long time, we’re very committed to it at its core. I get really excited when I see a giving story that’s headlining The New York Times or another consumer focused publication.

CSIC: We have to ask… is your organization hiring?

RS: Yes, Google is always hiring and all the jobs can be found at Google.com/jobs. I will say that in the time that I was applying at Google, Google.org seemed like the right fit for me – not necessarily in a communications role, but because of the grant giving and partnerships. I was rejected from several roles at Google before I ever got a phone call. So, that brings me back to my point about being gracious yet persistent: maybe it wasn’t the right timing or the right role, but I did not let that get me down. I was persistent and one afternoon in DC, I hopped on LinkedIn, refreshed the jobs, and lo and behold there was a communications role available on the Google Search team. It wasn’t something I thought I would be doing (not that the consumer products weren’t something I liked – I was a user of them!), but I went for it anyway.

I would suggest that even if it’s not what you absolutely thought you would want to be doing, go for it anyway and hey, four years later you could be working with the team you initially wanted to work with. And you’ll do all sorts of fun stuff in between.

CSIC: Thank you so much, Roya, for taking time out of your day to share your thoughts with us!