Second Harvest Food Bank has been around since 1972 and has raised 125 million pounds of food since it began it’s mission. Today, it’s one of the largest charities combating hunger in the continental United States. SHFB for years has always built their network and team members from the ground up, by word of mouth. In this day and age, the tools available for non-profits like SHFB, can build that following 50 times as fast. Sites & tools like Facebook and Twitter are both amazing environments for fostering awareness for charities and spreading the good word of helping others quickly and virally. In Santa Cruz, CA, local business man of 25+ years Danny Keith has recently accepted a spot working for SHFB, providing guidance and a strategy for utilizing today’s social media communication channels to spread the word.
47Project: So who are you and what do you do for Second Harvest Food Bank?
DK: My name is Danny Keith, I founded Grind Out Hunger with Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Cruz County and I am most recently the Development Officer for Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Cruz County.
47Project: How are you using social media to help the SHFB raise awareness?
DK: In my day job the realization of becoming the voice for your brands so your community can drive your message and support or alter it based on how they see your brand. I applied these same principals when I launched http://www.grindouthunger.org and I found that the laws of social apply universally across all aspects. After an extremely successful year with Grind Out Hunger in 2009 and the subsequent traditional and social media it received, I then begin to analyze the existence of of TheFoodBank.org’s website and realized it needed a voice. They already had started a Facebook Fan Page and were using YouTube, Twitter and Vimeo moderately. I came in and syndicated all to cross pollinate each other and create a circle of social. We then branded and begin to implement the push, while bringing the social items directly to the front page of the website. At this point the creation of a WordPress Multi-User platform to set the stage for Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Cruz County to become their own media channel through http://www.thefoodbank.org all while tying in the social activity to tell the story.
47Project: Has it been a challenge trying get online communities to follow SH F B and it’s initiatives? If so, why do you think?
DK: Actually it has been well received, and honestly taken off virally allot quicker than some of my for profit ventures. Non-profits in general are doing such great things at a frequency that creates the need for social even more. Non-profits really are their own best media outlet.
47Project: What have been some of your biggest social media successes so far?
DK: With Second Harvest Food Bank it was the rapid acquisition of fans through our Facebook Fan Page http://www.facebook.com/secondharvestsantacruz from 300 users to over 1000 within 5 weeks.
47Project: What is the end result you are hoping for after all is said and done?
DK: To tell the story loud and proud…Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Cruz County has been on the forefront in the non-profit sector distributing half of its monthly distribution as fresh fruits and vegetables (one of the few food banks in the Nation to lay such claim) while also working with agencies to simplify the processes to get help within the community (On staff WIC and Food Stamp agents help with the process) and educating the recipients of the food around the importance of nutrition. All while servicing over 180 different food distribution agencies within Santa Cruz County. Alarmingly allot of this great work was under exposed mainly due to lack of a social channel to promote it to the community that it services. Raising money is aˇlways the focus at Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Cruz County, the “ask” is happening differently now. What used to be a mail in donation or a face to face has become electronic, anonymous and instant. My goal is to increase the micro ask (individuals donating $1 to $10) electronically to support the expanding need Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Cruz County is experiencing.
47Project: Are there any SHFB events or announcements you’d like to mention?
DK: Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Cruz County has divided its year in two. 1st half of year is scheduled Food For Children and then second half of the year is Holiday Food Drive. I would just implore people to take a moment and reflect on the hardships others are experiencing, especially around food insecurity. Please donate if you can whether it be food, money or your time…it all makes a difference.
For More Information: