This page of my website focuses on those activities I have undertaken as a volunteer, lending my time and expertise free of charge.
IREC: Interstate Renewable Energy Council
I have served on the Board of Directors of the national nonprofit organization, IREC: Interstate Renewable Energy Council since October, 2011. IREC, “an independent not-for-profit organization since 1982, makes clean, efficient, sustainable energy possible for more Americans through forward-thinking regulatory reform, quality workforce development and consumer education. IREC is a trusted national thought leader, stakeholder coordinator and expert resource for information and objective analysis grounded in best practices and standards.” My work with IREC focuses on identifying new partnerships and private-sector financial support.
Citizen’s Climate Lobby | Conservative Caucus exists to create the political will for climate solutions by enabling individual breakthroughs in the exercise of personal and political power. I have supported the local chapter by sharing information about this nonpartisan nonprofit on social media. In 2018, I agreed to help ramp-up its Twitter feed.
NTEN: Nonprofit Technology Network | I have been a member of and volunteer for NTEN: Nonprofit Technology Network for the past several years. I have been active in recruiting new members, and was honored to receive a 2011 NTENy Award for being, “Most likely to recruit all their friends – and total strangers – to join NTEN.” Today, I am the primary co-organizer of Nonprofit Tech Club Austin #NPTechClubATX (since 2015). I set-up and managed its Meetup profile 2015 to 2017. In early 2018, I set up the club’s new presence on the NTEN website. Click on the image below for a 2018 program overview.
Prior NTEN activities:
- I spoke during the April, 2010 Nonprofit Technology Conference at CNN Center in Atlanta, Georgia. My PowerPoint presentation may be found on SlideShare. I was pleased it remained in the “top 10” most viewed slide decks on SlideShare for more than a year after the conference.
- I was also pleased to speak during the March, 2015 Nonprofit Technology Conference at the Austin Convention Center during WordPress Day. My slide deck is also posted on SlideShare. I was delighted to have one of my “students” set up her blog the very night after my talk. I am a big advocate for blogging and sharing information with others to help make the world a better place.
- After serving on the national NTEN Membership Committee for several years, I rotated off in May, 2015. I am still actively recruiting new members.
Big Medium | I had been a visitor to Big Medium for a few years, but became an active volunteer in early 2015 through 2017. Shown at top is my Instagram from the East Austin Studio Tour reception for artists (sign and catalogue pickup).
ONE Campaign | Since taking African literature courses in college and studying African art, I came to appreciate Africa, its many cultures, and its great potential. I first became actively engaged with ONE Campaign in 2012 in San Antonio after attending a presentation by Michael Gerson of The Washington Post. When I moved to Austin in summer, 2013, I connected with our local ONE Campaign staff member. In summer of 2015, I agreed to expand my work as a volunteer in Austin to assist with local events and more. Today, my advocacy focuses on the 21st District of Texas and my work for ONE is primarily online.
Twitter Chats | I am active on Twitter and enjoy it a great deal. You can find me sharing information during Twitter chats hosted by @TriplePundit and @Grant_Chat. I have also live “tweeted” Austin TechBreakfast events, to help share information about new startups and innovative technologies, and to build visibility for them.
Yelp Elite Squad | In October, 2016, I was invited to join the Yelp Elite Squad. I had been sharing reviews on the platform since 2013, but as I tend to take more care in reviewing and posting Instagram photos, Yelp noticed. Once I joined, my readership jumped remarkably. Today, my reviews have attracted more than 33,000.
I am contacted year-round by aspiring grant writers and fundraisers seeking advice, and I share information online and in person during “coffee shop” meetings.
Other: Stanley Marcus Documentary
When still living in San Antonio, I set aside time to assist Texas historian and author Thomas E. Alexander develop a funding plan and to secure the first grant for a documentary about the life of the late entrepreneur Stanley Marcus, “Mr. Stanley | The Merchant Prince.”
The film is based on Tom’s longtime professional partnership with Stanley Marcus and his recent book, “Stanley Marcus: The Relentless Reign of a Merchant Prince.” The original film crew did not ultimately come through with the film, although many stunning interviews were filmed. Tom has decided to take the project back in-house, as it were, and identify one or more potential backers/partners to help make the film documentary a reality (follow the link to SlideShare for more detail). If you have an interest in this absolutely first class project, please let either of us know. I have shared this project on my AngelList profile as well.
Ongoing: Social Media Reporting
As I have become more active on a variety of social media platforms, I have helped “report” nonprofit activities as a social media reporter, thereby giving them wider visibility. I have an international following, and I enjoy sharing information that may be helpful to others.
I have “live blogged” events free of charge to help boost visibility for such organizations as the Association of Fundraising Professionals, BlogItSA, King William Association, NTEN: Nonprofit Technology Network, Fashion Week San Antonio, San Antonio’s Martin Luther King, Jr. March, Wounded Warrior Project, Social Media Breakfast San Antonio and Austin, SXSW, ONE Campaign, Operation Turkey, TechBreakfast Austin, Food+Tech Meetup, Big Medium, City of Austin, The Austin Forum on Technology & Society, Austin Police Operation Blue Santa, Slow Food and more.
Ongoing: North American Butterfly Association
I am an honorary lifetime member of the North American Butterfly Association in recognition of my volunteer service for the past decade. I helped secure the endorsement of former First Lady of Texas Anita Perry for the National Butterfly Park in Mission, Texas, and has helped identify prospective donors to the Park, several of whom have happily become significant contributors. My current work for the organization includes developing the Butterfly Print Project, a multi-year collaborative fine art printmaking program involving artists of diverse backgrounds and artistic styles. Ultimately, the sale of prints produced through the project will help fund continued good work of the butterfly park. A documentary film and touring exhibition are part of the project.
National Society, Daughters of the American Revolution
I have been pleased to discover several Patriot ancestors, one of whom worked closely with General George Washington, Irishman John Honeyman. I was elected to membership in the National Society, Daughters of the American Revolution in 2010. I belong to the Corpus Christi Chapter, and am an Affiliate Member of the Alamo Chapter, San Antonio. For information about my 18th century Irish family member, see Tumblr. Subsequently, I have had two additional Dutch ancestors proven, for a total of three formally documented American Revolutionary War ancestors (and I am working to prove a few more).
As a prior volunteer, I helped the Corpus Christi Chapter of the DAR organize and present the 2011 Silver Tea, which honored Mrs. Maureen Miller (benefiting the Art Museum of South Texas and the Corpus Christi Symphony Orchestra). During the event, special proclamations were made commending Mrs. Miller for her outstanding philanthropic endeavors by Texas Governor Rick Perry, Representative Todd Hunter and the Texas Legislature, and Mayor Joe Adame (who declared February 18, 2011, “Maureen Miller Day”).
Cathedral Music Ministry
While living in Corpus Christi, Texas, I enjoyed volunteering for the Corpus Christi Cathedral Music Ministry, by organizing in honor of Mrs. Maureen Miller a multi-million dollar fundraising campaign for a new Cathedral organ. A slide presentation was developed and you can view it on SlideShare. Now that formal approval to proceed with the campaign was granted by Bishop Wm. Michael Mulvey, STL, DD, campaign planning is underway.
Friends of the Texas Historical Commission
I served on the Board of Trustees of the Friends of the Texas Historical Commission for five years. I helped organize activities associated with the Annual Historic Preservation Conference and THC Commissioners’ meetings in May, 2008 in Corpus Christi, in partnership with Mrs. Maureen Miller (THC Commission private reception invitation pictured above). I worked with the staff of the THC to review and select the recipients of the 2008, 2009 and 2010 Preservation Fellows Program-Diversity Fellowships in Historic Preservation.
I participated as a guest speaker for the Advanced Grant Writing Workshop in Austin, Texas in February, 2010, sponsored by the Texas Historical Commission, and the Texas Grant Writing Workshop in Victoria, Texas in July, 2010. For the latter, I was pleased to help secure seminar sponsorships from The O’Connor & Hewitt Foundation and First Victoria National Bank. I also obtained formal CFRE International continuing education accreditation for the latter event. My PowerPoint on grant writing, developed for the first workshop, is available on SlideShare (it is one of my most popular).
Coastal Bend Chapter, AFP
As a member of the Board of the Coastal Bend Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, I assisted for four years with educational program development. Ca. 2003, I set up the chapter’s first website using my own free website platform via Earthlink, and I managed it by hand free of charge as a public service. In 2007, I set-up the Chapter’s Constant Contact e-communication system by hand, from which I designed and distributed the Chapter’s first professional e-announcements for the first year.
Texas Environmental Education Partnership Fund Board
I served as a member of the Texas Environmental Education Partnership Fund Board, appointed for two consecutive terms by former Texas Governor Rick Perry. The project was in partnership with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and officially concluded in summer, 2009. I donated my extensive documentation to the Texas State Library and Archives.
National Leadership Foundation
I enjoyed participating in the Adopt a Soldier Program of the National Leadership Foundation, sending care packages to a soldier deployed in Iraq for two years (2008 and 2009). Click on the photograph for a Memorial Day write-up about the experience.
Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin
I served for more than five years on the Advisory Council of the Dolph Briscoe Center for American History. I helped sponsor the 2007 showing of the award-winning WWII documentary, “Last Best Hope” aboard the USS Lexington in Corpus Christi, Texas. The idea of the presentation was suggested by me as a way to showcase the outstanding work being done by The University of Texas at Austin. I have also donated some of my family’s historical documents relating to the Civil War to The Briscoe Center, as well as documents of note from my years attending The University of Texas at Austin.
Although not currently active with Rotary International, I am a Paul Harris Fellow (having made the one-time, lifetime charitable donation required). For the Corpus Christi Chapter, I sponsored several guest speakers on topics ranging from energy and archaeology to wildlife issues, and supported the ShelterBox program for emergency relief. I also provided volunteer support to Rotary’s annual Harvey Weil Sportsman Conservationist of the Year banquet for seven years (Coastal Bend region of South Texas), including suggesting several recipients who were ultimately approved, among them Stephen J. “Tio” Kleberg, Daniel A. Pedrotti, Ben F. Vaughan, III, and the late Richard C. “Dick” Bartlett.
ADDITIONAL VOLUNTEER WORK
I have volunteered for nonprofit causes since grade school days with Camp Fire USA in San Bernardino, California.
Nonprofits for which I have done more in-depth volunteer work not fully described above, are: 1) Laguna Gloria Art Museum (now Austin Museum of Art, where I volunteered for the Art School and where I was subsequently recruited for my first nonprofit position); 2) Austin Chamber Music Center (I helped create its first membership program); 3) Dallas Zoological Society “Zoo To Do” Gala (serving two years on the silent auction committee); 4) Dallas Contemporary (formerly the Dallas Visual Arts Center, where I served on the Board of Directors for two years); 5) U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (between 1999 and 2010 I provided assistance on multiple projects, including coming up with the idea of celebrating the 100th anniversary of the National Wildlife Refuge System in Texas with a gala event, which ultimately occurred at the Fort Worth Zoo in 2003); and 6) Altar Guild, Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd for approximately three years (altar maintenance and service preparation).
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