Volunteer Activities

This page focuses on activities I have undertaken as a volunteer, lending my time and expertise free of charge as a public service.

Community Volunteer
I am called upon frequently by nonprofit professionals across the U.S. and beyond for advice. Many of them reach me by using the secure contact form on this website!

Citizens’ 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 the Austin chapter’s Twitter feed, and I am the primary manager (we have gone from 11 followers to just over 100).

NTEN: Nonprofit Technology Network | I have been a member of and volunteer for NTEN: Nonprofit Technology Network for the past several years. Today, it is my primary professional affiliation.

I have been active in recruiting new members, and was honored to receive a national 2011 NTENy Award for being, “Most likely to recruit all their friends – and total strangers – to join NTEN.” Today, I am the lead volunteer as needed for Nonprofit Tech Club Austin #NPTechClubATX. I served as the primary organizing volunteer from January, 2015 to April, 2018. While I did pass the baton on to another volunteer in 2018, the job was a bit daunting, so I rejoined as lead volunteer in August, 2018. As part of my work, 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 (Bevy Labs). See the following video 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. Margaret Battistelli wrote for Fundraising Success, “NTC: Roundup: Major Gift Fundraising and Social Media” regarding my presentation (thank you).

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! For the conference, I also served on the local host committee, and spearheaded the organization of a VIP dinner at Second Bar + Kitchen for speakers and leaders in the nonprofit tech space.

After serving on the national NTEN Membership Committee for several years, I rotated off in May, 2015. I am still actively recruiting new members.

I wrote an article for NTEN Connect, “Technology Adoption in the Workplace: A View from the Trenches” (2016). I also wrote for CHANGE, “Engaging Major Donors with New Media” (2011 – my article begins on page 26).

Association of Donor Relations Professionals and the Association of Fundraising Professionals | I have given educational presentations to these groups and their chapters (in Texas and nationally), for the past several years. The majority of those presentations have been given free of charge or for very modest honoraria. See one of my presentation slide decks on SlideShare.


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ONE Campaign | Since taking African literature courses in college and studying African art, I have come to appreciate Africa, its many cultures and its great potential, as well as its challenges. 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. The slide show above is from ACL Fest 2018. I volunteered for ONE for a day during the event. For an earlier article on my blog about my involvement, follow this link.

Yelp Elite Squad | In October, 2016, I was invited to join the Yelp Elite Squad. I had been sharing meaningful reviews on the platform since 2013, but as I tend to take more care in reviewing and posting Instagram photos, Yelp noticed. I aim to be honest, helpful and positive in my reviews, but when I believe the public should be warned, I share my concerns.

Ongoing Social Media (Online) Support

As I have become more active on a variety of social media platforms, I have helped live “report” nonprofit and community activities as a social media reporter, thereby giving them wider visibility.

Sensitivity: I have on occasion witnessed (unplanned) emergency situations while reporting public events. Not being a thrillseeker and being mindful of personal space and privacy, I have refrained from taking and publishing images of them. If I were specifically assigned to report difficult situations, or if I felt it would be helpful to law enforcement, I would consider taking and sharing images of those experiences.

Examples of “live blogged” events follow (partial list): Greentech Media, Association of Fundraising Professionals, BlogItSA, NTEN: Nonprofit Technology Network, San Antonio’s Martin Luther King, Jr. March, Social Media Breakfast San Antonio, Art Pace, Dogtoberfest, SXSW, Armadillo Christmas Bazaar, ONE Campaign (see slide show above), Travis County Kennel Club, City of Austin, Austin TechBreakfast, Art From The StreetsBig Medium, Chuy’s Children’s Parade and Austin Police Operation Blue Santa, Austin PowwowSlow Food, Trans Pecos Pipeline (protest), Handbuilt Motorcycle ShowRound Rock Express and Freedom FlyersAustin Chronicle and more.

The links above take you to Carolyn’s Tumblr, which is often where my Instagram adventures end up!

Ongoing Support | North American Butterfly Association/National Butterfly Center, Mission, Texas

I am an honorary lifetime member of the North American Butterfly Association in recognition of my volunteer service over many years. 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, some of whom have become significant contributors. My current work involves seeking partners for 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 will help fund the daily operational needs of the National Butterfly Center in Mission. A documentary film and touring exhibition are part of the proposed project. In addition, I support the National Butterfly Center online as an advocate when it faces challenges.

Prior Volunteer Projects

IREC: Interstate Renewable Energy Council | I served on the Board from 2011 to 2018. The focus of my work was on nonprofit infrastructure, communications, identification of potential partners and funding sources. I also helped identify and recruit two new members of the Board while serving.

Big Medium | I had been a visitor to Big Medium for a few years, but became an active volunteer in early 2015 through mid-2017.

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, which is where my professional genealogist resides. For information about my 18th century Irish family member, see Tumblr. Subsequently, I have had two additional 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.

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 still 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. I was asked to join the leadership team to help energize it! About 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.

State of Texas CMA

Texas Environmental Education Partnership Fund Board | I served as a member of the Texas Environmental Education Partnership Fund Board, appointed for two consecutive four-year terms by former Texas Governor Rick Perry from 2001 to 2009. The project was in partnership with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and officially concluded in summer, 2009. Once the TEEP Fund Board’s work concluded, at the request of the Governor’s staff (as I had the most complete set of records and was in more regular touch with the Governor’s office), I documented eight years of proceedings and donated it to the Texas State Library and Archives. No small feat! The commission was then formally “sunset” by the Texas Legislature.

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). Happily, the soldier and I remain in contact today via LinkedIn. He considers me to be his unofficial “Mom.” I am honored.

Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin | I served for approximately six 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.

Rotary International | Although not currently active with Rotary, I am a Paul Harris Fellow (having made the one-time, lifetime charitable donation required). For the Corpus Christi Chapter, I suggested and hosted several guest speakers on topics ranging from energy and archaeology to wildlife, and donated to 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 potential 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 The Contemporary, 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).

If you have questions, use the secure contact form found on this website.

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