case studies, social media campaign

How to Create Love Online: To Mama With Love Starts Today

8 Comments 03 May 2011

Today is the official launch of To Mama With Love, a collaborative online art project that honors moms across the globe and raises funds to invest in remarkable women who are transforming our world. To Mama With Love is an initiative of Epic Change, the folks behind Tweetsgiving. The To Mama With Love event is May 3 – 8, 2011. To Mama With love is…about creating and spreading love.  Participants create socially shareable “heartspaces” that include words, videos, photos & investments in honor of mamas they love. The changemakers are four incredible women who have created schools and shelters for children who face poverty, illiteracy, and lack of opportunity in Nepal, Afghanistan, and Tanzania.

This is a cause I believe in tremendously, and it aligns with my vision of creating a just world of opportunity. My mother was one of the 1970s-era equal rights activists who marched, protested, fought for an equal rights constitutional amendment, attended a world conference on women, and put her money where her mouth was to fund Emily’s List. I’m honoring my mother, Susan Silverman Askanase, in my heartspace.

I’m pledging $50 now, and up to another $50 to match my readers’ Epic Change donations

Epic Change’s goal this year is to raise at least $65,000 to invest in Mama Lucy’s secondary school in Tanzania, Renu & Maggie’s schools in Kathmandu & Surkhet, Nepal, and Suraya’s women’s shelter in Afghanistan. Please leave a comment on this blog post, with a link to your heartspace, so that I can match up to $50 in your donations to Epic Change.

Though I love my mother, and always want to honor her on Mother’s Day:

I participate in To Mama With Love because Epic Change founder Stacey Monk has created one of the most incredible online campaigns in which I’ve ever had the honor of participating


Epic Change, has taken every principle of great community organizing and integrated it into To Mama With Love. Epic Change is also an organization that embodies the culture of social media, which is the culture of inclusion. If you want to run a successful social media fundraising campaign, you can’t do better than to follow their lead:

1. Cultivate a community of stakeholders. Stacey Monk, Epic Change’s founder, is a gardener. She has spent years planting seeds of love and cultivating a community of giving. She cultivates the “magic middle” of stakeholders, activists, and influencers who would genuinely care about a cause such as Epic Change’s.

2. Nurture leaders. This year, Epic Change created a private Facebook Group to discuss the campaign before launch. Stacey invited people into the group that she’s been cultivating for years (and who have shown interest in Epic Change. Then she nurtured them:

  • She asked people to introduce themselves within the group
  • She asked for volunteers to help with tasks (proofing the press release, developing a Twitter list, inputting a database list, etc.)
  • She asked people to invite their friends into the group, and welcomed those friends as they joined
  • Stacey created questions within the private group to bring out our expertise: a win-win for all

3. Create campaigns with your stakeholders. Stacey consistently asked the group for help refining the campaign. She asked questions such as: should we send the blogger invitations during the weekend or not, should she redesign the home page in a certain way, and when should people tweet? She listened, and followed the group’s consensus.

4. Be transparent and inclusive. Campaign documents are posted for all to view and comment upon. Questions are encouraged, and comments are invited.

5. Design commitment. Before joining the group (or upon joining), we were asked to commit to at least one “mission,” which we committed to through a form. Missions included: invite five others to join the group, commit to writing a blog post, commit to donating money during the campaign, create a heartspace, send emails, and “nudge an influencer.” Stacey sends out mission reminders and asked us to post which missions we completed to the private Facebook Group.

6. Recognize those who are giving. The To Mama With Love website recognizes the bloggers, donors, and the volunteers that helped to plan the event very publicly. This is the very the community that Epic Change has spent the time cultivating.

One other thing: when I volunteered to help out with Epic Change’s Tweetsgiving 2010 campaign, Stacey Monk personally called me at home to thank me the night before the launch. In doing so, she instantly created a more personal, stronger offline connection out of our online connection, strengthening the connection.

When you are involved with Epic Change, you feel honored to be part of her “big circle of love,” because it is such an unique, supportive community of stakeholders. Stacey has created a family you want to be part of, one that supports each other and offers collaboration and encouragement…en route to changing the world.

Thank YOU for creating Epic Change and spreading epic amounts of love.




Debra Askanase is an experienced digital engagement strategist, non-profit executive, and community organizer. She works with mission-driven organizations to develop digital strategies and campaigns that engage, create trust, and move stakeholders to action. Debra speaks at conferences worldwide on the intersection of technology, social media, and nonprofit organizations.

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