My philosophy? It’s all about engagement.
I consider myself an Engagement Strategist: I work collaboratively with organizations and brands to engage their stakeholders in a deep and real manner. Organizations can move online supporters to action by engaging them in relevant conversation, listening, and offering real value; my company works with nonprofits to do this every day. Our strengths are training staff and teams to use social media effectively, developing goal-driven online strategies and campaigns, auditing existing efforts, and developing metrics to measure social media success and engagement.
I chose the name Community Organizer 2.0 because I utilize basic community organizing principles when I work: creating strategies for listening, engaging and moving people to act, online. As an engagement strategist, I translate basic organizing principles into online social media strategy. I listen and ask questions to determine what the appropriate strategy should be for each organization. Social media supports organizational goals, and its success can be measured. There’s more in this interview about my approach to online engagement and strategic digital marketing.
I’m also proud to be on faculty at Marlboro College Graduate School, in the Masters in Nonprofit Management program. I teach courses related to social media, including Foundations of Social Media, Social Media for Social Change, and Social Media Strategy. I also advise students. I thoroughly enjoy being part of this vibrant, intellectual educational community.
My teaching goals are to help students find their own meaning in the subject matter, learn through applied projects, challenge themselves intellectually, and step into their own potential. I achieve these objectives through three approaches: incorporating evidence-based practice in the classroom, creating co-learning environments, and supporting intellectual growth through critical inquiry.
Presentations, and Trainings
I am also a presenter and trainer. You can view all of my presentations and webinar slides on the presentation page of this website, as well as contact me about speaking engagements. My presentations always include peer learning, and I bring the audience’s knowledge into every speaking engagement and workshop.
Want to hire me as a presenter or start a conversation? Let’s talk! Just fill out this form.
A little bit about my professional background
Community organizing has influenced my career and outlook. I worked as a community organizer for over ten years, working with multi-issue community organizations, member organizations, and tenant associations. My role as an organizer was to develop strong leaders, create community, and identify strategic paths to change. I loved working with leaders stepping into their power, just as I love advising clients who see the potential of social media.
For the next ten years I worked in economic development for various non-profit organizations in the Boston, MA area. I was the Executive Director of a local community organization dedicated to revitalizing and promoting a neighborhood business district through the joint efforts of neighborhood volunteers, organizations and businesses. I also directed the Entrepreneurial Programs division of a local community development corporation. I consulted individually with hundreds of emerging entrepreneurs on all aspects of starting a business, developed intensive entrepreneurial training programs, and worked with the community to develop niche entrepreneurial training programs.
In 2007 I moved to Israel with my family, and graduated Bar Ilan University’s MBA program in 2008, with a business degree focused on international business and marketing. Upon graduation from Bar Ilan in 2008, I founded Community Organizer 2.0, and began working with a variety of nonprofit and corporate clients in Israel and around the world. My work has included social media campaign and strategy development and implementation, competitive assessments, ongoing strategic coaching, and social media training. I loved living in Israel and working alongside an incredible community of peers and entrepreneurs.
After three years in Israel, my family and I returned to Boston in August 2010. Since then, I have consulted full-time to mission-driven organizations through my company, Community Organizer 2.0, with two brief interludes as in-house staff during this time period (Community Manager at FirstGiving, and Director of Outreach at the National Brain Tumor Society). I am passionate about creating digital strategies that engage, create trust, and move people to action. Ask me how I can help your organization achieve its digital communication goals, and move stakeholders to action.
Connect with me
Of course, you can always drop me a line “web 1.0-style” and send an email to Debra Askanase.
I look forward to the conversation!