Wednesday, June 29, 2011

5 Tips to Jumpstart Your Blog

1. Write about what excites you, not what you think you should write about.

2. Learn from the best.  What blogs do you looove to read?  Why do you love them?  How can you incorporate what makes those blogs wonderful into your blog?

3. Schedule blogging time into your week, just like you'd block out time for something else that's important to you.

4. Share your posts on your favorite social networks (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn).

5. Link unto others as you'd like to be linked to.  Write posts with links to blog posts you love, share other bloggers' posts on your social networks, ask your favorite bloggers if they'd like to guest post on your blog.

Opportunities to Make Your Blog Juicy

Bay Area folks

• I'm teaching a Jumpstart Your Blog! workshop at the Writing Salon in Berkeley on July 9th


• I'll be one of the Write Brain | Essential Content Development workshop leaders at BlogHer '11 on August 5th.

• My next Juicy Blogging E-Course runs from September 21-October 12.
Investment: $75 when you register before September 15. $100 after September 15.

• I also offer one-on-one blog coaching via phone, or Skype.
Investment: $100 for one hour session.  $325 when you pre-pay for 4 one-hour sessions.

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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Call for Submissions: What Are Your Best Time Management Tips?

I’m hosting the July Nonprofit Blog Carnival.  On July 28th, I'll feature links and summaries to some of the best submissions. I hope you'll submit your post for consideration!

Whether I'm talking with a nonprofit staffer, or a fellow nonprofit consultant, the topic of time always comes up.  They'd like more time for:
  • Designing a strategic plan
  • Using social media
  • Creative thinking
  • Reflection and assessment
  • Community building
  • Professional development 
  • A personal life/vacation
  • _________________ (fill in the blank)

As nonprofit staffers and nonprofit consultants, we have lots of ideas about how we can serve our causes, and create a sustainable work life, but if we can't figure out how to work with our relationship to time, we can't actualize all of our great ideas.

I'd love to hear your time management tips for nonprofits and nonprofit consultants.  How do we get more of what we want to do done, and less of what we don't?

Please share your time management tips by July 26th!

For bloggers: You can enter your submission in one of two ways.
  • Fill out the carnival form here 
  • Email a link to your post to nonprofitcarnival (at)
For others: Share your time management tips in the comments of this post.

UPDATE: You can see the roundup of submissions in the post, Oodles of Time Managment Tips: July Nonprofit Blog  Carnival Round-Up.

Image credit: 500 years of democracy and peace uploaded to Flickr by Paul Downey.

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Monday, June 27, 2011

Quinoa Puttanesca, Blue Potato and Corn Salad + Zucchini with Parmesan

 Meatless Monday is a nonprofit initiative of The Monday Campaigns.  Their goal is to help reduce meat consumption by 15% to improve personal and planetary health.

This week, I returned to my new favorite cookbook, Appetite for Reduction: 125 Fast and Filling Low-Fat Vegan Recipes by Isa Chandra Moskowitz. It's too bad the book doesn't have a sexier title 'cause so many of the recipes are amazing.

Spicy Blue Potato and Corn Salad

This salad is sooooo good, and because it has pinto beans in it, could serve it as a main dish.

I'd never cooked with blue potatoes, or chipotles in adobo sauce before.  The blue potatoes were gorgeous, and when I bought them at the farmers market, another shopper suggested I use them to make mashed potatoes.  How beautiful would that be!

Even though I de-seeded the chipotles in adobo sauce, they were still too spicy for me, so I put them on the side as a condiment, rather in the salad dressing, like the recipe suggested.  That way, everyone could customize their level of spiciness.

You can view this recipe on Google Books.

Isn't the sauce pretty?
Quinoa Puttanesca

I've always loved pasta puttanesca, but I'm not a huge fan of anchovies. This Quinoa Puttanesca recipe is also deee-lish-us, and doesn't have anchovies.  Yay!  Plus, because quinoa has lots of protein, you could eat it as a main dish. I didn't make many changes to the recipe except to use less red pepper flakes.

You can view this recipe on Post Punk Kitchen.

The only differences between this version, and the one in the book is that the one in the book uses:
  • 2 cups of quinoa
  • 2 t of olive oil
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 28 ounce can of crushed tomatoes
Zucchini with Parmesan

I love all of  Ina Garten's veggie side dish recipes.  This one is from Barefoot Contessa Family Style.  The combination of onions, zucchini and parmesan makes it into a yummy, mushy, sweet comforting side dish.

You can view this recipe on

What delish meatless dishes did you make this week?

All photos are by me (:

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Friday, June 24, 2011

Friday Fun Links: Saving Libraries, One Million Bones, Faith in Your Calling, Food Revolution, and a Summer Hair Chop

A list of some of the people, things, and events that inspired me, or added fun to my week.

1. Still totally inspired by Save Oakland Library.  This week they had a 14-hour Read-in, presented 14,500 petition signatures to the City Council, and showed up at City Hall with shovels, rakes, and hammers to protest the potential closure of the Temescal Tool Lending Library.

2.  Yesterday I interviewed artist and social changemaker, Naomi Natale, for the July Big Vision Podcast about her powerful One Million Bones project.  One Million Bones is a collaborative art installation designed to recognize the millions of victims and survivors who have been killed or displaced by ongoing genocides and mass atrocities. 

3.  I wouldn't exactly call Robyn O'Brien's book, The Unhealthy Truth: How Our Food Is Making Us Sick and What We Can Do About It, fun, but it's definitely eye-opening.  I haven't finished it yet, but it's already affecting how I shop.

When O'Brien, a conservative southern mom whose belief systems were shaken when she discovered the connection between corporations, the government and food safety (or lack of safety), asked her parish priest what she should do with this new knowledge, he said: 

"[W]hen you are truly called to action, you have to let go of that control and really allow your faith to lead you.  It is a fearful thing to fall into faith's hands." 

4. Tonight is the last episode of Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution. Yay! I hope there will be a 3rd season.

5. Got a fun summer Shirley Temple haircut from Crissy King with lots of help from her adorable dog, Auggie (you can see his photo on her website).

What inspired you, or added fun to your week?

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Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Love It: Tumblr Blogs for Nonprofits

One of the first Juicy Blogging E-Course assignments I give to my students is to write a blog post that has more images than words.  In my book, making your blog posts visually appealing is one of the eight qualities of a juicy blog, which is why I'm excited nonprofits are starting to use the micro-blogging platform, Tumblr, to share photos, slideshows, videos, links, quotes, and news.

Here are a few examples:

This blog was created to, "celebrate unique contributions to the Red Cross mission."

I'm still a huge fan of traditional blogging platforms (e.g. WordPress, Blogger, TypePad), but what excites me about Tumblr for nonprofits is that it's quick, fun and visual.  Some nonprofits' blogs can be a bit, er, boring.  As you can see from the screenshot of the Tumblr dashboard below, Tumblr's format encourages you to share photos, quotes, links, dialogue, audio, and video, in addition to straight text.

What do you think about Tumblr for nonprofits, or for your personal blog?

Below is a collection of related posts and articles to learn more:

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Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Your (Free) Summer Grow and Let Go Worksheet

Yay! It's the first day of summer.

To celebrate, here's a free Summer Grow and Let Go Worksheet for you to fill out with ideas you want to grow, and ideas you want to let go of this summer.  

A *big* thanks to the hubs for illustrating it for me!

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Monday, June 20, 2011

Meatless Monday: Cucumber Salad, Carrot Salad, Broccoli and Pesto Tagliatelle + Classic Tomato Spaghetti

 Meatless Monday is a nonprofit initiative of The Monday Campaigns.  Their goal is to help reduce meat consumption by 15% to improve personal and planetary health.

I'm still working my way through the vegetarian recipes in Jamie's Food Revolution.  Last week I made a version of his Everyday Green Chopped Salad recipe.  This week I made the Evolution Cucumber Salad, Evolution Carrot Salad, the Broccoli and Pesto Tagliatelle, and the Classic Tomato Spaghetti. I've put links to all of the recipes below, so that you can try them too!

I made the Evolution Cucumber Salad and Evolution Carrot Salad using the most basic versions of each recipe. Both were quick and delish, especially in the hot weather.

The Broccoli and Pesto Tagliatelle used heaps of fresh broccoli (including the stems, which I'd never cooked with before), and the potatoes shavings made it extra yummy. The Classic Tomato Spaghetti was also super tasty.  I doubled the garlic, basil and tomatoes, and halved the pasta, so that there would be more sauce.

Has anyone made Jamie Oliver's Basil and Lime Sorbet? It looks so easy, good, and cool.

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Friday, June 17, 2011

Friday Fun Links: Studio One Soul, Mosaics, Samin Nosrat, Instagram, + Store Buyout

A list of some of the people, things, and events that inspired me, or added fun to my week:

1.  After the hubs and I heard the Studio One Soul CD playing during breakfast at Pizzaiolo last Saturday, we went right over to Amoeba Music, and got a copy.  I haven't stopped listening to it since. Soooo good.

2. After going to Amoeba, we visited a few artists' studios as part of the East Bay Open Studios, including the Institute for Mosaic Arts.  I wish I had the patience (and skill) to cover my whole house in mosaic.

3.  As part of the Omidyar Network's grant to Kiva, all donations through June 30th will be matched dollar for dollar.  Wahoo!

4. Had great chat with Samin Nosrat for the Big Vision Podcast about her work with Bakesale for Japan and Eating for Education.  Very inspiring woman. I'll post the interview soon.

5. Also excited to start editing my Arts and Healing Podcast interview with the lovely Susannah Conway about the healing power of photography.  I feel so lucky to be able to talk with so many inspiring people!

6. I'm still loving Instagram, the iPhone app that makes all my photos look fabulous.  When I wrote the post, Instagram for Nonprofits: Powerful Images in the Palm of Your Hand, there weren't many examples of nonprofits using this fun tool. This week, I came across a post on the Instagram blog, Nonprofits on Instagram, with a few more examples. Do you know of any others?

7. Love this idea: Nonprofit Annual Report on a Postcard. I mean really, who reads those things?

8. Painted gift wrap outside in sunshine!!

9. I'm becoming a ridiculous Jamie Oliver fan, and have my Tivo queued up to record tonight's episode of Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution (can't wait!).  You can watch past episodes on and on Hulu.

10. Finally, a group of artists heard that a small business, Hercules Fancy Grocery, was in danger of closing, so they bought all of the merchandise in the store (with cash advances). They're turning the merchandise into art and are using the art sales to help the grocery stay in business (and pay off the cash advances).  I'm not entirely sure how helpful this project will be for the store owner, but the intention is wonderful, and the look on the owner's face is priceless. You can learn more at, and watch a video of the buy out below:

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Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Juicy Nonprofit Blog: The Case Foundation Blog


When I give talks about nonprofit blogging, I often use the Case Foundation's blog as an example of a juicy blog. 

Here's why:

• Each post is illustrated with a photo

• It's featured on the home page.

• Posts cover a range of topics (e.g. TED Fellow profiles, social media tips, reporting back from events, calls to action).

Multiple staff members are bloggers, which takes the weight off of one person.

• It's easy to share. Each post has buttons at the top for people to share it on Facebook, Twitter, via email, etc.

• It's easy to subscribe. Icons for their RSS feed, Twitter feed, Facebook page, and newsletter are featured at the top of the blog.

• The author of each post is visible, rather than saying that all of the posts are by "the Case Foundation."

• It runs series (e.g. Dressed to GiveWeekly News Roundup, TED Fellows Friday).

• It has a blog roll.

• It's well-written.

• It features guest posts.

• It has a visible post archive.

• It uses video.

• It asks questions readers can respond to.

• It helps readers take action.
    What nonprofit blogs do you loooooove to read?  I'm thinking about occasionally highlighting juicy nonprofit blogs (blogs by nonprofits, not about nonprofits).  If you have suggestions for juicy nonprofit blogs I should check out, please let me know in the comments, or email me at britt AT brittbravo DOT com.

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    Tuesday, June 14, 2011

    Save Your Libraries: They're Good for the Economy

    Collecting petitions
    Last week I stood outside of my local library collecting signatures to save libraries in Oakland.  We're facing potential closures of 14 neighborhood libraries, and reduced services at the remaining four.

    We're not the only city facing cuts. The American Library Association has created a Save Libraries in Your State page on their website just to help communities take action.

    It makes me so mad it's hard to write about it.

    Visiting my hometown library
    I probably wouldn't be who I am today without the library. I spent so much time at my neighborhood library that when I went back after a decade to show it to my husband, the librarian remembered me!

    I loved the library so much that my best friend and I would regularly go to the library as a play date (although we called it "hanging out" back then). We'd take out books and read until one of our moms picked us up. I also tried to start a library for the kids in my neighborhood in the basement of my house.
      I know that its cash, not cute stories about kids reading books, that the people making decisions about whether, or not to cut libraries care about, so here are 5 examples of how libraries are good for the economy taken from the ALA's Libraries and the Economy, and the Economic Value of Libraries Talking Points:
      1. Libraries are among the most effective of all public services, serving more than 2/3 of the public with less than 2 percent of all tax dollars.
      2. Libraries are part of the solution when a community is struggling economically. From free access to books and online resources for families to library business centers that help support entrepreneurship and retraining, libraries support lifelong learning.
      3. As more and more Americans look for employment, libraries are helping level the playing field for job seekers. Only 44 percent of the top 100 U.S. retailers accepted in-store paper applications in 2006- down from 68 percent in 2004. Library staff report that many patrons are turning to library computers and Internet access to find work, apply for jobs online, type resumes and cover letters and open email accounts.
      4. In Florida, for every dollar of public support spent on public libraries, income or wages increases by $12.66, and returned $6.54 for every dollar invested.
      5. In South Carolina, the total direct and indirect return on investment for every $1 spent on the state's public libraries by South Carolina state and local governments is $4.48 - nearly 350 percent.
        If your library is in danger, put your zip code into the blue widget below (created and made available by the South Carolina Library Association) to find advocacy resources in your community.

        For inspiration, read the round up of creative ways Save Oakland Libraries is getting its message out (e.g. Guerilla Storytime, Silent Funeral Procession, Save Oakland Libraries Bike Ride) in the post, Save Oakland Public Libraries is AWESOME!!

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        Monday, June 13, 2011

        Meatless Monday: Chopped Salads (Yum, Yum!)

         Meatless Monday is a nonprofit initiative of The Monday Campaigns.  Their goal is to help reduce meat consumption by 15% to improve personal and planetary health.

        Ever since my friend Gabriela came to visit last summer, and made the most delicious chopped salad EVER, I've been on the search for a good recipe. I finally found one.

        As I mentioned on Friday, I took Jamie Oliver's book, Jamie's Food Revolution, out from the library last week, and am trying some of the recipes.  I started with his "Everyday Green Chopped Salad," which was delish.  It's perfect to make with whatever is in season at the farmers market, or with leftover veggies in your fridge.

        You can print the recipe off of, or watch a video of Jamie making it below.  I didn't include sprouts in mine 'cause of the recent food safety issues, which is a real drag.  I love sprouts.  If you're vegan, you could replace the cheese with a vegan cheese alternative, or with seeds and nuts.

        What are  your favorite chopped salad recipes?

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