Griswold-Zepp awardees will teach nonprofits how to harness power of social media

November 23, 2010

The 2010 Griswold-Zepp Award in Volunteerism has been given to three students who plan to teach workers at community nonprofits how to use social media to advance their causes.

English majors Megan Franey and Sara Krome, and Megan Robinson, who is majoring in English and Spanish, said they will teach a series of workshops in the spring and purchase equipment – such as handheld video recorders, flash drives and camera stands – to be given to the nonprofit participants.

McDaniel President Roger Casey (left to right), students Megan Robinson, Sara Krome and Megan Franey, Associate Professor of English Julia Jasken and Provost Tom Falkner. The Griswold-Zepp Award is given annually to support student volunteerism.

The award will cover the project’s full cost, which is estimated at about $2,800.

In their Griswold-Zepp application, the students wrote that because nonprofits are often staffed by part-time volunteers, the workshops could be especially useful.

“Nonprofits often lack the time to learn new technologies that would allow them to communicate with members of their organizations in the most effective way possible,” they wrote. “In addition, these organizations often have limited budgets and cannot afford the technologies such as relevant software and (handheld) video recorders.”

The students say their project is designed to help nonprofits by teaching them how to harness the power of social networking technologies to better communicate with the public; helping them develop a basic understanding of video editing and design; and showing them how to produce a four-minute promotional video for their organizations.

“We hope they’ll take these skills and be able to use them to help their groups,” Robinson said during a presentation ceremony on campus at the Center for Faculty Excellence in Hoover Library.

McDaniel President Roger Casey offered his congratulations and added, “I know there are many great things ahead” for the participating community nonprofits because of the work that the students will do thanks to the Griswold-Zepp Award.

For their parts, the students say they hope to learn as well from the experience. They aim to develop a deeper understanding of the communication and marketing needs of nonprofits and how social networking and other Internet software can improve their communication. They say they also see the project as an opportunity to create and participate in something that will benefit the community now and in the years to come.

Ideally, they say, the project will be replicated by other McDaniel students.

The Griswold-Zepp Award was established to honor Earl Griswold and Ira Zepp, long-time faculty advisors for SOS/Hinge, a community service and volunteerism group. The selection process focuses on the project that most strongly exemplifies the true spirit of volunteerism and community service.