Welcome to Our New Community!
Today is a big day for Firelight. We’ve launched our new website, our new blog called “Ubuntu”, and our Facebook page—just in time for the beginning of our 10th anniversary year. You might think that we’ve jumped on the social network bandwagon, but the truth is that we thought about this for a while before deciding to take the plunge.
We’re convinced that by creating an online community that connects us and our grantees in Africa with policymakers, funders, researchers, advocates, and others around the world, we’ll be better able to achieve our strategic goal of increasing the flow of resources to the grassroots organizations supporting vulnerable children and families.
Equally important, we want to bring you voices from the field—the stories and perspectives of grassroots groups in Africa and the children and families benefitting from their hard work. Even though these groups are the greatest source of support to children and families affected by HIV/AIDS, one of the biggest obstacles they face is that their work is under-recognized and under-funded. Using our online community as a hub, we hope to build a bridge between our African and other audiences.
Our online network strategy is gradualist: we will embark on it modestly, soliciting as much diverse feedback as possible, incorporating input along the way, and gradually intensifying our engagement.
We think social networks are wonderful tools that help organizations and individuals do their good work even better, but they are just that: tools. We take very seriously our responsibility to provide our readers and supporters with value-added, useful, and interesting information, and aim to sustain this effort over time to reach our goal of providing even greater support to the grassroots in Africa.
Our New Website
We’ve redesigned our site to make it easier, and hopefully, more enjoyable to find and share a range of new information and resources, as well as to bring the grassroots closer to our readers and supporters.
Search our new Grants Database to see the range of grantee-partners and programs that we fund....
If you’re new to Firelight, or just need a quick refresher, make sure to check out our new Flash video on our home page….
We invite you to dig in, and please, let us know what you think!
Over the coming months, we will be looking to add more information and resources to our site, including more video and photos, as well as stories and statistics from our grantees and the children and families they support. We will also be looking to improve our site’s functionality and usability.
You can either provide your comments publicly on this blog, or privately by sending us an email to: email@example.com. We look forward to hearing from you.
“Ubuntu”: Our New Blog
You can read about why we launched it, who it’s by and for, and what our hopes and goals are for it—all on our blog’s home page.
We hope that it will give you a brief but rich glimpse into the world of our grantees in Africa and the communities, families, and children that they serve. You can expect to be hearing voices from the grassroots as well as my own, and we will regularly feature guest bloggers like the staff and members of women's and youth groups.
We hope that you’ll let us know if you’re interested in hearing about specific issues or topics, and of course, what you think of our work and our perspectives.
Our New Facebook Page
Our new Facebook Page gives us the opportunity to reach more than 350 million Facebook users around the world and show them the great work that our community-based grantees are doing.
We already have a presence on LinkedIn—click here to go to our page. And as we get our new blog up and running, we will be Twittering along with it. We also plan to expand our social media presence to YouTube (click here for a taste) and Flickr.
We will be using these sites to promote awareness and encourage support of our work and the work of our grantees, through timely updates, videos, and photos of the very real, compelling, and heartening results of our grantees’ efforts. Click here to see one example.
It may be a lot to take in, but for today, if I could ask you to do just one thing, it would be to encourage you to become a Fan of Firelight on Facebook. Click on the Facebook icon in the top right column to learn more.
Your Input & Support
To old friends and supporters of Firelight, we hope that our new online presences stimulate you to get involved in our work in new and exciting ways. And to our new friends, we hope that you find the information you need to learn more about Firelight and our grantees.
And to new and old alike: your feedback and participation in our new online community is critical to our own improvement and ability to channel greater resources to the grassroots organizations working to support children in Africa.
Let us know what you think of our new website and our blog and how we can make them better. And please, don’t forget to sign up to become a Firelight Facebook Fan.
In this 10th anniversary year of our founding, we continue to be inspired by the passion and dedication of all of you who are advocating on behalf of vulnerable children and families, and look forward to working even more closely with you through our new online community.
From all of us at Firelight, we thank you for your interest and support, and wish you very happy and healthy holidays!