About ‘Building Digital Power’

Digital strategy is as much about meeting our supporters’ needs as it is our own. It’s about trust. Mutual respect. Empathy. Digital power can’t be ‘bought’. It doesn’t come in the form of a software license. It stems from an outlook—a foundation that enables us to cultivate and nurture relationships at scale.

Digital power is the sum total of these individual relationships in their capacity to fuel and sustain our mission.

The need

Now more than ever, the world needs more people whose expertise is to change the world. And if those skills aren’t already specialized enough, to fuel a cause in 2020 you also need to magically be an expert in online giving, digital advocacy and engagement. But who among us were ever taught the unwritten rules of success?

We shouldn’t all have to learn the hard, slow way!

Doing good isn’t a competition. By openly sharing real-world successes, failures and learnings, we can take most of the guesswork out of growing sustainable and engaged online audiences. These are the insights that will allow us to create more rewarding experiences for supporters, increase the impact of online activism, and attract more donors (with less effort!)

The book

The benefit of 10 years of real-world experience building the digital foundation of Australia’s leading animal protection organization has been distilled into a 5-part book. Specifically written for communicators and strategists in the field of advocacy, Building Digital Power: a playbook for changemakers is available in paperback and has been released digitally free of charge to help advocates increase engagement and impact online.

The web series

Building Digital Power, as a book, has been embraced by hundreds of organizations around the world. However, digital strategy isn’t something that’s easy to read about once and then execute. It’s a practice. It helps to have ways to embed best practices into our daily work.

The Building Digital Power web series is a response to this need. This website expands on the book content and presents digital strategy tips in bite-sized portions. The email series offers people an easy way to keep these ideas current in the form of a lightweight weekly tip.

There are no secret commercial interests behind this project. I receive no kickbacks or commissions on any links or recommendations. The bottom line is simple: to do more good. This website is my way of giving back and supporting the movements that have taught me so much as an advocate and digital strategist. Please make the most of it!

All the acknowledgements I make in the book also apply here. In addition, this site was lovingly stitched together with the assistance of an exceptionally talented designer who I’m proud to say is my long-time colleague and friend—Kat Gilbert (thanks Kat!).

Things you might like to know

The author

My name is Karen Nilsen. I’m part programmer, part UX/CX designer, part campaign strategist, all nerd. I’ve helped several advocacy organizations solve digital challenges. Notably, I built the digital strategy and the team that has taken Animals Australia’s online presence from humble beginnings to a supporter base of millions. Now based in Philadelphia, my mission is twofold:

  1. to innovate in the digital space to fast-track our efforts to eliminate the greatest cause of preventable suffering on the planet—farmed animal cruelty, and
  2. to help fellow changemakers win faster at digital, and enhance advocacy impact online

In an effort to make me sound more like a human: I am also an accomplished fire eater, retired skydiver, and amateur dog whisperer.

Wanna connect? Get in touch.

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