Live chat for Shopify – Use LiveChat plugin to Grow Sales of your Shopify Store

Live chat for Shopify – Use LiveChat plugin to Grow Sales of your Shopify Store


Are you wondering how to grow your
Shopify business using on-site real-time communication? Let me show you how Live
Chat can grow your sales volume by even 30%. LiveChat automated greetings,
customizable eye-catchers, and personalized chat design help boost customer
engagement and encourage visitors to buy more at your store. LiveChat has been
created with e-commerce businesses in mind. Set goals for your conversations
and use LiveChat Sales Tracker to measure your chat results and optimize
your communication. How to make it work at your Shopify store? Set up your
account at LiveChat using a 30-day free trial.
Connect LiveChat with your Shopify store. Start chatting with your customers
using your web browser, mobile or desktop apps. It’s that simple!
LiveChat for Shopify – start selling by chatting

Seguno Overview: Email Marketing Inside Shopify

Seguno Overview: Email Marketing Inside Shopify


Welcome to Seguno, where you can create manage and track your email marketing without leaving Shopify. That’s right, whether you live in the Shopify admin or the Shopify mobile app, the entire Seguno product lives there too. It’s an experience like no other and we’re so excited to share with you. For this overview, we’ll use our demo brand, Madison Paige, a children’s clothing shop. Now, let’s jump into Shopify. From the apps section, you can log into Seguno and that brings us to your dashboard. Now, not only is the entire product embedded within Shopify but your data actually stays there too. That means a few things: It means your data is never out of sync when we use it, it means you can leverage collections, customer groups, and discounts in amazing ways that save you lots of time, and you can actually use all the great reporting Shopify has to track the sales generated from your email marketing. When it comes to your contact list, the customers within Shopify that have the accepts email marketing status set to true are considered your subscribers. If you’ve been using a different system to send marketing emails then you need to update the status of customers within Shopify before sending an email. You can learn more about this from our Help Center or you can reach our team by simply clicking the Talk to support button in the top right corner of your screen. Let’s start by creating a newsletter. Now for this, all you really need to do is think about what you want to promote. You could feature products, you could feature a collection, (the products within a collection), you could feature multiple collections, blog posts – so let’s try a feature collection and we’ll select our pants collection. Now, you can choose to include a discount for this newsletter and you have the option of sharing the same code with all recipients or you can actually have us generate a unique code for each recipient, which is great for personalizing your marketing and protecting your profits. Now this PANTS-SALE discount is for five dollars off the pants collection. And that’s just a discount that I created right here in the Shopify Admin. So let’s go ahead and create this newsletter. And just like that, we created this beautiful looking newsletter that populated with the products from our pants collection. It looks beautiful on desktop. It looks beautiful on mobile. And all you had to do was pick which collection you wanted to promote. Now, you’ll also notice some other smart things going on such as your discount details. So, you can see five dollars off with an example unique code, when it expires, and “See details below.” So we look down below and this discount only applies to specific collections and, actually, there’s a minimum purchase of fifty dollars required. So, providing these details to your customers helps ensure that they don’t have a bad experience when they get to checkout and realize that the discount doesn’t work how they thought it did. You’ll also see that the prices are discounted accordingly based off of the discount since these are all pants. Now, let’s jump in and customize this message. The subject and preview text here you can modify those. The header, footer and theme settings are consistent across all your messages. So you can modify things like colors, typography, button styles, and your social media accounts. The header has your logo, you can choose to show your first three social accounts or have your logo centered, and then you have your menu items. The footer has some company policies if you want to include those. Your email and phone, if you have it, for customer service and then your address, which is required for anti-spam laws. So, this editor looks and feels just like the theme editor does within Shopify. If you know how to use Shopify, you already know how to use Seguno. It’s familiar and it’s a great experience. So, we have this email here and let’s go ahead and add a featured collection down below. And we’ll select our recommended products, which is a collection we create by default for your best-selling products that are in stock. We have this down here, let’s call this our trending products. We have our best-selling products here that we’re including as recommendations to kind of round out our email here. You’ll notice we have this leather jacket as part of our collection. Now, if I were to add a featured product section here and select that leather jacket What you’ll notice is the leather jacket is no longer shown in the recommended products. We don’t want to end up with a duplicate product in our email like that so we move on to the next product in the collection, automatically. We’ve got our our leather jacket featured product here, it pulls in all the details. You’ll notice it’s full price. That’s because the discount on this email that we selected is only available for pants. Let’s remove this section and we’ll just go back to having our leather jacket here as a recommended product down below. Let’s save that and now let’s go back to the detail page for this newsletter. Now, let’s change up our discount. We have it set as that five dollars off with PANTS-SALE. Again, generating a unique code for each recipient without you having to do any extra work for that. Let’s change this to FALLSALE. Another discount I created in the discount section which happens to be for 15% off. Now, when I click Save you’ll notice the message has already been updated. The details of the discount now reflect FALLSALE’s details. The prices have changed accordingly. And if we had our leather jacket there, that would also be shown as on sale now. Now, we can go ahead and edit our recipients. You could choose to send this to all your subscribers, subscribers within specific groups of customers, and you can even exclude groups of customers. For this, let’s just exclude those that purchased in the last week. This is simply a customer group that you create in the customer section of Shopify. So, all that great data that you can filter on right within Shopify and save as a search for a customer group, you can leverage as targeting or excluding for recipients of your emails. You’ll notice the summary is updated here as you make your selections. Now, let’s go ahead and schedule this for Tuesday at 9:00 a.m. So now, this beautiful email is ready to be sent and will go out on Tuesday at 9:00 a.m. Let’s jump over to automations. Now, automations are automated touch points that are triggered based on customer behavior or commerce activity. We have a handful of these in our library. Pre-built, automated touch points. We have a Coming Soon, which is for welcoming your pre-launch subscribers. So, if you are just building out your store and you have the coming soon page up, you still want to be collecting emails and driving traffic to get those subscribers and you should be sending them a welcome message as soon as they subscribe. You can configure that here. We also have a regular Welcome message for when someone subscribes when your site is live. We have a Discount Reminder to remind someone of a discount that they were given if they haven’t used it two days before it expires and we can actually include that same unique code that we sent them before. On the commerce activity side, we have Abandoned Checkout, we have a way to thank people after their first purchase, a way to thank them after their second purchase, and a way to try to win them back after they haven’t purchased in a couple of months. Let’s take a look at the Abandoned Checkout automation. So on this detail page again, you see the the preview of the email. Now, this has some placeholder content because the items will actually be based on the checkout. Again, it looks beautiful on desktop and mobile. Now, something that’s really cool here this recommendation collection that we have down below: “Other customer favorites.” Just as when we added that featured product of the leather jacket and it was removed from this collection, the same thing will happen based on the checkout items of someone’s checkout. So, if a customer abandons a checkout that happens to contain the leather jacket then we will not show that in the recommended products down below. It’s just a wonderful experience that you don’t even have to worry about. On the right-hand side, you’ll see the the summary of the automation. There are some settings depending on the automation and then there are conditions. For example, for this advantage checkout email to be sent, no orders can be placed since the checkout was abandoned and at least one of the items in the cart must be in stock. You can choose when to send that and you can also choose how to dish out the discounts. If you choose to set a discount, you can either give that to every person who gets this email or you can choose to only give it to people that have not purchased yet. It’s a great way to protect your profits by not always giving out discounts, protect people from potentially trying to game the system. And really get those people, incentivize those people that have not purchased yet. Let’s go ahead and set a discount. This is a discount that I created within Shopify for 20% off. Now, with automations, since those are long-running programs, you cannot set an expiration date on the discount but with our automations we have the ability you can choose to have us expire codes seven days after they’ve been sent. It’s a great way to drive that sense of urgency. If the code is not used after seven days, we’ll go ahead and delete that from Shopify so it’s no longer available. We added the discount and now we have this beautiful discount section here explaining the the details of the discount. So, that’s a quick overview of automations. Now, if we go over to Content, we have templates. These are the templates for your newsletters. Now that Featured Collection is the one that we just used earlier. You can see we have some placeholder content here, since it doesn’t get populated until you create a newsletter and select the collection that will be used, but let’s say that we want to save ourselves a step next time and we’ll add that trending products collection down below. Now, this collection will always be in the newsletter when we create it so we don’t have to add that every time. We can obviously make changes after we’ve created it but this just saves us a couple of steps. It’s all about saving time. Now, if we go back to Content, the last thing I’ll touch on here is your unsubscribe page. When people unsubscribe, you should think of it as a good thing. You only want engaged subscribers on your list. Keeping people that are not engaged on your list will only hurt you in the long run. It’s okay for people to unsubscribe but what’s the right way to do it? It is to provide a nice experience when they do. Someone may not be interested in your emails but they may still be a loyal customer. When someone clicks the unsubscribe link in your email, we will actually take them right back to your shop. So, the ‘unsubscribe successful’ page here allows them to continue shopping if they want. It’s not a dead end. It’s a beautiful branded experience right on your shop. That’s the last thing I wanted to touch on. Please reach out with any questions. We’d love to hear from you. Take care

Shopify Facebook Pixel 2020 (Everything You Need to Know)

Shopify Facebook Pixel 2020 (Everything You Need to Know)


whoa hold up okay so we agreed to do
this interview here and you’re telling me that if I don’t have a Facebook pixel
on my website you know I’m losing data and I’m losing thousands and thousands
of dollars and I’m losing sorry guys a little nervous I let’s just
let’s just disregard that what’s going on guys welcome back to another video
and in today’s video I’m actually gonna show you guys how to install your
Facebook pixel and also how to season your Facebook pixels so this video is
gonna be very very helpful and this video was actually highly requested so
make sure you stay from the very beginning all the way to the end so that
you can get all the in-depth information that you need to be able to make sure
your Facebook pixel is you know installed correctly and before we begin
guys make sure you smash that subscribe button and hit the notification bell
because we just hit 12,000 subscribers okay that is a lot and I’m really really
appreciative of all the new people that subscribe to my channel and watching all
my videos because I drop a lot of value on this channel and I only want to help
as many people as I can okay so make sure you hit that subscribe button and
hit the notification bellow as well so let’s not waste any time guys let’s hop
straight into my computer the first thing that you need to do is actually
locate where to actually put the Facebook pixel right so what you need to
do is go to your actual Shopify store and if you go over here right to the
online store you can scroll down and go to preferences okay now when you click
preferences is actually going to take you to a page like this okay and you can
scroll down and you’re gonna have a lot of different options like your Google
Analytics and then of course you have your Facebook pixel okay so this is
where you’re gonna actually install your Facebook pixel and working and we’re
actually gonna go get this number right now here’s my Ads manager right here so
what you need to do now is go to ads manager and then go to pixels okay so
you’re gonna see pixels right here I’m you’re gonna click that pretty simple
and a self-explanatory alright so after when you click on pixel
you’re gonna have to go to add a new data source Facebook did change their
layout a little bit but it’s not too drastically different okay so you just
click here and then you click on Facebook pixel
and then after that you can name the pixel whatever you want I do recommend
naming it your Shopify store just in case if you’re gonna have different
pixels okay so we’re gonna actually call this supreme beauty right here okay
alright so after when you create your Facebook pixel it will take you to a
page where you have to actually install the Facebook pixel on your actual
website ok so there’s different ways you can do it you can do it to a connected
partner platform which is the way that we’re gonna do it or you can manually
install the pixel code yourself if you know coding you can do that as well but
this is gonna be the easiest route okay so you’re gonna click that and you’re
gonna find Shopify okay so Shopify is right here um and then you’re gonna have
to continue and then you’re gonna scroll down they’re gonna give you some
instructions um you can read that as well you’re gonna hit continue I mean
over here is actually they’re gonna give you your Facebook pixel ID okay so you
actually can copy this and then go back to Shopify and then you can paste it and
make sure there’s no other you know characters like numbers or dots or
alphabets or anything like that you hit save and then you’re good to go so now
once you’ve actually installed on your website then you’re gonna have to hit
continue and now to actually make sure that your pixel is actually working you
can install a Google Chrome extension called the Facebook pixel helper okay so
this is the actual arm you know of Chrome extension right here Facebook
pixel helper they’re really really good they have over a million users they are
trusted so once you install it you can go in the corner right here where it
says pixel helper as the extension and if it highlights you know one two or
three and you can actually see the events actually working this means
you’ve actually installed your Facebook pixel okay so that wraps up how to
install your Facebook pixel on Shopify now how do you actually season that
pixel right or so before I actually tell you how to season your pixel here are
the top questions that a lot of people ask ok you know can you optimize for
purchase at the very beginning and the answer is yes okay you can optimize for
purchase but just know that you have no type of debt okay so if you have no type
of data it’s gonna be very very hard for Facebook to go out
and you know go find those buyers okay so you know about two or three days ago
I actually made a video about how to run Facebook ads with a low budget okay this
video will actually help a lot of people out there that you know don’t have data
under a pixel or just starting out okay and what we did in that video is we
actually optimized for Add to Cart so once you optimize for at the cart which
is you know a lot closer to the funnel to where you know Facebook can actually
go out there and go get at the cars a lot easier than purchases so that’s what
you want to do you want to optimize for at the carts just cuz it’s gonna be a
lot cheaper is you’re not gonna be wasting money on ads especially when
you’re optimizing for purchase and this is the biggest biggest reason why if so
many people say you have to have a big budget because you know you don’t have
no data so you’re obviously going to be spending a lot more so that you can you
know season that data and then so but eventually Facebook will actually um go
out there and find those purchases now the second question is when do you
actually create and look-alike well I you know recommend that you can create a
look like with 50 purchases or any 50 events and one mistake that a lot of
people do is that they don’t create look-alikes for other things okay so you
don’t have to just optimize or you know create a look-alike for purchases okay
um purchases is not the only way you can get sales so you can actually create
look-alikes for you know people that have engaged with your Instagram profile
which I think it’s a it’s a game-changer because when you post on Instagram and
you have a targeted niche and you create a look-alike for that you’re gonna have
a really really strong you know data of look-alikes because those guys are tuned
into you know that specific product that you’re actually promoting and if you
post really really good content geared towards that niche you’re gonna have a
audience of data that you can promote to another ways actually creating
look-alikes for view content right you’re gonna have people that land on
your website all the time right and people that always run Instagram
shoutouts they don’t even think about running look-alikes or even retargeting
ads on their view content okay so all that data you don’t want to you know
waste it so yes you can create look-alikes with at least 50 purchases
okay so now how do you actually season your pixel well there’s actually a
couple numerous ways you can do this okay
one of my favorites is actually using the traffic campaign now this is
probably underutilized because a lot of people don’t know how to use it but
basically the traffic campaign just gets people to your website okay it doesn’t
necessarily get them to buy it doesn’t necessarily get them to like your
Instagram ad or your Facebook ad it just gets them to your destination which is
your website so if you have let’s say a viral video right you have something
that’s gonna be appealing in your niche so you would create a post like that and
then you would optimize for traffic and let’s say you have a blog post on your
website related to your niche or you just want to promote that product okay
so you would have a viral video of your product and then you would send them to
to your destination which is your website and then you’re gonna have you
know easy and cheap traffic to your website and especially if you’re you
know optimizing for United States or you know the top five countries you’re gonna
have high quality traffic okay and in turn you’re gonna be building your pixel
okay now the next way to actually um you know build your pixel is Instagram
influencers okay and a lot of people do not use this the right way I do have a
couple of videos talking about that but Instagram influencers you can you free
shoutouts pay traffic with free shoutouts you can you know actually send
the product to the influencers they will post for you for free for you know they
can post on their stories their post you know they can make story highlights for
you I’m an intern you can post their content on your page and in turn since
the Instagram influencers are posting you’re gonna have really really targeted
traffic to your website and turn to where you’re gonna actually build that
pixel okay so use Instagram influencers especially when it’s a lot cheaper than
Facebook Ads okay especially from the very beginning um another way is
retargeting ads okay so for the people out there that are running Instagram
shadows or the people out there that are running Facebook ads and not converting
on those sales make sure you run retarding ads okay those are the
cheapest um you know that’s the cheapest traffic you’re ever gonna get guys you
can get traffic for about two dollars per purchase okay you can get a traffic
for sixty four cents per purchase okay I’ve had ads that are that loke and that
is how powerful retargeting ads is because they’ve already seen your brand
they’ve already seen your Instagram page they’ve already
you know everything that had to do with your brand so why not retarget every
single customer that’s actually you know engaged with your actual business right
so that’s gonna actually build up that data and you know make sure that you
have targeted buyers especially when they keep seeing your ad over and over
and over and over again okay guys so the next way is Facebook groups okay
Facebook groups I love using facebook groups guys so many people don’t know
how to use it right okay a lot of people spam a lot of people try to promote too
hard but I did make a video on the in the past about Facebook groups I’m I
probably leave it in the link in the description where you guys can check
that out but it’s a lot easier than you think okay um you just have to build up
the community you know build trust with them you know and then eventually you
can promote your products okay and then you can give suggestions on what you
think is best for the group and hopefully you know they’ll take it into
consideration okay it’s very very easy alright the last way to actually season
your pixel is SEO traffic now this is probably gonna be the slowest way to
actually build data on your website but it’s well worth it in the long run
because now you’re gonna be optimizing your page for keywords so that you can
get searched online okay and what does that mean well if you go on Google and
you type in let’s say no products hopefully your store pops up if you’re
selling no products right and when you’re optimizing your page for these
keywords you’re gonna have to want to you know have things that are similar to
your niche right so let’s say for example no products right so what you
can do is you know have keywords like no product reviews best no products no
products of 2019 the top no products to buy online or top no products to buy
from this specific store or you can compare different brands right on your
actual page those are just ways that you can build and optimize your page for SEO
so that eventually you’re gonna have very very targeted buyers and you’re
gonna eventually have targeted pixels and I just did I just got a sell as well
but anyways yet so that’s that’s how you’re gonna actually season your pixel
guys it’s very very important to actually try to you know not make these
mistakes in the beginning and try to you know make sure
that your cost your ad cost is as low as possible because you’re going to be
spending a lot of money especially when you do not have data on your pixel okay
so follow these steps guys and I eventually I assure you guys you’re
going to be able to you know gain success you know with Facebook Ads
you’re going to be gaining success on seasoning your pixel and that process is
gonna get a lot easier okay so if you did enjoy this video guys make sure you
smash that subscribe button and hit that like button because it does give me
feedback on how the video is going and if I should drop more value bombs like
this every single day I mean it does motivate me especially when people are
liking my video especially one that there’s engagement in the comments and
there’s a community of people that are watching and and people are just
supporting each other I love that okay so make sure you comment down your
thoughts and let me know what kind of videos I should make in the future and
also if you want to actually learn more about Shopify and how to run Facebook
ads and how to build a profitable business online you can check out my
program in the link in the description world teach you a through Z how to build
a profitable business on line okay so I hope you guys enjoyed I will see you
guys on the next one peace

Connecting Our Nation and Our Military: The Community Blueprint Network

Connecting Our Nation and Our Military: The Community Blueprint Network


Colby is our Senior Advisor for veterans and military families and wounded warriors, and many of you know Colby. or have met him over the course of this past couple of months that he’s been with us. Thank you for joining us today. This is a special occasion because it’s the first in a new series of webinars that tap into your wisdom and experience as veterans or military families or programs that serve veterans and military families. We want to learn from you; and we also want to learn with you so that we can build a body of knowledge that focuses in particular on education, employment, and health for veterans and military families. We are very delighted to have with us Tricia Thompson today. Tricia’s with the Points of Light Institute; and she’ll be sharing with you, as you know, the Community Blueprint, which is their approach for identifying and addressing the needs of veterans and military families. So thank you very much for coming today. And, Tricia, may I turn it over to you? Great, thank you, Margie. Can you hear me okay? Absolutely. Great, and so good afternoon, everyone. Thanks for taking time out of your busy schedules to learn more about the Community Blueprint. The Community Blueprint is an initiative that is led and administered by the Points of Light, but it’s really rooted and exists as a result of collaboration at a national level; and the model is really rooted in replicating that collaborative spirit inside local communities across the country. So my goal today is going to be to provide you with the basic background information about the Blueprint. So we’ll talk about what it is, where it came from, where we are now, and where we’re headed, and of course, give you some information about how you can get involved and leverage these tools and resources in your local community. If you have questions, as Nicki and Margie mentioned, feel free to type those into the Chat Box. We’ll definitely make sure that we address those, and we’ll definitely have a Q&A time at the very end of our session together today. So as with all community solutions, they all begin with a problem. So we’re going to talk a little bit about the problem that existed and resulted in this solution, because the Community Blueprint was really developed to solve a few nationwide issues, the first of which is — as many of you guys I’m sure see in your circle of friends and maybe with your family and inside your own networks — is that people really are looking for a meaningful way to serve the military community. And they’re really not sure where to begin. So oftentimes, individuals or groups end up doing very high PR and really high feel-good activities, but really lower impact projects. So those things are, you know, Cards for the Troops and Backpacks for Kids, which we at Points of Light — those projects are very near and dear to our hearts, and we do those quite regularly. But we also know that there is a great need out there to engage in activities that really will help move the needle on some of these issues and things like housing and homelessness and employment, behavioral health. And so we really recognize that there are opportunities for Americans to engage in a higher level of service to create some systemic changes inside our communities. The other issue or problem that exists in the world I think today is — and I think the case can be made that this issue exists outside of the military and exists in our civilian community as well — but is really around the fact that we have lots of organizations doing really great work. But inside communities there’s still many gaps that exist in services, and there’s still often duplication in services. And I think most importantly is that folks aren’t aware of the services that actually exist inside their community. And so we really have a very broken system that’s not necessarily easy to navigate by service members, veterans, and their families. And so for those two big reasons, the Community Blueprint initiative was started as a way to really provide guidance to communities for meaningful, high impact things to do to create change, as well as really increase collaboration inside communities to create a network of services. So let me give you a little bit of history here. So the Blueprint idea started a couple years back at a retreat that happened in White Oaks, Florida. Blue Star Families brought together the folks from both the public and private sector to engage in a national conversation around how we can better work together and collaborate and really leverage resources to better serve our military community. So a couple of things came out of that conversation, and one of which was this idea around the need for a Community Blueprint, if you will, and a tool or a resource that you could hand over to community leaders who wanted to do something more. And this idea resonated with a bunch of people in the Rim. So the majority of those vets are now serving on our Advisory Council, and we’ll show you a slide here in a second that will show you who those folks were. But many folks in the room raised their hands and said, I want to work on this project; let’s work together and make this happen. And so there wasn’t a budget. It was basically volunteers at a very grass top level that continues to get on the phone monthly and talk through what this tool or resource or initiative would look like. And very quickly, the group recognized that we weren’t the smartest people in the room, and that we really needed to engage anyone and everyone that we knew to be a part of the conversation to really help shape the vision and the structure and the strategy around that. And so we convened a few times — some gatherings actually held at the Red Cross building locally here in D.C. — and brought together between 70 and 100 organizations that included organizations like the VA and DOD. The Corporation for National and Community Service, of course, has been a part of this conversation from the beginning; and organizations like National Military Family Association and Blue Star Families and Military Child Education Coalition, Red Cross. So we had who we thought were really smart in this space there to really inform the strategy. And then over time, folks who were a part of the conversation said, Let’s start making some stuff happen. So one of the folks on our Advisory Council, Barbara Van Dahlen, who heads up Give an Hour, Founder and CEO, sought some money to actually launch a couple of these pilot sites. So a pilot site started out in Hampton Roads, Virginia; another one in Fayetteville, North Carolina. And some of our other Blueprint partners decided that they would launch some sites. Military Officers Association of America has started a couple of sites — Red Cross. So over time, organizations have stepped up and said, Yeah we want to do this, and let’s launch it in a small way and learn from those communities so that we can take it to scale. We also, through the American Legion Auxiliary, approached the Corporation for National Community Service with this idea; and we said, We’d really love some support through VISTA to help build the capacity at the national level to develop new tools and resources. And thankfully, they provided us with that. So over time we had the tools, we had the resources, we had some boots on the ground; but we recognized that we really needed a home for this initiative. And so at that point, a task force was kind of convened out of that larger group to help find a home. And Points of Light was approached to become the administering agent, if you will, because we weren’t experts in the military space which actually provided us some benefit because we were a very neutral party. And I think we weren’t experts in the military space, but what we are experts in is really kind of understanding how to mobilize communities and the average American to get behind this and make this stuff happen in local communities. We also have assets that we can bring to the table as far as our large network of AmeriCorps alums and our affiliate structure across the country — so things of that nature. So for various reasons, they felt like we would be a good partner. And so as of June of last year, Points of Light has been leading this initiative and really trying to think about how we can take it to scale. So on your screen you’ll see the list of folks who are currently on our Advisory Council. And I think it speaks to the fact that this is not a Points of Light initiative. It is not a Give an Hour initiative. It is not a Red Cross initiative. This is a “we” initiative, and I think that’s what made it so successful — is that this has been a shared initiative from the very beginning. And while we are leading it and moving it forward now, we still maintain that collaborative nature and really work to encourage communities to in fact kind of replicate that and do the same locally. So what is the Community Blueprint Network? Where did we in fact land? Well, the Network is really about bringing together our community leaders, individuals, government, non-profit, all together to really create an integrated solution locally to help address some of the challenges facing the military community. So it’s really all about collaboration, innovation. It’s about driving kind of towards sharing effective practices with each other, learning from each other, lifting those up, replicating those, scaling those. And really at its root is a framework — a way to think about this work and really meaningful how to guides. So really it’s a roadmap; it’s a roadmap for communities to help address some of these issues. And we’ve bucketed this work into eight issue areas; and so you’ll see those on your screen — behavioral health, education, employment, family strength, financial legal services, housing, reintegration, and volunteering. And so within each of those eight buckets, we have promising practices which basically provide you with meaningful things to do. So, Nicki, if you can go to the next slide, we’ll get some examples of those promising practices. So for instance, under behavioral health, one of our promising practices is provider training. So we know that there’s lots of mental health providers out there, but oftentimes they’re not necessarily aware of the specific challenges facing our veterans. And so oftentimes it’s really about finding an expert in that space and engaging them to train others, or leveraging training that’s already out there to go around and help kind of educate providers in the area — same thing for career counselor training. We know that there is a huge asset and resource within higher education; but oftentimes they’re not necessarily well versed in the challenges that our vets are facing and the military spouses are facing. And so really it’s just a matter of providing them with the tools and the guidance so that they are more aware and can be of better benefit to the military community. Next slide. Here’s just a few more examples. So within family strength, you know, child care, employment, job fairs. And so really the promising practices provide ideas for meaningful things to do, but also provide a how to guide or a roadmap for actually how to do that locally, along with some ideas for success measures. So for instance, if you’re going to put on a job fair for veterans in your local community, you might want to make sure that you’re focusing on getting veterans and military spouses jobs. And so that should be your metrics for success. And so we provide guidance and tools for that as well. Next slide. So overall, we started with a problem; and I’ll stop here and say that we really do think that the Community Blueprint is a solution to many of those problems. We have been very transparent from the beginning. This model is not perfect; the tools are not perfect; none of this is perfect. But we have said from the very beginning as a collective group that we want whatever knowledge and resources and tools that we have to be put out there and given to the public and also provide a feedback loop so that we can learn how to make it better. But we do feel that what we have created together, collectively, does create community connections. It helps raise awareness locally and ensures shared leadership, which I think once again has contributed to the success of this model and of the initiative. It really helps move communities to action, so we encourage communities to pick a practice and move it forward. Get an easy win. And it really drives communities towards actions, helps avoid dislocation, and builds on existing community assets. And I think this one is my most favorite — is that it really works to engage the military community as the asset that they are and reserves a space for them at the table. And I think that oftentimes the message that we are getting in the public is really around veterans and military families as charity cases, and they’re not. They are huge civic assets inside communities and need to be a part of this conversation. And so I think that one of the values that we embrace as a collective — and hope that you do the same — is that these folks need to be at the table and helping to shape what meaningful response looks like inside their community. So we do believe that making sure that there’s opportunities for civilians and military to serve alongside each other, that that is of great importance to us. So this is a slide that I think just shows kind of managed chaos. And I think often — the first time I shared this slide with somebody, they were like, Holy cow, what is this? But I think generally the notion here is that we are complex individuals, and that complexity transcends inside our community. So this whole kind of model is really about bringing all of these pieces together so that they work as part of a larger network. So we know that inside communities we have volunteers. And we have the faith based community, and we have donors and people who want to fund initiatives, and we have organizations who are doing great work. So it’s really about kind of providing a framework and a platform for all of these things to come together to really better serve the military community, and we see that happening in these eight areas. The reason why you see volunteers in bolded here is because we feel like that is the way we are going to achieve all of the other work, because our communities are not getting infused with resources. We are very resource strapped, and so we know that we need to leverage volunteers as a platform in order to help move the needle on some of these larger issues. So there’s a few ways that communities can get involved. We understand that communities are kind of coming to this work from various perspectives. So we have a couple of our communities who are doing kind of our deep community engagement models, which is what is happening in Hampton Roads and Fayetteville. And that’s really been where you start from a place of not necessarily knowing the issues that exist, right? So you’re saying, Let’s really bring all the stakeholders together, have the conversation about what is happening in the space of employment, and how is that helping to meet the needs of veterans and military spouses? What is happening in the space of education? And so really just having that kind of broader conversation about who’s already working in this space, where are their gaps, where are their assets that can be leveraged, and creating a plan of action to in fact meet the needs, leveraging the assets, and working collectively as a group to help address those issues. So that’s the kind of deep engagement approach. The second is really, Pick a practice and do it. So if you want to hold a job fair, then here’s the help you’ve got; and by all means work with folks in your community who are engaged in the employment space and make it happen. So that’s a very easy — we know that not every community can do the deep-rooted engagement model; but at least they could pull this training off the web and go talk to their local schools about the need to be aware of the military children that exist in their school system. So there’s kind of a “grab and go” version, if you will, of this; or there can be a community that says, Well, we just want to tackle employment this year. And so they’re simply on employment, and so it’s somewhat modular in this instance. They can kind of pull tools and implement those. Then we have the hybrid approach, right? So communities who are doing that deep-rooted engagement, but also we want to get an easy lens, which is what Give an Hour did. And their community says, Yeah, they’re engaging the stakeholders. They’re having the conversation about what their community is already doing and where there are gaps, and that kind of stuff; but they also recognize that it’s really good to work together on a project and really build relationships and really gain momentum. And so they are implementing one, if not more, of the promising practices that first year. And then of course we feel that there are — once you start actually implementing the promising practices and/or convening your community, there will be volunteer opportunities and volunteer projects that come from that. So theoretically, this kind of structure will help seed the volunteer opportunity pipeline, if you will. So ideally, individuals will be able to go online and find a project that would connect with this local effort moving forward. Next slide. So where are we now? We are at a place where we have promising practices online. We have many more that will become available moving forward. We’ve launched this effort in 14 communities, and that looks very different in every community. Like I said, some communities are doing the very deep-rooted engagement approach, some communities are simply focused on one of the issue areas, and some are simply taking — I’m just going to do a job fair this year. And so it ranges as far as what people are doing, but we are working right now. We’ve maintained strong partnership with the White House Joining Forces initiative; the Corporation for National and Community Service, obviously; and we’re working on kind of our adoption strategy and thinking about how we get these tools and resources out there in front of people and get people mobilized around them. We’re thinking about people like the U.S. Chamber; they’re going to be in 400 communities for their Hiring Our Heroes program. And one of the things that they say is that employers are looking at them and saying, Hey, what else can we do? And community leaders are looking at them and saying, Hey, what else can we do? And so we’re going to be working with them on handing out the Blueprint in those communities so that they will have ideas for things that they can do when the Chamber leaves. So those are the types of things that we’re kind of thinking about doing. We’re working on having those conversations at a national level. And then obviously, we are working on securing funding because obviously we know that funding helps things move faster. So of course our goal is to help fund some of these efforts in local communities and provide a support structure around this. So not only do we have tools and resources, we have communities and experts that are doing this, but we are kind of creating a space for community leaders to get on the phone call once a month and chat about their challenges and their successes and points of why they’re taking ownership of documenting all of those and then feeding it back out to the sectors. So we’ll be doing that through obviously our website and our channels; but most importantly, leveraging things like the Knowledge Network that Margie will speak about — and hopefully you guys are all already aware of through the Corporation for National Community Services — so leveraging tools like that to really kind of push that out, the information and the things that we’re learning inside communities. Next slide. So where are we? These are the communities where there is some sort of Blueprint activity already existing. And once again I’ll say that some communities have moved full force ahead and have had tons of great success; others are just getting started. But the stars means that that is where we have a National Service Member represented, and we are hoping to leverage the Corporation for National Community Service moving forward so that we can have more stars on this chart and more communities on this chart. But the idea here is that we have some communities where we are providing some sort of resource to them so that they in fact can do this work. But some of these communities have approached Point of Light and said, Hey, your model sounds exactly like what we’re trying to do here in San Diego, for instance — or here in Dallas, for instance. And so they’ve connected with us and are just becoming part of this larger conversation and larger initiative. Just because I think that the problem that we’re seeing in the country is that lots of organizations are doing great work; but once again, it’s all over the place. And so I think that there’s a yearning for all of us to pick something and work together on it. And so I think that’s why we’re getting calls from folks to say, Hey, we want to be a part of it — only because it is an opportunity for them to connect in some way, shape, or form and have us tell our story together as part of the narrative of how communities and how organizations are responding and what we’re doing in service with veteran service members and their families. So, where are we going? Our long-term goals — by the end of 2014, we want to benefit 200 communities; and you’ll see that we want to engage over 20,000 veterans as mentors and volunteer leaders inside their communities and engaging over 500,000 volunteers. So those are our long-term goals. Our shorter-term goal is that we are going to be officially launching the Community Blueprint Network. We have the National Conference on Volunteering and Service coming up in June in Chicago; and we have a Community Blueprint Summit, which is a preconference event. And we’ve got some great speakers lined up for that, and it’s really going to be kind of a deep dive for leaders who are in fact wanting to think about how they do this inside their community — how they get started. That will be a place for them to do that. You can learn more about that summit at the National Conference on Volunteering and Service website; so if you just Google that, there’s more information there. We are going to continue to work with the Corporation as our national partner and think about how we can increase our capacity for doing this work. And then, of course, we’re hiring a veteran to lead this work moving forward. I’ve been a poser. I’ve been doing this since June, and I’m a military brat so this work really resonates with me; but I haven’t been there and done that. And so we really feel like we need to have a veteran to lead this work moving forward. So hopefully we will have someone onboard in the next couple of weeks. Next slide. So I’m going to stop there and see if we have some questions; I saw a few pop up in the Chat Box. So I’m going to try to get these myself; and, Nicki, if I miss one, just please chime in. So one question is, Can other national veteran agencies be added to the list? The answer to that is, Yes, definitely. This has always been a very big tent, larger initiative that we want everyone to join. I will in all transparency say that I’m starting to think about what that looks like. So we’ve been small enough where we’ve had an Advisory Council, which their role was really to provide guidance into the strategy and moving forward and really help Points of Light think about this work. And so I’m also seeing this opportunity to have a larger coalition — so not only have the Advisory Council who has a role of meeting with us monthly and providing guidance, but also creating this structure for this larger coalition of organizations to come together. So it’s something definitely that we’re thinking about; but, yes, if you’re interested, Anita, I’d love for you to type in the Chat Box; or I’ll give you my contact information in a minute and we can chat offline about that. And information about this slide — so if you didn’t receive the slides prior to this webinar, Nicki will definitely send out a follow up to everyone with this attachment; and it will also be posted on the website www.communityblueprintnetwork.org. And then Anita has a question about, How does this model connect with the CADCA Strategic Prevention Framework? So I’m going to need to — is there any way that we can unmute Anita’s line so that she can tell me a little bit more about the CADCA Strategic Prevention? Absolutely — actually, Anita’s name is not associated with her call in. I think you might have just hit #, Anita; would you be willing to type that into the Chat? Sorry about that. And maybe while we give Anita a couple minutes to do that, Tricia, there was another question that came privately to me from Renee that I’ll go on and read to you. Have you thought about working in collaboration with the National Guard, who is in communities throughout the country and is often involved with local community resources? National Guard Family Assistance Centers are located throughout the country — over 350 locations at this time. Also, many states run Inner City Family Assistance Committees that bring these organizations together. And I know you already talked about being more inclusive, but I don’t know if you want to talk about the National Guard in particular. Yes, I’m so grateful that that question came up because I actually saw Quentin Collins’ name in the Participant List. And so we are happy to say that we are in very close communication with the National Guard Bureau. They have some really exciting stuff coming out and transitioning what was formerly known as the ISFAC into what is going to be rebranded as Joining Community Forces Group. And so they have some really great goals moving ahead and thinking about how they can in fact do Blueprint work. I mean the ISFAC model is the Community Blueprint; I mean, it’s a similar structure. So I’ve been in close contact with Quentin in helping them and getting them to help us to think about how we can fuse these two initiatives together. So where there is an ISFAC for instance, then we will provide them with the Blueprint tools so that they can leverage those if they want. And if they are an ISFAC and they want to belong to the Community Blueprint Network — the bigger network — then we would love that as well. So I think there’s more to be discussed; but I want you to hear that, yes, those conversations are happening. And they have wonderful leadership over there at the National Guard Bureau, and so we’re excited to see what that partnership looks like moving forward. And there’s a place for the Corporation for National Community Service in there as well. So we’re all three having the conversation about what that partnership looks like. Thanks, Tricia. So Anita did send some more information. The CADCA is hosting VetCorps, and is a primary training arm for the drug free communities and is encouraging VetCorps sites to use their strategic prevention framework that includes assessment, planning, evaluation, and implementation protocols. And also I’ll add that another participant offered to speak to this issue too; so if you need more information, I’ll go on and unmute him or you can address what Anita added. Great. Now, I just wanted to confirm that that was the initiative that came from the Corporation for National Community Service in conjunction with — so I get where you are now. So I am still learning about what the goals are for VetCorps; but I do believe that there is strong potential there for collaboration and really better understanding what their goals are and what they’re footprint is going to be — and how many communities will there be VetCorps members and what specifically are their goals. And so I need to get smarter about that; so if you have more information about that, Anita, I would love to get that from you so that I can become smarter and connect with them to make sure that they’re aware of the Blueprint and see what we can do together. Thanks, Tricia. So a couple other questions just to help you track them here. We had a question from Cynthia about your mention of education. And she is wondering if there are specific communities are involved in the Network that are focused on school-aged children and drilling down even more on Special Education. Yes, so our partners right now when it comes to education — K through 12 — are Mary Keller over at the Military Child Education Coalition; and then of course, we have National Military Family Association and Blue Star Families, as well as America’s Promise Alliance. So those are our core partners right now when it comes to K through 12, but we definitely recognize that there is more to be done. And so I’m not sure if that helps or if you have suggestions for other folks that we need to have conversations with, but I would love to hear that. Thank you. Another question that popped up is Christina wondering whether you will be placing AmeriCorps members, I guess, at U.S. Chamber’s Hiring our Heroes program. I am not aware of that. One of the things that we’ve been talking with the Chamber about is that whenever they travel to communities, they’ve recognized in the beginning that not everybody was necessarily showing up well-equipped for the hiring fair. And so they needed things like child care; they needed things like a resume writing workshop before the hiring fair; mock interviews before the hiring fair — things of that nature. So those are like prime volunteer opportunities, that I think all of us can think about how we can provide those opportunities locally. So we’ve been thinking about leveraging AmeriCorps members inside organizations across the country to do the kind of job readiness type of stuff prior to the hiring fair coming; but I don’t think that we’ve thought about putting them inside the Chamber necessarily — but in definite partnership with the Chamber. Great, thank you. I don’t see any other questions coming through right now. We’ll give folks a little bit more time to type, and I might — we had a couple people offer to say a little bit more about that CADCA Prevention framework. So since we’ve got some time, I might go ahead and unmute Jeremy Foreman, who offered, and see if we can hear a little bit more about that while we give folks time to ask some more questions. So, Jeremy, I hope I’m not putting you on the spot. No, that’s fine; I’m actually sitting in front of it. CADCA is the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America, so it’s an alliance of prevention-based organizations. The Strategic Prevention Framework is an initiative that came through the Department of Health and Human Services; and so the CDC actually uses it a lot towards prevention efforts to help prevent, delay, or reduce disability from chronic disease and illness specifically related to substance abuse and mental health. But it’s something that can be applied to any area of community problem solving. So you’ll see it used in health, in education, in workplace productivity, community engagement — that kind of stuff. As the other caller mentioned, there are five primary areas that the Strategic Prevention Framework focuses on — and so there’s assessment, capacity building, strategic planning, implementation, and evaluation. And then there are overlapping functions of building program sustainability and cultural confidence. And so it’s a great framework for how your community can engage in addressing the issues that it sees — and particularly with veterans’ issues, the mental health side of things and substance abuse, there’s some direct resources that are available through CADCA. Their website is www.cadca.org, and I’ll go ahead and put it in the Chat — the specific link directly to the Strategic Prevention Framework information. They’ve got lots of primers, and they’ve got some research and evaluation briefs and some toolkits that are available. They’re tested and tried, and your state might actually have a Strategic Prevention Framework State Incentive Grant. I think there are about 35 states that have had those. So there’s local resources in pretty much every community across the country that you can tap into if you’d like to use this particular model as your structure for accomplishing the work that your coalition or your local Community Blueprint might take on. Thanks so much, Jeremy, for jumping in; that was really helpful. And thank you also for posting the website. I’m going to go on and put you back on mute. We do have another question, Tricia, that popped in through the Q&A feature. From the list of the 55 organizations involved with Community Blueprint, this particular participant did not see the Military Order of the Purple Heart and is wondering if anyone has reached out to that organization for assistance and input. That’s a great question, and I do not have the list of organizations who have been involved since it’s inception in front of me; but that’s definitely something that I can research. But I think — maybe I’m assuming — but I think the intention for that question was really kind of encouraging us to reach out to them and making sure that they have a seat at the table. So I hear you, and I will definitely take that back and make that happen. Thanks, Tricia. Another question that came in while we were hearing from Jeremy — Regarding K through 12 organizations, what are some of the initiatives they’re engaged in? I know you talked about that a little bit. How can other organizations who are school focused assist? So this might have crossed timeframes with your earlier answer, but if there’s anything else you want to add about K through 12 involvement. Yes, one of the things that we’re thinking about inside Points of Light is the use of service and how that can be a tool with kids — military kids primarily. And I’m a military brat; I can attest to this. Transitioning from school to school was super difficult for me I know growing up. It’s hard to establish your roots, hard to engage in leadership skills because oftentimes, you know, you’re new to a community so you really don’t get the opportunity to run for Student Council. So we’ve been thinking about how to leverage service as a tool to really provide military kids with the opportunity to create groups through service inside their communities, create connections with other kids — that type of thing. And so if you have a pen and can jot this down — and maybe, Nicki, if you can put this into the Chat Box — if you go to our Generation On website, so it’s www.generationon.org, we have a boatload of tools and resources available for educators, for parents, and for community leaders who in fact want to leverage service as a strategy to help military kids — and civilian kids for that matter. So one of our models is through the Kids Care Club, so it’s establishing a club where kids identify service opportunities and projects that they engage in and they kind of serve alongside civilian kids. So it’s not the answer to your question; it’s one approach that I can say that we have some tools and resources for that I would encourage you to explore. But I think that there’s a lot more work to be done. And once again, this initiative is super new. We have some ideas for strategies around how to bridge some of the gaps and meet some of the needs for these kids, so we have in no way exhausted the list. And so we’re definitely going to be working with our national partners to help develop and create additional tools to guide communities. Great, thank you for that. I did post the www.generationon.org website, and I also shared a message from Quentin Collins about the Joint Community Forces initiative and what the National Guard is doing that went to all panelists. And, Quentin, I’m going to go ahead and unmute you and give you an opportunity if you want to jump in and add anything to that. So again, I hope I’m not putting you on the spot; but you are unmuted now. Well, thank you very much, Nicki; and I’m happy that I was able to join in on this. I notice you’ve got several people on here that I’ve crossed paths with in various areas. National Guard Bureau was part of the initiative program through the former Chairman’s Office on Strategic Communications to Families. And one of the things that was highlighted was what we used to refer to as the Inter-Service Family Assistance Committees or ISFACs. Realizing that ISFAC sounded very militaristic and was more like a top down, we talked with our State Family Program Directors Executive Council; and working with them, they agreed and they actually came up with the name Joining Community Forces, which is more apropos, grassroots community level activity from each community — be it a geographic location or a community of likeminded people — working together to create less confusion and more cohesion when it comes to collaborative messages and communication and remove a lot of duplicity. And working with our Office of Secretary of Defense Military Communities Family Policies — I think there’s two of them on this call as well — and we’ve been able to — this is not a program, this is just nothing more than a communications protocol working with Community Blueprint and looking forward to where we’re going ahead, because we are in the communities already. Thank you so much for jumping in. I also wanted to take an opportunity to acknowledge another comment that came in a couple times from Stefanie about our poll in the beginning. We did ask about veterans and military spouses, but not about military parents. So that’s a great point, Stefanie; and we’re going to add that next time we do a poll of this nature. So I just wanted to acknowledge your suggestion and welcome any military parents who are joining us. So I don’t see any more questions for you, Tricia, right now; and I know Margie wanted to spend a few minutes closing out the call with some announcements about some other resources that are available. So, Margie, I’m going to go on and invite you to do that. Great, thank you so much, Nicki; and thank you, Tricia, for your wonderful description of the Network. It’s really an interesting, happy problem we have — all of these resources out there at local, state, and county and national levels. And the coordination and collaboration that the Blueprint evidences is quite a wonderful example of a problem that’s being solved locally. And thank you too for those people who posted their questions and shared some of their resources on the Chat. And I’m particularly happy about that because we’re looking for other examples of roadmaps or models or tools or programs that have been successful at engaging veterans and military families particularly around increasing employment, housing, wellness, and opportunities and access for education. So if you are interested in either participating in a webinar with others or doing your own webinar, please e-mail me at [email protected] — and I put my e-mail address into the Chat Box. And I’d also like to ask you to consider joining the Veterans and Military Families Knowledge Network if you haven’t already done so. And if you’ve joined it and are kind of a lurker and haven’t kind of gotten yourself in there to put some comments in, we’re setting up a new forum that’s general. It doesn’t have a specific topic, so you can just throw in your thoughts and ideas there and start some conversations going about the things that are of interest to you and the needs that you have. And the person to contact for that is Laura Norvig, who is at the National Service Resource Center at ETR Associates; and Laura has put her contact information in the Chat Box as well. Again, if you have any challenges, you’ve got addresses in here; and we’ll make sure they come to you with the answers to some of these questions in a follow-up e-mail. But we really want you to know that we’re delighted to have you in this Network. This is what it’s all about — the sharing among practitioners; and we look forward to seeing you and hearing you on May 30th, when we’ll be featuring the American Legion Auxiliary Bob Reeg and also Theresa Long, who is a Corporation for National and Community Service State Office Director. They’re going to be talking about veteran service organizations and the ins and outs of what they are, how to access them, and the services and opportunities afforded in those kinds of connections. So I’d like to just say thank you again for participating, and we look forward to seeing you next month. Take care, everyone. Thanks, Margie; and thank you, Tricia; and thanks, everyone, for joining us.
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Thank you.