by Lisa Colton
Jewish organizations, big and small, are prioritizing digital communications and embracing new models of leadership and organizational development. While this may seem like an obvious statement to some, for those of us who have been banging the digital drum for some time, it truly feels like we’ve finally reached a critical tipping point. The question no longer is “should we?”, it’s “how do we?”
The hunger for training, coaching, models to emulate, and savvy staff to power the work has skyrocketed.
This is a thrill for all of us at Darim Online where, for over a dozen years, we have been advancing Jewish organizations’ use of current technologies in ways that help to achieve their missions and open Jewish communal life to be more accessible, appealing and compelling. What started as a selfish pursuit to support my own Jewish life while living in Vermont as a 20-something just back from Israel, became a personal and professional passion, a rapidly growing business, and a widely recognized lever for institutional and communal advancement. The needs of the Jewish community are continually evolving and diversifying. I have often said that every 18-24 months it’s like I have a new job: From websites and email, to Facebook and Twitter, and most recently expanding into network weaving and Connected Congregations.
For the past few years I have worked quite intentionally to expand the talent that can support this work in our community. Rather than growing the Darim Online staff, I have sought to bring the best of the best into the Jewish community.
Rather than creating our own conference, with support from The Schusterman Family Foundation and The Jim Joseph Foundation, we have brought Jewish leaders to the Nonprofit Technology Network Conference. Rather than build a team of staff consultants, we’ve engaged Big Duck to provide their top-notch services in the Jewish Day School Social Media Academy. And rather than develop the Social Media Policy Workbook on our own, we partnered with Idealware to create a rich product that is also a resource for the general nonprofit community.
And even after all of that, we’ve reach our capacity. The Jewish community increasingly understands how critical it is to become smart users of digital media and are seeking assistance to achieve this. Darim alone is unable to fully serve all those that need our help. To fulfill our mission of helping Jewish organizations thrive in the digital age, we need to expand our capacity and increase our expertise in core areas including video, campaign strategy, online distribution and SEO and others.
We are thrilled to announce that Darim Online is merging with See3 Communications, a Chicago-based agency helping nonprofit organizations succeed online. See3 completely aligns with our mission, culture, and commitment to the Jewish community. I have followed and admired See3’s work for many years, and worked closely with their founders, Michael Hoffman and Danny Alpert, and am thrilled to be joining their amazing and talented team. See3 has the infrastructure and expertise that enables us to expand our work in the Jewish community, increase the depth and breadth of professional development and offer a suite of implementation services to organizations that are ready to take action on dynamic online efforts.
See3 is an interactive communications agency that works exclusively with nonprofits, foundations, associations, and social causes, and specializes in online strategies and campaigns, video production, and web development. See3 already has a special focus in the Jewish community, working with The Foundation For Jewish Camp, The AVI CHAI Foundation, American Jewish World Service and others. See3 is currently producing the Jewish Day School Video Academy, in partnership with The AVI CHAI Foundation, now in its third iteration, and has raised the level of capacity of day schools to produce videos for recruitment and fundraising.
In addition to augmenting Darim’s work with expertise in many new technical areas, See3 also brings a wealth of experience working with large, national and international organizations, which we believe will be an asset to the organized Jewish world. Some of these See3 clients include the American Heart Association, American Cancer Society, Sierra Club, Environmental Defense Fund, UNICEF and many others.
As our integration is completed, you can continue to rely on the Darim brand, including our website, Facebook page and groups, and Twitter channel to provide the best and most relevant content and discussions for the Jewish community.
As we enter 5773 next week, I am excited to share this new beginning, and open a new chapter of collaboration, creativity and excellence with so many of you. May all of us working to support the Jewish community and its institutions go from strength to strength. L’shana tova!