Social Good Six Interview 40- Beth Kanter

Social Good Six Interview 40- Beth Kanter


Beth Kanter is an internationally recognized thought leader in networks, social media, and data.  Beth has over 35 years working in the nonprofit sector in capacity building and has facilitated trainings for nonprofits on every continent in the world (except Antarctica).  She is an in-demand keynote speaker and workshop facilitator.  Named one of the most influential women in technology by Fast Company and one of the BusinessWeek’s “Voices of Innovation for Social Media,” Beth was Visiting Scholar at the David and Lucile Packard Foundation 2009-2013.  Her past and current clients include Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Gates Foundation, Brainerd Foundation, Knight Foundation, Knight Digital Media Center, Edutopia,  HHS, and others.   She is the author of the award winning Networked Nonprofit Books published by J.Wiley and is currently working her next book, The Happy Healthy Nonprofit:  Impact with Burnout. 



1- In no more than three sentences, please explain what you do 


I am a trainer — I develop curriculum and deliver training on leadership development, networks, effective meetings, social media strategy, and using brand ambassadors on social media: I take the approach that there is a lot of existing knowledge in the room and love to facilitate conversations where people learn from their peers.  There is more about my work in training and capacity building here.  I am also an author, having written two books called “The Networked Nonprofit” and “Measuring the Network Nonprofit”;  my 3rd book, The Happy Healthy Nonprofit: Strategies for Impact without Burnout will publish in October-  Info here.



2- Who inspires you? 


Everyday I walk 15,000 steps or about 7 miles. I walk throughout the day and take walking breaks.   Walking, either alone or with others, gives me a change to think and come up with new ideas.   When walking with others, it is great for getting to know work colleagues.  I have found that regular walking keeps me in good shape, but also keeps me inspired with new ideas and sense of accomplishment.



3- What is the biggest change you want to see in the world? 


Working for nonprofit can be a pressure cooker because of the limited resources. It forces a lot of people to ignore their health and overwork themselves.  This does not lead to good results for the organization or the staff.  I’d like to see more people who work for nonprofits practice self-care as part an organizational strategy and those efforts toward self-care should be supported by the organization.   If people in our sector took care of themselves – and were “happy and healthy” as I advocate in my book, then nonprofits would be able to sustain high performance and get better results – and begin to tackle those wicked problems in the world.



4- What would you like to be remembered for?


For being one of the first nonprofit bloggers and encouraging nonprofits to embrace the power of networks.



5- What is the most interesting new idea you’ve come across in the past year? 


I’ve encountered so many interesting ideas while researching my book, the Happy Healthy Nonprofit related to how to bring wellbeing and wellness into the workplace. What I love is how organizations are using walking meetings and standing desks to encourage movement as part of the work. Here’s a case study about one organization that uses standing desks and walking meetings effectively.

In terms of technology,  I’ve been having fun playing with SnapChat, even though I don’t totally understand it …



6- Finally, how can people engage with your work if they’d like to learn more/help?


Sign up for my blog at

I share content regularly on my FB Page

And I love to engage with people on Twitter as @kanter



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