Empowering the Next Generation

Women are not making it to the top of any profession anywhere in the world Sheryl Sandberg

  • 190 heads of state / 9 are women
  • Of C-level jobs only 15% are women. Numbers haven’t changed since 2002 and it’s decreasing

It’s clear there’s a problem.

So two years ago, three very dear friends of mine formed a social enterprise company called Girls to the Moon, in hopes of hosting events and workshops to help young girls be their best selves, impact their communities, and create a more inclusive culture.

L-R: Courtenay Rogers, Knight Stivender, Courtney Seiter

This year, we held our second annual “campference” in Nashville, for girls ages 10–14 with sessions covering all sorts of topics from puberty to positive body image to exploring black holes with an astrophysicist.

And it was packed. It was sold out and had a long waiting list. We can’t be more proud of the girls who attended and participated.

Just a tiny snag… planning was a huge burden given the demand. One of those “good problems to have” 🙂

With one of the co-founders running for office this year, I was asked to step in and help out as we planned the 2nd annual campference event. Last year, planning was done using different variations of Google Docs, but things were getting lost in the shuffle. And with four people now involved, context on communication with sponsors, speakers, and volunteers was paramount.

Enter Highrise.

Girls to the Moon all happens in our spare time. We all have full time jobs, so the amount of time we are able to spend on the campference and other events needs to be as focused, yet as asynchronous as possible.

When managing an event there are a lot of moving parts. 56 different people were involved in planning the campference.

What Highrise tools did we use to stay on top of that?

Tasks

The four of us were all responsible for different things. Courtney handled speakers and social marketing. Knight took care of our sponsors and other marketing tasks. Courtenay helped connect the dots with her context and connections, plus dealt with logistical things she had institutional knowledge on. I handled volunteers and venue logistics.

As you can see, a lot of moving parts.

An entire marketing and logistical plan was written out, then broken down into Highrise tasks. Every Sunday, we would get together to go through the previous week’s tasks, and assign new ones for the week to come. All tasks were marked “let everyone see this task” so we all had continual context, and could even follow up with each other.

Tasks in Highrise

People Contacts

What’s the best email address to use to reach Dr. Rager, who’s teaching our puberty session? What is our volunteer coordinator Lizzie’s Twitter handle? What session is Renee Burwell hosting?

Names, email addresses, physical addresses, social media information, and any custom data we needed to keep is stored in our contacts. We can also leave notes about people, keep files (like presentations!), and create fields for information specific to us, such as the name of the session someone was leading.

And contacts don’t even need to pertain to this year either. If someone expressed interest in speaking or volunteering but wasn’t able to join us for this particular event, they were added anyway and we used tags to identify them.

We have different volunteer tags in our Highrise account, one for volunteer, and one for 2016volunteer. Those marked volunteer we can go back to for future events and ask about their availability, we didn’t have to completely disregard them in a spreadsheet or other document because they weren’t available this time.

Dropbox Address

There is nothing worse than more than one person working with someone and not having context on the relationship. For example, Courtney was our main point of contact for speakers. She would then hand them off to me to talk logistics on the day, such as whether or not they had a slide deck to project during their session.

By forwarding all important email responses to Highrise via our own dropbox addresses, everyone could see the conversation history with each speaker, sponsor, and volunteer.

An email in Highrise from Lizzie Keiper, our Volunteer Coordinator

Deals

Sponsorships make events happen, and Deals were the perfect tool to keep track of them all. With Deals, each sponsorship opportunity could be marked as accepted (won), declined (lost), or pending, plus a value amount added to them.

Anything we needed to keep regarding that sponsorship could be kept there, like the contract we would send if they signed on for the event.

Broadcast

In Highrise, we had three segments of people we needed to communicate with: speakers, sponsors, and volunteers. They were tagged with their respective segments, and we could communicate with each group in bulk, instead of spending our time emailing each person individually.

This was especially helpful when seeking out volunteers. We had already started keeping contacts in Highrise who had expressed an interest in volunteering at the event, so when the time came to formally ask, we just had to send one easy email to all.

Cases

Any random files and notes we needed to keep about the event that weren’t associated with a specific person were kept in a Case. This meant that we actually had several places where information could live.

I specifically liked having all of our sponsor logos directly in the case, instead of digging through Google Drive to find them, they were right there. We also used the campference case to collect things like links and color specifics about the t-shirts we ordered.

Did We Need Other Tools?

The only outside tools we used were Slack to chat with each other, and the occasional Google Docs spreadsheet for things such as finances and time slot organization. Those spreadsheets could actually be linked directly to the Case we had set up for the campference, so all of our information was technically in the same place.

We also used Trello to “whiteboard” the sessions for the day. But 90% of the event was completely run in Highrise.

Having full context on all of those people who helped us make the event so special, plus specific spaces to accomplish major tasks meant we could all work in our own time yet still stay totally on top of the entire event. ‘

This year’s event sold out and got rave reviews:

Great day! Thanks for allowing DaysForGirls to be part of it. The girls put together 85 personal hygiene kits for distribution all over the world! — Cas Wucher

Looks like another success!! Look at all those inspired young women! …can’t wait till my girl is old enough to attend! Bravo to the GTTM Team for spreading such awesome waves of empowerment & leadership to the next generations — Meagan Norman Fowler

Looking forward to doing it all again with Highrise next year.

P.S. If you want to know more about Girls to the Moon and future events or opportunities, please signup for our newsletter here.

Basecamp running on a laptop

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