If you’ve followed this blog for the last 19 years, or the last 19 minutes, you may have noticed that a large part of what I do is about using social media for social good. A person who showed me that not only is it possible to use your online voice for a cause, but you can also really make an impact that way, is Darren Barefoot.
Since I began blogging almost two decades ago, I have used this medium to raise awareness and funds for local, national, and global causes. Aside from Events, my Non-Profit tag is the most populated.
Darren’s was one of the very first local blogs I followed back in 2003. His talks at the Northern Voice conference always showed me that I can be who I am and do what I love – for my job. That an online community takes root in-person through honest and open dialogue. That there’s power in storytelling, and being authentically me and showing people what I care about can have a ripple effect. That you can still do great work from your laptop halfway around the world.
Darren and Julie, his partner in life and in business at Capulet Communications, engaged me for several campaigns over the years for causes both local and global. Some of my longstanding partnerships stemmed from Capulet campaigns – from Covenant House to Canuck Place. Capulet was also one of the very first companies doing influencer engagement. In fact it was such a new concept in 2007 that the pitch they used to engage with John and me ended up in a Wall Street Journal article.
Darren Barefoot passed away earlier this year following complications from metastatic cancer.
I, along with many others, lost a mentor and the world lost his shining example.
But even now, he’s given me a reason to share a small story while also helping to make an impact by sharing the news that his work will continue through the Darren Barefoot Legacy Fund.
Darren Barefoot Legacy Fund
The Darren Barefoot Legacy Fund is committed to supporting the next generation of marketing and communication professionals dedicated to climate action.
“Darren Barefoot was a mentor to many and a dedicated changemaker who understood the power of storytelling to create change. Darren drove climate change action and impact through his work with the United Nations Climate Change Secretariat and Capulet Communications where he worked with organizations like Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society and Ecojustice.
The Darren Barefoot Legacy fund was created to build the skills and capabilities of storytellers who work for climate action or as Darren would say, “on the side of angels.” The fund will continue Darren’s passion for capacity building in perpetuity.“
Every year, money from the Fund will be donated to an emerging leader in a climate action nonprofit to build their communications capacity through eligible activities such as attending a professional skills-building conference, participating in a communications course or investing in communications coaching.
The fund is set up as a registered charity for Canadian and US donors through the Vancouver Foundation. There’s an FAQ and more info available online here.
Related: Darren Barefoot is Living One Year, Canadian