American Red Cross Teams with YBI’s DittoTalk

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — The American Red Cross of the Mahoning Valley is joining with a Youngstown Business Incubator portfolio company, DittoTalk, for a pilot program that agency officials believe will transform the way nonprofits raise money. The “Be A Hero” campaign will take place March 20 -22.

Using the DittoTalk software, which is marketed as “what webinars want to be when they grow up,” the Red Cross is asking for volunteers to each make five short web presentations to their friends and family. The goal is to educate people about the work Red Cross does in the local community and encourage them to help by donating just $10 and one hour of their time.

The Web campaign will take place March 20-22, the Red Cross says.

While people might know what the Red Cross does during disasters, they are often unaware of the activities staff and volunteers are engaged in locally, says Karen Conklin, executive director of American Red Cross of the Mahoning Valley. Those activities include assisting the military and teaching safety courses. Nationally, the Red Cross responds to a house fire every eight minutes, she adds.

“When I met the DittoTalk team, who has successfully used their software in the for-profit sector, I immediately saw that using it in the non-profit world could be an absolute game changer for getting our message out,” Conklin says.

DittoTalk was founded by Mike Helm, who moved to the Youngstown area in 2013 so he could base the company’s operations in the YBI. The company was profiled by The Business Journal in July 2014 (READ STORY).

“Our software enables anyone to immediately do a perfect presentation, because they just read a script on their computer screen while talking to the observer on the phone, ” Helm says. “The observer’s screen comes to life with animations, graphics, video — and it’s interactive. The observer makes choices on their screen that change the presentation, as well as the presenter’s script,” he explains.

“The exciting thing about using it in this forum is that we can actually cause the fundraising to go viral, with observers instantly becoming presenter,. That’s never been done before and we’re thankful that we can do it with such a great organization”

To volunteer to do five online presentations, which can be done from home or office, call the Red Cross at 330 392 2551.

PICTURED: Image promoting how one of DittoTalk’s customers, Vemma, uses the YBI portfolio company’s software.

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