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2011 12 People You Need to Know: Heather Mansfield

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Heather Mansfield’s passions have taken her many places.

Study abroad programs took the Springfield native to Argentina, Mexico and Chile, where she studied Spanish and anthropology. She worked for the Pew Center for Civic Journalism in Washington, D.C., and volunteered with the Guatemala Human Rights Commission. After that experience, she volunteered in Guatemala at a school for street children.

After that trip, she landed in San Francisco, touring with Lilith Fair Music Festival as a spokeswoman for Global Exchange and working for and, Web sites that didn’t survive the 2001 dot-com bust.

Following the bust, she launched, which set her on the trajectory of becoming an expert on the use of social media to generate buzz – and donations – for nonprofit organizations.

Mansfield sold that site in 2004 to Capitol Advantage in Washington, D.C., and turned her attention to developing her own business, Diosa Communications, which she founded in 2006.

Though her journey to social media expert has been interesting, Mansfield says none of it was planned.

“It was never a strategic plan,” she says. “It’s gone beyond anything I ever dreamed of.”

Mansfield helps nonprofits get their message out through a variety of social media tools, including Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.

Primarily, her business consists of webinars and speaking engagements during which she trains nonprofit employees to use social media.

Mansfield’s speaking engagements have taken her across the U.S., including gigs in Colorado, Wisconsin and Washington, D.C., for organizations such as Junior Achievement and Goodwill Industries International, according to In December 2010, she was in New York to present at a social media forum presented by the New York State Department of Health AIDS Institute in partnership with Mansfield trained government and nonprofit educators to use social media for HIV and AIDS awareness programs.

She says enthusiasm for an organization’s mission and being on board with using social media is essential to social media success.

“The reality is, none of those things work unless the person who is running those campaigns is passionate and cares about it,” she says.

In 2010, Mansfield turned her attention to writing a book she describes as a how-to guide, set to be published in 2011 by McGraw-Hill.

“There are lots of books out there on how to use the Web to create social change … but my book is really, ‘Here’s your to-do list, here’s your strategic plan,’” Mansfield says.

Though her webinars have drawn international participants from countries such as France, New Zealand and Italy, Mansfield says her next goal is an international speaking engagement.

“I don’t care if it’s Canada,” Mansfield says, laughing. “I always wanted to find a job that pays me to travel the world. If this ever gets me any international travel, that’ll be the moment when I say my business is a success.”

For more information on the 12 People You Need to Know series, click here.
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