Forty Under Forty: Marc Climaco

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Marc Climaco

Social Media Engagement Strategist

Ford Foundation


"SOCIAL MEDIA IS LIKE HIGH SCHOOL"

Fast fact: Tweet him @MarcClimaco


Marc Climaco grew up in a “humanitarian family,” established a nonprofit with his mother at age 18 and hasn’t looked back since. He is a strategist who works to elevate the digital presence of nonprofit organizations. He is also responsible for growing the Ford Foundation's digital audience and designing campaigns. Previously, Climaco worked at the ACLU, establishing its social media presence in Ferguson, Missouri, shaping digital strategy ahead of the marriage equality win and tripling the organization's social media followers in one year. He has worked on digital campaigns with Edward Snowden, Jimmy Wales and Black Lives Matter.

 

NYN: DESCRIBE AN ACCOMPLISHMENT YOU ARE MOST PROUD OF:

MC: I’ve been part of a variety of movements that have been very successful. The marriage equality movement: The ACLU, as an institution, has for the past 40 years really been pushing for marriage equality. And to be a part of that, to make marriage equality happen, was, I think, a huge success. Establishing a nonprofit when I was 18 is a massive success for me. A lot of that is because I come from an immigrant family. My parents, they didn’t really know too much about how to establish a nonprofit and I really took the lead in terms of making that happen.

 

NYN: WHAT CHANGE WOULD MOST HELP THE ORGANIZATIONS YOU SERVE?

MC: The reality is nonprofits do lag behind in terms of their expertise in the digital world and we do have a role here at the foundation to play in terms of making sure that folks have the resources, the thinking, the learnings behind digital campaigns so that they can actually do more in the digital sphere.

 

NYN: WHAT IS THE ONE THING YOU’D LIKE TO ACCOMPLISH BEFORE YOU RETIRE?

MC: Oh there’s a lot I’d like to accomplish. I’d like to do election campaigning work, I think there’s a lot of insights there. As a communicator, doing communications work, it’s just one of the most exciting environments that you could be a part of: 24/7, for six to nine months, where every day you’re looking at polling data, you’re defining messaging, you’re executing at the same time. But overall, ever since I started in the nonprofit world I realized how behind the nonprofit world is in digital, so my ultimate goal in my career is to help other organizations be at the forefront of the digital sphere.

 

NYN: WHAT DO YOU WISH PEOPLE KNEW ABOUT YOUR JOB?

MC: Half of my job is metrics. It’s not just about chatting with people online, it’s really taking a look at how effective our methods are using data. Social media is like high school, in terms of building relationships with people. So everything that we learn in highschool in terms of interacting with people and building relationships with them – all those rules are pretty much the same in social media. 

 

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