October 30, 2009

8 Twitter Lists nonprofits should create

Amy Sample WardToday Lauren Cochrane has a great post with ideas for lists that organizations could create with Twitter’s new List function. Lists just rolled out to all of Twitter today! You can read more about Lists on the Twitter Blog here.

Lauren outlines 7 Lists that organizations may find useful, including:

  • Your organization’s chapters and campaigns.
  • Related international organizations and campaigns.
  • Organizations that are somewhat related to your organisation.
  • Celebrities, politicians and others with a high profile.
  • Media.
  • Volunteers.
  • Retweeters and people who have contacted you.

Continue reading

October 28, 2009

Vote in the Health Reform Video Challenge

JD LasicaGrassroots media, as in the 2004 and 2008 presidential elections, are once again coming to the fore in the health care reform debate. You may have seen the Heather Graham video produced with the financial backing of MoveOn.org supporters.

Now comes the Health Reform Video Challenge being organized by my.barackobama. As the site says, watch the top videos made by supporters like you, rate your favorites, and help choose the winning ad that will air on national television. (For your vote to count, you need to rate all 20 videos.)

My favorite video by far is the 30-second spot embedded above — I literally laughed out loud.

Voting ends Tuesday, Nov. 3, with the winner announced Nov. 9 — so hurry up and vote! Continue reading

October 26, 2009

Global Voices: Lifting up the powerless & voiceless

Giving international bloggers a global voice from JD Lasica on Vimeo.

International bloggers network offers alternative perspectives on events around the world

JD LasicaSince 2005, the international bloggers network Global Voices has been one of the shining success stories in citizen media: a community of more than 200 bloggers around the world who offer perspectives frequently not heard in the traditional media.

Founded by former CNN Beijing and Tokyo Bureau Chief Rebecca MacKinnon and technologist and Africa expert Ethan Zuckerman while they were both fellows at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University (both are friends), the nonprofit organization with no physical offices offers reports and translations from blogs and citizen media everywhere.

“Where are the most interesting Middle Eastern and African bloggers and what are they talking about? What are Chinese bloggers saying?”
– Rebecca MacKinnon

I caught up with Rebecca several months ago to get an overview of the organization’s efforts. Global Voices’ importance and reach have grown even more pronounced during 2009 with the street demonstrations in Iran. Regular followers of Global Voices have been able to get a first-hand glimpse of events in all corners of the globe, from Africa and Southeast Asia to Oceana and South America. See their Special Coverage section and Top 10 video posts of 2009.

Rebecca, who also teaches journalism at the University of Hong Kong, describes Global Voices as a site where the editors curate the best of what bloggers are saying outside the Western blogosphere. “Where are the most interesting Middle Eastern and African bloggers and what are they talking about? What are Chinese bloggers saying?” The site’s bottom-line goal is to curate the most interesting conversations that will give you a different perspective on what’s happening around the world. Continue reading

October 23, 2009

Using nonprofit tech to benefit society

Amy Sample Ward on nonprofit technology from JD Lasica on Vimeo.

JD LasicaJust before we launched Socialbrite.org, I met Amy Sample Ward in person for the first time. Amy’s a whirlwind of energy and passion about all things np tech (nonprofit technology), and I was so impressed that I immediately asked her to join the Socialbrite team.

But not before I got her to sit still for a few minutes to talk about nonprofit tech, Net Tuesdays — Amy is the global community builder for NetSquared — and being a catalyst for social change.

NP tech is social change work, whether you’re a nonprofit or an individual who wants to change her community or you’re a corporation that’s working on social benefit through a corporate social responsibility campaign, she says.

More than 36 cities around the world now hold monthly events as part of Net Tuesday, the offline component of NetSquared, and if you’re within driving distance, you should stop by and meet other change agents in your community. (Sarah Kennon does an outstanding job of organizing the Net Tuesdays in San Francisco.) Continue reading

October 19, 2009

Oakland Local: Nonprofit news hub launches


Dia de Los Muertos dancers, photo by Kwan Booth

JD LasicaToday, after months of planning and programming, a new community news site went live: Oakland Local. And while there are now thousands of hyperlocal, city- or region-focused citizen media sites around the world, Oakland Local is one of the few that offers a blend of nonprofit underpinnings with a staff of independent, professionally trained journalists.

My friend Susan Mernit — we’re two of the founders of the Public Media Collaborative — is the founder of the community news and information hub, which she describes as “a site for Oakland focusing on social justice issues, including climate change, air quality, food access, arts as activism, and identity, race and ethnicity.”

susan-mernitSusan adds: “Oakland Local is launching in partnership with 35 local nonprofit, neighborhood and community organizations. We combine postings of their news and information with blogging and with reported stories from a top quality news team (Susan Mernit, Amy Gahran, Kamika Dunlap, Kwan Booth, Ryan Van Lenning and others). We are media partners and collaborators with Spot.us, Newsdesk.org, The Center for Investigative Reporting, New America Media, Endless Canvas, Youth Rising, Youth Radio and Youth Outlook. Our site offers forums, a directory of 320 local nonprofits and a blog directory of 180 active local bloggers.” Continue reading

October 19, 2009

8 tips for raising funds online

NPO panel

At BlogWorld Expo, tools and strategies for nonprofits

JD LasicaThe first Causes/Activism track at the just-ended Blogworld Expo in Las Vegas drew some 1,500 participants — a promising showing by the nonprofit community. I moderated the Tools for Nonprofit Organizations panel, with panelists Judy Chang of Paypal, Justin Perkins of Care2, David Levy of SocialVibe, James Sutandyo of Causecast and consultant Scott Henderson.

Here’s my Flickr photo set of BlogWorld Expo, about 60 photos in all. I also put together this Delicious tag — delicious.com/bwe09 — to aggregate many of the the services, tools and platforms that nonprofits and social change organizations can use to raise funds to advance their missions online.

About 100 people, chiefly from nonprofits small and large, attended our panel and you can follow what they tweeted about the session at #tools4npo

The panelists collectively came up with these recommendations:

8 tips for raising funds online

1. Make it a specific project, not for the overarching nonprofit or a general fund

2. Tell a compelling story with a strong human-interest angle

3. Create a feedback loop from the recipients to the donors to form an emotional bond

4. Have a hard stop — set a date to donate by

5. Pool your efforts by collaborating with reputable like-minded partners (including trading space in partners’ email newsletters)

6. Don’t pussyfoot around — have a clear and specific “ask” or call to action Continue reading