October 7, 2013

6 best practices in making data visualizations

Avoid 3D charts, extend bar charts to zero & other key tips

Target audience: Data designers, metrics and analytics experts, nonprofits, cause organizations, foundations, NGOs, social enterprises, businesses, educators, journalists, general public.

Guest post by Beth Kanter
Beth’s Blog

beth-kanterEarlier this year at the Packard Foundation, I facilitated a peer learning group based on my book Measuring the Networked Nonprofit and focusing on the sense-making step of measurement.

This part of the measurement process is most the fun because it covers visualization, pattern recognition, and reflection. I wanted to take a deeper dive into resources out there that provide useful tips about how to do this step for folks who were not data scientists or data nerds.

I did a quick scan of data visualization resources to look for practical advice on the process of thinking visually and some technical information on what chart to select and data storytelling. Here’s what I discovered. Continue reading

May 15, 2013

Infographics: Not your grandmother’s pie chart

infographics1 M+R

Infographics & data visualization turn data into stories

Guest post by Julia Reich
Principal & Creative Director, Julia Reich Design

JuliaReichMost organizations have important data to present to their clients, members, boards of directors and other constituencies. Yet who has time to read or understand the reports, charts and diagrams created by your overworked staff?

Infographics are a communication trend that’s all about displaying data in an attractive, easily digestible format. With their unique combination of images and words, infographics are a powerful storytelling tool. It’s a way to take all that data you’ve collected about the great things your organization does and use it for social good purposes – to illustrate timelines, histories, relationships, the impact of a program and much more. Continue reading

May 23, 2012

10 top tools for cause campaigns


A visualization from Bigthink.com.

Target audience: Cause organizations, NGOs, nonprofits, foundations, social enterprises, political reformers, educators, journalists, general public.

JD LasicaOver the past three years, as regular readers know, Socialbrite has put together dozens of guides and compilations of resources and tools for social change advocates. See the bottom of this article for a few, and our Sharing Center is all about social tools for social change.

Download one-page flyer

To celebrate Internet at Liberty, a conference on protecting protecting freedom of expression on the Internet that Google is organizing in Washington, D.C., this week — and where Socialbrite is running the social media workshops — we’re launching a new section today:

The Social Advocacy Toolkit features new and updated informational guides, tool roundups and resources for global activists, social good advocates, political reformers, NGOs and anyone looking to use online tools for social change. It includes tactics for effective campaigns, guides to the best monitoring and metrics tools (many of them free), lists of enabling platforms and organizations and other resources to help galvanize your campaign.

Below is a new guide that we’ve put together to help social change activists with their advocacy efforts, which we’re adding to the toolkit. Check out the Social Advocacy Toolkit for much more.

10 tools for activists & social change advocates

Asana: A leap ahead for productive teamwork

1Asana is a work-collaboration software suite that came out of beta in April 2012. “We built this company to change the world,” said founder Dustin Moskovitz, one of the co-founders of Facebook. Asana offers a simple, word processor-like interface to give people working together on a task a central place to discuss the project, share files and keep track of to-dos in real time. It’s free for teams of fewer than 30 users.

Alternatives: Yammer, Microsoft Sharepoint (for larger enterprises) and see our Collaboration roundup

PopVox: Advocate your cause in Congress

2You might remember our recent article on PopVox, an online service that individuals and grassroots organizations can use to lobby members of Congress on behalf of a cause. CEO Marci Harris founded the nonpartisan service based on her knowledge of how Congressional staffers interact with the public. For a cause to be effective, it has to be made concrete on behalf of or against a specific bill. PopVox helps you do that.

Geo-bombing with Google Earth

3I was blown away when I saw Tunisian activists from the collective blog Nawaat.org (The Core) link video testimonies of Tunisian political prisoners and human rights defenders to the Tunisian presidential palace’s location on Google Earth. Now, as you fly over the Tunisian presidential palace using a Google Earth KML file, you will see it covered with videos about human rights abuses that strongman Ben Ali tried to prevent Tunisian citizens from watching by blocking YouTube and DailyMotion. Visit earth.google.com/outreach for more examples. We’d like to see more organizations to take up “geo-bombing.” Continue reading