September 22, 2010

Coming soon: Jumo, a social network for nonprofits

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John HaydonFacebook co-founder Chris Hughes announced at the Social Good Summit that he is building a social networking site designed to build and nurture long-term relationships between people and nonprofit organizations. Think Yelp for social good.

Jumo, the name of this platform, is due out around November and will include three areas:

  • Find – Jumo will help users find causes to match their interests, likes and preferences.
  • Follow – Users will be able to follow nonprofits to receive updates in their news feed (similar to liking on Facebook and following on Twitter).
  • Support – Users will be able to support those organizations in a variety of ways.

How is this different from Facebook?

jumo

You already know that Facebook users can find, follow and support nonprofits. But what seems different about Jumo is the fact that its sole purpose is for people and organizations to connect and work with each other. Jumo is a for-profit start-up aimed at social change organizations — both nonprofits and social enterprises.

Theoretically, nonprofits should expect a higher level of commitment from Jumo users. At the same time, Jumo users can expect to meet others who value doing good. Continue reading

July 27, 2010

Support my birthday campaign on Jolkona!

Help enterprising Colombia youths running an Internet cafe

JD LasicaToday is my birthday, and in the tradition of other social media strategists working in the nonprofit space like Beth Kanter (I wrote about her last birthday campaign in January) and Geoff Livingston, I’d like to ask your help in making the day special for some enterprising young people in Colombia.

But first a quick word of explanation. This post comes in two parts: this introductory fund-raising appeal, followed by an interview with the founder and CEO of Jolkona Foundation, which is running the campaign and scores of others like it.

Empower young entrepreneurs in Colombia’s slums

This is the first time I’ve ever directly asked my blog readers and followers on Twitter and Facebook to donate to a campaign of mine, though I’ve spotlighted dozens of worthy causes over the years. So, please donate here — looking for nine people to donate an average of $25. Details:

What: Support young people in the slums of Bogotá, Colombia, as they develop their own community internet cafe business, called MegaRed (pictured above). The cafe provides opportunities for young entrepreneurs to create a better future for their families while providing a safe and positive environment for young people at risk of being recruited or attacked by armed groups.

What’s cool & different: Jolkona.org showcases scores of great causes to help out — and you get individualized feedback and progress reports on how your donation made a difference in people’s lives.

How much: We’re asking for $25, or whatever you can afford.

How: Click the Give button on this page. You’ll be able to track their progress in the months ahead.

Thank you! Please retweet or Facebook it if you can.

Jolkona: One-to-one philanthropy

Imet Adnan Mahmud, co-founder and CEO of Jolkona, during Beth Kanter’s book signing party for “The Networked Nonprofit” at TechSoup Global last month — and was immediately impressed by his seriousness and dedication to helping great causes through one-to-one philanthropy.

Support a library in Tibet that needs $50 to buy books, and you’ll get the list of books purchased through your donation.

Jolkona is at the bleeding edge of this phenomenon, which will become an increasingly important part of charitable giving in the years ahead, as young people in particular want transparency, interaction and accountability when supporting a cause.

Adnan says Jolkona is the first nonprofit “to give tangible feedback on your donation.” Kiva, which pioneered the technique, provides entrepreneurs with loans. And while nonprofits like charity:water and Global Giving often give updates on projects, Jolkona is positioning itself as a technology platform that enables one-to-one philanthropy for nonprofits of any size.

Watch, download or embed our interview on Vimeo Continue reading

March 16, 2010

Nonprofit highlights and photos of SXSW

Kari Dunn Saratovsky

CauseLab, Good Guide, Ushahidi lead impressive array of social change efforts

JD LasicaI‘ve learned long ago the challenge of covering South by Southwest Interactive, which hums along at its own idiosyncratic pace compared to more linear conferences. Thus, I spent last year and this year doing less blogging, conducting more interviews (which I’ll roll out in the coming weeks), taking more photos and doing much more networking.

I returned home from my fourth SXSW last night — here are 54 photos from the event I just uploaded to Flickr. Here are a few takeaways that may be of interest to nonprofits and social change organizations — but I didn’t cover this as a nonprofit correspondent, so be sure to check out other coverage and look at SXSW’sarray of Greater Good panels and follow the hashtags.

• Loved Friday’s TechSoup-led display of “world-changing mobile apps,” including:

• The Good Guide, with info about 70,000-plus health, food, toy and beauty products — including an API that lets you create a custom product directory that pulls from its database.

Ushahidi — the Swahili word for witness — allows anyone with a mobile device to tell stories in an organized way that enables action. Major relief organizations and agencies, including the Red Cross, US State Department and US AID — relied on Ushahidi to assess the situation on the ground in Haiti and deploy resources in a more strategic way.

• Check out ushahidi.com/work for an amazing backstory.

• I popped into the third-floor Cause Lab a few times and was thrilled to see all the energy devoted to bringing real-life solutions to combat hunger. See the #endhunger hashtag on Twitter for inspiration and see WeCanEndThis.com/sxsw for “three ways you can help us innovate”:

No matter where you are, you can be a part of the CauseLab thanks to the Secret Beta Test. Even better, the best idea created will win $1,000 and the person who collaborates the best will win $500, when the CauseLab ends on April 15.

• I was too busy taking photos to take any notes during the Crowdsourcing Innovative Social Change panel featuring Socialbrite’s own Amy Sample Ward, Beth Kanter, Holly Ross, Kari Dunn Saratovsky and David Neff. But WiserEarth has a great summary, you can see the re #crowdx and #sourcinginnovativechange hashtag streams or read Beth’s take on it.

• Also got to meet Pete Cashmore, founder/editor of Mashable, who’s even classier and more personable than his online persona. (Pete said he was a longtime fan of my writings, and the feeling is mutual.)

• At Saturday night’s Digg party, I made my first contribution using Square, the Jack Dorsey startup and app that attaches to an iPhone so you can swipe a credit card. Charity:water got my $25.

• “Every time a talented young producer goes off to work for Google, another startup dies,” said Matt Ewing of Democracy Alliance quoting a Silicon Valley aphorism and making an allusion to how social change innovators should consider launching their own projects rather than getting absorbed into nonprofits or socially responsible outfits. “A lot of little ideas that can change the world aren’t being funded right now.” Democracy Alliance is looking to help change that. Continue reading

March 8, 2010

‘The Cove’: Will movies usher in a new era of social change?

Moving movie audiences to take action from JD Lasica on Vimeo.

JD LasicaI‘ll confess: I was excited to see The Cove take home the Academy Award for best feature documentary last night. While all the entrants were worthy, “The Cove” is among the handful of movies pushing the idea of Hollywood productions as the fulcrum for social change.

A few weeks ago I caught up with Christopher Gebhardt, general manager and executive vice president of TakePart, the Beverly Hills-based digital arm of Participant Media, which marketed and helped bring “The Cove” to theaters nationwide. Participant Media (formerly Participant Productions) — Jeff Skoll’s social entrepreneurial film production company — has an incredible track record in bringing socially relevant films to screens nationwide, including “An Inconvenient Truth,” “Charlie Wilson’s War,” “The Kite Runner,” “The Soloist,” “Syriana,” “Good Night, and Good Luck,” “The Visitor,” “Food, Inc.,” “North Country” and now “The Cove.”

A breath-taking string of success.

dolphins“The Cove” is remarkable for its guerrilla filmmaking tactics in chronicling the grisly business of dolphin hunting in rural fishing villages in Japan, where as many as 20,000 dolphins are slaughtered annually. It won the Audience Award at Sundance last year. Participant didn’t fund the film but funded its marketing.

“We’ve spent the last five years at Participant figuring out how to take the film and really use it to … really get people involved with an issue,” said Gebhardt, speaking after a conversation on stage at Social Capital Markets 2009.

You may have noticed one fellow on stage at the Oscars — film subject and animal activist Ric O’Barry — holding up a sign that said, “Text DOLPHIN to 44144.” (The camera cut away after only one second — the academy has a long tradition of not acknowledging or encouraging overly activist sentiments.)

What’s cool about “The Cove” is that, just as the movie ends, theatergoers are met with the same message: Text DOLPHIN to 44144. When you text the short code, Gebhardt explains, you’re given ways to connect, including the option to sign online petitions to protest the brutal practice, send letters to President Obama, the US ambassador to Japan or Japan’s ambassador to the United States, or you can take other actions.

Watch, download or embed the video on Vimeo. (I’ve started producing these in a higher resolution 3800 kbps bitrate at 720 pixels wide.)

I should mention that I was in the first group of bloggers in 2005 who signed on to guest-post on Participant’s first such effort: the “Good Night and Good Luck” site to discuss press reform and how changes in corporate ownership of the media have affected our democracy since the days of Edward R. Murrow. Continue reading

January 25, 2010

How to grow your blog with social media for social good

charity-bake

This is part of the series the 31 Day Challenge To Optimize Your Blog With Social Media.

John HaydonLike many kids, I was involved in the Boy Scouts. The scout leader was Mr. Pertrazzio, who was an electrician.

Now, I’m sure he loved being involved with the Boy Scouts. But when you think about it, he had a clear marketing advantage over other electricians: Parents trusted him. And some parents trusted him enough to let him into their homes, which is important for an electrician.

3 reasons why you should do charity work on your blog

  1. It shows you care about something greater.
  2. Your blog and your outposts have power to create awareness around important issues.
  3. You can meet new bloggers that you can network with.

Continue reading

December 22, 2009

Mashable & our favorite posts of the year

social-good

JD LasicaWelcome to all the visitors from Mashable! We were thrilled to be featured in Melissa Rowley‘s article, 4 Social Good Trends of 2009.

For first-timers, we thought now would be a good time to highlight some of our favorite posts on Socialbrite since our launch earlier this year:

Some of our favorite causes

Tweet for a cure to end SMA

Global Voices: Lifting up the powerless & voiceless

An inventive cause campaign to fight malaria

Tim Ferriss’ method of supporting causes

Boxee and the promise of open media

All for Good: A Craigslist for service

California’s Secretary of State: Come and collaborate!

How the National Wildlife Federation uses social media

Socialbrite’s night at NetTuesday

UniversalGiving: Tailoring an impact just for you

Samasource enables socially responsible outsourcing

YouthNoise: Helping young people network a cause

Kiva: micro-loans to entrepreneurs abroad

Giving Challenge: Tap your networks to support a cause

Some favorite tools and tactics

How to make your website more accessible and 7 tips for communicating with people with disabilities

20 tips for mobile advocacy

A user’s guide to mobile activism

How mobile is empowering consumers

SEO: 9 tips for optimizing a nonprofit site — Search Engine Optimization isn’t black magic, so get your site to shape up

8 tips for raising funds online

The Extraordinaries: Building the ‘micro-volunteering’ movement

Twitter as a tool for activism

How to build a Facebook community — 14 levers you need to be pulling

How to add a Facebook Page Fanbox to your site

How to use Seesmic Desktop

Carbon footprints, nation by nation

Foundation Center: a deep resource for philanthropy

Guide to shooting photos in public

How to capture great photos on the road

Fair use in the digital age

Seven blogging tools reviewed

Socialbrite releases Creative Commons plug-in

Thanks to everyone for your support this year! (Don’t forget to follow @Socialbrite on Twitter!) We’re now working with a number of nonprofits and educational outfits — TechSoup Global and Scholastic, to name two — and looking forward to helping others with their social media needs in the months ahead. Continue reading