November 29, 2012

Social Impact 100: Who’s really effecting change?

New giving platform helps donors direct their dollars to high-impact nonprofits

Target audience: Nonprofits, cause organizations, foundations, NGOs, social enterprises, businesses, educators, journalists, general public.

Guest post by Tamara Schweitzer
Social Impact Exchange

The giving season is upon us and it’s the time of year when many around the country are thinking about the greater social good and gearing up to make their charitable donations. With crowdfunding platforms and the opportunity to donate online through social media outlets, the act of giving to charities and discovering new causes has never been easier. But it’s not always easy to determine where those dollars can do the most good, or to truly know if those donations are having a real impact.

The Social Impact Exchange, a national membership association dedicated to building a capital marketplace to help scale high-impact social solutions, hopes to change that with the launch of the Social Impact 100 (S&I 100). The S&I 100 is the first-ever broad index of U.S. nonprofits working in the issue areas of education, youth, poverty and health that have evidence of results and are growing to serve more people in need. Continue reading

July 14, 2010

A change agent’s top 5 tools for social change

Target audience: Nonprofits, social change organizations, NGOs, foundations, educators, individuals.

Guest post by Allyson Kapin
Partner, Rad Campaign

The tools for taking action and effecting social change are getting more robust all the time. Here are five of my current favorites:


1I think Care2’s Frogloop is one of the most trusted sources among nonprofit campaigners for having the latest resources and best practices to engage activists and donors using multiple channels including email, texting and social media. Full disclosure: I’m the Blogger-In-Chief but I don’t think that clouds my judgment. :~)



2OpenStreetMap is a free editable map of the nation and the world created by regular people, Wikipedia-style. It’s a fantastic tool that nonprofits should be using more. It contains a lot more open data than Google Maps.


3If you’re the type of nonprofit campaigner who thrives off of multitasking, Threadsy could be a life saver. In a nutshell, it’s a dashboard that allows you to manage email, Twitter, Facebook, instant messaging – all in one place! It was in beta but now it has just been released to the public.


4Idealware provides some of the best research and data to help nonprofits make smart software decisions – anything from choosing open source content management systems and the differences between them to low-cost data visualization tools.

The Petition Site

5Care2’s The Petition Site enables anyone — not just nonprofits — to start a petition around social action issues, from stopping the Sable Island seal slaughter to protecting against new drilling.

In this series

Change-makers share 10 of their favorite tools

An educator’s 5 top tools for social change

12 open source tools you should be using

6 productivity tools for social change

A developer’s 5 favorite social tools

Top 5 tools for the entrepreneurial journalist

Top cause organizations

January 11, 2010

How individuals make a real difference

Beth at 6

JD LasicaOur colleague Beth Kanter, author of Beth’s Blog, turns 53 years young today. The past year has been a momentous one for Beth, who pulled up roots and moved with her family from Boston to the Bay Area, rented a house, co-authored a book, became a visiting scholar at the Packard Foundation — I don’t know, probably won a Nobel Prize when I wasn’t looking.

Beth is Exhibit A for those who believe that individuals can make a real difference. As perhaps the best-known name in nonprofit technology, Beth has been pioneering the use of social media for social good long before many people even knew what social media was.

Today, Stacey Monk, Amy Sample Ward, Christine Egger and several others have organized an online surprise birthday party for Beth — a fun and spot-on idea. Writes Amy:

In her birthday wish post, Beth announces that she’s trying to send 53 Cambodian children to school by raising $530.  Last week, Stacy Monk and I were chatting and thought that our community could help smash that goal by raising much more funds as well as awareness for the work the Sharing Foundation does in Cambodia.

I’ve already contributed to the cause (as I have the past two years). Not only has the effort blown past $530, at this hour it’s up to $2,019, which means 201 Cambodian children will benefit. (Beth’s two children, Harry and Sara, were adopted from Cambodia and are now happily ensconced in Silicon Valley.)

Please contribute at Beth’s Birthday Wish Page on Causes. (If you’d like to join the birthday brigade, sign up on this Google doc.) Continue reading

December 22, 2009

Mashable & our favorite posts of the year


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

December 8, 2009

Social media for social good

Why even small, resource-constrained nonprofits should be using social media

Guest post by Jordan Viator
Nonprofit Live TV

What are some of the ways in which social media can be used to advance the social good? Nonprofit Live TV put the question to Matt Mahan, Nonprofit and Business Development Director of Causes and Carie Lewis, Director of Emerging Media of the Humane Society of the United States.

The 7-minute interview, conducted at the 2009 Convio Summit conference for nonprofits in Austin, Texas, last month, addresses how smaller, resource-constrained nonprofits can be using social media.

Mahan and Lewis give examples of how outreach on Twitter or Facebook can engage support for a cause or organization. When someone’s birthday rolls around, Mahan says, instead of giving them a Starbucks gift certificate or the like, It’s much more meaningful to receive a gift in the name of someone who’s truly deserving. The Causes site has also recently upgraded its partner center to enable nonprofits to interact more actively with their supporters on Facebook. Continue reading

November 9, 2009

MySpace abandons Causes — what does it mean?

myspace-causesAmy Sample WardOn Thursday, administrators of Causes accounts on MySpace received a notice via email stating, “Thank you for the work you’ve done on Causes on MySpace. Due to the lack of activity on MySpace, we’ve decided to focus our efforts on the Causes Application on Facebook.” (See the full message here.) The message indicated that all Causes-related pages and content on MySpace would be taken down at the end of the week.

Causes, of course, is the application that lets individuals, groups and organizations support and raise funds for a particular cause.

Now, I blogged earlier this year about research that indicates very strongly we mirror our offline social barriers and segmentation in our online social networking platforms.  (Visit danah boyd’s website for more information and research on this topic.) Different communities have aligned and adopted different social networks, social media tools, communications platforms, etc. The tools we use often reflect the communities we are in, whether those communities are geographic, ethnic, or otherwise. Continue reading