The 2010 Science & Technology Campaign Supports Nonprofits and Wants YOUR Stories

Some of the industries top tech resources for nonprofits have partnered up for the 2010 GreatNonprofits Science & Technology Campaign, recognizing science and technology organizations making a difference in the lives of people everywhere. Starting August 1, participants will get the chance to share first-person stories about an organization they feel makes a difference in their community. The nonprofit that gathers 10 or more positive reviews throughout the month will make the Greatnonprofits Top-Rated Science & Technology Nonprofts List.

Greatnonprofits launched the campaign, in partnership with Guidestar, NTEN, TechSoup Global, Association for Women in Science and Tonic, to “identity nonprofits in this area [science and technology] — whether it’s through advancing scientific knowledge, offering education resources, or employing tech solutions to solve local and global problems.” The hope is that stories from donors, volunteers, clients or any one else willing to share, will help encourage others to donate and/or volunteer.

The campaign ends August 31. See the NTEN blog for more details on how you can tell your story and inspire others to take action in the fields of technology and science.

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‘Green IT for Sustainable Business Practice’ — A Valuable Perspective on Green IT

UK-based author Mark O’Neill’s new book “Green IT for Sustatiainable Business Practice” is the essential guide to greening for any nonprofit, library, or really small to medium sized office.

Described by Amazon as a “sensible, clear-sighted guide to emerging standards, rules, business processes and best practices in a complex and ever-changing sector,” “Green IT for Sustainable Business Practice” is one of the few books that focuses on the expanding concern for greener technology. It is such an important topic when one considers that “the electricity consumption of PCs is growing by five percent year on year” O’Neill states.  “In an average small to medium sized enterprise electricity consumption accounts for ten percent of an IT department’s budget.”

O’Neill’s dissection of green business is based mainly on the bigger picture; world-wide developments in global warming. It offers practical suggestions to reduce your company’s carbon footprint. Replace older PCs with energy efficient EPEAT gold-rated PCs and replace CRT computer monitors with more efficient LCD models.

Some of the more obvious practices for any business that O’Neill advocates is the proper recycling of computers and the donation of electronic devices to schools or charitable organizations through third parties, like Computer Aid International.

Moreover, O’Neill’s book covers more general practices to running a sustainable business. He touches upon the subject of virtualization; cloud computing and software as a service — like those run by Google. He also breaks down how to work independent of location, through remote access solutions such as webcams, instant messaging voice-conferenceing and Internet video calling.

For any business looking to better understand emergent technological practices, for green business this book will be a valuable tool. If anything O’Neill offers a unique, non-U.S perspective for business leaders committed to greening their enterprise.

Evaluate Before You Donate

Don’t know what to look for before you donate to a nonprofit? Don’t worry — you are not alone.

With online donation sites like JustGive.org and Network for Good it is now easier and more convenient to donate than ever before. But how do can donors know if their organization will be efficient and effective in spending donor money?

Sites like Charity Navigator and Guidestar have supplied donors with the legitimate forms and facts about nonprofits, but not a whole lot of explanation. The answer is out there, but that takes time and energy.

In a recent article, Si Cantwell from Star News Online outlines the best way to evaluate a nonprofit before you donate. She walks readers through form 990s (a document administered by the IRS for all 501 c(3) tax-exempt organizations), audited financials, un-audited statements of income and expenses, and other standard information.

To find out how you can determine where, and to what programs, your charitable donation will go toward visit Star News online.

Are Online Donation Sites Destined to Become the Next eBay?

Posted on August 10, 2010 at Social Edge.

Lucy Bernholz (Blueprint Research & Design), Edward Skloot (Stanford School of Public Policy, Duke University) and Barry Varela (Duke University) explore the immediate and longer-term implications of networked digital technologies for philanthropy. Their claim: as enormous databases and powerful new visualization tools can be accessed instantly by anyone, at any time, information networks are transforming philanthropy. In this excerpt of “Disrupting Philanthropy: Technology and the Future of the Social Sector,” they offer a glimpse of what is to come.

Read the full post and join the conversation.

Thrive Offers Nonprofits a Solution for Social Media Management

Small Act, a company dedicated to helping nonprofits, has just announced the arrival of a new tool that will help nonprofits meet organization goals and needs. Called Thrive, the online tool will organize and measure nonprofits specific social media efforts. Incorporating granular scheduling, keyword search capability, contact management with tagging and in-depth reporting, Thrive hopes to be the solution to many nonprofits failing to keep up with social media trends.

According to Grassroots.org, “Thrive manages your social network while attracting supporters and donors to your cause.” They go on to say that, “similar to other tools, you control when you Tweet or update your status on Facebook, Twitter, Flickr and YouTube (other networks coming soon), target and engage those who care about your work and receive stats on all accounts.”

Thrive will enable you to send your latest Tweets or Facebooks dates easily and more efficiently, allowing nonprofits to better engage followers. Organize contact lists to pinpoint ‘superfans’ or donors, and keep an eye on who is posting and reading what posts. You can even tag and write notes about contacts based on your interactions with them.

As nonprofits look increasingly to social networking to raise funds and following, Thrive could offer a tangible solution to help keep up with the world of social media.

Get your free trial of Thrive and start making an impact through social media.

Convio Co-Founder Vinay Bhagat Named Business Person of the Year

Vinay Ghagat, Founder and Chief Strategy Officer of Convio, was named 2010 Business Person of the Year by IndUS Business Journal. Ghagat became a leader in Internet fundraising in 1999, when he decided to make the transition into the nonprofit sector, believing he could help nonprofits leverage better fundraising campaigns through the Internet.

Ghagat co-founded Convio, a company that works with nonprofits to assist in fundraising efforts and advocate for change more effectively. The company also works to build stronger relationships with donors, activists, volunteers, alumni and other nonprofit constituents. They have become a leader in the nonprofit sector and continue to pave the way for some really innovative nonprofit campaign strategies. Martin Desmarais, Editor from the IndUS Business Journal said this about the Business Person of the Year:

Vinay’s vision has led Convio to deliver one of the most successful online fundraising and advocacy platforms in the sector. It has not only helped over a thousand nonprofit organizations to raise billions of dollars, but also has provided lasting careers for employees and made a positive impact on the communities they serve.

This is not the first award for the marketing and advocacy innovator — Fundraising Success Magazine named him Fundraising Professional of the Year in 2006 and he received honorable mention as one of Politics Online top 25 people who are changing the world of internet and politics.

In a recent press release, Bhagat said he was,

“Honored to be recognized by IndUS Business Journal. I remain inspired by the nonprofit professionals, volunteers and advocates who work tirelessly to connect people and causes to improve the world. When we launched Convio we had a vision for how innovation and technology could help organizations build enduring relationships that helped them fulfill their missions. Today nonprofits of all shapes and sizes are using our software and services to reach, inspire and move people, and we have built a lasting company dedicated to the success of our clients.”

The award comes at a time when nonprofits are seeing a noticeable decrease in donor funding and a rising fear amongst organization sustainability. Many nonprofits are beginning to look to for-profit companies to help leverage campaigns to raise money, as well as increase their online presence. Organizations that integrate Internet marketing and ‘doing-good’ seem like a long-term solution for organizations struggling to stay afloat amidst the current economic climate.

Learn how Convio’s strategies could help your nonprofit.

Beth Kanter’s 10 Ways Geolocation Is Changing The World

Beth Kanter is the author of Beth’s Blog and the forthcoming book The Networked Nonprofit, CEO of Zoetica, and curator of NTEN’s “We Are Media” Nonprofit Social Media Starter Kit.” Best known for her prominence in the nonprofit world, Kanter was name one of the most influential women in technology by Fast Company Magazine, and one of Business Week’s “Voices of Innovation for Social Media.”

This week in Beth’s Blog, she takes a more detailed look at how location technologies are transforming the way we experience, navigate, and ultimately better our world.

Read more from Beth’s Blog.