Category Archives: Fundraising

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.


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.

Should You Not Donate by Text Message?

Posted by Ginny Mies,

PC World, June 2, 2010.

We all have our excuses for not donating to disaster relief funds or to our favorite charities: We’re broke, the donation process is too complicated, we lack the time to write and send a check, and so on. Mobile donating–giving money to an organization via text message–makes giving a little easier. But is it safe? And does it have a significant impact on the charity or the people in need?

Donating by cell phone is incredibly quick and easy: You just text a word (like ?HAITI’) or a number to a specific phone number, and a set amount is charged to your phone bill. Your carrier then delivers the funds to the charity. The mobile donation approach has been around for a couple of years, but it didn’t really catch on until the 2010 Haiti earthquake. The American Red Cross’s Haiti Relief and Development Fund, the most successful mobile campaign to date, raised more than $32 million within a month after the disaster.

Advocates say that mobile donations are an appealing option because they’re convenient and offer instant gratification. The system also opens up philanthropy to individuals who might otherwise feel that they couldn’t contribute. Younger audiences, for instance, appreciate being able to donate via text message because they don’t need a credit card to do so.

Click here to read more on how to find a legitimate charity worth donating via text messaging.

Ghostbusters Invade New York Public Library

Posted by James David Morgan, contributor for The Nonprofit Quarterly, on May 27, 2010

It’s no Bill Murray, but it’ll do. Improv Everywhere, the popular comedic performance art group, was recently invited by the New York Public Library (NYPL) to stage a haunting of the same famous reading room where the 1984 blockbuster, Ghostbusters, opens. The ensuing chaos and hilarity are captured in the video below.

Due to the music dubbed over the video, we miss the brilliant exchange between the ghost and the guard around twenty seconds in. Fortunately, Improv Everywhere transcribed it:

Guard: Sir, what are you doing?

Rodgers: Um . . . haunting the library.

Amid all the laughs, however is a very serious situation. The NYPL faces a $37 million City budget cut, the harshest in its history, and Improv Everywhere’s video asks viewers to visit the Don’t Close the Book campaign website and take action to support the library.

This wasn’t the first time Improve Everywhere had performed on NYPL grounds, but it was their first approved appearance. In 2002, the group staged a satirical protest, posing as artists whose grievance was the free distribution of their art. Writers Against Piracy as they were called, “would do for books what Metallica did for music.”

Is Institutional Philanthropy Structured to Support Successful Social Change?

Philanthropy411, in partnership with the National Network of Consultants to Grantmakers, is currently covering the Council on Foundations conference with the help of a blog team. This is a guest post by Lee Draper, Chair of the National Network of Consultants to Grantmakers and CEO of the Draper Consulting Group.

By:  Lee Draper

A few of the Philanthropy 411 bloggers have offered reactions to the Council on Foundations Mini-Plenary, “Social Justice: From Here to 2030”.  I’d like to add another vantage point on the ideas presented.  The panel was composed of some of the most experienced and effective social change leaders from diverse countries and conflicts, moderated by Gara LaMarche of The Atlantic Philanthropies:

  • Akwasi Aidoo, Executive Director of TrustAfrica
  • Deepak Bhargava, Executive Director of the Center for Community Change.
  • Ana Paula Hernandez, Consultant, Angelica Foundation
  • Van Jones, Founder of Green for All
  • Avila Kilmurray, Director of the Community Foundation for Northern Ireland
  • Kumaran Naidoo, International Executive Director of Greenpeace
  • Eboo Patel, Founder and Executive Director of Interfaith Youth Core
  • Connie Rice, Co-Director of the Advancement Project – Los Angeles

First, a definition offered by the panel.  Although social change may ultimately strive to achieve equal opportunity and justice for all, it has additional components:

  • There must be a moral commitment and focus on the marginalized (by poverty, ethnicity, religion, etc.)
  • It involves organizing and empowerment, not amelioration (here is where Paul Connolly commented in his blog entry about this panel that change and charity are important to the equation).
  • It addresses structural changes for lasting impact.

Now, to the core of the quandary.  The panel questioned whether philanthropy had the capacity to support social change due to embedded structural and behavioral impediments.  Their verdict is that if individual grantmakers truly want to achieve social change, they must begin by changing themselves from the inside out, comprehensively and immediately.

To continue reading, visit Philanthropy411.soci

What Is Up With Online Giving In Canada?

Posted by Katya Andresen on May 12, 2010

Many of the same trends we have here!

A great summary from our friends at Canada Helps (sort of the Network for Good of Canada – we consider them our brothers/sisters across the border):

Fighting Malaria in Age of Twitter: Nets Save Lives, So Do Retweets

by Kari Dunn Saratovsky on

Every 30 seconds a child dies of malaria. Nets save lives. So do retweets.

The messaging is so powerful, so clear, and so tweetable – and with the World Bank’s bold announcement yesterday that they are stepping in to fill half of the 50 million “bed net gap,” the Case Foundation together with Malaria No More and Twitter thought there was no better time to launch a citizen driven campaign using the powerful force of the 100 Million users on Twitter.

Let’s take a look at the numbers:

  • At present 200 million mosquito bed nets have been delivered across sub-Saharan Africa, affording protection to half of the world’s population at risk of malaria.
  • 100 million more bed nets are in the process of being produced and delivered, leaving a 50 million bed net gap to meet the United Nations Secretary-General’s goal of universal coverage by year’s end.
  • Every thirty seconds a child dies from malaria in Africa. However, malaria is a completely preventable and treatable disease.
  • There are approximately 50 million “tweets” sent across the twitterverse each day

On Wednesday, the UN Envoy for Malaria Ray Chambers, appointed a group of 50 Social Media Envoys dedicated to utilizing their social profile to keep online and offline media audiences focused on the movement, milestones and resources required to achieve the Secretary-General’s goal of providing all endemic African countries with malaria control interventions by the end of 2010. From Kim Kardashian and Shaq to Bill Gates and Steve Case, these social media influencers are stepping up to use their collective 50 million person following for social change.

To read more about the power of “text to give”…