Category Archives: Uncategorized

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.


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 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.

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, “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.

Allison Fine and Beth Kanter: Connecting With Social Media

Okay, so if you are living under a nonprofit rock — first of all I’m sorry, because it must be gross — and second of all you should get out. For all of you nonprofits who want to break out from under that rock, this is a great way to start.

Last week I tuned in to a live webinar on how to Build a Networked Nonprofit Group, hosted by authors and nonprofit guru’s Beth Kanter and Allison Fine. These lovely ladies, as The Chronicle bests puts it,

“write about the ways even the most time-pressed nonprofit groups can harness social-media tools to expand their network of donors and volunteers, adocate for their cause, and win attention.”

With their new book just released this June, The Networked Nonprofit: Connecting With Social Media to Drive Change, Kanter and Fine present the most up to date and relevant information your nonprofit could need. The book covers all the basics; Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, YouTube, wikis, blogs, contests, map, widgets etc. in a simple and clear cut manner. You do not need to be an internet techie to get something out of this book. It’s relevant and include great examples of how nonprofit organizations — both big and small — have used these tools to be help leverage their success.

If you or someone in your nonprofit doesn’t have time to sit down and read the book (which you should do, really it’s one book that will benefit your organization in the long run), then check out this webinar online. Beth and Allison have given tons of links and feeds to informational sites. After reading through their Twitter Tip Sheet, you’ll know what I’m taking about.

If anything, you will feel confident knowing that you are not the only nonprofit out there that at times may feel utterly challenged by technology overload. Because, let’s face it, there are so many tools out there that it can really be overwhelming. The trick is to find one media that is right for you and your nonprofit, then utilize this to it’s full potential.

Would You Buy “Dirty Water” … To Help Save a Life??

In an effort to publicize the Tap Project, UNICEF has pitched a confronting campaign to New Yorkers as the city reaches record high temperatures. The international nonprofit has put up vending machines throughout the city dispensing eight flavors of dirty water: cholera, dengue, hepatitis, malaria, salmonella and yellow fever. Proceeds of every bottle of water purchased will go directly to UNICEF’s attempt to fight water related diseases around the world.

The public display of human rights by UNICEF highlights that every day over 4,000 children die from water related diseases. The program has the potential to save many lives and will also support UNICEF in meeting the United Nations Millennium Goals, which strives to reduce the number of people without access to safe water and basic sanitation by 50% by 2015. The plan is to also save children at risk from waterborn illnesses, the second highest cause of preventable childhood deaths.

The Project started in 2007, when restaurants in New York City asked their patrons to donate $1 or more for the tap water they usually enjoy for free. All funds go directly back to support UNICEF’s water, sanitation and hygiene programs, which have helped save more children’s lives than any other humanitarian organization. What started  with just 300 restaurants, the program has grown to include thousands of restaurants across the country today.

As East Coast temperatures continue to reach record highs, the idea of having consumers purchase for a cause has to potential to help solve the problem of water caused disease throughout the world.

A Breakdown of How Nonprofits Raised and Spent Money to Help Rebuild Haiti

From The Chronicle of Philanthropy July 9, 2010

Six months after the earthquake in Haiti, nonprofit groups have raised $1.3-billion to help the nation recover.

ActionAid USA
Amount raised: $471,813; $11,000,000 worldwide
Amount spent: $2,351,000 worldwide
Where the money went: Food, clothing, and tarps for 20,000 people. Basic health care for 140 people. Also has gathered and mapped information on gender-based violence in the camps.

Read the full article to find out how other nonprofit groups raised and spent money to aid in Haiti’s reconstruction.

NGO’s Role in Effective Disaster Response

By Charles Maclean, founder of Philanthropy Now

What Will It Take For Disaster Response To Do More Good and No Harm?

Gulf oil spill, Afghanistan warfare, Haiti earthquake, Indian Ocean tsunami, Katrina hurricane, Rwanda genocide, Somalia famine… What’s to come? How can NGOs respond smarter? How can donors give smarter? How can aid recipients become uplifted and self-sufficient?
Research reported by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, National Academy of Sciences and Florin Diacu’s book Megadisasters suggests that natural catastrophes and human-caused calamities are likely to increase in frequency and severity.

To read the full story join the Social Edge Discussion.