Tag Archives: nonprofits

‘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.

Giving – especially to small orgs – bounces back

Posted by katya on Katya’s Non-Profit Marketing Blog Tuesday, June 15, 2010

On the heels of GivingUSA’s gloomy news about 2009 giving overall (see my last post) Blackbaud’s charitable giving index shows 2010 is better.  Giving continues to recover this year online and off – especially for smaller organizations:

More on the report is here.

It is part of the Nonprofit Times Sector Dash, which you can find here.

BP Oil Spill: A Tale On Blurring of Sector Boundaries?

Posted by Phil Buchanan, The Center for Effective Philanthropy

June 15th, 2010

In recent years, as a debate has heated up about the respective roles of nonprofits and businesses in our society, I have thought and worried about the tendency to assume that a “blurring of the boundaries” between nonprofits and businesses is a good thing. The BP oil spill has me thinking more.

It is important to remember that, because they are purely mission-driven, the role of nonprofits is sometimes to stand up to, or rein in, business, as Claire Gaudiani argues in her book, The Greater Good: How Philanthropy Drives the American Economy and Can Save Capitalism. She cites examples such as the push by nonprofit environmental groups to ban DDT or get McDonald’s to cease using Styrofoam containers.

Which brings me to BP. Obviously, nonprofits aren’t responsible for the BP oil spill. BP’s greed and incompetence have been on stunning, daily display for nearly two months.

But, just as we can and should ask whether lax government oversight of the oil industry helped make this disaster possible, we can and should ask whether nonprofit environmental groups have been as outspoken as they could be – both before the spill and since. Likewise, we should ask whether funders, and in particular endowed private foundations (which enjoy freedoms other institutions don’t), are doing enough to support those nonprofits that are willing to confront corporate interests when necessary.

I don’t know the answer to these questions. But a recent Washington Post article raises some concerns, discussing in particular the relationship between BP and a major environmental nonprofit, the Nature Conservancy.

The Conservancy … has given BP a seat on its International Leadership Council and has accepted nearly $10 million in cash and land contributions from BP and affiliated corporations over the years,” the Post reports. This latest Post article follows an investigative series by the newspaper in 2003 that raised troubling questions about, among other things, the Nature Conservancy’s alliances with corporations.

To read more of what Jon Buchanon has to say click here…

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

More Than Three-Quarters of American Say a Nonprofit-Corporate Partnership Makes a Cause Stand Out

Sixty-one percent are actively seeking partnership details before supporting the cause, but only 45 percent think organizations disclose enough information.

BOSTON (March 10, 2010) – More than three-quarters (78%) of Americans believe a partnership between a nonprofit and a company they trust makes a cause stand out, according to the newly released 2010 Cone Nonprofit Marketing Trend Tracker.

When the cause breaks through, consumers are more likely to feel positively about the nonprofit (56%) and actively support it. As a result of nonprofit-corporate partnerships:

·         59% of Americans are more likely to buy a product associated with the partnership;

·         50% are more likely to donate to the nonprofit;

·         49% are more likely to participate in an event for the nonprofit; and

·         41% are more likely to volunteer for the nonprofit.

Other nonprofit marketing elements that help capture consumer attention include having an association with a special event or time period (81%); a memorable color, logo or icon that symbolizes the cause or issue (79%) and the involvement of a celebrity or other notable spokesperson (61%).

“Leading nonprofits are transforming their missions into breakthrough cause brands by harnessing the power of corporate partnerships to rally new supporters with a compelling call-to-action,” explains Alison DaSilva, Cone’s executive vice president of Cause Branding. “While we have seen many companies reap the benefits of cause-related partnerships, these results reveal the same benefits hold true for the nonprofit brand. Strategic corporate partnerships can help nonprofits stand out and create new, loyal ambassadors.”

Give Consumers Details

American consumers are highly attuned to nonprofit-corporate partnerships in the marketplace today. Nearly two-thirds (61%) are actively seeking partnership details before deciding to advocate for or donate to the cause. And they want to see results – 75 percent want to hear about the results of partnerships, including the effect on the social issue or money raised for the cause. In light of this penchant for detail, fewer than half (45%) think nonprofits and companies disclose enough information about their partnerships.

Don’t Ignore Traditional Channels

New media have emerged as powerful channels to reach and engage consumers around social and environmental issues and causes, but the Trend Tracker results reveal conventional channels, such as traditional media, advertising and events, still resonate. Americans indicate the following are effective ways for nonprofit organizations to reach them with a message or call-to-action:

·         81% by word-of-mouth from family or friends

·         80% through traditional media (e.g., newspapers, magazines, television)

·         74% in advertising

·         69% at events

·         66% in the store, on a package or at the register

·         64% through standard mail

·         59% through e-mail

·         49% through social media channels (e.g., Facebook, blogs, YouTube, Twitter)

·         29% on mobile devices (via text messaging)

About the survey:

The 2010 Cone Nonprofit Trend Tracker presents the findings of an online survey conducted February 11-12, 2010 by Opinion Research Corporation among a representative U.S. sample of 1,055 adults comprising 510 men and 545 women 18 years of age and older. The margin of error associated with a sample of this size is ± 3%.

About Cone:

Cone (www.coneince.com) is a strategy and communications agency engaged in building brand trust. Cone creates stakeholder loyalty and long-term relationships through the development and execution of Cause Branding, Brand Marketing, Nonprofit Marketing, Corporate Responsibility and Crisis Prevention and Management initiatives. Cone is a part of the Omnicom Group (NYSE: OMC) (www.omnicomgroup.com).

Keep Your Nonprofit Safe From Spam Mail

This article is brought to you by the team at WildApricot.com.

Does your nonprofit send out e-newsletters, fundraising appeals by email, and/or group “email blasts” to your mailing list? And do those messages sometimes get refused or marked as spam? If so, that’s a problem – for your messaging and for your organization’s reputation – but fortunately it’s a problem you can do something to fix.

Here are a few good resources to help you keep your emails out of the spam filters, and improve your organization’s email deliverability rate:

Mailermailer’s Checklist for Email List Managers suggests 7 easy ways to reduce the chance of spam complaints from your email contacts, protect your organization’s reputation, and make sure those email messages keep getting through to your supporters. You’ll want to read the original article for detailed explanations, of course, but here are the highlights:

To continue reading highlights from the original Checklist for Email List Managers, click here.

Guidestar Launches A Nonprofit Rating Platform

By Heidi Genrich

Guidestar, the mega-database of nonprofits and their Form 990s, has launched a site that gathers and organizes nonprofit reviews from GiveWell, GreatNonprofits, Philanthropedia and Root Cause. Most of Guidestar’s parnter sites are all charity evaluators that survey charity experts, though GreatNonprofits utilizes user-submitted reviews. Up until this point, Guidstar has only been primarily useful to those who need know more about a specific nonprofit, but their new platform, , is aimed at directing users to quality nonprofits within various cause categories.

This development is also interesting in light of the joint  press release put out by GuideStarCharity NavigatorGiveWellPhilanthropediaGreatNonprofits and Philanthropy Action last year that condemned the use of overhead ratios (i.e. how much was spent on programs vs. administration vs. fundraising) and finances to rate and compare nonprofit organizations. There has been a positive shift in the community towards prioritizing the nonprofit’s social impact when judging their programs and operations.