Cool Things Nonprofits Do

Mobile phones to the rescue in Indonesia, Philippines and Samoa

From the UN Dispatch:

Over the weekend a deadly tropical storm slammed into the Philippines, causing severe flooding in urban areas and affecting tens of thousands.

Tuesday, a powerful underwater earthquake triggered a tsunami with waves 15 to 20 feet high that crashed into the Samoa islands, destroying homes and taking lives.

Then yesterday and today two successive and devastating earthquakes struck the Indonesian island of Sumatra, leaving thousands buried in rubble and in desperate need of aid.

Groups funded by the UN Foundation and Vodafone Foundation Technology Partnership are deployed in all three Pacific Ocean emergencies to provide vital communications services that enable relief workers to deliver food aid and emergency supplies.

I don’t have much to say except that I’m finding it difficult to find links to the appropriate aid agencies that will help the victims in this crisis. If you have any links I should place in this article, feel free to include them in the comments.

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Strategy

Blogging Budget For Nonprofits

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Lewis Kelley from the National Forest Foundation has asked how much it would cost for their organization to blog. The purpose of this post is to discuss a basic yearly budget that encompasses setup costs, labor costs and online services. Let’s do some of the basic math.

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Internet, Nonprofit 2.0, nptech, Strategy

Towards a New Kind of Nonprofit Website, Part II

You’ve read about my operational plan and theorems in Part I of this series. Here’s why I chose Drupal to carry out the Asian Pacific Americans for Progress website instead of WordPress. Read more…

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Internet, npmarketing, Strategy

Why Your Nonprofit’s Volunteer Base Should Blog for Your Nonprofit

Updated 10/2/2009 (new graphic and stats!)
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An alert reader has asked me for a chart on the effect of blog entries on site traffic. I took the time to create a little data table from the Google Analytics reports for APA for Progress. Please be aware that the Jun-09 figures were run on 6/22 so the figures are incomplete for June. These figures run from 1/1/2009 to 9/31/2009. In essence, I’m adding 3 months of extra data.

As you can see in the chart above, there’s a high correlation (.883) (previously .945) between the number of blog entries and the level of site traffic. There’s also an even higher correlation (.903) (previously .820) between the number of blog entries made per month and the number of Google searches that drove users to the site. The correlation numbers have switched mainly because some of the original content on the site in the last month turned out to be tremendously popular and generated a lot of social media buzz. That drives the correlation figures down and especially so for the correlation between blog entries and site traffic. That the correlation got even stronger between blog posts and Google traffic pretty much validates my thinking about blog posts, SEO and Google search traffic. Blog post volume does more to enhance your Google search traffic than it does to enhance your general site traffic volume. However, if your content quality goes up due to the practice involved in making posts and strategizing that comes with it, don’t be surprised to see your site traffic rise in an uncorrelated way with your blog post volume.

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Cool Things Nonprofits Do, Current Projects, Facebook, Nonprofit 2.0, npmarketing, nptech, Strategy, Tweets

Towards a New Kind of Nonprofit Website, Part I

I’ve been doing some research lately on building websites for a political advocacy group, Asian Pacific Americans for Progress (APAP). I haven’t been posting lately because I went down a VERY, VERY deep Drupal, information architecture and SEO rabbit hole for the last few months. I would have written this post sooner but I really wanted to confirm a lot of my thoughts first with site traffic measurements. Basically, this is a story of how a very small political advocacy group went from zero to hero in roughly six months. This is going to be a long post so let’s get started. Read more…

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Internet

Animoto For a Cause

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Check out Animoto for a Cause! I’ve been a long time user of Animoto and I’m actually a paid subscriber to Animoto. I’ve had a lot of fun working with their software to make vacation videos out of pictures I’ve taken.  The way Animoto works is that you upload a bunch of pictures to their site and perhaps an MP3 for a soundtrack and their software creates a video out of your media. For nonprofits, this is a godsend especially since most nonprofits don’t have dedicated staff for making sophisticated multimedia. The time it takes to upload pics and video is nothing like the time necessary to create and edit a video. I highly recommend this software for nonprofits that hold frequent special events and want to promote them on their site. You can upload the video to YouTube and then embed it on your Web site for an instant promotional video of your work.

 Here’s the PR blurb from Animoto itself:

Video creation platform Animoto® (http://animoto.com) today released Animoto for a Cause (http://animoto.com/cause), giving non-profit organizations and community activists free and unlimited access to the full range of Animoto’s services, both standard and premium. Animoto is the web application that lets anyone quickly and easily create dynamic, professional-quality videos from their own photos and music.  Now organizations can use the service to promote their cause online in a multitude of ways, from posting and sharing videos on websites, YouTube and social networks, to downloading them to DVD for distribution at events.  Animoto for a Cause launches with more than 20 participating charities, ranging from national to regional, and applications are now being accepted from qualified organizations, groups, individuals, non-profits, and activists. 

 

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Amazon EC2, Amazon S3, Google, Strategy, Telephony

Google Voice: A New Tool For Nonprofits But Not So Great for Community Voicemail

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UPDATE (3/14/2009 1:07 AM EDT): Check out the blog post from Community Voice Mail addressing my concerns. Oddly, the blogger there claims to have left comments here but I don’t see anything. Just so you all know, I don’t moderate comments except if you put more than one external HTML link in your comment as that’s a sign you may be a spammer. On to the original article…

Launched today, Google Voice is the newest update to Grandcentral,
a service I’ve used since near its inception. It generates a universal phone number that ties together various services such as all your other phone numbers, voicemail, VOIP, SMS and even your Gmail contacts. It’s seamless, it’s convenient, and I love it. The tech press points out that Google Voice is a direct challenge to other established for-profit services such as eBay’s Skype, Vonage and Comcast. They missed out its effect on one nonprofit, Community Voicemail, that offers free voicemail for nonprofit clients.
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Amazon FPS, Google Checkout, Strategy

Republicans Issue Terrible RFP for Their Web Site

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Hey, what can I say? I read Redstate. It’s been fun watching Republicans implode. However, Redstate pointed to a recent RFP issued by the Republican National Committe that seems to encapsulate all the technical problems that the Republicans are experiencing. I point out this RFP only as an instructional guide as to how NOT to write an RFP for your website redesign. The RNC issued a TWO page RFP for a complete redesign of their website. The modus operandi for the redesign as expressed by Michael Steele:
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Nonprofit 2.0, nptech

IgniteNYC on 2/23/2009

Please click on the thumbnails below to get the full picture.

I attended IgniteNYC to try to understand the state of tech in NYC. What I found out instead was the state of art in NYC. Not the state of the art, but how artists are using technology for their projects. Many of the people here were discussing how their art interacted with technology. It’s 2009 and it seems that the use of Web 2.0 technology and data visualization techniques has become de rigeur for artists.
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Mobile, nptech

MobileTech4SocialChange Barcamp Report

Here are some pics from the Barcamp. I tried to get a nice representative sample of what I saw. Please click on the thumbnails below to get the full picture.

Ok, I’m a little late on my m4change post, but my ex-Catholic guilt and the fact that Katrin Verclas is on the other side of the wall is starting to get to me. I attended the mobiletech4socialchange barcamp last Saturday (2/21/2009) and it was an illuminating event for me. Two projects have accumulated mindshare among nonprofit mobile tech advocates: Mobile Commons and Ushahidi. If I were to make a tag cloud of what everyone said during this conference, both Ushahidi and Mobile Commons would have the biggest and fattest tags.
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