Mapping Your Nonprofit: An Intro to GIS

As a co-organizer of NetSquared DC, I helped design a presentation on the topic of GIS and mapping technology as applied to nonprofits.  The speaker, Robert Cheetham, is both concise and knowledgeable, but more importantly he has a knack for explaining GIS in a way that is very accessible to non-techies.  His firm, Avencia, is an award winning GIS consultancy.

Given the fantastic feedback we received from our NetSquared GIS presentation, I was very pleased to learn that NTEN is featuring Robert in a forthcoming webinar. I you've ever wondered how mapping can help your nonprofit, this is THE webinar to attend. I recommend it highly.  Here's a link to the registration page...

When: Tuesday, October 2nd, 11 am Pacific Time / 2 pm Eastern Time
Cost: $25 for NTEN Members, $50 for non-members


Every Woman Counts Launch Meeting

everywomancounts.jpgLifetime Television, Redbook, CosmoGIRL! and Marie Claire joined forces to create, a non-partisan coalition.  I had the privilege of attending the kick-off dinner reception last night.  As the event announcement stated so clearly, "women, who constitute more than half the population and vote in greater numbers than men, will play a critical role in the election." This fact certainly caught my attention.

During the reception, I also learned about the work of some really great organizations.  Women Under Forty PAC, for example, focuses on supporting women under forty years of age who are running for public office. WUFPAC is nonpartisan and could use your support at their fall event.  View the pdf invite here!  We're also planning a guest blog by Jessica  Grounds, Senior Strategist for Stones' Phones and President of the WUFPAC Board of Directors.


Despite Newer Technologies, Email Remains Number One

Mobile downloads, embedded video, and search engine optimization marketing might make us all bubbly inside, but a recent report in The McKinsey Quarterly posted on eMarketer showed that good ol' fashioned email was still the most popular digital marketing tool.

A survey of 311 marketing executives found that 83% used email, ahead of display ads, paid keyword search, and branded sponsorship. Furthermore, over half of respondents said they planned to increase their email spending in the next three years. Paid keyword search saw the greatest increase in spending, with email, branded sponsorship and referrals rounding out the top four.

What does this mean for you? For starters, make sure your blasts are readable, that they cut through the noise, and that they aren't labeled spam - it works!


Did You Miss The Online Holiday Fundraising Season?

snowman.jpgAccording to this post “Ring-Cha-Ching, Hear Them Ring” on the blog Email Insider, the retail email holiday season has already begun. In fact, it began in August.
Thankfully for nonprofit fundraisers, most donors aren’t yet in the holiday giving mindset. That means there’s still time to prepare for the end-of-the-year fundraising push.  So what do you need to do to get ready? We asked a variety of online fundraising experts and delved into some key online resources and found some great advice.

Click to read more ...


Overbrook Foundation Reports Grantees Don't Know Web 2.0

To date, grantees generally avoid the Web 2.0 tools, at least according to a recent study by The Overbrook Foundation and Allison Fine examining how (and if) grantees were using Web 2.0. 

There are a ton of interesting findings in this report, including:

  • Overall, the grantees are firmly entrenched in the Web 1.0 world, using the Internet for information, not interactivity.
  • Only a small handful of grantees, such as WITNESS, the ACLU, Breakthrough, and WNYC Public Radio, significantly use social media to converse with constituents.
  • Most grantees aren't using even common-place social media tools.  For example, only half of them have blogs, but only half of these groups allow comments on them.
  • Survey respondent and group discussion participants often felt a "common struggle" in understanding which Web 2.0 tools are critically important to their work and were at a loss as to where and how to get help for selecting and using new social media tools.
These findings are intriguing, especially given the recent article by GEO that states grantmakers are beginning to increasingly use the Web 2.0 tools.  Hopefully, both grantmakers and grantees can meet somewhere in the middle of Web 2.0! Web 1.5 anyone?



Online Video: An Interview Revealing Best Practices and Trends

treanor.jpgRecently, I had the opportunity to interview Tim Treanor, Chairman and CEO at Online Video Service, a firm that specializes in video content management for nonprofits.

Tim managed his first political campaign at the age of 20; by 30, he had managed two Congressional victories. He has 20 years of management, public relations and media-development experience, including the production of TV and radio commercials and award-winning rich media websites. At Treanor & Associates, his public affairs and political consulting firm, clients included RealNetworks, The Casey Family Programs and the American Bar Association.

Read on to learn this expert's view on the current state of nonprofits and online video, tips and hints on how to maximize your video's impact, and how much all of this really costs.  

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Second Life: Debunking Myths, Identifying Opportunities

avatar_sabin.jpgAs if the hustle and bustle of real life weren't enough, the booming popularity of Linden Labs's online virtual world phenomenon, Second Life has provided yet another way to put off that big project just a few more hours. 

Second Life isn't just about wasting time, however, nor are its "residents" exclusively teens hunkered down in their parents' basements with Hot Pockets and Red Bulls - there may be real marketing potential for both for-profit and nonprofit organizations.

John Breyault and Kevin Reid from Issue Dynamics Inc. (IDI), a DC-based public affairs firm, invited us to attend an excellent presentation and guided tour of Second Life, providing an overview, debunking myths, and even offering some innovative strategies for nonprofits to tap into the 8.3 million total (500,000 active monthly) residents of Second Life. 

Click to read more ...