Archive for the ‘Highlights’ Category

Weekly Jobs Spotlight

Posted by ServeNext Staff on August 4, 2011

1. The Columbia University Early Head Start Program is looking for a Child Specialist fluent in English and Spanish to design and implement strategies to create an environment that fosters learning, develop lesson plans, and perform diligent monitoring of Early Head Start participants’ progress and well-being.

2. Best Buddies International Inc., a nonprofit organization “dedicated to establishing a global volunteer movement that creates opportunities for one-to-one friendships, integrated employment and leadership development for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDDs),” seeks a Program Manager for its School Friendship Programs in Louisville, KY.

3. The Greater Boston Food Bank Inc. needs a Production Manager for their Volunteer Engagement to perform a variety of tasks including managing individuals and groups of volunteers, planning and executing volunteer outings, monitor food inventory, and manage other coordinators within the organization.

4. The Public Interest Network, which includes U.S. PIRG, Environment America, the Fund for the Public Interest, Green Corps and other organizations that engage in research, advocacy, grassroots organizing and litigation to win positive changes for our environment and our society, is looking for a web associate to develop strategies to help engage members of the organization and the public.

5. City Year of Boston, MA, an organization that “unites 17-24 year olds of all backgrounds for a year of full-time service, giving them the skills and opportunities to change the world,” needs an Evaluation Data Coordinator.


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Weekly Highlights: An iphone app for for advocacy, hacking for change, and the question of private donors in the nonprofit world.

Posted by ServeNext Staff on July 10, 2011

Here are some interesting highlights from across the social change spectrum this summer…

1. The Chronicle of Philanthropy blog shares with us a new App created for iphones, ipads, and some ipods that enables users to contact congressional representatives, connect with other advocates and organizers, and sign petitions anytime and anywhere! and sign petitions anytime and anywhere! If only everyone took all the hours they spend playing games and refreshing their facebook pages and talked to their congressional representatives about the importance of service in their communities instead!

2. In her blog on technology and social media in the nonprofit world, Amy Sample Ward gives us an insightful post about the principles of community organizing.

3. Hacking for a cause?  That is precisely what 50 pre-selected participants did in the event Hack for Change, organized by Founder Ben Rattray and covered by Mashable.  From the article:

“The smartest people in the world are focused on problems that don’t really matter,” says Ben Rattray, founder of “What we want to do is dedicate the time, effort and energy of those people to important issues.”

4. The Chronicle of Philanthropy blog included an article that focused on the subject of getting the wealthy to share their money to help those who need it more.

5. The Stanford Social Innovation Fund blog posted an article making the case for large private donors to contribute their funds to intermediaries, or organizations that receive government funds and then redirect these funds to direct service nonprofits.  The idea of this system is that these intermediaries are able to direct government funds to where they are most needed and where they will be used most efficiently and effectively, but private donors have not yet utilized these intermediaries in their non-profit investments.

Posted in Highlights, Philanthropy, Social Innovation | Leave a Comment »

Weekly Round-Up: Social Media Resources, a Top 10 List, and a Remarkable Response

Posted by ServeNext Staff on June 22, 2011

Residents of tornado-ravaged Joplin, MO show their gratitude to volunteers

Read the rest of this entry »

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The Week in Service Highlights

Posted by ServeNext Staff on April 20, 2011

It’s been a hectic week for the national service community with the averted government shutdown and the budget negotiations. Read on for updates on the great things happening in communities across the nation in the midst of all of the activity here in Washington:

1.) In celebration of National Volunteer Week which took place from April 10-16, the Idealist Blog wrote about ways to incorporate volunteering into a busy schedule. They give three suggestions: do-it-yourself volunteering such as picking up litter or donating books to a book drive, microvolunteering by donating your marketable skills to a nonprofit in need, and family volunteering. 

2.) In the National Service blog’s National Service Digest: CNCS in the News post this week, they highlighted a group of teens in Tulsa, OK who chose to skip their senior prom in order to paint a playground at the West Mabee Boys and Girls Club.  When the students were asked if they felt that they were missing out on an important rite of passage, Matt Patrick, the student who speared-headed the idea, said “Maybe, but this is more important.” This attitude surprised and impressed the workers at the Boys and Girls Club who were thrilled to have some extra help.

3.) MTV Act, a subset of, is a blog encouraging teens to take action on issues they care about. Last week, they featured LIFT communities, which works to give families the resources to combat poverty. The post discusses LIFT’s new WHY I LIFT campaign which shares stories of service from volunteers of all ages. Be sure to check out both MTV Act and the new WHY I LIFT initiative!

Make sure to come back next week for more updates about what’s happening in the service community!

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The Week in Service Highlights

Posted by ServeNext Staff on April 5, 2011

Check out some interesting articles from the past week related to national service:

1.) The Harvard Business Review featured a great blog post about Teach for America as an “educational entrepreneurial incubator”. A study titled “Creating a Corps of Change Agents” analyzed the career histories of founders and top-level management at organizations considered entrepreneurial in education. The findings indicated that TFA was overly-represented in the career histories of this group. The blog post explains further why this is not simply a result of TFA’s size and recruitment of individuals with leadership potential, so be sure to check it out for more details!

2.) About a month ago, we blogged about the growing encore career movement. On April 5, Marc Freedman, CEO and Founder of Civic Ventures released his book The Big Shift detailing the rise of the concept of the “encore” stage of life and the ways that society is changing to accommodate the large number of adults who are beginning a new career once they’ve retired. An excerpt from The Big Shift was featured on and has been generating buzz among people of all ages.

3.) A new nonprofit called Palindrome Advisors has reached out to technology and business leaders such as Google, Twitter, and Apple to sign the “Palindrome Pledge.” By signing, these leaders vow to lend their donation and management to expertise to nonprofits. According to the Wall Street Journal, it is “ for industry leaders and the boards of nonprofits”. There are already 100 executives signed up and not all from the technology industry, there is representation from government, energy, and entertainment sectors.

4.) Last week the United Way announced its new initiative to recruit 1 million volunteers as mentors, tutors, and readers to students. This is a part of a broader goal for the organization: to halve the nation’s 25-percent high-school dropout rate by 2018. Studies have found that the main reason people do not volunteer in their communities is because they do not feel connected. As a part of this new goal, the United Way will work to make it easier for people to volunteer within their communities.

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The Week in Service Highlights

Posted by ServeNext Staff on March 23, 2011

Lots has been going on in the national service community, but here are links highlighting some articles detailing what’s been going on this past week.

1.) On March 18, The Philanthropy Journal reported on the Corporation for National and Community Service’s new report “Volunteering in America 2010” which shows that “Across the country, 63.4 million Americans volunteered to help their communities in 2009, an additional 1.6 million volunteers when compared to 2008, contributing 8.1 billion hours of service, which has an estimated dollar value of nearly $169 billion” according to the official Corporation website on the report. The Philanthropy Journal highlights the monetary value of volunteer work. In 2009, it was $20.85  and in 2010 in rose to $21.36.

2.) While many people are aware of the basics of the variety of AmeriCorps and other Corporation-funded programs, a recent City Year blog post gives insight into one little-known aspect of the program: the City Year Advanced Training Academy. It takes place during a week when the children City Year members serve are on school vacation or have the day off and works to build the team dynamic and get excited about the rest of the year.

From left: Corporation CEO Patrick Corvington, Director of Senior Corps Dr. Erwin Tan, Senior VP of Habitat for Humanity International Liz Blake, Executive Director of Habitat for Humanity of the Chesapeake Mike Mitchell and Habitat home recipient and Marine Corps veteran Ronald Moulden

3.) This past week the National Service blog featured a post about a recent collaboration of Habitat for Humanity of the Chesapeake, the Corporation for National and Community Service, 125 veterans, active duty military, and AmeriCorps members to build homes in the Annapolis and Baltimore areas. Habitat has been receiving volunteers through the Corporation since 1994. At the event, Liz Blake, CEO of Habitat for Humanity International expressed the importance of these volunteers “Habitat couldn’t do what it does without AmeriCorps, without VISTA, without the Corporation for National and Community Service. AmeriCorps is the unsung engine of Habitat for Humanity.”

4.) Many of  us have questions about the most appropriate uses of social media within nonprofits, as did attendees of the Nonprofit Technology Conference last week. During one session, they discussed their own organizations’ unique approach to a variety of social media puzzles. Raymond Flandez of The Chronicle of Philanthropy compiled the most burning questions and examples of best practices from a variety of sources into a comprehensive set of answers into an article called “10 Burning Questions About How Charities Should Use Social Media”.

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The Week in Service Highlights

Posted by ServeNext Staff on March 17, 2011

Things have been pretty busy here at ServeNext! In the midst of the Save Service campaign we also hosted our first retreat for our new class of ServeNext Organizers.  It is an awesome group of 15 tremendous leaders from around the country who are deeply passionate about service and ready to take their commitment to the next level by leading grassroots advocacy in their districts/states.  It was a great weekend here in DC and their leadership is critical right now for the service movement.

Remember, the fight to save service continues in the federal budget for FY2011 and soon FY2012.  For updates, visit our action page or the Save Service page.

Here are some recent happenings in the service community:

1.) Craig Newmark, founder of Craigslist, has started a new site just for nonprofits called craigconnects which works to connect nonprofits to one another and gain supporters. For more information, read the full article from the Chronicle of Philanthropy.

2.) The Huffington Post just published a great blog post by Rich Tafel, the president of Public Squared. Titled “At the Table, Off the Menu: Nonprofit Advocacy in the Age of Budget Cuts”, the post gives suggestions to nonprofits working in the current fiscal environment.

3.)In the wake of the tsunami and earthquake in Japan, the urge to help is overwhelming, but many worry about where there money is actually going. Saundra Schimmelpfenning, the founder of The Charity Rater, LLC offers 15 great strategies for effective giving in the aftermath of a tragedy.

4.) This year, the National Conference on Volunteering and Service is June 6-8 in New Orleans Louisiana. This past week on the National Service blog, Delores Morton who provides strategic direction for the conference talked about some exciting developments for this year.

5.) Yesterday, Google launched a new application process for nonprofits who are looking for access to their free suite of programs including up to $10,000 a month in advertising on Google AdWords, free or discounted Google Apps to cut IT costs and operate more efficiently, premium features for YouTube and mapping technologies to raise awareness of your cause. Idealist provides a comprehensive overview on their blog.

Have a great week and stayed tuned for more highlights!

Posted in Advocacy and Policy, Highlights, National Service | Leave a Comment »

News Round-Up: Cities of Service, TFA, and Service-Learning

Posted by Leighton Cooper on July 22, 2010

A weekly round-up of news about service, social innovation, and social change.

Cities of Service

As  ServeNext continues to move forward with its own plans to extend field corps members into ten cities, Cities of Service announced recently that $200,000 would be provided to ten more cities across the country, an initiative headed by mayors Michael Bloomberg and Karl Dean of New York and Nashville but including 100 mayors across the country. This is the second set of ten cities to undertake this effort. The Chronicle of Philanthropy wrote a story detailing a project that will be “sustained opportunities to bring systematic change and greater impact to the way communities support each other,” according to spokesman, Judith Rodin from the Rockefeller Center.

Teach for America

According to the The Sun News, in 2009, Teach for America applications rose more than 40 percent over 2008. Young people are realizing the value of completing terms of service. There are several draws to doing service related employment or taking nonprofit jobs. Recent graduates are noticing the expansion of the service community and taking advantage of the new openings and opportunities to do a wide range of activities.

Millions in Service Grants

The Corporation for National and Community Service recently awarded $9 million in “Learn and Serve America Higher Education grants to support teacher training and increase student interest in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math disciplines.”  There was another $20 million devoted to schools nation wide to engage in service-learning.

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Survey says….

Posted by hlaverty on November 19, 2009

It looks like almost all nonprofits are experimenting with social media now, but only half of them are utilizing social media actively according to the survey I just read by the Weber Shandwick’s Social Impact team conducted with KRC Research. The research was conducted July 29 through August 17, 2009 and released on November 12.

Now, not to get too technical and scientific on you, I will give you a run down on some of the findings:

*Social media is changing the way nonprofits communicate with external audiences with a positive impact.

*Social media is seen as more effective for organizing than traditional media.

*Social media is a priority for the future (85 percent agreeing with this) and worth the investment.

*Social media makes it easier to organize advocates on behalf of their organization, but also for people to organize independently, a double-edged sword in organizing.

Other interesting things to note:

*Organizations operating with a budget of $25 million or more are even more likely to LOVE social media and be good at it.

* Nonprofit executives view social media as effective in raising visibility and building awareness of their organization.

*A lot of organizations have not yet determined the value of social media for their organization or have the necessary staff and expertise to render their social media programs.

But that’s where this survey can play a role in offering insights into how nonprofits and organizations can optimize their social media in the future.

Organizations can start implementing strategic programs that drive digital engagement, invest in social media to achieve fundraising goals,brand building and advocacy and ways to reach other stakeholders.

I can use the recent successful use of social media for the The America’s Giving Challenge, a competition that challenged people to use their personal networks and social media to help win cash for a nonprofit of their choice. Participants competed for daily and overall cash awards based on the number of donations generated for a cause, not dollars raised. It focused on how successful people were at building collective action and inspiring members to donate to a cause.

To see more results of the survey, the scientific stuff that comes with it or to use it as your guide to better your social media click here.

Posted in Highlights, Media, Research, Social Media For Service, Uncategorized | 1 Comment »

Thursday’s Highlights

Posted by Zach Maurin on August 13, 2009

1. The Chronicle of Philanthropy highlighted a  really interesting new law in Illinois “aimed at improving social entrepreneurs’ prospects for finding money by creating a new category of a nonprofit and business hybrid.”  Called LC3, this corporate structure would enable businesses with a social mission to seek financial capital with potential for a financial return on investment, therfore, openning up more funding possibilites outside of grants.

2. On Twitter, I saw that @Kanter mentioned a new report: “Online Tactics & Success: An Examination of the Obama for America New Media Campaign.”  The idea is to look at what worked and didn’t work for the Obama campaign and how that applies to new media efforts for non-profits.  I need to go back and read thoroughly, but I think this is a very thought-provoking paragraph in the introduction:

The field team placed 4,000 paid local organizers on the ground, and while the new media program was tremendously valuable to the field program in identifying and recruiting volunteers, there was no true integration between the programs after a new volunteer was recruited and then handed off to the field team.

This is where there is a lot of room for discussion and experimentation (in terms of strategy and technology): successfully meshing online and offline coordination to make both more efficient and scalable.

3. Lots of great job openings at City Year.

4. Musician and activist Usher and his Camp New Look youth participants are doing incredible service work with Nothing But Nets to send bed nets and save lives.  They have committed to sending 40,000 anti-malaria bed nets to refugees in Ethiopia.  Says one participant:

“No one in my community talks about service. The opportunity to be involved in Usher’s New Look and the Nothing But Nets campaign will honestly change my life. I can’t wait to bring the power of service back to my community.”

Read the whole story here.

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