Archive for the ‘Social Media For Service’ Category

How Social Media is Affecting Service, Nonprofits and Civic Life

Weekly Round-up: vending machines for charity, champions of change, and Google+ for non-profits

Posted by ServeNext Staff on August 2, 2011

A Japanese vending machine that allows customers to make small donations to the Red Cross with their purchases

1. In the first good news we’ve heard regarding junk food and soda for quite some time, The Chronicle of Philanthropy reported that vending machines all over Japan are now raising money for the Red Cross of Japan by allowing customers to make small charitable donations along with their purchases.

2. The Office of Social Innovation and Civic Participation’s blog highlighted this week’s Champions of Change, or Americans recognized for their hard work towards helping our country meet the challenges of the 21st century.  To learn about every week’s Champions of Change, go to

3. The Corporation for National and Community Service posted a story about Nancy Ryan, a woman who was so inspired by the help she received from RSVP volunteers in caring for her dying husband that after his death, she joined RSVP herself.  “I had other people help my family in times of need. I am giving back by helping others. It gives me a fellowship with other volunteers and gives me a purpose and something to look forward to,” said Ryan in the article.

4.  With the recent introduction of Google +, a new social network and competition for Facebook and Twitter, a lot of people in the nonprofit world have been wondering if this new networking tool is a worthy place to invest time.  Beth Kanter discusses her outlook on Google + and the role it will play in the nonprofit world.

5.  The New York Times published an article in its July 15, 2011 issue about how social innovation is currently attracting the country’s best and brightest.  One example of this trend given in the article cites the figure that the number of MBAs among Teach for America applicants has tripled between 2007 and 2011, and Business schools are adding electives in sustainability and education to respond to students’ interests.


Posted in Social Innovation, Social Media For Service, Stories Of Service, Uncategorized | 4 Comments »

Must-Watch Video Podcast

Posted by bhae09 on March 10, 2010

What is social good?  What is social media?

What would an academic course dedicated to using media to “go viral” for social good look like?

Check out a new video podcast!  It’s called Volunteer Nation: Social Media + Innovation ConvergenceThe first short installment asks those questions while introducing a graduate course called “Power of Social Technology.”

Over five episodes, the podcast will feature interviews with guest speakers to the course (taught by Jennifer Aaker at the Stanford Graduate School of Business) and follow student projects devoted to doing just that – going viral, with a lasting effect.

The first episode raises some very good questions: do we think of social media as a table facilitating intimate conversation, or as a megaphone to yell into?  What are the current limitations of social technology’s ability to help achieve social good?  How can some of those limitations be overcome?

It’ll be very interesting to follow these graduate students’ 10-week experiments in the power of innovation… and their lasting impact.

Posted in Social Innovation, Social Media For Service | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Make your non-profit mobile

Posted by dbittker on February 18, 2010

We’ve all seen the horrific images coming out of Haiti.  The aftermath of the terrible earthquake three weeks ago has left thousands dead and nearly a million people homeless or forced to start over with nothing.  The Haiti earthquake has also introduced a new form of fundraising.  Nearly 30 million dollars were raised simply by sending text messages.  (On that note, texting ‘Haiti’ to 90999 will donate $10 to the Red Cross Haiti relief efforts, if you haven’t already, please consider donating).

Can similar efforts to solicit donations via text message work for your organization?  Not necessarily.  The biggest reason why text-message donations have worked for Haiti is because of the immense devastation that has hit the country.  No matter how absolutely amazing your organization may be, there’s just no way to replicate the images coming out of Haiti and the remorse it evokes.  It’s the emotions of this event that has spurred the amount of donations.  There are still a number of opportunities to request donations via this somewhat new form of technology.  Although texting has existed for a number of years, having the ability to donate via text has popped up only in the past year.  There are a number of different businesses dedicated to helping organizations raise money via text.  mGive is one such company that has some proven success.   There is a monthly fee associated with their service, but they appear to have raised $50,000 – $100,000 for each non-profit they’ve worked with.  Definitely check out mGive or other text message fundraising companies.

While text-message fundraising may not be the most compatible option for your organization, you can still do a lot of work in the mobile sphere.  Questions to ask:  Do we have a mobile website?  Does our site look good on a mobile phone?  Do we get any visitors from mobile operating systems?  If you answered no to any of those questions, you’ve got some work to do.  Mobile web operations are the next technological breakthroughs that are going to become common thought in businesses and non-profit organizations.  You have a chance to get ahead of the curve.

Are mobile websites essential for operations now?  No.  But more and more people are beginning to use smartphones such as the iPhone, Blackberry, and Android.  Businesses and organizations in the U.S. are going to start seeing higher demand for mobile websites.  Talk to your website manager to find out what your organization’s presence is online.  Figure out what you’re willing to commit to moving your organization into the next decade of social media technology.

Here’s a list of 10 great  non-profit mobile websites.  (Best viewed on mobile phones…)

Posted in Social Media For Service | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

Before and Now

Posted by hlaverty on December 10, 2009

The Huffington Post has a great and humorous article by Johann Hari called, ” Has The Internet Brought Us Together—Or Pulled Us Apart?”

The article, as you can tell by its title, discusses the pros and cons of the internet. From the connections we can make with others, such as on social media sites to the hours we lose spending time on it. However, I want to discuss something he doesn’t really mention, how social media affects social good.

As Hari writes and history shows, people had to write everything out, by hand; And for people to even read what others wrote, they had to travel hundreds of thousands of miles sometimes to access it. Then, print came about, revolutionizing the way people could access information, at the time. People discovered things that they may not have known otherwise.

Ogranizations even took to print, creating pamphlets and newsletters, reaching new audiences.

In this day of age, the internet has once again revolutionized how we access information and how we connect with others through social media.

Hari mentions social media as a way to meet a partner, reconnect with people from your past or even how it connects people through a common interest. All true and fascinating. I am still amazed how I can stay connected with my friends all over the world without picking up my phone or sending a letter in the mail.

But social media also creates and assists social goods. Social media has allowed nonprofits and people to reach audiences on a much larger scale than print. Take a look at what happened in Minnesota on their “Give To The Max Day”, $14 million raised all through the use of social media.

Blogs, Facebook, Twitter and Youtube are just among the many social media sites that allow organizations to interact with others. Youtube is filled with videos of people volunteering and videos showing results of their work. Facebook is filled with organizations helping different causes, such as Feeding America. Organizations can now even place a fundraising application on thier Facebook pages called Boundless Fundraising.

There has even been surveys done stating social media is more effective for organizing than traditional media for nonprofits.

Social media, hate it or love it, it proves day after day its impact on the world and the good it can do by helping others.

Posted in Social Media For Service, Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Does It Help?

Posted by hlaverty on December 8, 2009

The Chronicle of Philanthropy has an article out about how charities are looking at the benefits of social media tools.

It contains some information that I have already blogged about, such as the study by Weber Shandwick. But it’s still a good read about how some nonprofits tackle the new ways to raise funds and some lessons they get out of it.

I agree in the last part of the article, social media is in its infancy. I think social media and tools are beneficial for everyone, even if just used (an online social networking site) to get an organizations name and cause out there. But it’s just how people or organizations use those tools or what works for them. Once again, everyone and everything is different, trial and error is just one way an organization can determine what works for them. Surveys are showing some positive results for some.

Posted in Social Media For Service | Leave a Comment »

Innovate For Good

Posted by hlaverty on December 3, 2009

I was on Twitter today and saw a “tweet” about GlobalGiving teaming up with eBay to launch “Innovate For Good.”

Innovate For Good is a contest where GlobalGiving wants you to develop applications that provide GlobalGiving more visibility through the eBay platform or improve their experience in a meaningful way.

The grand prize is a 7-10 day all expense paid trip to visit one of the several projects in one of the 85 countries working with GlobalGiving.

The second place prize is a $1,000 GlobalGiving gift card and the third place prize is a $500 Apple gift certificate.

According to the Web site, Developers have three options for developing applications:

1. Use any available GlobalGiving API to enhance the GlobalGiving experience or create a branded giving experience of your own. Useful apps might include creative ways of displaying GlobalGiving projects, streamlining the giving process, improving project tracking and communication, social/location based mashups, mobile giving apps, or giving games that drive donations. Learn more about GlobalGiving’s available APIs.

2. Support GlobalGiving through the eBay Giving Works program using eBay’s APIs. Developers can build applications to list items that benefit featured GlobalGiving projects (more info) or enable people to search for and buy items that benefit GlobalGiving (more info).

3. Mash up eBay and GlobalGiving APIs to come up with your own idea to support GlobalGiving projects through the eBay or GlobalGiving platforms—or anywhere on the web.

The contest is now through March 3, 2010. Winners are announced on March 19, 2010.

GlobalGiving is an eBay-like platform for giving to specific, grassroots social and environmental projects located around the world. Some projects on their site include, HeroRATS:Saving African Lives & Curbing TB Spread, Give 3,000 students access to music education and Help Guatemalan Women Achieve Self-Sufficiency.

Projects vary from microfinance to animals. The countries range from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe.

For more information on the contest, click here.

To enter the contest, click here.

Posted in Social Media For Service | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

Millions May Donate Online This Season

Posted by hlaverty on December 2, 2009

The NonProfit Times has an article about the possibility of more than 111 million people planning to use the Web to give to nonprofits this holiday season. It’s a good read with lots of interesting numbers, such as:

*63 percent of online consumers said they would donate via the Web during the holiday, compared to 51 percent in 2008

*44 percent of respondents who said they planned to give claimed that a nonprofit’s Web site is the most useful resource in choosing which organization to give to.

*39 percent reportedly making an online donation after clicking through a nonprofit’s site and more than half decided to engage in another way.

The article also discusses not so popular actions after visiting a nonprofit’s Web site, such as:

*Using content from a nonprofit’s Web site on personal social network pages, such as Facebook and Myspace.

*Signing up for an event and using organizations’ site to solicit donations.

Click here to read the rest of the article.

Posted in Social Media For Service | Leave a Comment »

Minnesotans Use The Power of E-Philanthropy

Posted by hlaverty on November 19, 2009

A couple weeks ago I posted a blog about Minnesota being #1 in civic engagement and a blog about, an online platform tool allowing people to donate to nonprofits.

Well, the Minnesotans are proving once again they are #1 while using They raised $14 million through the Give To The Max Day. Over 38,000 donors helped raise the money for 3,434 nonprofits in 24 hours.The online fundrasing ended at 8 a.m. November 18 and was a HUGE success.

Here’s an article about the fundraising results for Give To The Max Day.

Posted in Social Media For Service | 1 Comment »

Doing much better

Posted by hlaverty on November 19, 2009


PR Newswire has an article out today about a social networking application, Boundless Fundraising, (which launched in late 2008) doing much better than anticipated for nonprofits that organize special event fundraising. The application is from Charity Dynamics.

Nonprofits using the application have raised more than $10 million dollars in 10 months, according to the article. An impressive amount for such hard economic times. The Boundless Fundraising is an application used on Facebook which is helping bring in new constituents, 75 percent of the amount came from new donors.
Here’s a quote from the article:

“We knew when we launched Boundless Fundraising that it would be well received by organizations that were looking for new ways to increase giving for special events, and now the results have exceeded even our own fundraising expectations for the year,” said Donna Wilkins, president of Charity Dynamics. “While there continues to be plenty of discussion across the nonprofit marketplace about how organizations can best use social media to achieve real results, Boundless Fundraising has delivered clear proof that constituent-led fundraising can indeed have a strong financial impact.”

So, say I want to raise funds for an organization like the American Heart Association’s Heart Walk . I would go to the organization’s Website, sign up and have the option for a badge (Boundless Fundraising badge) to put on my Facebook profile. Then, from my Facebook profile, people can click on the badge,follow the directions and help contribute to my cause. Easy enough.

Here are some of the organizations using the application American Heart Association,Lance Armstrong Foundation and The Salvation Army.

Posted in Social Media For Service | Leave a Comment »

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 »

%d bloggers like this: