Category Archives: Technology


Can True Activism Be Fostered Through Social-Networking Sites?

Dear Malcolm Gladwell: The nonprofit technology world is not very happy with you.

Mr. Gladwell’s article in this week’s New Yorker magazine, criticizing the hype about social media’s ability to stir social movements, is drawing fire from nonprofit technology experts, among others.

The primary gripe against Mr. Gladwell, left, an author of several best-selling books, centers on his argument that Facebook, Twitter, and other online tools foster “weak” ties among people, which he says are not the …


All About Philanthropy in Less Than Four Minutes

A charity leader in Seattle has assembled a short video laying out the impact of the nonprofit world, a film that he believes can help other nonprofit executives spread the word about philanthropy’s economic value.

The three-minute, 40-second video, “Know Your Sector,” has been posted on YouTube. Among the nuggets of information it contains: the fact that about one in 10 American workers is a nonprofit employee (compared with the one in 57 workers who waits tables).

“My hope is that it will b…


Environmental Activist Draws Attention of Police When Filming Protest Video

Drew Wheelan, conservation coordinator at the American Birding Association, wanted to find an evocative setting for a video calling on BP to stop using a chemical known as corexit to disperse oil in the Gulf of Mexico. So he filmed it in a field across the street from BP headquarters in Houma, La. 

What he ended up with was a video that showed officers from the Terrebonne Parish sheriff’s department trying to stop him from filming and pulling him over after the shoot. The officers explain that B…


Ways Relief Charities Can Retain Donors’ Interest, and More: Wednesday’s Roundup


Devising Effective Mobile Giving Strategies; And More: Monday’s Roundup

  • Trevor Neilson, president of the Global Philanthropy Group, writes on Huffington Post that the slowness of the Hope for Haiti telethon’s online and phone system may have deterred some giving. The telethon had ra…

Improving Haiti Relief Efforts, Plus More: Friday’s Roundup

While there is tremendous work being done by charities, the United Nations, and governments, their coordination “remains unclear,” writes Sergey Brin, co-founder of Google, who this week traveled to Haiti as part of the relief effort. Mr. Brin writes about his experience on his personal blog. “It is critical to have top level command and control across the entire breadth of efforts in order to maximize effectiveness,” he says.

The majority of donors would not text gifts for non-disaster causes, …


Tracking Conditions in Earthquake-Stricken Haiti, Plus More: Thursday’s Roundup

  • As the world responds to the disaster in Haiti, nonprofit blogs are offering updates on the situation. Aid workers in the country are writing about their experiences on AlertNet, a Reuters Foundation Web site about humanitarian emergencies. And on a Council on Foundations blog, the council’s president, Steve Gunderson, is encouraging grant makers to support relief efforts. “Leadership moments are not scheduled,” he says. “If philanthropy’s mission is to serve the common good, this is indeed one…

Concerns About Google’s Holiday Giving, Plus More: Tuesday’s Roundup

  • While Google’s decision to donate $20-million for the holidays is generous, it’s also “lazy,” says Brian Reich, a social-media expert, on his Fast Company blog. He would have preferred if the company had offered to help charities work better with information technology.
  • A.J. Jacobs, author of The Year of Living Biblically, writes about the challenge of tithing, especially in lean times, in Oprah Magazine. “The key is to make it concrete,” he writes. “Try thinking in terms of time. Every 10 mi…

Fallout From JPMorgan Chase’s Charity Giveaway, Plus More: Monday’s Roundup

  • JPMorgan Chase & Company damaged its brand by not being more open about its $5-million Facebook contest for charities, Nathaniel Whittemore, founder of Assetmap, a start-up Web company in San Francisco, writes on
  • How much value does Justin Timberlake or Paris Hilton actually generate fo…

Facebook Changes May Hinder Nonprofit Groups, Plus More: Monday’s Roundup