All posts by Derek Lieu


YouTube Gives Video Makers New Ways to Support Causes

Charities will soon have a new way for their supporters to use videos to help raise awareness and money on their behalf.

YouTube said Wednesday it is allowing video makers to link directly from videos to pages on the fundraising and petition sites,, and

In addition to those four sites, YouTube in April began allowing links to the sites and, which use crowd-sourcing techniques to seek donations.

Jessica Mason, a Y…


Video: How Small and Large Nonprofits Use Social Media

As social networks grow in popularity, nonprofits of all sizes must figure out how they spend their time using them, which networks to focus on, and what skills to hire for. But big groups and small groups often have different approaches to these challenges.

Large groups typically have more resources and can give more time to social media. For example, TechSoup Global, which has a staff of about 230, dedicates three full-time employees and four part-time contractors to maintaining its presence o…


3 Online Traffic Measures All Nonprofits Should Track

A fact sheet featured on Food & Water Watch. The organization tracks what people download to see what draws attention.

Nonprofits can gather expansive amounts of information about their online visitors by using free programs like Google Analytics.

But how much of this information is really important—especially for groups that have limited time to track and analyze data about viewers?

Joanna Miles, online campaign organizer at Food & Water Watch, an advocacy group, says nonprofit leaders should b…


DoGooder Awards Highlight Effective Nonprofit Videos

Eight charities have won cash grants through the DoGooder Awards, an annual contest that highlights the best nonprofit videos.

The winning videos, which include both advocacy and fundraising features, succinctly communicate a message while including a call to action, says Danny Alpert, a contest judge and executive producer at See3, a video consulting company that sponsors the contest, which is now in its sixth year.

“Nonprofits need to challenge themselves about what makes a story worth telling…


Greenpeace Experiments With Technology Team Structure

Greenpeace has never acted much like other nonprofits. As Michael Silberman, a global director with the environmental protection group, put it in a session at the Nonprofit Technology Conference on Wednesday, “Greenpeace is a big institution but not as staid as other big institutions.”

Mr. Silberman leads an effort at Greenpeace called Mobilization Lab. His small team—three to four full-time staff members by the end of the year, including a data analyst—has two goals: to educate employees on…


Nonprofits Chalk Up Big Gains in Social-Network Followers

Nonprofits are expanding the number of supporters they draw on Facebook, Twitter, and others social networks, all without spending much more money to attract attention, a new study finds.

The average nonprofit’s Twitter page increased its follower count 81 percent in the past year, from 1,822 to 3,290. Groups also added more Facebook followers by 30 percent, from an average of 6,376 in 2011 to 8,317 in 2012.

This year’s findings, from the fourth annual report by the Nonprofit Technology Network,…


Charity Behind Viral Video Failed to Respond to Watchdog Requests

A charity watchdog took the unusual step Monday of calling attention to the unwillingness of the nonprofit behind the popular “Kony 2012″ video to provide basic information needed to certify whether donors should support it.

The BBB Wise Giving Alliance, an accreditation site for nonprofits, has tried for six years to persuade the group, Invisible Children, to undergo a  financial and governance review, to no avail.

During those six years, the Wise Giving Alliance says it has sent 18 letters, in…


What ‘Kony 2012′ Means for Online Advocacy

Since Monday, “Kony 2012,” the 30-minute video released by Invisible Children, a San Diego advocacy group, has garnered more than 50 million views on YouTube, making a household name of Joseph Kony, head of the Lord’s Resistance Army operating in Central Africa.

While the video has enthralled young people on social networks and has been been shared by celebrities, it has also drawn comments and, often, criticism, from opinion makers in the realms of international advocacy and social-media market…


Charities Can Now Have Their Own Pages on Google’s New Social Network

Nonprofits are finally getting their opportunity to create a presence on Google’s new social network.

Until Monday, only individuals were allowed to create pages on the Google+ network, which went public this summer with great fanfare. But now nonprofits and businesses will also be able to, according to Google’s official announcement.

Pages for groups will have many of the same features as personal profiles. Users, for instance, can post information, photos, and videos as well as links and back…


Two Nonprofits Honored for Innovative Technology

Hollaback created a smartphone app that lets victims of sexual harassment log their experiences and post a picture of the person they say harassed them.

South by Southwest, the annual conference of thinkers and innovators, has honored two nonprofits it says are using technology in novel ways to promote social good.

The organizations, which won scholarships to attend next year’s conference, are Hollaback and Friendfactor. Three other groups that are not nonprofits also won after entering an essay…