All posts by Peter Panepento


Podcast: Weighing the Benefits of Google+

The new Google+ social network has been producing a lot of interest, attracting more than 25-million members during its first month.

But for many nonprofits that are still learning how best to use established social networks like Facebook and Twitter, its arrival and rapid growth are anything but welcome news.

If they ignore it, they risk missing out on building strong connections with the early adopters who are flooding into the network.

But if they invest time in developing a presence in Goog…


Podcast: Escaping the Filter Bubble

Nonprofits face a growing challenge getting their message out as Google, Facebook, and other sites increasingly try to tailor information they show to meet a person’s interests.

Eli Pariser, in his new book, The Filter Bubble: What the Internet Is Hiding From You, explores these challenges, explains that as the Internet is beginning to reward things that are “likable,” an article about the war in Afghanistan might not get a reader’s attention, he notes.

So how does a nonprofit working on iss…


Charities Explore Potential of Google+ Social Network

Kaboom on Google+Google+, the social network billed as Google’s attempt to compete with Facebook, isn’t yet fully open to the public. But it is already drawing a lot of buzz in the nonprofit technology world.

While it is still way too early to project whether it will be able to stand on its own next to Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter, Google+ has some potential advantages.

One feature nonprofit officials may especially like: the ability to lump certain types of people into different “circles” and screen what inf…


Podcast: How Small Nonprofits Can Put Social Networks to Use

Building a social-media strategy from scratch can be a daunting challenge, especially for smaller organizations that have limited money and employee time.

But Tracy Viselli and Aaron Steinberg are proving that it is possible for even the smallest groups to create effective online strategies.

Ms. Viselli, a community manager at Action Alexandria, is working with a group of small, local nonprofits in Alexandria, Va., to build successful online fund-raising campaigns.

Mr. Steinberg is the social-m…


Podcast: Groupon and Charity

Groupon, the popular online group-discount site, gets a lot of attention for its deals on sushi and spa treatments. But the site also has strong charitable roots—and big ideas about how it can use its popularity to help raise more money for nonprofits.

Groupon began as an offshoot of The Point, an online-giving platform similar to

And it recently started an effort dubbed “The G-Team” in which Groupon users are encouraged to donate money to help selected charities.

But there’s …


Podcast: Social Media From the Philanthropist’s Perspective

Much of the discussion about social media lately has focused on its usefulness to nonprofits, especially fund raisers.  But there’s little talk about social media from the philanthropist’s side, as tools like Kickstarter give donors greater access to information about specific causes.

In the April edition of The Chronicle‘s Social Good podcast series, Lucy Bernholz, blogger and founder of Blueprint R&D, and Joel Fleishman, the co-author of the recently released book Give Smart: Philanthropy Tha…


Replay: Using Social Media for Social Good

How can charities be more strategic in their use of social media?

Allison Fine—the author, consultant, and host of The Chronicle podcast Social Good—offered advice to those who are working to be more effective in their use of social media.

Click on the replay button below to read what she and other nonprofit leaders had to say.


Podcast: Social Media and Annual Appeals

Nonprofits are increasingly using social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube as key components of their annual fund-raising appeals.

Just how effective are these efforts? And what can fund raisers learn from those who have been experimenting with these tools?

Allison Fine, the host of our monthly Social Good podcast, recently spoke with Katya Andresen, chief operating officer at Network for Good, and Lena Shaw, social media marketing manager at the University of California at San Fr…


Podcast: Protecting Yourself When Social-Media Tools Disappear

Nonprofits are increasingly relying on social networks to keep track of and connect with supporters.

But what happens when one of these networks disappears?

Rumors recently began to surface that Yahoo would be shutting down, a widely used social bookmarking site.

Since then, has released a statement saying it isn’t shutting down but instead is looking for other “fits”—in other words, a buyer.

But the uncertainty of this popular social network has raised questions about w…


Why Charities Need to Take a Long-Term Approach to Online Relationships

Nonprofits must avoid treating their followers on social networks like ATM machines and instead establish strong relationships with them, Allison Fine, the author and the host of the Chronicle podcast Social Good, said during an interview last week on the PBS NewsHour. Doing so will allow organizations to ultimately raise more money, she says.

“This is not direct mail online,” she says. “People who are online who are giving want to develop relationships with causes, with organizations. And thos…