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NonProfit Blog Carnival - NonProfit Technology Edition

Lori Halley 30 June 2009 6 comments

Welcome to the June 2009 edition of the NonProfit Blog Carnival, a monthly showcase of great blog posts for and about nonprofits. The ten articles highlighted here have been chosen to represent a variety of viewpoints and usable information on this month's theme —

Nonprofit Technology

If you’re New to Nonprofit Technology, Heather Carpenter offers an overview of major sites and resources in a round-up post at NonProfit Leadership 601, with links sorted into 8 categories:

  • Overall great nonprofit technology websites;
  • Selecting hardware for your nonprofit;
  • Selecting software for your nonprofit;
  • Web Presence & Using Technology to Fundraise;
  • Nonprofit Technology Events and Conferences;
  • Helpful Nonprofit Technology Books and Reports;
  • Social Media for your nonprofit; and
  • For the true techies.

Any discussion of nonprofit technology is going to include its fair share of social media topics, of course, and this month’s NonProfit Blog Carnival submissions are no exception.  First up, take a look at 4 Facebook Tips for Nonprofit Success – See What Others are Doing (Frank Barry: NetWits Think Tank), which combines practical “how to” tips with examples of nonprofit Facebook pages to study and learn.

Judth Lindenau (Off Stage) is an eloquent advocate of social media for building an association’s community. A 98 Pound AE Weakling? A five month program to association strength through social networking is her response to an association executive friend who threw out this challenge:

All well and good, Lindenau, but I have two questions: where to I find the freaking time to do this, and how do I get started?

Her suggested “game plan” is designed to help folks in small to mid-sized associations — “those of you with limited resources, declining memberships, and not enough bake sales to fund outside help” — get started in developing the personal skills and confidence to use social media effectively.

Embracing the Social Network (written by Floyd Mann and submitted by Roger Burks) is a brief reflection on the 2009 Nonprofit Technology Conference in San Francisco, where social media was a hot topic. Floyd has an interesting theory about why nonprofits were slower than businesses to jump on the social media bandwagon, and makes the point that access to social media is not evenly distributed: it’s important to remember those of your constituents who may not be there yet.

Is social media hurting face to face meetings? When Scott Oser posed the question at Acronym last month, it fired a fair bit of discussion there and on other blogs — and, somewhat ironically, in social media too! Scott invites your comments to keep that conversation going and “really make people think.”

And here’s another question to ponder:
Do you have the right balance of online/onlife communications?
"Communities thrive based on trusted relationships between members," writes Angus Parker at WiserEarth Blog, but online communities often rely too much on 'low touch' channels that don’t provide much in the way of trust building. "The key is to get the right mix."

Social change takes more than social media says Ivan Boothe, writing  in response to Joe Solomon’s round-up at NetSquared on why some “social-media-for-change folks” feel jaded and unmotivated about social media. Ivan comes at the question from a background that blends academic study with on-the-ground community organizing, and his analysis is equally balanced. Does he think the bubble has burst on social media? Check in at Rootwork to find out!

On the other hand, it can be all too easy to get distracted by the latest shiny-shiny tech toy.  Never underestimate the power of a Word document (at Trina’s Nonprofit Blog by Trina Isakson) is a timely reminder not to overlook the potential of some time-honored tech tools we’ve already got on hand.

Don’t neglect your website, either! Eric H. Doss’s lively summary of NTEN’s Study of Nonprofit Website Suckiness (“Trends in Constituent Satisfaction with Nonprofit Websites”) starts with the bleak bad news that banks and governments make better websites than nonprofits! — then moves on to suggest how nonprofit might fix this.  I like this point in particular, for both its humor and its brevity:

If you currently have a website that hasn’t been updated in years, change this immediately.  If a grandmother can’t find your donate button, you’re doing it wrong.

Finally, grab a cup of coffee and set aside a chunk of quiet time to absorb Doug Jacquier’s Opening address - Connecting Up 09 Sydney, 11 May 2009 — although it’s a very long blog post, you’ll find it well worth reading.  Newly returned from visiting a number of nonprofits and companies serving nonprofits in the US and Canada, the CEO of Connecting Up Australia shares a host of insights gained and trends spotted in his travels. The result is an unusual overview of the state of the nonprofit sector, providing a rich resource of useful links and a sense of how other nonprofits are using technology to pursue their missions in a tough global economy.

Nonprofit Blog CarnivalThat wraps it up for this edition of the NonProfit Blog Carnival. Thank you to all who submitted their blog posts for consideration!

Next month, the host blog will be Nonprofit Leadership 601, and A Small Change will be hosting in August. If you’d like to submit an entry to a future edition of the Carnival, you can do so using the carnival submission form or visit http://www.nonprofitmarketingguide.com/blog/nonprofit-blog-carnival/ for more information.


Lori Halley [Engaging Apricot] Lori Halley [Engaging Apricot]

Posted by Lori Halley [Engaging Apricot]

Published Tuesday, 30 June 2009 at 7:36 PM


  • Nonprofit Communications » Blog Archive » Nonprofit Tech - How, When, Why, and What to Consider said:

    Wednesday, 01 July 2009 at 7:15 AM
  • Kivi Leroux Miller said:

    Wednesday, 01 July 2009 at 7:16 AM

    Great edition! Thanks for hosting.

  • frank said:

    Wednesday, 01 July 2009 at 5:07 PM

    Wow. Thanks a ton for the mention! Nonprofits are really doing some nice things with Facebook.

    I appreciate the links to the other posts. Useful information for sure.

  • Lisa Miller said:

    Monday, 06 July 2009 at 8:38 AM

    Fantastic idea to rotate blog info in the "carnival".  I wasn't familiar with the term but I love the potential of intentionally sharing and collecting information with each other to better the nonprofit sector as a whole.  Thanks for letting me know about this great resource.

  • Angus Parker said:

    Monday, 20 July 2009 at 9:06 AM

    @Rebecca: Thank you for the mention of WiserEarth's blog and the specific post. Probably worth mentioning to your readers that <a href="www.WiserEarth.org">WiserEarth</a> has free online community spaces (i.e. groups) for people working in the social justice and environment field. Plus we have the world's largest directory of social justice and environmental organizations (112,000). Best, Angus

  • Lori Halley [Engaging Apricot] Lori Halley [Engaging Apricot]

    Lori Halley [Engaging Apricot] said:

    Wednesday, 22 July 2009 at 8:59 AM

    Hi Lisa,

    No worries, you are certainly not the only one unfamiliar with the term "blog carnival": quite a few people have mentioned that. Blog carnivals are maybe not quite as common as they used to be, back before bloggers had other ways to connect, and I think it's a shame: a blog carnival gives a way to discover new blogs and great material around one central theme. But online events don't "just happen" - calls for a long-term commitment on the part of the organizer - so kudos to Kivi for heading up the Nonprofit Blog Carnival!

    Kivi, Frank - my pleasure. :)

    Angus - thanks for the info on WiserEarth resources!

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