Broadlink gives pupils connectivity

first_imgThe internet offers many educational resources that can be used to supplement learning at any stage of one’s education, this makes access to the internet an important tool for learning. (Image: Broadlink)Together, Mpheti Mahlatsi Secondary School in Orange Farm and Southview High School in Lenasia have about 2 500 pupils, to whom they can now offer access to the world wide web thanks to the efforts of internet service provider Broadlink and its partners, 3P Learning.3P Learning is an international group that facilitates online educational platforms focusing on mathematics and general literacy.The partners installed a five megabyte per second uncapped wireless DSL connection at each of the schools, which will run for the next 18 months. They are hopeful access to the internet will help to transform the pupils’ experiences at school and open more avenues for their studies.Before the two companies stepped in, both schools had computers and a handful of tablets, but funding was an obstacle when it came to providing the pupils with a constant and reliable connection to the internet. This meant that at best, using online learning resources was difficult.But this is a hurdle that has now been overcome, allowing the pupils to enjoy the full benefits of the 3P Learning content, such as its maths programme, Mathletics. In addition to providing internet connectivity, Broadlink donated R100 000 towards the licence fees needed to get Mathletics.Nicole van Niekerk, the head of marketing at Broadlink, said that without the internet it was difficult to run online education programmes such as these, which were meant to help “to bridge the gap between the requirements for more connected and paperless education and the materials that can make that a reality”.Penny Andrew, the spokesperson for 3P Learning, said the investment would help to promote quality education and better equip pupils with skills and information to help them thrive in life after school. “By Broadlink providing a reliable internet connection, teachers and learners now have the ability to use and update the Mathletics programme and make use of online tutorials.“This is why we only partner with the very best technology and connectivity partners to assist with technical requirements as well as maintenance and upkeep, so we can focus on providing educational programmes for the pupils.”Broadlink’s involvement has helped to fast-track the installations at the schools and allowed 3P Learning to start training teachers and facilitators in the use of their programmes. They are also helped to integrate the 3P Learning programmes into their curricula to get the best out of their time with the students as soon as possible.“Broadlink is very proud to be involved in an initiative that empowers individual learners to take their education in their own hands,” said Van Niekerk.“Using the platforms provided by 3P Learning, together with much-needed access to all the benefits of being connected to the world globally, we feel these learners have a better chance for employability, furthering their studies and staying in the schooling system – which is a win for everyone.”last_img read more

Cache Carnival

first_img SharePrint RelatedCome one, come all to Cache Carnival!March 25, 2019In “News”Introducing Creation Celebration EventsFebruary 19, 2019In “Community”Cache Carnival festivities from around the worldApril 30, 2019In “Community” Celebrate geocaching creativity and diversity around the world!Join Cache Carnival starting March 25, 2019, and earn up to five souvenirs* inspired by historic carnival locations by collecting points on your Leaderboard (previously the Friend League) before the carnival ends on April 14, 2019.Cache Carnival celebrates geocache creativity—collect extra points for finding highly favorited geocaches or earning a Favorite point** on a cache you own!But that’s not all! Geocaching would not exist without the people who channel their creativity and innovative spirit into making great experiences for others. So we’re welcoming all geocache owners (and folks who want to celebrate their favorite cache owners) to host events celebrating geocache creation to inspire the next generation of geocache makers. We’re calling these events Creation Celebrations. Anyone who logs an “Attended” at a registered Creation Celebration event will earn a sixth souvenir! Learn how to host or find a Creation Celebration event in your area.Read more about Cache Carnival rules in the frequently asked questions.Share your favorite caches or caching story with #cachecarnival.——————————————————————————————————*Souvenirs are virtual pieces of art that can be earned and displayed on your profile.**Geocaching Favorite points are a simple way to track and share the geocaches that you enjoyed the most. Premium members can award Favorite points for geocaches they love.Share with your Friends:Morelast_img read more

Three Types of Heat Pump Heat

first_imgAllison Bailes of Decatur, Georgia, is a speaker, writer, building science consultant, and the author of the Energy Vanguard Blog. You can follow him on Twitter at @EnergyVanguard. Since more people are using heat pumps these days, even in cold climates, let’s spell out the three different types of heat that conventional heat pumps provide.  Why not?  We’ve just recently covered the three main sources of home heating and then stepped back and looked another group of three sources of heat for high-performance homes (as enumerated by Skylar Swinford).  Now let’s zoom in a bit on heat pumps.1.  Pumped heatThis is the heat you get when the compressor runs.  The compressor is what drives the refrigerant through the phase-changing, heat-exchanging thermodynamic cycle that allows your heat pump to extract heat from the cold outdoor air and transfer it to your warm indoor air.  This is possible because the Second Law of Thermodynamics says heat flows from warmer to cooler objects…and the refrigeration cycle makes the outdoor coil colder than the outdoor air.This type of heat is abundantly available when it’s chilly but not real cold.  As the outdoor temperature drops, so does the amount of heat available in the outdoor air.  That in turn reduces the capacity of the heat pump.  As long as the outdoors isn’t at absolute zero —and it’s never absolute zero anywhere — there’s still heat available.  It just gets harder and harder to move it indoors.Eventually, the amount of compressor heat available drops below the amount of heat needed inside the home.  That’s when you need…2.  Supplementary heatAs stated above, the heating capacity of a heat pump drops as the outdoor temperature drops.  At the same time, the heating load of the house increases.  At some temperature, the capacity is just equal to the load, a temperature we call the balance point.  Below that, the load is bigger than the capacity and you need some type of supplementary heat.As the outdoor temperature drops, the heating load on a house increases and the heat pump capacity decreases.As I discussed in the three main sources of home heat article, the supplementary heat is typically provided by electric resistance heat (also called strip heat).  But it’s not the only choice.  You could pair a furnace with your heat pump and have what’s called a dual fuel system.  Or you could put a hydronic coil in the air handler, which is really nice way to provide your supplementary heat.3.  Emergency heatAnd then there’s that setting on your thermostat you may have noticed.  Maybe you’ve even been told to set your thermostat to it whenever it’s cold outside.A heat pump thermostat has an emergency heat mode in addition to the standard heat, cool, and off modes.Heat pump thermostats have a fourth mode (after heat, cool, and off) called emergency heat, which turns the compressor off and relies on the supplementary heat source for all of your heat.  If, as many do, your heat pump uses strip heat as your supplementary heat, then your heating bills will go up, possibly way up.  Don’t do that!Emergency heat is aptly named.  If your supplementary heat is provided by electric resistance, you should use that setting only when the heat pump is not working and you can’t get any pumped heat.Now you know all about heat from heat pumps.  Or at least the three types of heat provided by conventional heat pumps.  I guess I should say something about mini-split heat pumps, but I’ve got to go get some breakfast now so that’ll have to wait.last_img read more

Listening To the Bad and Using It for Good

first_imgOne of the great things about social technology is that anyone can have a platform for promoting their view of the world – via blog, comments on another person’s blog, Facebook page, Twitter, etc. That means that sooner or later, people are going to talk about your organization or cause online. That can feel great, if they love you; or it can feel bad, if they say stuff that’s not so nice. But I think the not-nice stuff is even more valuable sometimes, especially when it relates to our communications and customer/donor service. It’s good to know when people aren’t happy, because it can help us do a better job serving them by solving problems we may have been unaware about.Tactical Philanthropy blog asked me my philosophy on this topic after GiveWell blog had some not-so-nice things to say about Network for Good, which I replied to and discussed before eventually settling the matter. I thought I’d share what I said:Good marketing is about listening to the audience, acknowledging their perspective and having a conversation based on that perspective. A good marketing relationship is like any other relationship – it’s based in listening and conversation, and not simply monologue. Now everyone – including donors – has the tools to talk to the world, and that means nonprofits have the opportunity to listen, and sometimes, to start a conversation. I consider the Internet one big focus group – a place to see what donors, nonprofits and others are saying and doing, and a means to engage those audiences in conversations about what they care about. Donors’ blogs are incredibly useful – they are audience research, a feedback loop, a sounding board and a place to start a relationship – all rolled into one.That’s all really easy to say, but hard – even painful – to experience. Blogs allow people the freedom to talk about your issue or organization in their own words, and that means a loss of message control, which can be difficult to embrace. Sometimes what people say online is not especially nice or constructive, or it may not be based in a thorough understanding of any issue. It can be unpleasant – and sometimes, I think it’s best not to respond if what you read is a cheap-shot from someone not very invested in the issue at hand. I’ve stayed out of some conversations for that reason. But often, what a comment or post online may lack in warmth, it more than makes up for in authenticity and passion, and, however much it hurts to read it (and it hurts, especially if you believe in what you do), it’s very useful to know what people are honestly thinking. Those honest thinkers are worth listening to and learning from, and speaking with.In the case of GiveWell, it was very important to know people don’t have a good understanding of our fees, and why. Obviously, we should do a better job explaining them, and we will. I stand by our fees and believe they are incredibly fair considering all that we offer nonprofits, but if folks think they are not worth it, then I need to listen to that opinion – and learn from it, then do a better job as a communicator going forward.If I were working in marketing at United Airlines, I’d spend more time reading http://www.untied.com/and thinking about how to improve my company than I would on creating new ad campaigns.We have a serious problem in our sector right now – so bad, we might end up with an untied.com of our own. Most donors stop giving to charity because of dissatisfaction with how they were treated by the charity rather than personal constraints like financial problems. Too much mail, no thank-you acknowledgements, and little information on how their money was spent. If they are that mad, we had better listen-and learn.last_img read more

Media Habits of 12-24 Year-Olds vs. 25-54 Year-Olds — Key to Shaping Your Nonprofit Marketing Agenda

first_imgCare GREATLY about sources of news and information onlineNurture your brand — it’s vital for these folks Like mobile for voice (and a few for data) but do not see their world on mobile phonesI think this is going to change very soon, pay close attention to this factor Source: http://www.gettingattention.org/my_weblog/2007/10/media-habits-of.htmlAbout the AuthorNancy E. Schwartz helps nonprofits succeed through effective marketing and communications. As President of Nancy Schwartz & Company (http://www.nancyschwartz.com/), Nancy and her team provide marketing planning and implementation services to organizations as varied as the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Center for Asian American Media, and Wake County (NC) Health Services.Subscribe to her free e-newsletter “Getting Attention”, (http://www.nancyschwartz.com/getting_attention.html) and read her blog at http://www.gettingattention.org/ for more insights, ideas and great tips on attracting the attention your organization deserves.NOTE: You’re welcome to “reprint” this article online as long as it remains complete and unaltered (including the copyright and “about the author” info at the end), and you send a copy of your reprint. For first time willing (2005) to pay for digital content-never beforeInventory your information assets and think about options for distribution Will never own a land-line phoneWill not watch television on someone else’s schedule much longer, and much less interested in TVTV ads won’t work, unless they’re part of the show (how about cause placement?) Use IM. Think email is for their parentsLife of a 25-54Still read offline newspapers and magazinesCast your op-eds to this group, boomers and seniors Little interest in the source of information and most information aggregatedEverything will move to mobileMore than advocacy and fundraising alerts, and make it interactive please Aggregate information online and use RSS (though few know the term)Community important for tasks, much less so for socializingTrust experts on factual information but rely heavily on reviews of peers on hotels, electronics, etcStart to use social networking with these folks, they’re on the path of increased reliance on audience-generated content I recently read the 2007 Digital Future Report from the USC Annenberg School’s Center for the Digital Future, and am still digesting. Take some time to dig into the summary of findings that’ll help you shape your communications choices to today’s (and tomorrow’s) digital habits.Here’s are some crucial takes on habits of those 12 to 24–juxtaposed with those of audiences 25 to 54–and how they’ll impact your nonprofit marketing:Audiences 12-24Will never read a newspaper but attracted to some magazinesSo op-eds don’t reach them, at least in print Heavy into email Trust unknown peers more than experts/community at the center of Internet experience/want to be heard (user generated)Stop ignoring social networkinglast_img read more

Sarah Bunting Shows Us All That Personal Fundraising Works!

first_imgLast year, Sarah Bunting, who writes the blog Tomato Nation, a culture and humor blog, offered to shave her head if her blog readers donated to DonorsChoose.org, a site that allows donors to purchase school supplies for needy classrooms.   Her readers responded, raising approximately $30,000 in a few days.    Keeping her end of the bargain, she saved her hair off.   And, if you don’t believe me, you can view the video on YouTube.  Her efforts were chronicled in a recent Wall Street Journal article.On October 1, 2007,  Sarah Bunting announced that it was time to do it again.  (Not the head shaving, she has picked another type of humiliation.)  She launched the month-long campaign with a goal of $40,000, again to support DonorsChoose.org.  Just at the mid-way point, Ms. Bunting has raised $75,000!  But she isn’t going to stop fundraising until the end of the month.Oh, the humiliation she selected?  She will find a tomato costume and wear it all day.I don’t mean some wear-a-red-outfit-with-a-green-hat, only-go-outside-to-buy-milk bullshit either. I mean a big old spherical tomato-mascot rig, red tights, foam leaf hat, the whole bit – on the subway. To Rockefeller Center. Where I work, on the same floor as Saturday Night Live, 50 feet away from the president of Bravo. And then out for lunch, where I will pause to perform the post-kiss Angela dance from My So-Called Life in the plaza. And then back to work. And then out for a drink. And I will film it.The DonorsChoose.org Blogger Challenge is an initiative to help hundreds of thousands of public schools in need. DonorsChoose.org created a challenge platform which enables a blogger to select favorite classroom projects, set a fundraising goal, and customize the DonorsChoose.org page presenting his/her challenge.  The challenger can then link to this page from his/her blog, call readers to action, and display an hourglass tracking progress toward the goal.   More than a hundred bloggers have joined and the competition is heating up, but it’s not too late to create a challenge or to donate to another blogger’s challenge!  The challenge will end at the end of October.Leaderboards show the generosity each blogger has inspired from readers.  And, Sarah’s campaign is leaving the others in the dust!  As of this evening, her campaign had raised over $80,000.  The second place campaign is at $18,000 and being implemented by Fred Wilson.  She’s also well ahead of TechCrunch which has raised slightly over $5,000.  Hmm .. maybe they should issue similar challenges to their readers?Sarah blogged about this exclusively and acknowledged each gift. From my experience, you can’t simply put the widget on the side bar, announce your campaign, and go on as business as usual.  You, the blogger, has to be passionate about your cause – and it leaks out from your blog into the hearts, minds, and checkbooks of your readers!  It has to be authentic!Katya Andresen has noted that it works because: “The beauty of people-to-people fundraising is that it is based in two-way communication; it is a conversation between individuals rather than a speech from an organization.  It puts your message in the mouth of the person most likely to prompt a donation:  someone the audience knows.  There are two useful social psychology theories at work here: liking and reciprocation.”From my experience doing several personal fundraising campaigns for Cambodian causes (see here, here, and here), I concur with Lucy Bernholz’s analysis of the model of charity blogging is something to keep an eye on:Regardless of what you think of the DonorsChoose model of giving, the fund development strategy here is worth looking at:The Bloggers Challenge shows how big and fast peer-to-peer fundraising (the oldest model we know) can grow with a push from the Internet;The media attention of something like this is worth it, even if the money is one-time gifts and none of the donors ever return to DC – which is pretty unlikely; DonorsChoose is doing very little to raise these funds – they’ve outsourced their fundraising to bloggers;Its new (I think). It takes the ChipIn/DonateNow/Widget/Facebook fundraisers and accelerates them.Source: http://beth.typepad.com/beths_blog/2007/10/make-sarah-bunt.htmllast_img read more

10 Steps To Re-infusing Passion Into Your Organization

first_imgCelebrate outside-the-box thinking. Organize brainstorming meetings. Encourage employees to think outside the box to come up with unconventional solutions to problems or opportunities. Sometimes it’s best to eliminate authority figures from these meetings to allow a free flow of thoughts and a process that gives birth to fresh ideas.Have fun. Everyone knows what this means and what it looks like. In our company it’s practical jokes; it’s strange sounds on the intercom; it’s games and competitions; it’s going out to eat together or just sitting around shooting the breeze. You can see fun when you see laughter and the celebration of work.Publish your vision and mission. Do employees actually know what your vision and mission is? If not, it’s either because you don’t have them or you haven’t published them. Get them out there. Talk about them. Explain how you came up with them. Remember, THIS is why you are together.Create and publish your list of values. You have a set of values that you run the organization by. If it is not written down, then it’s informal. Write down the list. Include a focus on the people served, your donors, and fun. Publish it. Talk about it. Ask employees to hold you and others accountable to live by it.Bring a person your organization regularly serves into your environment. There is nothing like looking into the eyes of one of the people that has been helped by your organization. Bring them in, if possible, and sit them right down in the middle of the sacred halls. Have them interrupt the process of running the organization. Place them in a place (meeting) where everyone needs to focus on the real thing that is going on here. Talk to them about their journey. What was their life like before your organization helped them? How is it now? How do they feel? Get in touch with all of these. Don’t be afraid of it. Embrace it.Keep talking always about people served and donors. We mentioned it several times, but it is worth mentioning again. Remember, everything you do is about the people you serve and your donors. It is important to keep that focus.Get away from your desk and regularly talk to others about how excited you are about the people you serve and your donors. It is so easy to get wrapped up in the work and be stuck to your desk all day or in meetings. Plan to be absent from your desk. Put it on your calendar. Get out of your office and be with your staff for no reason but just to talk. Spread your joy. Share a story of how a person the organization helped really touched you. Talk about a donor and how encouraged you are about their help.Get emotional about things. This isn’t just about plans, charts, grids, logic and the mind. It is about people. Allow your heart to be broken by the tragedies of life. Celebrate the victories. Get excited. Jump up and down. Be human. When your employees sense that you do have blood running through those veins; that you can cry and laugh; that you are real when they sense that, you will be on your way to getting passion back into the workplace.These are just some of the ideas we have on getting passion back into the workplace. Share your ideas with us. We’d like to hear them. And if you give us permission, we’d like to publish them. Talk back.Source: Merkle Orange Papershttp://www.merkledomain.com/site/PageServer?pagename=orange_passionCopyright © 2007 Merkle Inc.All rights reserved Take steps to fall back in love with donors. They are the true stakeholders in your organization. The board isn’t. The president isn’t. Even you aren’t. It is the donor who truly owns the charity. Why not start behaving that way? Here are some things you can do to remind yourself (and everyone else) that, after the person who is helped by your charity, the next most important person is the donor:Regularly (once a week) read donor letters to employees or pass excerpts along via e-mail. Focus especially on donor letters that express gratitude for being able to serve.Have a donor come in and address employees in a company or department meeting. Ask them why they are involved and why they stay involved.Encourage employees to call or visit with donors to talk about their motivations for being involved. You come to work lifeless. Everyone around you has that look in their eyes: a glaze that signals boredom, purposelessness, fatalism.“What am I doing here?” you ask. Good question. What are you doing? If you are a leader or manager and you see this zombie-like state among your organization’s employees, there is something you can and should do about it.What are the key indicators that an organization has lost its passion, and how do you counteract it?Key Signs That Your Organization Lacks PassionThe leader is really not excited about what the organization does. In fact, many employees aren’t either. They are there more for the paycheck than the cause.There is no clear mission or purpose.No one talks or cares about who ultimately benefits from what the organization does.Managers and leaders are more focused on process than they are on doing good work.There is no overarching vision for the organization.There is a noticeable absence of flexibility. Everything is very regimented and very predictable. Outside-the-box thinking is discouraged.There is a lack of culture and personality; fun is not promoted.There is a lot of turf protection and lack of cooperation between individuals and departments.10 Steps To Re-infusing Passion Into Your OrganizationTake steps to fall back in love with those who are helped by your organization. Who are they? How is your organization helping to change their lives? How can you help more? Here are some ways to inspire the people in your organization to move the focus from themselves back to the people you are organized to serve:Once a week, share a story with your staff about a dilemma faced by a person served by your organization. This will most likely be a dilemma that has not yet been resolved. The purpose of this exercise is to keep employees focused on why your organization exists.Once a week, share a success story about someone who has been helped by your organization. This will cement in your employees’ minds that what you are doing is really working.In your monthly company meeting, have an employee speak about the vision and mission of your organization and what it means on a personal level to him or her. This will remind your employees that what you are doing is important.Do everything possible to give the people helped by your organization prominence. Hang pictures of them in the halls. Talk about them. Ask, “How does my job serve the people we are helping?” Remember, it is about them. Nothing else matters very much.last_img read more

Online Fundraising Case Study: Dance Theatre of Harlem

first_imgNetwork for Good & the Dance Theatre of HarlemPartner for Fundraising SuccessRaised $27,864Reaching supporters around the worldHope for the futureIn 2004, the famed Dance Theater of Harlem was in such desperate financial straits, it closed the doors to its school and laid off the 44 dancers in its acclaimed ballet troupe. And it did everything it could to raise money – from making very public pleas for help to turning to Network for Good to raise money, for the first time, through online donations and solicitations – to erase its $2.5 million debt and reopen.These days, the non-profit’s future is looking far more robust. Its school has reopened, most of the creditors have been repaid and the theater has begun making plans to create a new ballet troupe. Development director Rodney Trapp and resident choreographer [and webmaster] Robert Garland talked to us about how Network for Good’s DonateNow and EmailNow services boosted the Dance Theater of Harlem’s initial fundraising efforts and, more importantly, how these tools will be key in ensuring the nation’s only primarily African-American ballet school and troupe will be here for years to come.N4G: Why did you start using Network for Good?RG: “We had to shut down our operations in 2004. An American woman sent out an e-mail saying the dance company and school had shut down and if everyone sent in $1, it could help fix the problem. We started receiving all these single dollars in the mail. We have to record every donation. It was great, but it was really time consuming.”RT: “We realized, as people were asking how they could help, that we needed to find a way to get donations online. [Turning to Network for Good] initially was a desperate attempt to make a vehicle available to make contributions. We put the DonateNow button on our website. That was it. It was very basic.”N4G: Is your online donation system still set up that way?RT: “No. We got some training from Network for Good on how to maximize the service. It was immensely helpful immediately. We learned how to design a website to attract people and the importance of putting the donation information ‘above the fold.’ We began thinking about ways to have visitors physically interact with the computer to make it more dynamic.”N4G: What features were especially appealing?RT: “We customized our DonateNow page to make it look like the rest of our website, so it didn’t look like you were leaving our site. It had the same color palate and graphics. It gives comfort to the potential donor. Even though they are being sent somewhere else [on the Internet], they feel like they are still with you. It’s a relationship you are building and you want it to be as positive and trustworthy as possible. For those still uncomfortable with making a donation online, we added language to ease their minds and let them know how to mail a donation or call us.”N4G: Do you use the EmailNow service?RG: “Yes. We have a performing company that is on hiatus. They were our messengers, our advertising. [Through EmailNow], we can maintain those supporters. They write us and ask when we are coming back. They still know what’s going on here. They know about our open houses, our schools. They know everything! We have a relationship with our supports [across the U.S. and abroad] that we didn’t have before.”RT: “In 2006, we gathered all the e-mail addresses we had in our database and put them in our EmailNow database. We’re adding to that list regularly by having people sign up through our website. We have different categories of lists within EmailNow: the New York metro area; people interested in our Open House series; non-New York metro area people; staff; and alumni. We send out one or two of these e-mails a month for special events, our regular series and our spring and fall solicitations. We send out hard copies of the solicitations too; the online one is a reminder. We can personalize them and not everyone gets every e-mail.”N4G: What role do DonateNow and EmailNow play in raising money in your $4.3 million budget?RT: “We received over $14,700 in online contributions the first year we, most one-time responses to the news of our closing. In 2005-06, we received $5,244 from 32 donors and in 2006-07, we received $7,920 from 44 donors. It’s not a whole lot of money but it’s the beginning of what we know is a growing trend. You have to start somewhere. As people become more comfortable with donating money online, I think more will be drawn to the site. It’s still fairly new for us, but people are using it, so it’s effective for us. It’s definitely worth it.”RG: “It’s great for unsolicited donations. And it’s helped use a new technology and keep us in touch with our constituents who are regularly online. That’s everyone! You can’t not do it. We had looked into other services, like PayPal, but they didn’t seem to work for us. When we got to Network for Good, it was perfect. A great match.”N4G: Why is it so important for the Dance Theater of Harlem to have this extra fund-raising and communications tool?RG: “We are about black people who do ballet. It is a real thorn in the side [that some people still believe the two don’t mix]. We have to exist for our culture and for our community here in Harlem.”Dance Theatre of Harlemhttp://www.dancetheatreofharlem.org/last_img read more

Case Study: The Red Cross

first_imgNo American nonprofit has been more in the news over the past few months (Circa September 11th, 2001) than the American Red Cross. The controversy over September 11th fundraising may have deflected some attention to what was a stunning success in ePhilanthropy. We sat down with Phil Zepeda, the Red Cross’s manager for online giving, and explored ways in which online fundraising has changed for the organization, the challenges it faces going forward, and some of the lessons it’s learned — lessons that other nonprofits can apply to their Internet efforts.Internet-Fundraising.com: It has been a difficult and challenging time for the Red Cross over the last few months, to say the least — how has online fundraising fared?Phil Zepeda: Our success was really unprecedented. In February 2001, after India and El Salvador earthquakes that happened days apart, we had raised a record $2.5 million online in two and one-half weeks. That, for its time, was amazing. Since September 11, 2001, our Web initiatives have raised more than $67 million online (with Web partners like Amazon, AOL and Yahoo!). Our database of online supporters, which began in 1996, went from 30,000 names to more than 700,000 names in four months. Again, an unprecedented feat for us.IF: Has the Red Cross adjusted its message to online donors? What are the considerations online in terms of donor cultivation and the transparency of philanthropy?Zepeda: Our most recent campaign has been to thank our online donors for their generosity, sharing a message from a family directly affected by the disaster in New York and helped by the Red Cross. This campaign did not include any fundraising “ask”; our goal was donor appreciation and gratitude. The online fundraising world has changed and there is a new “world order.” I think that as we look to send out future campaigns we’ll see a shift in our online messaging that will tell donors the direct impact of their donations and provide follow up that their donations did, in fact, make a difference.IF: As the leading nonprofit online fundraiser in the world, do you believe that Sept. 11 has unlocked the door to ePhilanthropy in general, or was it more of a one-time phenomenon?Zepeda: It’s hard to say, but I know that the next major event that shocks the online community will provide insights to that. So many people gave money to organizations after September 11. Since they made these sometimes overly generous donations and made them in a time of a declining economy, donors to any agency may not be able to give as much as they gave for the September 11 events, even if they are much worse.IF: In your opinion, does online giving bring in a new group of donors to nonprofits, or does it merely replace direct marketing fundraising in a new medium?Zepeda: It’s a mixture of both. I think savvy organizations may try to move their direct marketing supporters to an online environment over time. At the same time, there are people who want to maintain their relationships with a nonprofit solely off-line. So many of our donors were first time donors. And we offer them options to different support channels: our national headquarters, disaster relief funds, or the local chapter. Red Cross NHQ may feel more comfortable maintaining an online relationship with them while a local Chapter gets the face time. It’s all a matter of approach.IF: Given your experience, what advice would you have for smaller nonprofits just getting involved in online fundraising?Zepeda: Examine online potential. Know that even this early on, the competition is fierce. So examine all online channels for reach. Look at the value of your brand and what it can bring.IF: What trends do you see in ePhilanthropy in the coming year?Zepeda: I think you’ll see more online newsletters, annual reports, information bulletins, breaking news-formatted e-mails than ever before. It may be difficult for the end user to cut through the noise. Spamming has really just begun.You’ll see much more accountability online – organizations showing how contributions made a difference. Donors have now come to expect that and may hold you liable if you don’t tell them outright. My advice is to serve it up: avoid biting the hand that feeds you. Copyright: Internet-Fundraising.comSource: www.techsoup.orglast_img read more

My Priority: Capitalizing on These 2008 Trends

first_imgI’ve been asked by blogger Nancy Schwartz what are my to three marketing to-dos in 2008. I really have one main to-do, which is to try to maintain a higher order of consciousness. By that I mean, being better attuned to what’s going on for consumers as a whole so that my marketing efforts connect with their values. Focusing simply on getting people to give money or eat healthy or any other do-gooder agenda naturally pulls us into our narrow viewpoint. We then lose sight of creative opportunities to tap into people’s minds and hearts.In this spirit, I took an important Trendwatching list I read this week — Eight Important Consumer Trends for 2008 and put some thought into what they mean for marketers of good causes. Keeping this list in mind is Job One for my 2008 marketing agenda.Here are eight consumer trends with nifty names that you should know.1. STATUS SPHERES: “A variety of lifestyles, activities and persuasions, which can be mixed and matched by consumers looking for recognition from various crowds and scenes. Four Spheres are of particular interest to us. First, the Transient Sphere — An obsession with the here and now, an ever-shorter satisfaction span, and a lust to collect as many experiences and stories as possible, is undermining the perceived value (and thus status) of fixed goods and services, says Trendwatching. That means you need to keep your communications more concise and compelling than ever and give people a steady stream of fascinating tidbits portioned for today’s Media Snacker. Remember, everyone is a snacker in this day and age, and not just online. Who on earth has time for the equivalent of multi-course meals of information throughout the day? No one has time to read a tome on our topic, to sift through an overwrought appeal or to idly sit around and listen to us getting to the point. They may sit down for a four-course “meal” on occasion, but they are going to dine on something very important to them personally. And that something is not likely to be what we’re dishing out. Second, the Online Sphere: In an online world or virtual world, social status 2.0 is all about who you connect to and who wants to connect to you, tribal-style. It also encompasses status gained from the number of views for one’s photos on Flickr, to the number of friends on Facebook, says Trendwatching. Since connections are precious, you want to find a way to insert your cause into those personal relationships. Read all about how to do that here.Third, the Eco Sphere: A substantial subset of consumers is already bestowing recognition and praise on Prius drivers while scorning SUV owners, and this will only accelerate as even more design-minded and branding-savvy eco-firms push to the forefront in 2008, says Trendwatching. If you’re an environmental cause, create a hall of fame or fabulous recognition system for your supporters and advocates. Green is the new black!Four, the Giving Sphere: Gates, Bono and Buffett have made philanthropy a status symbol. Place special attention on the care and feeding of major-donor prospects.2. PREMIUMIZATION: “With more wealth burning holes in (saturated and experienced) consumers’ pockets than ever before, quick status fixes derived from premium products and premium experiences will continue in full force next year,” says Trendwatching. With everything from premium laundry detergent to premium security lines at the airport, there’s nothing that can’t be upgraded. VIP Volunteer program, anyone?3. SNACK CULTURE “represents the ‘transient sphere’ on steroids, catering to consumers’ insatiable craving for instant gratification. SNACK CULTURE thus embodies the phenomenon of products, services and experiences becoming more temporary and transient; products that are being deconstructed in easier to digest, easier to afford bits, making it possible to collect even more experiences, as often as possible, in an even shorter timeframe,” says Trendwatching. I cited this above, but don’t forget that the long eNews may not be the way to go this year. Short, great, snacky stories about specific people are better. And be sure you have online giving – our research shows the #1 reason people like it is it’s easy. Convenience is king. 4. ONLINE OXYGEN: “Control-craving consumers need online access as much as they need oxygen,” says Trendwatching. That means you need to think more mobile than ever – online content and widgets so your content can be packed up to go online. I’d also recommend starting to build a mobile phone list because before too long, people will be doing a lot more with their phones – including giving. Some things to watch in particular online:ECOMMERCE: “Never before have so many consumers been willing to overcome security threats, still shockingly bad (or boring) design, and delivery screwups. In other words, 2008 could be a goldmine for smart e-tailers, who, if they get their act together, could make billions and billions,” says Trendwatching. That bad design point really applies to our sector, folks. Want to fix you site but have no money to do it? Learn how to here. A site that is easy to use and makes it simple to give is gold.NETHOODS: “One thing to watch is social networks of any kind going local, if not hyperlocal. Neighborhoods. Streets. Buildings. Floors. Neighborhoods, streets and even apartment buildings will get their own internet and intranet sites: not just to promote the many qualities they have to offer their (prospective) inhabitants, but also to provide communal interaction and localized services,” says Trendwatching. If you’re a local, small organization this is GREAT news – connect to these neighborhood networks as a fantastic potential audience. For national organizations, segment your communications regionally so people feel connected to you by where they are, not just by what you do.5. ECO-ICONIC: This means “eco-friendly goods and services sporting bold, iconic design and markers, that help their eco-conscious owners to visibly tout their eco-credentials to peers,” says Trendwatching, and it’s hot. As I hinted above under “Eco Spheres,” I think there’s a real opening for green groups to have fun in helping people show their support – and status – in visible and fun ways.6. BRAND BUTLERS: “If consumers value the authentic, the practical, the exclusive, and they’re also forever looking to make life more convenient, even save some time, then why persist in bombarding them with your mega-million dollar/euro/pound, one-way advertising campaigns? Think baby food or diaper brands opening a lounge area, including diaper-changing facilities and microwaves, for parents and their offspring at a major airport or in malls. Or a bank installing secure, high-tech lockers next to the beach, so beachgoers can safely store their belongings when going for a swim or walk,” says Trendwatching. So what does this have to do with a nonprofit? How can you make your supporter’s lives easier? We recently helped a nutrition program get the word out about their great, easy recipes. Imagine if they’d put them on cards in their office.7. MAKE IT YOURSELF: “For years, we’ve been going on about GENERATION C, with the C mainly representing ‘content’. In other words, digital creation. Pictures. Movies. Blogs. Music. It’s a mainstream trend now, one that keeps giving, with millions of consumers uploading their creative endeavors online, and tens of millions of others enjoying the fruits of their creativity. User-generated content, at least in the online world, has grown from a teenage hobby to an almost equal contender to established entities in news, media, entertainment and craft,” says Trendwatching. This is a GREAT trend of us — your beneficiaries and supporters ahve wonderful content and things to say – give them the space and means to do it. It’s compelling and it saves you a lot of work of communication.8. CROWD MINING: “When co-creating, co-funding, co-buying, co-designing, co-managing *anything* with ‘crowds’, the emphasis in 2008 will move from just getting the masses in, to mining those crowds for the rough and polished diamonds. How to do that? Shower them with love, respect and heaps of money, of course,” says Trendwatching. Think of your supporters or potential helpers (design students, volunteers) as a crowd that can help you market your cause – then find the diamonds via contests and recognition for the best of their material.More on applying these trends to your work is here.last_img read more