Archive for May, 2009

Bring your donors, staff, and volunteers together. Ning.

Wednesday, May 27th, 2009 | Permalink


Tired of your old website? Have you considered a community instead? The beauty of the ever-transforming internet is it’s amazing ability to get people involved. People have taken to tweeting, blogging, and commenting with a passion. Allow a community to form and it shall.

Enter -> ning

Ning brings the passion for myspace and facebook to any and every genre that desires a community. Easy-to-use templates allow you to set-up, maintain, edit, update, and change your ning webpage. But that is far from the best part. A community-style website allows you, your staff, your volunteers, and your donors to all stay in-touch. This is the true power of community sites. No longer is it a one-way conversation. Those who join can comment on the information posted, add new ideas to be shared, and break new ground.

Ning CEO Gina Bianchini was interviewed by CNN and described the mission of ning as,

"…a way to get people to organize and get people to meet around their passions… When you bring people together around a common cause there is incredible potential to do fundraising and to organize volunteers."

The technology and potential are there, all we need to do is use them.

twollars: tweeting, donating, and micropayments

Monday, May 11th, 2009 | Permalink


The economies of scale can incrementally change the way you fundraise. Micropayments and microfinancing show their true colors on the large scale.

Twitter has become a part of micropayments with the advent of twollars. Twitter users can donate “twollars” to your nonprofits organization and donors can turn these donations into a reality.

Stan Schroeder at mashable explained it well:

"When you put all this together, what do you get? A very powerful virtual-currency-meets-micropayments economy that could be a great way for charities to raise funds, individuals to (directly or indirectly) support a good cause, and businesses to raise awareness of their brand by supporting a good cause."

Whether or not this is your cup of tea, it is definitely a well-meaning concept because there are no charges, no percentages taken, and it’s a direct transfer of funds.

For more information on twollars click: here

They are young, informed, and have cash in hand. Your move

Wednesday, May 6th, 2009 | Permalink

cause wiredTom Watson’s fascinating book,  CauseWired, examines how social networking sites have increased donors expectations in staying informed on how their donations are being used. Donors are transforming into what Watson refers to as “Cause Wired.” They stay well informed on topics of interest, have come to expect visible change as a result of their support and look to develop personal connections with the nonprofits.

Oh look, an opportunity for video. Share those stories people, share them with the woooooorld!

Michelle Obama’s $50 million for Nonprofits

Tuesday, May 5th, 2009 | Permalink

You read it correctly folks, Michelle Obama announced that next year the Obama administration will provide a $50 Million Fund for Nonprofits through the “Social Innovation Fund.”

Michelle Obama

Photo by: Greg

From The Washington Post, the Social Innovation Fund aims to support

"…innovative nonprofit organizations and to help social entrepreneurs expand ‘their successful approaches to tackling our most pressing national challenges’…[and]…provide the capital needed to replicate their success in communities around the country."

They may call it replicating success but here at let’s dabble we call that incrementally changing the world!

$306 Billion given to charities in 2007

Sunday, May 3rd, 2009 | Permalink

Did anyone else hear that “cha-ching” or was it just me?

The Pasadena Star-News reports that nonprofits can still capitalize in economic downturns. $306 Billion was donated in 2007, the most in history and donations have increased for 50 years straight except for 1987. The article does admit that growth slows during recessions, but history at least shows us that there is light at the end of the tunnel. 

Jane Haderlein, VP of development and public affairs at Huntington Hospital in Pasadena states it well when she says, “It’s much more expensive to recruit a new donor than to keep or win back a past donor, and the necessity for a good professional to accomplish this is critical.”

Ok, so am I saying things are fine or bad? The answer is both. History tells us that donations will continue, even in bad times, but it also shows us that finding new supporters is much more difficult than holding onto the supporters we have.

As the article states:

"…the current climate is very different, as is the reaction and impact on fund-raising. Yes, major gift officers are reporting the wealthy saying ’not right now, wait a bit.’ This is not surprising. But now is the time for nonprofits to view the economic slump as a golden opportunity to fortify themselves by building relationships with their donors."

If building relationships with your donors is what’s needed, what better way to connect with them than inexpensive web video? ;)