Posts about nptech
Nonprofit technology articles address specific software and services useful to nonprofit groups.
Soapblox helps set up hosting and put a friendly face on a somewhat complicated piece of software. But there are hundreds of people working on DrupalDrupal is an open-source content management system (CMS) used for many complex nonprofit sites. Other examples of CMSes include WordPress, Joomla! and Plone. that aren’t in any way connected to open-source hosts Bryght, Acquia or May First — and that’s something that all of their customers benefit from: new features, continually-upgraded plugins and security fixes. Even if Bryght/Acquia/May First went out of business tomorrow, virtually all of its customers could find another vendor to take their system completely intact and get them up and running in an hour or two.
In this presentation from the Democracy in Action Community Conference 2008, I talk about some of the successful approaches for nonprofits in using social networks like Facebook and MySpace, and social media like Flickr and YouTube. I give detailed examples of how the Genocide Intervention Network, where I served as director of communications and Internet strategy coordinator for four years, used social networking to achieve its goals in membership development, advocacy and fundraising.
The NetSquared Year Three conference has gotten off to a great start: nonprofit staffers, activists, techies and funders gathering to talk about — and award some money to — using technology for social change.
In return for NetSquaredNetSquared is an organization “remixing the web for social change” by bringing together nonprofits, activists, techies, social entrepreneurs and funders. These articles deal with using social technology for social change.’s generosity, I wanted to post some tips for nonprofits thinking about using DrupalDrupal is an open-source content management system (CMS) used for many complex nonprofit sites. Other examples of CMSes include WordPress, Joomla! and Plone. for their sites — when to use it and when not to use it, as well as a few useful tidbits from a recent workshop.
For the Genocide Intervention Network, involvement in the “social web” is really an outgrowth of our entire mission: To form the first anti-genocide constituency, and to empower our members with the tools to prevent and stop genocide. The words “constituency” and “empower” are key. We’re not simply looking for a mailing list or an ATM — we want an educated, active movement of people interested in preventing and stopping genocide. Our members need to be able to think for themselves on the issue, not to simply be another name on a list, but to be a hub in an ever-expanding network.
Although these two panels — “Leveraging the Power of Participatory Media” and “The Future of Online Outreach” — were held separately at the 2007 Nonprofit Technology Conference, I thought that they related so well that I’d present them together.
Offering concrete ideas for how to solve a seemingly insurmountable problem can give people a sense that they, as individuals, have a stake in an issue. The Genocide Intervention Network links to a list of “ten things you can do to stop genocide.” Ivan Boothe argues that these steps, broken down into easily digestible chunks, give people an easy way to participate. Although they also link to the Genocide Intervention Network’s main web site, that isn’t always the point. “A number of these steps aren’t even within our organization,” Boothe says. This sort of advocacy is similar to bottom-up, open-source collaborative projects like Wikipedia, in which no one group has proprietary ownership over an idea or a product; instead, the goal is a constant generation of awareness and ideas. A MySpaceMySpace is a social network that is not built around a single identity. Users can and do have multiple profiles, with no restrictions on the “names” they use. MySpace is used by many musical groups. page, says Boothe, isn’t simply an advertisement for an organization, “it’s a tool for mobilizing people for different kinds of action.”
The Genocide Intervention Network is a nonprofit based in DC that is a little more than two years old. We began as a student group at Swarthmore College with an idea: to change the way the world responds to genocide. As a result of our origins as a student group, we have a strong history in using online social networking and viral campaigns, and this continues even as we branch out into other constituencies. In our first year of existence, we raised a quarter-million dollars for peacekeepers in Darfur — the only NGO to raise money for protection rather than humanitarian aid — primarily through student networks, both actual and virtual.