Saturday, June 13, 2009

Top 10 News and Tips on Giving and Social Media

It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has exceeded our humanity. ~ Albert Einstein - Perhaps not! ~ Pilar Stella

As I sat down to write my blog today and I thought about this quote, I thought to myself, “Perhaps, not!” You see it seems to me that we are in an amazing era in which our technology might just be beginning to enhance our humanity. As I thought about all of the different social media tools, news and tips that are being used to enhance and transform nonprofits and giving, my head started to spin. So much is happening in this arena, there is increasing information and many people proactively engaging social media for giving.

Sometimes it seems hard to keep track of it all. So I thought I would try to synthesize some of the latest news in giving and social media to keep up with it all (for myself) and share what I learned with you. In my opinion, here are the 10 Top News and Tips on Giving and Social Media:

1. Takes a Risk in the U.S. While has provided over $76 million in small loans to business owners in developing nations over the past four years, they have decided to expand their loan program to the U.S. While the average loans to date globally have been approximately $415, they will increase loans for the U.S. from $1,000 to $10,000. More at

2. As a “Craigslist for service” is set to debut, “All for Good,” inspired by the Obama vision for service, there is significant debate surrounding its launch. The site is managed by Google and has attracted some heavy hitters in the technology and philanthropy world, yet has also alienated some in the nonprofit world who fear duplication. More at

3. If You Do Good, You Look Good. A recent study from the Tel Aviv University School of Economics found that image is a motivator in giving and doing good. Attaining maximum donor response can be achieved by providing significant recognition to donors – the more visibility, the greater the image boost, the greater the contribution. However, when individuals were paid to raise money for charity, they preferred less public visibility. More at

4. Top Nonprofit Blogging. As I searched online to find more on nonprofits, giving and change, I found two sites for top nonprofit blogging: 20 nonprofit blogs by people of color and top nonprofit bloggers

5. Attracting Big Gifts Online. A new report (CDR Fundraising group) found that attracting larger donors online requires combining online marketing techniques with more traditional face-to-face donor interactions. Some of the recommendations included – ask for large, and small, gifts online; provide regular (at least) monthly reports, gain testimonials, and provide additional insider information. More at and

6. Measuring Nonprofit Effectiveness. A recent series of articles and conversations have explored the issue of outcomes measures and nonprofits and have found that an estimated less than 10% of charities seem to be measuring outcomes. As a result, a series of blogs and forums will continue to explore this issue further. To read more and weigh in, go to: and

7. Nonprofit Social Media Use Outpaces Business, Education. A recent study by Eric Mattson found that nonprofits are the largest adopters of some social media technologies – ahead of business and universities. Nearly two-thirds of nonprofits interviewed actually listened, participated and engaged in social media. Some of the reasons for their quick adoption is the low cost ability to market, given their limited funding, and ability to comment, engage and share what they are passionate about in an affordable way facilitates their use of social media to listen, share and promote, and elicit new donors. More at and

8. 5 Best Tweets on Nonprofits, Companies & Social Media. This is a listing of 5 of the best resources for nonprofits on social media. It includes monetizing social media, best practices for nonprofits, nonprofit CEO’s that tweet, social media presentations for nonprofits, tips for an effective call to action. For more reading, go to: and

9. Resources to Help Nonprofits Navigate Social Media. The Chronicle of Philanthropy released a listing of resources to help nonprofits navigate and better utilize social media. More at

10. Social Media Changing the Nonprofit World. In an article for Mashable, Beth Kanter (tweeter extraordinaire @kanter) lays out 4 ways in which social media is changing the nonprofit world, including: deepening relationships, forging new collaborations, new individual and group organizing around nonprofits and requiring organizational cultural shifts. More info at

As we enter into a brave new world of social media and philanthropy, rather than look at technology as our enemy, we may begin to use it for good to create change on the planet. If you want to stay up with the latest, stay tuned for #charitytuesday on twitter and all the tweets, blogs and other news about nonprofits and change! Be the Change!

You can find me on twitter @pilarstella.

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