Friday, June 26, 2009

This Week’s Top 9+ Giving & Social Media News

What you leave behind is not what is engraved in stone monuments, but what is woven into the lives of others. ~ Pericles

On this #FollowFriday, I decided to pull together this week’s latest news on giving and social media. It feels as though every week there is more innovation and excitement going on around giving, philanthropy, change and social media. Here is my latest attempt to pick the best and most interesting news of the week. Enjoy and please share with me other news and interesting stories when you can. Also share and pass along to others!

1. Giving Trends. Several of the latest giving reports released found:

  • A Survey by The Chronicle of Philanthropy of 65 nonprofits revealed that giving is down 2/3 through first five months of 2009. Despite this, the study found an increase in the number of individual donors, but a decrease in the amount given per donor.
  • A report funded in part by the Wallace Foundation found that between 1990 and 2006, the nation’s private and community foundations increased their support for activities for women and girls by 223 percent. Yet giving for these populations still remains a small percentage of foundations’ overall giving.
  • A survey by Capgemini and Merrill Lynch found that the numbers of millionaires worldwide shrank by 15 percent in 2008, with assets dropping 20 percent.

2. Giving & Hollywood. While the Philanthropist TV show aired this week and captured 7 million viewers, the question is whether philanthropy will take advantage of the opportunity afforded by Hollywood’s release of this TV show about a billionaire turned philanthropist. While the TV show was engaging, it likely won’t do much to truly educate viewers on the role of philanthropy – that is a job left up to foundations and others to educate people on.

3. Mobile Giving. Mobile giving providers are growing rapidly as several new mobile giving programs have released including: Givabit will be a new and *free* iPhone application that features charities on a daily basis allowing users to discover worthy causes and easily contribute micro donations to them; mobile donations are coming via text to the United Kingdom and technology provider WIN has agreed to waive transaction fees; and others to recently release mobile giving solutins include MobileCause’s mobile donation program, GiveByCell and GiveOnTheGo giving solutions

4. Google Service. This week Google launched a community service search engine that volunteer opportunities from around the US from a number of nonprofits and other websites. All For Good is also now being used to power the search portion of, Obama’s service site launched last week

5. Giving & Social Media. Here are some resources on social media for nonprofits.

  • DIOSA communications released a list of 10 Best Practices for Nonprofits on Twitter and for Facebook Pages. For twitter recommendations included being authentic, thankful and nice, using favorites to organize important tweets, tweet other people’s content, regularly tweet but don’t overtweet and others For Facebook tips include configuring your page for more participation, using your organizational logo for the picture, add regular new links, spark conversation on your page with questions, use “Causes”, “Notes” and other apps
  • An accesscharity blog this week talks about nonprofits on twitter and other social media

6. Cause Marketing & Giving. I had to share a couple of articles related to cause marketing as there is a lot of debate and discussion about the pros and cons of cause marketing, including:

  • A cause marketing article talks about the new concept “antripreneur” that disturbs some and fits others;
  • An article by Angela Eikenberry calls cause marketing “consumption philanthropy” and argues that it compromises the potential for nonprofits to enhance society and the great discussion that ensued

7. Giving URL Shorteners. has released a URL Shortener for Causes, Non-profits, and Political Campaigns that encourages users to click with a call to action and ensures trustworthy links. The site is worth checking out. For additional information on the best URL shorteners, Beaconfire blog shows a comparison. Additionally has a tool that shortens URLs in addition to providing news stories on giving and steering donations to nonprofits in the process.

8. Evolving Giving. As the giving evolves, so do the models, language and existing ways of doing things. Several articles illustrate these changes:

  • More and more people are looking at blending the lines between for-profit and nonprofit business models. Recent hybrid corporate structure models are allowing non-profits to accept private investment w/out diluting missions and for-profits to incorporate nonprofit principles
  • Many people don’t like the word “nonprofit” (or “charity” for that matter ;), so there are discussions about new names – “delta sector” is one, whereas in other parts of the world “third sector” is used as well. What do you like?
  • Democratization of Philanthropy. Katherine Fulton talks on TED about how philanthropy is changing with new models including mass collaboration and collective philanthropy, online philanthropy marketplaces, aggregated giving, innovation competition and social investing. Katherine articulates a new moral hunger as we are acting our way into a new way of thinking. Philanthropy is reorganizing and as lines blend new terms including philanthro-capitalism, natural capitalism, and others describe these new evolutions and will continue to transform

9. Giving Advice. This week’s news includes some practical tips for the donors and nonprofits, including:

You can follow me on twitter @pilarstella. Also send me your thoughts, favorites and other news! Have a great #followfriday!

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