Nonprofits Will Face Budget Cuts

The main source of federal funding may face the major budget cuts and possible elimination. Thus, some service organizations in Lawrenceville which help people to be kept from hunger and homelessness are expected to face a harsh reality. The federal program, called the Emergency Food and Shelter Program, that assists the local organizations to help people in immediate need in a form of cash advance or just money, has faced the budget cuts in Washington.

According to the latest reports, the Norcross co-op got $172,000 in EFSP funds last year and the amount of over $500,000 was distributed to nonprofit service organizations county-wide. However, the bill of federal appropriations hasn’t been passed, therefore, the EFSP just doesn’t have available funds to support the grants in the fiscal year 2011.

Written by: SusanM

Google Helps Nonprofits

Google has recently launched particular package of discounted and free apps, tools and services which are aimed at the nonprofit community, while for-profit companies, including the providers of no credit check loans, will have to buy them.

Some apps are really offered by Google at no cost for nonprofits, while others are provided with reduced price. Besides, these groups are allowed to use Google Earth in order to tell their story with the help of mapping technologies performed by Google and to visualize their cause.

Meanwhile, the Google’s YouTube unit raises the upload limits and gives a ‘donate’ button to the nonprofits that can place it on their videos.

Written by: SusanM

Webinar: Online Collaboration Tools

I just attended TechSoup’s latest free Webinar: Online Collaboration Tools, steamed live at the Plush amphitheater. Speakers were Jon Warnow from 350.org, Jay Boren & Ronald Ho from Google.

First, 350.org: Jon talked about some of the tools his org relied upon to pull off large scale offline events. Last year they held 352 events in a sing day of action. Main points:

  • Event organization must be done “in the cloud” to allow collaboration & productivity when traveling.
  • Skype for communication, planning.
  • Dropbox filesharing. Stores files in the cloud and on your computer…all team members can access from any location. Also uses democracy.org, Salsa platform (browser-based organizing/constituent tools), and Flickr, of course, to organize their thousands of photos.

Next up – Google Apps: free communication, collaboration and publishing tools. (Free for orgs with up to 50 staff). Their goal is to make collaboration easy and run “in the clouds” so anyone can access. (Wow, ‘in the clouds’ is certainly the phrase du jour!)

Note: Jay Boren authors monthly newsletter for nonprofits on Google resources; sign up info is here: http://www.google.com/nonprofits/

  • Google Docs: free, secure file creation and storage! Can edit files anywhere there is internet access. Can select who can access/edit. Can bulk upload to your computer/server.
  • Google Calendars: share calendars, access remotely
  • Google Mail (Gmail): can have custom .org email for all staff
  • Google Sites: Can use for secure company Intranets and easily create rich websites. Easy form creation. Ideas for form use: Silent Auction, Constituent registration, question/feedback

All apps are mobile as well, so you can access your stuff while on the go. Comprehensive tutorials and training are provided for all google apps.

Links to webinar recording and presentation will be posted here: https://cc.readytalk.com/cc/schedule/display.do?udc=6lm4z63b0iwm

Written by: emellsmere

New Report! Nonprofits in Second Life: Promoting Causes Inside Second Life for Real World Impact

Techsoup.org has just published the latest study on the benefits, impact, challenges and opportunities of nonprofits in Second Life at: http://npsl.wikispaces.com/Validation-+Nonprofits+in+SL

Written by Anika Pastorelli (Sandy Bettger) of GCN, this report represents a collaborative effort among 12 nonprofits, TechSoup and NPC volunteers in capturing, analyzing and presenting the benefits and impact of nonprofits in a virtual world. We hope the study will help all nonprofits in SL to strengthen their rationale and strategy, promote their causes and achieve greater impact.

Below is the abstract:

Nonprofits across the globe have successfully established a virtual community in Second Life (SL) via Nonprofit Commons (NPC), a two-island community managed by TechSoup and populated with almost 80 nonprofits. While NPC is but one of 11 identified “nodes” or centers of nonprofits operating in SL, it is the largest and most prominent in SL, so it is the focus of this study. A recurring concern of nonprofit boards, members and other stakeholders is to determine the benefit of participating in a virtual community environment and the ultimate impact of that participation on their real-world missions and causes. Based on interviews with NPC nonprofit representatives, this study examines the benefits and impact of operating in just such a virtual nonprofit community. The findings are that benefits exist for nonprofits, and that the impact of participation spans more than 10 areas of relevance to nonprofit real-world missions. The results include quantitative data that ranks the relative value of different impact areas on real-life missions and that captures fundraising achievements to date as well as qualitative outcomes and anecdotal examples of impact. The author takes one step beyond the study findings and explores the challenges and future opportunities for nonprofits in SL positioning themselves with respect to technological trends and their new audience (the younger “digital” generations), cost savings and environmental benefits. These research results and future considerations provide a strong rationale for the participation of nonprofits in a virtual community.

Comments/Questions: IM Anika Pastorelli in-world or email sbettger1@msn.com

Written by: GCN

Promoting Causes Inside Second Life – For Real-World Impact

There is a fantastic, comprehensive report on the WIKI compiled and delivered by Anika Pastorelli (aka Sandra Bettger) called Nonprofits and Second Life: Promoting Causes Inside Second Life – For Real-World Impact.

The report details the benefits of maintaining and operating a presence within Second Life and how it breaks down into real-life organizational missions. She’s also included the challenges and future opportunities for nonprofits considering new technology and the shift of new audiences.

I personally think that this is a must-read for anyone considering a virtual presence for their nonprofit and look forward to reading it myself!

Thanks, Anika!

Written by: Beth J. Bates

NPC Nonprofit Awareness Night=A Great Success

What do you get when you have 65 NPO’s, Live entertainment, dancing, and a whole bunch of people in the main square at NPC Aloft?
The answer….. an awesome Nonprofit Commons Awareness night!

SL singer Vienna James put on an amazing performance, helped promote our NPO’s and toured the sim after her performance.

In between songs, there were representitives from several Nonprofits from both Plush and Aloft, sharing information about their organizations. Some of the representitives included….Anika Pastorelli (GCN), KellyJ Shepard (Project Jason), Ronnie Rhode (Garden for the Missing) and Veri Oddfellow (Great Strides) along with several others.

Vistors to Aloft had the oppertunity before and after the show to take the magic carpet tour , the horse and buggy tour or just wander the sim to see what NPC is all about.Volunteers from many NPO’s were on hand to answer questions as well.
All and all I would say it was a successful event and hopefully there will be more like it in the future

Written by: MeRcEdEs

Nonprofits Celebrate New Home in Second Life: Nonprofit Commons Grand Opening

Event is tonight at 5:30pm, SLT/PDT! In case you can’t get into the Plush Nonprofit Commons, the overflow sim is at SLurl: http://slurl.com/secondlife/Plush%20Lake%20West/127/1/26

—————–

Contact: Susan Tenby, susan@techsoup.org
Phone: (415) 633-9333
SL avatar: Glitteractica Cookie
http://www.nonprofitcommons.org
http://npsl.wikispaces.com/

San Francisco Meets the Metaverse: 32 Nonprofits and their supporters will host a grand opening celebration Tuesday, August 14, 2007 at 5:30 p.m. PT/SLT, in their new locations at the Nonprofit Commons in Second Life.

Generously donated by the world’s first virtual millionaire, Anshe Chung, this nonprofits-only space, managed by TechSoup, creates and houses a community of nonprofits in the online virtual world of Second Life. This community of practice is entirely volunteer-run and hosts organizations from across the globe. To date, they have created a community blog and a resource-rich wiki, and have held mixed-reality events, workshops, and regular weekly town hall meetings.

The Gala event will be a mixed-reality launch party, complete with networking, a panel of speakers (featuring Susan Tenby of TechSoup and Jeska Dzwigalski of Linden Lab in the live-event, and Anshe Chung in Second Life). Audio and video content will be streamed live between the two worlds.

This “sim,” or virtual acre of land, was designed as a pilot project to lower the barriers of access to Second Life, and to create a community of practice for nonprofits to explore and learn about the virtual world. The Nonprofit Commons provides free office space to qualifying groups to meet and collaborate, create a cooperative learning environment, and foster outreach, education, and fundraising, all in a virtual space

“We believe that Second Life provides a unique platform to collaborate, educate, inspire, and build awareness. In the Nonprofit Commons, our goal is to assist our community members achieve their dreams in this exciting new technology that we see as the future of the Web. We welcome all who wish to join us as partners or supporters,” said Glitteractica Cookie, avatar for Susan Tenby, Senior Manager of Community Development, TechSoup Network.

“Building vibrant communities starts with great events that bring organizations together for dialogue and exchange,” notes In Kenzo (Evonne Heyning), Creative Director at Amoration.org. “For nonprofits joining the virtual world for the first time, the Nonprofit Commons offers a free place to connect with other leaders.”

Audience members in the Second Life portion of the event are expected to include nonprofit commons residents and their invited guests, media representatives and journalists, Linden Lab staff, and those interested in nonprofits and philanthropy.

The live-event in San Francisco will be a part of NetSquared’s Net Tuesday. The Gala event’s activities include:

5:30 p.m.: Meet and greet
6:00 p.m.: Speakers and event
7:00 p.m.: Tours of the Nonprofit Commons

The events in Second Life will be at the same time, working in conjunction with the events in the real world, live event. Nonprofit organizations in the Commons will also be hosting their own events in conjunction with this Grand Opening Gala. To find the Nonprofit Commons search the places tab in SL for nonprofit commons or, go to:

http://slurl.com/secondlife/Plush%20Nonprofit%20Commons/130/125/22/?titl…

Information and Inquiries: This event is free of charge, but space is limited, so please RSVP via email to Susan Tenby (susan@techsoup.org) for in-world attendance to this event or IM Glitteractica Cookie in Second Life. Join the TechSoup group, in-world in Second Life to receive announcements about this event and future nonprofit events in Second Life.

Attire: Avatar fabulous, if possible dress as your avatar or your favorite avatar.

RSVP on the San Francisco NetSquared Meetup site (http://netsquared.meetup.com/1/) for attendance to the live, real-world event.

Nonprofit Commons Gala Event