Financial Management Webinar Live Chat Page
Associated with Nonprofit Accounting Solutions Fireside Chat on March 30 at 11am PST. See official invite for more info.
Written by: InKenzo
After a week in the nonprofit world Jumo is making waves for its big push around nonprofit discovery via social networking. Is it working? We’ve sampled blogs from TechSoup community leaders in this post to help you determine whether investing time on JUMO is right for your organization.
As you may have heard, Jumo is now open in beta. What is Jumo? As Mashable reports, “Jumo was designed to let users find, follow and support the causes important to them, and with 3,500 organizations on board at launch, would-be philanthropists should be able to find and follow something of interest upon joining. (For comparison’s sake — Apple’s Ping had 2,000 artists two months out of the gate.)”
So far, trying to navigate the site to browse or set up a profile has about a 50/50 chance of hitting either a 504 or 500 error page. It’s been quite a frustrating process, especially when inputting 33 different countries one by one in the “where we work” section just to have the “save” not work. It is in beta, let’s not forget! So, patience and persistence are the keys to success. I’m always the first to admit I’m not patient, but I persistence this morning has gotten me pretty deep into the site – so keep refreshing your browser and you’ll get through!
It seems that you have to have an organizational presence on facebook in order for the project page on Jumo to work/look right – I put in my facebook ID, thinking it was verifying my association as the admin on the organizational account, but instead it put my photo and info as the organization’s! I’m not sure that organizations will want to maintain, or create, a profile on facebook just as a ticket to using Jumo. Is this experience correct – have others found this to be true?
Here’s the screen shot for the TechSoup Global page on Jumo. I am following the organization and am an administrator on the page – doesn’t appear to show either of those facts!
I’m also not finding any way to customize the URL so that users could more easily find, and I could more easily share/promote the page.
I’ve had quite a string of issues with the messaging in Jumo. Here are some of the posts I’ve shared this morning with members of a social media for nonprofits group in facebook:
* when I try posting on people’s pages, it doesn’t appear to go through, but then they say they get 4 emails telling them about it (this is what one contact reported after I posted on his wall);
* when I tried posting an update on my own page it went through twice! Just checked back and Jumo deleted the second/double post but the diction is very strange! “Amy Sample Ward wrote on her/her profile:”
* I just posted on Beth’s wall on jumo and left the “post to facebook” box checked to see if it would post on her or my facebook wall as well, but it doesn’t seem to have done so.
* Also interesting, that it let me post on Beth’s wall (if the Jumo terms use “wall”) even though we weren’t following each other. Could mean that users don’t have a way to manage the amount of posts (read: spam) that could get through to them…
* I got an error that said only letters, spaces and punctuation were allowed… no numbers?!
The reason a site for finding and following causes you care about has social features is because it isn’t just the organizations we care about that we like to follow, but also the people we care about. If a friend or family member donates to an organization, starts or shepherds a campaign, or shares an appeal for support, data has shown that we are more likely to listen and even take action – we trust our friends and family and listen to what they say more than just ads or mass-messages. So, finding and following the people we want to listen to should certainly be easier in Jumo!
As Tom Watson posted in a facebook group this morning, what’s the point?….does the nuance between the two platforms come down to “action” or something else? Organizations that I am or could follow are on both platforms, so what is the deciding factor influencing their strategy for engagement on the platform and the deciding factor for which platform I use to connect with them?
Beyond a Platform
Beyond this platform or that one, why do you, as an individual who is passionate about a cause, want to connect directly with a nonprofit organization online? Is it to take action – online? or off? Is it to know what they are doing and how they use the funds you may have given them? Is it to see if they are worth your donations or volunteer hours? How does your purpose for engagement influence your choice of platform?
When I first heard about Jumo quite a few months ago, I reacted basically as Tom Watson did, though more snarkily. Subsquently, a mutual friend brokered a call between Chris and me. He’s obviously a smart guy and he’s trying to do good in the world. I think it’s important that we in the nonprofit tech space stay open to new ideas, projects, people in our space, and don’t hold it against the the newbies that they are able to raise money easily or maybe haven’t paid what we might consider the appropriate dues. There’s no growth if we try to pull up the drawbridge behind us. That said, my feeling talking to Chris was that he was kind of checking off a box. I sensed he had received blowback for not having talked to enough NPO folks and was remedying that, but was very much in love with his concept, and wasn’t really open to revisiting his paradigm. He was going to do what he was going to do and our call felt very pro forma. I wouldn’t say that Ami, Greg or Ben of Idealist V’match and Change.org missed a whole lot, though of course if he was going to reach out to the field, Chris should have reached out to the orgs that are most active in the corner he wishes to inhabit.
But I think we should take a long view here. It is not foreordained that Jumo will ‘sweep away the competition.’ This is a different environment than the more or less purely social one of FB. With all his dough and pedigree, Chris and his team will still have to earn trust in order to succeed, and it’s not clear to me how well they understand that or how they expect to address that need. Frankly, Chris’s round of interviews notwithstanding, I think they have a *huge* learning curve about the npo sector and the ngo sector and civil society generally. Basically, I think the right approach is the one Amy is taking here–Try to understand what they are offering…withhold judgment as much as possible…openmindedly try to make Jumo ‘work’ for our organizations and causes….learn by doing so and hope they learn too. While it is frustrating to have tech glitches, let s/he among us who is without sin in that regard cast the first stone! I don’t see much point in castigating them for being pre-alpha rather than Beta. In general, the proof is in the benefits they provide for social change and I think that our community’s reaction should be focused on that, which will take some time to reveal itself.
The Jumo project reminds me a bit of when AOL Foundation set up Helping.org in late 90’s. I had funders tell me they wouldn’t support TechSoup because Goliath was clearly going to win this one. Didn’t happen that way after all, and I attribute the results to the much closer relationship we had to actual on the ground nonprofits. Idealist, V’match, Change.org (and I’d certainly add Wiser Earth to this list) have built up really committed followings. Jumo has a long way to go to get there.
On the other hand, none of us has built Facebook and we all talk about scale, reaching more people, getting beyond the circle of hard core activists etc. It’s conceivable that Chris and Jumo have something to teach us there. I’d like to find out.
Five years ago we would muse with catalysts at the Omidyar Network about relationship networks, reputation and trust and the essentials of building strong communities of change for both local and global impact. Today some of those ideas have come to fruition with platforms like Change.org, Wiser Earth, Ushahidi, Quora, LinkedIn and Twitter campaigns. As many of us have worked together and cross paths frequently in the ethers there’s been a desire to track those engagements and understand true reputation through our work over time, mapping the most prolific leaders with great questions & endeavors like we do on the TechSoup Forums.
Jumo released to the public in the last 24 hours and has the potential to fill the gap between great people and great endeavors in a different way than Change.org, LinkedIn or Wiser Earth manages to do. Unfortunately it seems Jumo may have more interest in the transactional economy of giving than the relationship economy it has the potential to grow, becoming a philanthropic passthrough that takes a cut higher than most fiscal sponsors, but lower than the United Way. So far it functions very closely to the Causes function on Facebook, more like Razoo. It’s a start, but personally I want a real economy of contribution that goes deeper than dollars.
Tracking followers simply in the Quora fashion is a nice and elegant way to see who influences who but it lacks any sort of qualification or indication of endorsement. Recommendations in LinkedIn are more helpful but a star/point system would allow for users to vote up their favorite leaders and catalysts in various fields.
I value social action networks with indicators to vote up submissions to the creative economy. If you imagine each post, video or photo as an asset in the marketplace of Facebook or Twitter I want the ability to be able to give extra stars, points or fiery dragons to the people who are submitting the best possible solutions. The LIKE button is ok but I’d rather have 30 stars a day and have the ability to blow 5 stars on the best link or photo. I believe that this mix of a creative economy and reputation-associated relationship building will allow us to find collaborators and get things done more effectively in less time.
So far the social action networks that have sprung up to get things done quickly include Ushahidi, the Crisis Camps/Crisis Commons movements and Twitter social campaigns. Most of these have required the frequent use of googledocs and wikis to manage collaborative information across wide virtual teams and lack the ability to track the backend of engagement well as we look to reward those who are getting the most done.
Any tool that helps us leverage more for less is helpful….for now the tools that are helping me the most to create social change ripples include Twitter, Quora, YouTube, LinkedIn and Facebook. For now the social action networks like Change.org and Jumo offer enough for me to chime in once or twice, but I’m not seeing enough sticky reasons to keep coming back to share new endeavors. Is there a future for a philanthropic discovery site like Jumo that does not push regular emails or curated updates? Would you keep going back, or are you having better experiences with other social action networks?
Are niche social networks the best way to mobilize people and channel their energy into supporting nonprofits? Will it turn more people into repeat donors and committed activists?
…. While Jumo has some cool Facebook integration, Twitter-like features and uses an algorithm to suggest projects and issues, many nonprofit campaigners say it needs to do much more to make it a valuable online social community that will lead to a deeper engagement.
“Jumo needs to question what makes them different, does the cause marketplace really need them, who will use the platform, and how will it be marketed to them,” said Geoff Livingston.
“I don’t see Jumo, at least right now, filling a gap,” said Amy Sample Ward of TechSoup Global. “I’d love to see a platform that is focused on action: finding actionable opportunities (Social Actions made great impact here), taking action (helping people find others to do it with them, build trust, form a community, etc.), and then report/display the results of the actions.”
……Hughes is a smart entrepreneur. Hopefully, he will listen to the nonprofit community’s feedback and adapt Jumo to connect people to nonprofits that truly move people up the ladder of engagement.
My biggest thought on Jumo has to do with why I use other social sites and that comes down to getting information out to people who aren’t working in the NPO sector. Certainly meeting, discussing and connecting with other NPO’s is TERRIBLY important but for much of my work in the past and currently, getting information out to people who are not in the field is equally important and this is where I wonder about time spent in Jumo. Sure, there’s a lot of NPO’s there for obvious reasons, but I have yet to find anyone there who isn’t also on FB or twitter. Every new tool creates more work and with smaller orgs with little ability to really hit every tool I can’t help but think that this is not a good use of time that could be spent reaching out to their community on Facebook or Twitter.
All this said, it’s way too soon to know if it’s great or not but likely I wouldn’t want to invest a ton of time there until I see it grow into something far better than it is now. Something more stable and with a better vision.
Jumo is VERY beta and they’re catching up with tech bugs. They’re smart but not always asking the right questions when it comes to filling gaps in engagement or action for nonprofits. Jumo is focused on FIND FOLLOW SUPPORT: a discovery space for giving to new organizations. Volunteerism beyond posting a note to friends is nonexistant in this space and money is the only currency that counts.
Jumo’s topical navigation will serve smaller nonprofits well who jump on early, carve a niche and build a big fan base: however at this early stage it’s hard to tell if the total fundraising capacity will be any stronger than Causes on Facebook. Thankfully it requires little maintenance and should not be a big time drain for your social media leaders.
Written by: InKenzo
We are testing a new tool this week: Storify is in beta, allowing us to weave together our social media and stories into one embeddable file for the web. Tell us what you think of this tool and format!
Written by: InKenzo
[cross-posted to TechSoup Blog]
As we mentioned on the blog, TechSoup’s online community staffers along with expert consultants presented at the NSAC (National Sexual Assault Conference) hosted by CALCASA (California Coalition Against Sexual Assault). The five of us social media “chefs” set up our TechSoup social media kitchen at the conference lounge, where folks could drop-in during the conference and get one-on-one help with their social media questions.
We kicked off our tech kitchen with a presentation Social Media: Listen First. Janet Fouts, Susan Tenby, and I discussed the most important part of any social media strategy: listening. Social media is all about joining in the conversation and just like a face-to-face conversation, you want to be an attentive listener for your supporters. Our resource list from the presentation has more information. In addition, Janet’s website has a terrific list of listening tools, as does Beth Kanter’s wiki.
Day 2 was a presentation from Jessica Dally, Evonne Heyning, Susan Tenby, and I on Multimedia Storytelling and Events where we explored the importance of telling your story in a compelling way to engage users with your cause. Evonne gave several examples of anti-violence groups, such as The Girl Effect and We End Violence that have effectively used video to tell their story in a compelling way. Many conference-goers noted the terrific posters on display from We End Violence that took a direct approach, with a touch of humor to bring attention to an important issue.
Helping out in the TechSoup kitchen was a terrific opportunity for us to meet with nonprofit workers in person and really get a sense of the kinds of issues that they are dealing with in their every day work. We addressed a range of questions from, “How do I get Twitter and Facebook to connect with one another?” to “Should you have a public Facebook page when privacy and confidentiality are big concerns?” to “What’s the best way to collaborate online with a group of people?” I also let folks know about a free resource they might not know about, the TechSoup forums, which is open to anyone to post technology questions anytime and get expert answers.
We also met some amazing, inspirational folks doing important work on sexual violence issues. Among them were Chai and Shannon of Hollaback DC, Ann Turner from National Clearinghouse on Abuse in Later Life (NCALL), and Shamra Goy of Family Support Center in Washington. You can view all of their video profiles here.
A big thanks to CALCASA for having us again this year!
What’s your biggest social media question? Post it here in the Emerging Technology forum and get expert answers.
Written by: penguin kuhn
One thing I always enjoy about Craigslist Foundation Boot Camp is getting to know very small organizations. A lot of people stopped by our booth and told us about the challenges their one-or-two-person nonprofits are facing. It’s an important perspective, and a big part of TechSoup’s user base. Working with a tiny staff and budget brings a litany of challenges, but it brings some amazing opportunities too.
The low-budget ethos is encapsulated no better than in the Seattle Free School. SFS doesn’t accept donations and doesn’t apply for grants. Volunteers teach free classes in rooms donated by other local organizations. In two and a half years, SFS has grown from a simple idea into an impressive institution, with classes in topics ranging from crochet to Linux installation to getting Irish citizenship.
Founder Jessica Dally came down from Seattle to give a talk called Run Free: How to Transform Your Community Without Money. (Jessica is also a Nonprofit Commons member and NetSquared Local organizer.) In a one-hour presentation, Jessica took on the daunting task of convincing a room full of people trying to start and grow nonprofits to consider a no-budget model. She started with a simple question: What do you need to start an organization? People called out various budget items (a space, computers, staff, telephones) as well as intangibles (attention, a mission, passion). Next, she asked which items from the list you can’t get for free. We selected a handful of items from the list — publicity, computers, space, and a few others — and for each item we came up with, Jessica explained how SFS had gotten it for free or made do without it.
Publicity? Jessica explained that when she first started SFS, she’d spend a lot of money and time printing flyers and taking them to community centers and coffeeshops around Seattle. One day she realized that there was no way she’d get the fliers everywhere in Seattle; why not crowdsource the job? Now, she posts the flyers on Twitter and Facebook, asking followers to bring them to their own neighborhood spots. “It’s just one copy. You can even print it off at work if you don’t tell anyone,” she joked. But the publicity hasn’t stopped there. A no-budget organization is a compelling story, and it gets SFS a lot of publicity. The school has been featured in every major publication in Seattle, and many of those have been cover stories.
Computers? Jessica and the people who work with her use their own personal computers. This one gives me a small case of jitters: it’s become increasingly common for nonprofit staff to use their own computers at least some of the time, and that’s fine if it’s an understanding that all parties are comfortable with. For any organization doing this, I’d strongly recommend that you use remote backup tools and/or online collaboration tools like Google Docs, Zoho or Microsoft Office Web Apps.
Phones? Jessica explained that at first, she simply put her mobile phone number on SFS’s website. Once she started getting enough calls that it became a problem, she switched to Google Voice. That kind of ad hoc decision-making was a major theme in Jessica’s talk: you don’t need the fancy solution right away; just use the simplest solution that’ll work until it stops working.
Space? SFS began by holding all of its classes in meeting rooms at the library. But as the school got more attention, local organizations started actively courting SFS to hold classes at their offices, with the idea that it was good marketing for them. If SFS were a traditional nonprofit, it’s possible that other local organizations with their own budgetary woes wouldn’t have been so generous.
Finally, someone asked, “How do you support yourself?” Some were bemused by Jessica’s matter-of-fact reply, “I have a day job. Actually, I have three day jobs.” She said that she works about ten hours a week month for SFS, but that those ten hours are all spent on programs, not on fundraising and accounting. When I interviewed NOZA founder Craig Harris a few years ago, he told me that when people start nonprofits, they’re invariably surprised to learn that regardless of what the organization does, they’ll be spending most of their time fundraising. Looking at it that way, there’s something to say for foregoing the fundraising and just getting a day job.
Does a no-budget model make sense for every organization? Maybe not. But we can all learn something from organizations like the Seattle Free School about finding creative solutions and relying on our communities.
Update: See Jessica’s notes in the comments thread.
What are the advantages of operating with no money? What are the drawbacks? What’s your secret to running your nonprofit on the cheap? Join this Emerging Technologies forum discussion.
Written by: penguin kuhn
Weekly Update from the Nonprofit Commons
Events this week:
8:30AM Friday meeting at the Plush Nonprofit Commons Amphitheatre
http://bit.ly/nonprofitcommons will give you a direct teleport to our main gathering area!
We will be doing special tutorials during the month of August during our Friday morning meetings, so come this week for tips and tools on using Flickr for your organization.
There will be no Grant Station webinar in Second Life this week as previously noted in our weekly update – however you can register and attend this webinar through www.techsoup.org web access.
Last week at the NPC:
EmmaGNP Seaside from Great Nonprofits shared an opportunity to be featured as part of the Science and Technology Campaign. Eligible nonprofits should visit the www.greatnonprofits.org website and ask others to vote for their organizations.
Penguin Kuhn from TechSoupGlobal shared changes to the Nonprofit Commons blog and website. The blog is now the front page to our site and tenants are welcome to apply to blog with NPC.
We discussed plans for the new Community Gateway being installed on Aloft Nonprofit Commons.
Layal and Evonne (Ninlil Xentiltat and In Kenzo) shared the Stories of Impact production plan for short machinima videos to feature our tenants, events and partners at NPC. Virtual Helping Hands and the National Service Inclusion Project are our first featured partners and you can look for more videos up this week at http://youtu.be/E3vuBsIK3NI and http://youtube.com/TechSoupVideo
Glitteractica Cookie will be away for the next two weeks but Kali, InK, Ninlil and Penguin will be around to assist any tenants by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
August 12th at 6PM with Builders Brewery:
BEGINNING BUILDING – Learning the basics, lesson 1 with instructor DeAnn Dufaux Builders Brewery – Dockside (Class 1 of 5) – This is the first class of the series. During this series, we’ll go over some of the building tools that, even if you have built something, perhaps you haven’t thought to use or don’t know what they’re for. Instructions will be for both viewer v.1.23 and v. 2.0.
In case you missed:
The Online Community Managers Meetup is hosted monthly at TechSoup Global in San Francisco and at the Plush Nonprofit Commons Amphitheatre on the fourth wednesday of the month and the next live event will take place September 22nd. From last week’s event here are two quick links—
The first link to Ben Rigby’s presentation on SlideShare: http://www.slideshare.net/benrigby/ocm-presi
The second link is to the follow-up discussion with The Extraordinaries, prompted by our in-person discussion: http://forums.techsoup.org/cs/forums/t/30701.aspx
Thank you for your contributions to the Nonprofit Commons! For questions contact email@example.com for fastest response.
Written by: InKenzo
From Evonne Heyning with Claire Sale @techsoup:
The 2010 National Conference on Volunteering and Service (NCVS) is June 28-30 in New York City. The NCVS conference is an opportunity for volunteer and service leaders to get together for in-person networking and learning. If you’re going to be there we’d love for you to get in touch — or if you cannot attend, join us in Second Life or on the web!
Here’s a listing of live sessions and spaces hosted by TechSoup:
Mixed Reality Learning Lab
Susan Tenby from TechSoup Global along with Nonprofits in Second Life team members Evonne Heyning and Josephine Dorado
Dates: All conference long!
Location: In the lounge near the ballroom entrance corridor between the conference host exhibit spaces.
The team at TechSoup has brewed up a select menu of tools and strategies to provide a social media curriculum to conference attendees on how to explore Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, and applications for engaging volunteers and supporters around the world.
Attendees can join a tour of the Nonprofit Commons in Second Life or learn how to use digital storytelling and Facebook for quick and easy updates to keep connected to supporters. Quick tips and tools will be provided on how to get started as well as support for more advanced users. Also, engage in mixed reality events as avatars and representatives from nonprofits around the world discuss their work both virtually and in their communities.
Join us in Second Life at the Nonprofit Commons!
Monday June 28: 7-10AM PST (10AM – 1PM EST)
Tuesday June 29: 7-8AM PST and 11-12:30PM PST (10-11AM or 2:00-3:30PM)
Wednesday June 30: 5:30AM PST (8:30AM EST)
You can also watch this stream on the web directly.
Community-Driven Social Impact Session
Amy Sample Ward from NetSquared
Date: Tuesday, June 29, 2010 from 8:30 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. Eastern Room: 1471
This session focuses on strategies and case studies for creating successful community-driven media, events, and campaigns. Participants will learn about best practices and work in small groups to put learning into practice.
Technology Planning for Nonprofits Session
Catherine Hurd and Elliot Harmon from TechSoup Global
Date: Tuesday, June 29, 2010 from 2:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Eastern Room: 1374
This session will help participants to assess their organization’s technology needs and capacity; work with technical volunteers; and understand the role of technology planning as the foundation for an effective operating environment.
Get in Touch via Twitter
Will you be at the NCVS? We’d love to hear from you at @NetSquared, @TechSoup or @npsl. Or connect with us directly:
Written by: InKenzo
Don’t know your VoIP from your POTS or even what these acronyms mean? Scratching your head on all the phone system options out there? Then this event is for you.
We’ll be joined by telecommunications expert and longtime TechSoup star and forums moderator, Chris Shipley of Nutmeg IT and Kevin Lo, Lead Technology Analyst for TechSoup Global. Our hosts will address the various voice communication options (VoIP, PBX hardware, voicemail, etc.) available and how these differ. We’ll explore the pros and cons of different solutions, cost considerations, and examine what kinds of organizations would best benefit from different systems.
This live webinar kicks off the official launch of TechSoup’s new Telecommunications discussion forum. After the webinar, our hosts will continue the conversation in the asynchronous (not live) forums event. We’ve gotten the conversation rolling with topics like how telecommunications is changing nonprofit work, Google Voice, and what VoIP services organizations are using. Head on over and post your questions and get expert advice on your telecommunications needs!
Here are all the ways you can participate in the event! Feel free to take part on any and all of these channels:
If you have any questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Spread the word via Twitter and other social media sites by copying and pasting the following:
Join in free #techsoup forums event & webinar: Straight Talk about Telecommunications, 2/18:http://bit.ly/d0QfsP
Image credit: Peter Kamaninski via Flickr
Written by: penguin kuhn
TechSoup and the Nonprofit Commons have released a new video created by machinimatographer Draxtor Despres. Filmed both in real life and Second Life, it shows how nonprofits collaborating in the virtual world can make a difference in the real world, one avatar at a time.
Written by: DustyArtaud
TechSoup’s own Susan Tenby, aka Glitteractica Cookie, wrote up a blog post about the Mixed Reality Health Panel Expo event that is featured on the Huffington Post. Part of TechSoup’s NetSquared Conference (N2y4), the mixed reality event highlighted nonprofits doing work in the virtual world of Second Life. including health expert panelists from organizations including Community Voicemail, Boomer Esiason Foundation, and Virtual Ability.
But that’s not all! The NetSquared Conference has gotten a number of press mentions. Huffington Post also featured an post from by longtime NetSquared supporter Allen Gunn: “NetSquared 2009: Making the Virtual Proximal”. “Lessons on Innovation from Nonprofits”, by columnist Chris O’Brien, also recently appeared in the San Jose Mercury News and Contra Costa Times. And we were proud to see The Economist’s Technology Quarterly, showcasing five of NetSquared’s previous Featured Projects for their application of mapping tools for social benefit work
We are thrilled to see these fantastic individuals and social benefit organization getting press about their important work. If you’d like to see more you can check out wrap-up detailed coverage of the NetSquared conference and find text archive, pictures, and live-blogging of the Health Panel Expo event.
Written by: penguin kuhn