Earlier this month, we asked you to share your your reflections on the world of technology and social benefit in 2010. We wanted to learn which nonprofit-technology-related content, innovations, events, and ideas stand out as being the big game-changers for the year. Below, we've compiled all of the community responses for this month's Net2 Think Tank!
Topic: When you look back at the world of innovation and social benefit this year, what are the key things that come to mind?
While this month's Net2 Think Tank is now closed, you're always welcome to add your feedback on the subject. Feel free to add your ideas in the comments section at the bottom of this page.
Fundraising and Volunteering
"Micro-volunteering that allows people to donate their time to nonprofits on the web, detractors can no longer refer to volunteering your time on the web as "slacktivism"." - Read the whole response from Layal Rabat
"I would have to say it was our implementation of Salesforce. This started off as a solution to tracking our volunteers and funders and rapidly morphed into an all encompassing tool that allows us to track the effectiveness of our interventions. Salesforce is available to qualified non profits through the Salesforce foundation. Outstanding offer of an outstanding product." - Trevor Lobel on Linkedin
"Endorse for a Cause is an amazing way for non profits to fund raise - it involves social media, shopping, and supporting a cause all in one. It makes giving to charity easy, and it brings the technology that is usually reserved for the 'big dogs' to the 'little guys'. It is making a difference, and empowering non profits. Empowering non-profits, and giving them a voice is huge in my book, and at the Wakeman Agency where we specialize in non profit PR." Endorse for a Cause is a tool that enables you to earn money for your favorite charitable causes by sharing web sites and products you like with your friends. - Monica Clarke on Linkedin
"The big news was the use of mobile as a legitimate grassroots platform in 2010. We first saw this with texting and the American Red Cross’s incredible fundraising drive during the initial Haiti relief drive. Then it continued with the DNC’s canvassing app on the iPhone, a new way to organize grassroots volunteers. And finally, we saw the Apple iPhone app donation issue (led by Beth Kanter) come to the fore at the end of the year, a sure sign of the medium’s importance to the sector." - Read the whole post from Geoff Livingston
"Everything is shifting from the web to mobile, organizations are now scrambling to develop mobile apps to further their missions... As everything shifts to mobile, the users' location data is becoming more important to organizations as they seek to bring their networks from the web back into the real world." - Read the whole response from Layal Rabat
"Ushahidi flowered this year and became a hot tool for visualizing geographic data. Oil spill, Russian wild fires, earthquakes, etc., all saw Ushahidi used as a tool to better manage situational crisis. Further, it was another example of how mobile, traditional social and geolocation can mash-up, and do it for good." - Read the whole post from Geoff Livingston
"I love the idea of Jumo, it is in beta stages just now, so I am not sure where it will head, but I would urge people to have a look." Jumo is a newly beta launched social network dedicated to connecting individuals and organizations who want to change the world. - Scott Duncan on Linkedin
"Widgets, gadgets and platforms like Crowdrise continued to evolve with sector specific solutions. Often overlooked by the main online space as a secondary market, seeing innovation for social good has been awesome. Grassroots tools are getting better every month, well except when Jumo launched." - Read the whole post from Geoff Livingston
"Loads of attention on virtual worlds like Second Life, and the many alternatives that have been popping up." - Read the whole response from Layal Rabat
Social Media Dashboards
"Hootsuite is something that will save you hours of time in a week, and weeks of time in a month, and years of time in a life... You can connect up to five social media networks up to Hootsuite for free and post across all of them simultaneously or separately, and schedule your tweets as far in the future as you want. So, for example, if you’re going to be away from the internet for 2 months, but still want people to know about your swank services, you can schedule your tweets on Twitter, or on Linkedin or Facebook or other social networks… You can also see all of your Direct Messages, Sent Tweets, Pending Tweets, Mentions, and your Stream in Hootsuite. Oh, furthermore, if you use the URL shorteners embedded in Hootsuite, the http://ow.ly shortener and the http://ht.ly shortener, you can get stats on how many people click on your links." - Read the whole post from Mazarine Treyz
"I hear a lot of people use Hootsuite, I personally prefer using TweetDeck for 3 reasons: #1 Tweetdeck understands that not all social media platforms are alike. It lets me decide which platform I want to send my update to and schedule as many posts and tweets as I desire. #2 bit.ly is built in the software which makes it very time efficient. I just paste the link, Tweetdeck automatically shortens it for me. #3 Tweetdeck has a discreet pop up box that will pop up at the right hand corner of my screen. I can reply to, add a comment to or like anything that comes through the pop up box without having to actually open Tweetdeck or my browser. Awesome for double-tasking!" - Read the whole post from Sophie Davis
Thanks to everyone who contributed their ideas and expertise to this post. What are we missing? Add your suggestions in the comments section below!