I have written a new article entitled, Retooling the eNonprofit: Expanding the Options for Integrated Online Software. It has been published by Idealware, where I am a Board member. The article describes what integrated online software tools are available today, and offers some considerations when choosing tools for emailing, online donations, advocacy online, and more. Idealware provides candid Consumer-Reports-style reviews and articles about software of interest to nonprofits, centralized into a website.
The folks at Idealware have published a helpful article entitled A Few Good Tools: Low Cost Constituent Databases, which looks at low cost ways to track volunteers, donors, partners, and other constituents. They asked thirteen nonprofit technology professionals what tools have worked well for them, and present their findings in an easy-to-fathom Web page.
Well that's been my impression, based on the sole experience of my local freenet the Vancouver Community Network, VCN. Don't get me wrong they're very ... utilitarian.
VCN Vision Statement
The Vancouver Community Network strives to be an inclusive, multicultural, community-based organization which ensures the free, accessible electronic creation and exchange of the broadest range of information, experience, ideas and wisdom.
VCN Mission Statement
The Vancouver Community Network owns, operates and promotes a free, publicly accessible, non-commercial, community computer utility in the Lower Mainland of BC which provides a public space on the Internet.
What emerging tech. tool do you think has the most potential to help nonprofits and NGOs create social change?
So far, Content Management (web publishing platform) and Social Networking are neck-and-neck with podcasting trailing behind.
And we've had some write-in answers:
"Content management systems as web application platform (Start with a simple website, graduate to constitute engagement and go further to back office donor management . . .all on the same technology platform)"
Nancy White provides strategic communication, online community development, facilitation, marketing, and project management services for the community, non-profit and business sectors through Full Circle Associates, her Seattle, Washington based consultancy.
The South African NGO Network's (Sangonet) second annual "ICTs for Civil Society" conference and exhibition will have a strong emphasis on open source software.
Sangonet executive director, David Barnard, says the conference will target NGOs experienced in the open source field, as well as NGOs who haven't actively engaged with open source software yet.
I hope my title slug above is warranted and that the code is getting down to the people who need it most and know best what to do with it. Diametrically opposed to the thrust of open source, imperial power has a way of replicating itself via the carrier DNA of the proprietary information technologies that have traditionally maintained and supported closed societies. Yihla Moja -- the man is dead.
And just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water...
The Pew Internet & American Life Project today released a report describing how the internet improves Americans' capacity to maintain their social networks and how they gain a big payoff when they use the internet to activate those networks to solicit help.
The report is based on two surveys and finds that the internet and email expand and strengthen the social ties that people maintain in the offline world. The surveys show that people not only socialize online, but they also incorporate the internet into their quest for information and advice as they seek help and make decisions.
Paul Horne of CThings.com has a great idea in action. He's combined his interest in new technologies and forward-thinking ideas with the greater "meta" conversation of how they can be used for cultural and social empowerment. Articles cover topics ranging from the United Nations's Support of the $100 Laptop to global poverty, health, environmental issues, media, and corporate power.