Connect With Us
YouTube
RSS

74 posts categorized "Video"

[VIDEO] World in Transition (Albert Wenger at DLD NYC)

May 10, 2014

This week, instead of an infographic, we decided to change things up with a relatively short video featuring Albert Wenger, a partner at Union Square Ventures, which is best known for its early investments in Zynga, Twitter, and Tumblr.

In the video, which was recorded at the DLD (Digital-Life-Design) conference in New York City earlier this month, Wenger explains that human society is the midst of a transition as profound in its implications as the shift from hunter gathering to subsistence farming was in the Neolithic Era. What's more, says Wenger, the transition from an industrial to an information society has already begun to create big changes in the global economy, including:

  • Disappearing growth
  • Disappearing jobs
  • Disappearing capital
  • Disappearing attention

Wenger has lots of other interesting things to share -- including the fact that half of all jobs in the global economy could be automated over the nex twenty years and the fact that a book published in the U.S. today sells an average of two hundred and fifty copies. (So much for Plan B.)

Check it out. If Wenger's factoid about our increasingly attenuated attention spans is correct, you'll only interrupt yourself once before the end.

 

 

What do you think? Is Wenger's description cause for optimism? Or does it just make you want to crawl under the covers?

-- Mitch Nauffts

'Talking Good' With Joe Jones, President/CEO, Center for Urban Families

June 15, 2013

Just in time for Father's Day, our friend Rich Polt at Communicate Good has posted the inaugural on-camera interview in his Talking GOOD series, a regular feature spotlighting the good works of "citizen philanthropists" -- purpose-driven individuals whose commitment to a cause is a central aspect of their being.

In the video, Joe Jones, a former drug addict and repeat offender who had an epiphany in a Baltimore City courtroom, got himself off drugs, and went on to found the Center for Urban Families, talks about the first time he felt like a father.

In the accompanying transcript, Jones talks with Polt about his purpose in life, how his work with BRFP has changed him, and the burning question he would like to pose to his community. Enjoy.

And Happy Father's Day to all you fathers out there!

-- Mitch Nauffts

Digital Tools and Apps: A 'Flip' Chat With Harish Bhandari, Robin Hood Foundation

April 12, 2013

(The video below was recorded as part of our "Flip" chat series of conversations with thought leaders in the nonprofit and philanthropic sectors. You can check out other videos in the series here, including our previous chat with Anika Rahman, president and CEO of the Ms. Foundation for Women.) 

If your organization thinks it doesn't have the time or money to invest in online tools like Twitter, it is "missing the boat," says Harish Bhandari, director of digital engagement and innovation at the Robin Hood Foundation. Robin Hood and Bhandari saw the benefits of digital media firsthand after Superstorm Sandy smashed into the Jersey shore in late October. After the storm, the New York City-based charity organized a benefit concert to raise funds for relief and recovery efforts in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut -- a concert that, thanks in part to the organization's use of social media to promote it, turned out to be the most successful benefit concert ever.

Indeed, says Bhandari, by not engaging with donors and other audiences online, nonprofits are missing out on connecting with a demographic that is passionate about social change and in a position to be "really loyal" over a long period of time. 

During a sit-down with PND, Bhandari, who spoke at a recent 501 Tech NYC event dedicated to "visual storytelling" (check out Noland Hoshino's recap here), discussed Robin Hood's efforts to engage potential supporters after Sandy, explained Robin Hood's approach to social networking, and shared some thoughts about newer mobile apps like Instagram and Vine.

Continue reading »

On Putting Your Data to Work: A 'Flip' Chat With Jake Porway, Founder/Executive Director, DataKind

September 26, 2012

(This video was recorded as part of our "Flip" chat series of conversations with thought leaders in the nonprofit and philanthropic sectors. You can check out other videos in the series here, including our previous chat with Paull Young, director of digital at charity: water.)

There's no shortage of data in the nonprofit/philanthropic sector. Indeed, a growing number of nonprofits are filling virtual filing cabinets with data on their constituents, donors, outputs, and outcomes, while more and more foundations are creating digital records of their program activities and grantees' performance. But what are nonprofits and foundations doing with that data once it has been collected? In most cases, not a whole lot.

At the same time, computer programmers have elevated so-called "hackathons"  and "codefests" into an art form. In rare cases, these events even enable hackers to contribute to the greater good by developing software or a mobile app that can be used to address a social problem. Too often, however, as Jake Porway, founder of DataKind, noted at a recent 501 Tech NYC event, they're just "a bunch of white dudes looking to solve their own problems, like where to find parking or farmers markets." Which is why his organization focuses on connecting programmers and data scientists interested in doing some social good with nonprofit leaders working to address some of the world's most urgent problems.

Formerly known as Data Without Borders, DataKind accomplishes its mission through weekend-long "DataDive" events; a DataCorps (i.e., a group of volunteers and/or contract employees who focus on a single project for up to six months at a time); and by providing on-demand/in-house data services.

After the event, I had a chance to chat with Porway about the nonprofit sector's relationship to and use of data and what nonprofits could be doing to make better use of their data. Porway also offered advice for nonprofit leaders who are worried about the steepness of the data learning curve.

(If you're reading this in an e-mail, click here.)

Continue reading »

On Building Community Online: A 'Flip' Chat With Paull Young, Director of Digital, charity: water

July 31, 2012

(This video was recorded as part of our "Flip" chat series of conversations with thought leaders in the nonprofit and philanthropic sectors. You can check out other videos in the series here, including our previous chat with Helena Monteiro, executive director of the Worldwide Initiatives for Grantmaker Support.)

There are currently 800 million people living without the very thing most of us take for granted: safe, clean drinking water.

Founded by former nightclub promoter Scott Harrison, charity: water has helped bring that precious commodity to two million people in the developing world. How? For starters, it has perfected the art of collaborating with local partners who know the language and customs of the target population and have mastered the logistical challenges of working in local communities.

The New York City-based nonprofit is also brilliant at fundraising and, largely through innovative digital outreach efforts like its birthday campaign, has raised more than $60 million for water projects in the developing world since it was founded in 2006.

What explains charity: water's phenomenal success? According to the organization's director of digital, Paull Young, it boils down to the following:

  1. Be positive. Powerful stories with positive messages are more effective than stories that make people feel guilty.
  2. Don't ask for money. What works with direct mail often doesn't work online. Instead of making an ask every time you communicate with your donors and supporters, give people a chance to learn about the "cool stuff" your organization is up to.
  3. Give. Raise. Influence. Focus on building relationships with your donors and supporters that enable them to see how they can maximize their ability to give, fundraise, and influence others over a period of years.
  4. Do it wrong quickly.
  5. Help donors and supporters see their impact. People are more generous if they understand clearly how their money is being used.

Recently, I had a chance to chat with Young before he addressed a 501 Tech NYC event about the organization's birthday campaign, the metrics it uses to evaluate its online fundraising efforts, and a few of the fundraising lessons he and his colleagues have learned over the years.

(If you're reading this in an e-mail, click here.)

 

(Running time: 8 minutes, 8 seconds)

Have a thought or comment you'd like to share? Use the comments section below....

-- Regina Mahone

Innovation Forum 2012

June 26, 2012

We thought it would be fun (and interesting) to share the livestream of the Rockefeller Foundation's 2012 Innovation Forum, which is supposed to start around 12:45 EDT and is one component of the storied foundation's centennial celebration.

The forum is designed to explore solutions to pressing global challenges and this year will focus on ways of ensuring that the benefits of new technologies do not bypass the world's poor. To that end, the event will showcase cutting-edge inventions, convene thought leaders from different sectors, and feature discussions that explore opportunities to help those who are becoming more vulnerable due to pernicious economic, social, and environmental forces.


Live streaming by Ustream

Later this evening, the foundation will honor Ratan Tata, chairman of Tata Sons Ltd.; Sir Ronald Cohen, chairman of the UK-based Portland Trust and Big Society Capital; and J. Carl Ganter, director and co-founder of Circle of Blue, an international network of journalists, scientists, and communications experts working to address and raise awareness of the global freshwater crisis, for their innovative work and philanthropy. And you can watch the whole thing from the comfort of your air-conditioned office.

On 'Exponential Fundraising': A 'Flip' Chat With Jennifer McCrea, Senior Research Fellow, Hauser Center for Nonprofit Organizations

April 04, 2012

(This video was recorded as part of our 'Flip' chat series of conversations with thought leaders in the nonprofit and philanthropic sectors. You can check out other videos in the series here, including our previous chat with Big Duck principal and founder Sarah Durham.)

On Monday, the Nonprofit Research Collaborative announced findings from its latest report on charitable giving. Among other things, the Nonprofit Fundraising Study, 2011 (47 pages, PDF) found that 53 percent of the 1,602 charities surveyed saw donations increase in 2011, while 70 percent said they expect to see additional growth in 2012. Even so, the economy remains a concern for many nonprofit organizations, with about a third of respondents saying economic issues, nationally and globally, pose the greatest challenge to the success of their fundraising efforts in 2012.

Absent a tooth fairy or mega-millions lottery for charities, fundraisers in the nonprofit sector must use a variety of techniques to boost their organization's income in these uncertain times. Enter "exponential fundraising," an approach coined by Hauser Center senior research fellow Jennifer McCrea that aims to alter the buyer-seller dynamic that often characterizes donor-fundraiser relationships.

"We get very stuck in....this transactional mindset of 'what have you done for me lately', instead of actually having real conversations with people," explains McCrea. "Our work is so much more powerful if we can remove that buyer-seller dynamic and we can actually allow our passion for making a difference together shine through…."

For almost a quarter-century now, McCrea has worked to share her approach to fundraising with others -- most recently through a year-long course she teaches at Harvard's Hauser Center for Nonprofit Organizations, as well as on a one-to-one basis with nonprofit leaders from a wide range of fields.

(If you're reading this in an e-mail, click here.)

(Running time: 6 minutes, 41 seconds)

Do you raise funds for a nonprofit organization or charitable cause? What's working for you in this uncertain post-recessionary environment? And has anyone tried McCrea's "exponential" approach? If so, we'd love to hear what you found worked (and maybe didn't). Use the comments section below....

-- Regina Mahone

Not All New Media Is ‘New’ Any More

February 22, 2012

(Bruce Trachtenberg is executive director of the Communications Network, an organization of people who work for or on behalf of the nation's grantmakers. A version of this post appears on the Commnetwork blog.)

Hello-my-name-is-new-mediaI'm pretty sure we didn't pop any champagne corks, do fist bumps, or high five each other, but I recall a feeling of exhilaration the first time -- probably in the 1990s -- I pressed the send button on e-mail with an attached PDF version of a report detailing findings from an initiative underwritten by a foundation where I worked. My colleagues and I -- freed from the labor and time-intensive process of distributing print publications -- thought we'd truly entered the digital age. In a blink of an eye, reports of any length could be on their way to key audiences in seconds.

Fast forward almost twenty years, and even though the PDF is still very much with us, that habit of turning reports, white papers, books, policy briefs, and the like into digital facsimiles and e-mailing and posting them online is on its way to being labeled an OLD new media practice.

In fact, just last week, the Center for Digital Information held a roundtable discussion with the title "Beyond the PDF" that showed off some impressive examples of how think tanks, foundations, and policy institutions are taking advantage of the best the new technology has to offer -- interactive graphics and visualizations, mapping tools, online databases, multimedia, and touch-interface smartphone and tablet applications -- to do what Jeff Stanger, the group's executive director, describes as more effectively "injecting” information into public policy debates and other social change discussions.

For anyone who cut his or her teeth in a world where print and print-like products were the gold standards of information dissemination, it takes a moment (sometimes longer) before you realize that a game can actually do a pretty good job of informing people about the challenges of trying to come up with a manageable federal budget or that a cartoon-like presentation can answer the question "How will the affordable health care act affect me?" at least as well, if not better, than traditional text presentations.

Those examples -- and others that detail the differing political beliefs Americans hold, the potential threat to developing countries from climate change, and how Americans cope with high energy costs -- demonstrate that by embracing the power of new digital technologies, we can turn static, often dry data into useful online engagements that hold great promise for thoughtfully informing and advancing public dialogue on topics such as health, education, the environment, the economy, national security, international affairs, and global development.

Another advantage that true digital publications offer is the ability to comprehensively measure the depth of user engagement -- from number of visitors to page views to which information garnered the most attention and interest. It’s far better knowing that people are paying attention to your materials than wondering if they're getting read at all. Still, that level of measurement is no substitute for the higher bar that any material disseminated to influence thinking or behavior must ultimately meet to be judged a success: Did anyone do any thing different as a result? Did they take action?

Ironically, whereas the now (in some quarters) scorned but still ubiquitous PDF offers great efficiency and obvious cost savings over its traditional print counterparts, these newer digitally native products come with both a higher price tag and greater time demands, not to mention the requirement for people with new skills to do the work. It's a fact that shouldn't dissuade us from turning more information products into digitally native forms.

Gabriella Fitz, co-director of IssueLab, a nonprofit that archives, distributes, and promotes the extensive and diverse body of research being produced by the nonprofit sector -- and someone who probably sees more traditional research reports than most people -- agrees that "more and more social cause research should be presented in interactive formats. The fact is that people don't have the time to read forty-page white papers."

But Fitz also worries that the research smaller foundations and nonprofits produce might get ignored "just because they don't have the budget to produce these kind of interactive pieces." And she acknowledges that "a lot of folks default to PDFs because they simply don't have the skills or creative encouragement to do it differently and don't have the money to hire those who do." Still, she's optimistic that "we can work on the skills and the creative encouragement." The money, on the other hand, will probably remain a hurdle too high for some.

On that point, Stanger says organizations doing the research need to take the lead in making the case that the cost of not embracing the new "threatens the vital informational role" of foundations, think tanks, and policy institutions. "In a society increasingly accustomed to information in digital form," he adds, "credibility, authority, and relevance are attributes that will be reserved for research organizations that successfully adopt new interactive forms that are native to digital media."

-- Bruce Trachtenberg

A 'Flip' Chat With...Sarah Durham, Principal and Founder, Big Duck

February 13, 2012

(This video was recorded as part of our 'Flip' chat series of conversations with thought leaders in the nonprofit and philanthropic sectors. You can check out other videos in the series here, including our previous chat with Annie E. Casey Foundation president and CEO Patrick McCarthy.)

At a recent Foundation Center event, Big Duck founder Sarah Durham explained that her book Brandraising: How Nonprofits Raise Visibility and Money Through Smart Communications was written for small nonprofits that do not have the budget to hire an outside consulting group like her New York City-based communications firm.

Yes, the principles behind effective communications are pretty basic. But because most nonprofit leaders aren't well versed in marketing/communications strategy, they often have trouble following through on them, says Durham. For that reason, Brandraising seeks to show executive directors how to raise funds and increase the visibility of their organizations using approaches developed by some of the most successful fundraisers in the country.

Before the event got under way, I had a chance to chat with Durham about the different levels of "brandraising," the role young staff members can play in the strategic planning process, and how Big Duck measures its impact. On that last point, Durham said her colleagues set measurable goals at the start of each project and then, after implementation, sit down with the client to compare notes and see whether they were on target.

(If you're reading this in an e-mail, click here.)


 

(Running time: 4 minutes, 1 second)

What do you think? Do you agree with Durham that mobile is "the next big thing"? Has your organization started collecting cell phone numbers? Feel free to share you brandraising success stories in the comments section below.

-- Regina Mahone

[Video]: Funder Collaboratives: A Conversation With Patricia Swann, Senior Program Officer, New York Community Trust

September 27, 2011

(Susan Herr, a longtime advocate for social change, founded PhilanthroMedia, Inc. in 2007 to "celebrate the end of philanthropy as usual and advance the perspectives of those leading the charge." This is the first of four interviews she conducted for PhilanTopic on the topic of collaboration. We'll be posting the other chats in the series -- with Omotade Akin Aina of the Carnegie Corporation of New York, Terry Mazany of the Chicago Community Trust, and Mai Kiang of the Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice -- over the next week.)

Funder collaboration isn't new. Having spent the past twenty years on both sides of the giving equation, I've watched the approach ebb and flow in popularity. Theoretically, it makes perfect sense. Convene a bunch of like-minded foundations that, together, can bring more dollars and resources to bear on a problem than each could alone. Identify grantees whose cumulative experience broadens the scope of possibilities and improves the chances of success. Build shared vision, execute passionately, and presto: life is better for everyone.

Of course, if you've ever been part of a funder collaborative, you know the reality is far more complicated. From 1996-2000, I directed the final four years of the Children, Youth and Families Initiative, a ten-year, $30 million effort spearheaded by the Chicago Community Trust to improve outcomes in seven low-income Chicago neighborhoods. The need was great, the vision ambitious. But as Patricia Swann, senior program officer at the New York Community Trust, ruefully told me when I spoke to her in August, "Sometimes it's hard working with people."

While I came away from my experience in Chicago with a more realistic sense of the challenges of collaboration, I also came away very much in agreement with Swann's assessment that collaboration, when done well, offers all partners the opportunity to "magnify and amplify the impact of their work."

Swann, a veteran of the nonprofit sector, has provided leadership on a wide range of issues in New York City. In the video chat below, she offers her perspective on the hallmarks, challenges, and rewards of collaboration, as well as often-overlooked elements of the "process" needed to advance a truly shared vision.

(If you're reading this in an e-mail, click here.)

 

(Running time: 4 minutes, 37 seconds)

If you're a grantee currently engaged in a funder collaborative, feel free to share this post with the powers that be. And if you're a funder, take heed. Collaboration is the road less traveled for a reason. But as the veteran grantmakers we'll be featuring in this series make clear, it is a path that often leads to truly meaningful social change.

What would you add to Swann's caveats? What's the most important thing you've learned about collaboration in the nonprofit sector? Use the comments section below....

-- Susan Herr

America in 1961

August 04, 2011

Barack Obama turns fifty today. To mark the occasion, Tech Ticker's Aaron Task chatted with Karlyn Bowman, a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, about a new AEI report (10 pages, PDF) that looks (among other things) at Gallup Poll results from fifty years ago to see what Americans cared about when the president was born in 1961.

The report found that the majority of Americans:

  • thought President Kennedy should navigate a political course "halfway" between the right and the left
  • approved of an increase in the Social Security payroll tax to pay for "old-age medical insurance"
  • opposed buying or selling products to Cuba "so long as Castro was in power"
  • were opposed to women wearing shorts in public but were okay with them wearing slacks
  • were against of increasing the price of a stamp to 5 cents

As Bowman tells Task, "[Americans] were worried about prices but they felt pretty good about government as a whole. Interestingly, at that point, we were much more worried about big labor. Big labor was seen as the biggest threat to the country followed by big business and hardly anyone thought big government would be a threat."

She also notes that as the baby boomers age, they are becoming more conservative -- and that's likely to be an important factor in the next two or three election cycles.

Fascinating stuff.

A 'Flip' Chat With...Casey Golden, founder and CEO, Small Act

May 02, 2011

(This is the second in a series of videos, recorded as part of our "Flip" chat series, that explores how various nonprofits -- and the consultants they hire -- are using "social media for social good." You can check out our previous chat, with National Wildlife Federation digital marketing manager Danielle Brigida here.)

As keynote speaker Casey Golden -- founder and CEO of Small Act, a firm that helps nonprofits and businesses nurture their key online relationships through software and consulting -- explained at the Foundation Center's "Social Media for Social Good" (#SM4SG) event last week, social media represents the next stage in a communications revolution. Indeed, said Golden, social media is changing the way corporations communicate with customers and the way nonprofits engage their constituents. Never before has there been a communications medium "where you can actually build relationships" and "find advocates within your" network to keep your message going. Therefore, it is essential for organizations to be strategic in their approach to social media and to learn how to measure the right things.

That was just one of many takeaways from Golden's presentation and the panel discussion that followed, which included Julia Smith of Idealist, Farra Trompeter of Big Duck, Amy Sample Ward of the Nonprofit Technology Network (NTEN), and Renee Alexander of the U.S. Fund for UNICEF. (For more information about the event, check out this post from the folks at Nonprofit Bridge.)

In this installment of our "social media for social good" video series, Golden, an entrepreneur since the age of 11, discusses why it's important for nonprofits to embrace social media and shares what he believes will be the next big thing in the space.

(If you're reading this in an e-mail, click here.)

 

(Total running time: 3 minutes, 59 seconds)

What do you think? What would you add to Golden's list of tips for resource-constrained nonprofits looking be more effective at social media? (Golden suggested nonprofits be consistent in the amount of time they spend online and how they distribute social media responsibilities.) Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

For more on the "Social Media for Social Good" event, check out these videos.

-- Regina Mahone

A 'Flip' Chat With...Danielle Brigida, Digital Marketing Manager, National Wildlife Federation

April 28, 2011

(This is the first in a series of videos, recorded as part of our "Flip" chat series, that explores how various nonprofits -- and the consultants they hire -- are using "social media for social good.")

Last week, I attended a 501 Tech NYC event, "Ask A Social Media Strategist," that featured National Wildlife Federation digital marketing manager Danielle Brigida (@starfocus). For the last four and a half years, Danielle has been helping NWF engage with its constituents online through social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter, while also training internal staff on how to use various social media tools. Among other things, she is responsible for maintaining the organization's main social networking accounts, while more than twenty other staff members are tasked with monitoring online profiles related to their programs or departments.

Before the event got under way, I had a chance to sit down with Danielle to discuss NWF's social media strategy and how the organization divvies up responsibilities associated with maintaining its significant online presence. Danielle also offered a few tips for resource-constrained nonprofits looking to get the most bang for their social media buck.

(If you're reading this in an e-mail, click here.)

   

(Total running time: 3 minutes, 24 seconds)

During the event, Danielle explained how she sometimes has to talk NWF staff out of creating a Facebook fan page or other online profile for their program because creating a new one would be overkill. Since I didn't think to ask Danielle this question during the event, I thought it would be nice to hear from all of you about the metrics you use to determine whether a new program needs its own online profile or identity? And when do you say enough is enough? Use the comments section to share your thoughts....

-- Regina Mahone

[Video]: Animating Data in Real Space (Hans Rosling)

December 19, 2010

Last year, when I was posting TED Talks on Sunday mornings, one of my favorite "talkers" was Hans Rosling, the Swedish global health researcher and data visualization wiz. In this talk from 2007, Rosling dazzled the TED crowd with a startling two-dimensional presentation depicting the dramatic progress made by countries in sub-Saharan over the last fifty years.

Time, and technology, marches on. In this new made-for-the-Web presentation, Rosling leaves the two dimensions of his computer screen behind and, with a little help from his friends, translates his eye-opening data into the three dimensions of real space. It's enough to make you want to take a statistics course.

(Running time: 4:48)

-- Mitch Nauffts

Sir Ken Robinson on Changing Education Paradigms

November 27, 2010

I'm still plowing through dozens of posts that were written for the Day of National Blogging for Real Education Reform this past Monday. The brainchild of Michigan State University researcher Ira Socol, the blogfest was a rousing success and even generated a post in response by U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan.

I hope to post my own thoughts about the day and its themes in the next week or two. But in the meantime I thought I'd share this animated version of a recent talk given by educator and creativity expert Ken Robinson at the London-based Royal Society of Arts.

Sir Ken, whom PhilanTopic readers got to know in this TED Talk, is nothing if not passionate about education reform, and he is as dismayed by most countries' continued insistence on "trying to meet the challenges of the future by doing what they've done in the past" as he is by the "misplaced, fictitious epidemic of ADHD." Whether you agree with him or not, it's hard to argue with a man who can draw as fast as he speaks. (That's a joke.)

What do you think? Are developed countries in general, and the United States in particular, still wedded to a production-line model of education? Are we penalizing our children, who are living "in the most intensely stimulating period in the history of the earth," for being distracted? And what, in the twenty-first century, is the purpose of education?

-- Mitch Nauffts

Contributors

Quote of the Week

  • "Just because something is statistically significant does not mean it is meaningfully significant...."

    Ashley Merryman, author, Nurture Shock: New Thinking About Children

Subscribe to Philantopic

Contributors

Guest Contributors

  • Laura Cronin
  • Derrick Feldmann
  • Thaler Pekar
  • Kathryn Pyle
  • Nick Scott
  • Allison Shirk

Tweets from @PNDBLOG

Follow us »

Tags

Other Blogs