Posts tagged nonprofits

Likes Don’t Save Lives

UNICEF Sweden has a new ad campaign reminding people that while social media Likes are nice, what they really need is money to fund their vaccination campaigns.

As The Verge points out, “Facebook likes aren’t treated as currency in other commercial venues, so they shouldn’t be equated with charitable donations.”

And via The Atlantic:

In the beginning, organizations wanted you to like the heck out of their Facebook pages. Why? You know, community-building, awareness-raising, general “engagement”-upping…

…But one thing clicking “like” doesn’t do is, say, get malaria nets to African villages or boost funding for charity groups. And now that Facebook is nearly 9 years old and Twitter is 7, we’re seeing the inevitable backlash against social-media “slacktivism.”

Back to The Verge:

The campaign, created by ad agency Forsman & Bodenfors, takes a rather bold stance against the awareness campaigns that often spread across Facebook and other social media platforms. UNICEF officials acknowledge that such efforts can help introduce issues to a wider audience, though they fear that for most users, the action stops with the click of a button. To further stress this point, UNICEF Sweden released a bold poster alongside the video clips, saying that every like it receives on Facebook will result in exactly zero vaccinations.

That’s not to say “slacktivists” are a bad thing. Liking, sharing and reblogging do serve their purpose in bringing issues to a wider audience. But then what?

Last year, The Atlantic notes, Zeynep Tufekci, a sociology professor and a fellow at the Harvard Berkman Center for Internet and Society, had this to say:

What is called commonly called slacktivism is not at all about “slacking activists;” rather it is about non-activists taking symbolic action—often in spheres traditionally engaged only by activists or professionals (governments, NGOs, international institutions.). Since these so-called “slacktivists” were never activists to begin with, they are not in dereliction of their activist duties. On the contrary, they are acting, symbolically and in a small way, in a sphere that has traditionally been closed off to “the masses” in any meaningful fashion.

The goal then for those working in social media is to simultaneously help the “slacktivist” set help you by building out ambient awareness of an issue through the messaging you create, while also giving activists and more consistently loyal proponents direct calls to action be it donations, volunteerism, network building, etc.

Meantime, if you’re moved to Like a cause, consider volunteering your time and/or other resources to it as well.

The other two commercials in UNICEF’s campaign can be viewed at The Verge. — Michael

Reporters at the new organization will cover local government, economic development, education, crime and other civic issues. “We are filling a reporting gap that the free market will not necessarily fill,” said Michael Hecht, chief executive of Greater New Orleans Inc., a regional business development group, who will head fundraising.

Poynter: NPR, University of New Orleans announce new nonprofit news organization.

Background, Part 01: Earlier this year New Orleans’ hometown paper the Times Picayune announced they were scaling back and would only print Wednesday, Fridays and Sundays. While the new venture is online, it is/will fill a hole in the city’s local news ecosystem.

Background, Part 02, via Poynter:

Cameron McWhirter and Keach Hagey report in The Wall Street Journal that NPR and the University of New Orleans will announce Friday the launch of a nonprofit news organization called NewOrleansReporter.org, which they plan to have operational by the end of the year. The site will employ 10 to 20 people, McWhirter and Hagey report.

NPR issued a press release after the story, saying the new site will follow a ”public radio funding model” and will be open source, like ProPublica and The Texas Observer. NewOrleansReporter.org will be based in WWNO’s newsroom, and its general manager Paul Maassen will run both organizations. NPR, the release says, is “providing consultation to WWNO around technology infrastructure and online revenue generation as well as training to support the rapid deployment of a multimedia newsroom.”

Background, Part 03: Here’s where it gets interesting. Also via Poynter (emphasis ours):

The letter also says NPR is investing $250,000 in kind in the project (though that dollar amount may be an estimate and is subject to change), and “has decided to make New Orleans its ‘beta’ market to develop a robust online platform for its affiliates nationally.”

YouTube Launches Human Rights Channel
Via the YouTube blog:

Activists around the world use YouTube to document causes they care about and make them known to the world. In the case of human rights, video plays a particularly important role in illuminating what occurs when governments and individuals in power abuse their positions. We’ve seen this play out on a global stage during the Arab Spring, for example: during the height of the activity, 100,000 videos were uploaded from Egypt, a 70% increase on the preceding three months. And we’ve seen it play out in specific, local cases with issues like police brutality, discrimination, elder abuse, gender-based violence, socio-economic justice, access to basic resources, and bullying.
That’s why our non-profit partner WITNESS, a global leader in the use of video for human rights, and Storyful, a social newsgathering operation, are joining forces to launch a new Human Rights channel on YouTube, dedicated to curating hours of raw citizen-video documenting human rights stories that are uploaded daily and distributing that to audiences hungry to learn and take action. The channel, which will also feature content from a slate of human rights organizations already sharing their work on YouTube, aims to shed light on and contextualize under-reported stories, to record otherwise undocumented abuses, and to amplify previously unheard voices. The project was announced today at the Internet at Liberty conference, and will live at youtube.com/humanrights. Storyful will source and verify the videos, and WITNESS will ensure the channel features a balanced breadth of issues with the context viewers need to understand the rights issue involved.
We hope this project can not only be a catalyst to awareness, but offer people new avenues for action and impact. The channel is committed to providing new citizen creators as well as viewers with the tools and information necessary so that every citizen can become a more effective human rights defender. It will also be available on Google+, where the broader human rights community can take part in discussions, share material, and find collaborators.

Image: Screenshot the Human Rights YouTube channel.

YouTube Launches Human Rights Channel

Via the YouTube blog:

Activists around the world use YouTube to document causes they care about and make them known to the world. In the case of human rights, video plays a particularly important role in illuminating what occurs when governments and individuals in power abuse their positions. We’ve seen this play out on a global stage during the Arab Spring, for example: during the height of the activity, 100,000 videos were uploaded from Egypt, a 70% increase on the preceding three months. And we’ve seen it play out in specific, local cases with issues like police brutality, discrimination, elder abuse, gender-based violence, socio-economic justice, access to basic resources, and bullying.

That’s why our non-profit partner WITNESS, a global leader in the use of video for human rights, and Storyful, a social newsgathering operation, are joining forces to launch a new Human Rights channel on YouTube, dedicated to curating hours of raw citizen-video documenting human rights stories that are uploaded daily and distributing that to audiences hungry to learn and take action. The channel, which will also feature content from a slate of human rights organizations already sharing their work on YouTube, aims to shed light on and contextualize under-reported stories, to record otherwise undocumented abuses, and to amplify previously unheard voices. The project was announced today at the Internet at Liberty conference, and will live at youtube.com/humanrights. Storyful will source and verify the videos, and WITNESS will ensure the channel features a balanced breadth of issues with the context viewers need to understand the rights issue involved.

We hope this project can not only be a catalyst to awareness, but offer people new avenues for action and impact. The channel is committed to providing new citizen creators as well as viewers with the tools and information necessary so that every citizen can become a more effective human rights defender. It will also be available on Google+, where the broader human rights community can take part in discussions, share material, and find collaborators.

Image: Screenshot the Human Rights YouTube channel.

Oops: Bay Citizen Forgets to Renew Domain Name
There are a lot of things on the mind of a news organization. Somewhere down the to-do list is something along the lines of “renew domain name.”
Somehow, the Bay Citizen, a non-profit New York Times partner, forgot that one.
As Jim Romenesko reports, this is the least of the organization’s troubles:

The unexpected death of [investor Warren] Hellman [in December] left The Bay Citizen without its founder and benefactor. In September, the news organization’s founding editor-in-chief, Jonathan Weber, resigned abruptly. In October, the founding chief executive, Lisa Frazier, announced that she would resign in early 2012 for health reasons. Last week, the interim editor-in-chief, Steve Fainaru, a former Pulitzer prize-winning investigative reporter for The Washington Post, announced that he was resigning to pursue a book project.

Image: Screenshot of BayCitizen.org as of 10:15am EST with GoDaddy’s standard notice that the domain has expired.

Oops: Bay Citizen Forgets to Renew Domain Name

There are a lot of things on the mind of a news organization. Somewhere down the to-do list is something along the lines of “renew domain name.”

Somehow, the Bay Citizen, a non-profit New York Times partner, forgot that one.

As Jim Romenesko reports, this is the least of the organization’s troubles:

The unexpected death of [investor Warren] Hellman [in December] left The Bay Citizen without its founder and benefactor. In September, the news organization’s founding editor-in-chief, Jonathan Weber, resigned abruptly. In October, the founding chief executive, Lisa Frazier, announced that she would resign in early 2012 for health reasons. Last week, the interim editor-in-chief, Steve Fainaru, a former Pulitzer prize-winning investigative reporter for The Washington Post, announced that he was resigning to pursue a book project.

Image: Screenshot of BayCitizen.org as of 10:15am EST with GoDaddy’s standard notice that the domain has expired.

MinnPost Chugging Along
Via Nieman Lab:

MinnPost, the nonprofit regional news site in Minnesota, ended 2011 in the black for a second year in a row, according to its annual report published today. Its year-end surplus — a bit more than $21,000 — isn’t exactly retire-to-the-Caymans money. But in a sector where so many nonprofit news outlets are struggling to find sustainability, the four-year-old operation is demonstrating that it can support itself.
MinnPost makes money from public radio-style memberships, advertising, grants, and events, including its annual MinnRoast. CEO Joel Kramer told me he is most pleased with the growth of individual and corporate support, which now represents a majority of the revenue pie, about $815,000. Grants made up about a fifth. Altogether, MinnPost raised $1.5 million.

Congrats. Follow the MinnPost Tumblr.
Image: MinnPost Revenue Sources, 2011, via Nieman Lab.

MinnPost Chugging Along

Via Nieman Lab:

MinnPost, the nonprofit regional news site in Minnesota, ended 2011 in the black for a second year in a row, according to its annual report published today. Its year-end surplus — a bit more than $21,000 — isn’t exactly retire-to-the-Caymans money. But in a sector where so many nonprofit news outlets are struggling to find sustainability, the four-year-old operation is demonstrating that it can support itself.

MinnPost makes money from public radio-style memberships, advertising, grants, and events, including its annual MinnRoast. CEO Joel Kramer told me he is most pleased with the growth of individual and corporate support, which now represents a majority of the revenue pie, about $815,000. Grants made up about a fifth. Altogether, MinnPost raised $1.5 million.

Congrats. Follow the MinnPost Tumblr.

Image: MinnPost Revenue Sources, 2011, via Nieman Lab.

Look at the tweets of Sister Christine Ereiser, a Benedictine nun from Tulsa, Oklahoma. She’s active on Twitter and is avid podcaster. By the way, her order, the Benedictine Sisters, is engaging, humorous and even cheeky at times. Go sisters! Finally, I have to point out the pioneering work of Sister Julie from Chicago, a podcaster, blogger and founder of A Nun’s Life Ministry. She provides a fascinating insight into a community of nuns that we don’t often get to see: they are avid content creators, active networkers, and, yes, very geeky!

Wikipedia Raises $16 Million to Remain Ad-Free

The Wikimedia Foundation announced this morning that it has reached its goal of $16 million in record time, more than doubling the $7.5 million the organization raised in 2009. The foundation, which is the non-profit parent organization of massively collaborative online encyclopedia Wikipedia and a multitude of other wikis, says that more than half a million people from all over the world donated to the effort this year.

Without much notice, some dedicated editors, reporters, news entrepreneurs and sponsors are refusing to lament the collapse of an industry. Instead, working from a nonprofit model, they have for decades been breaking important stories, and in just the last few years have made striking gains in numbers, recognition and impact.

Great reporting is still being done by the traditional media, but there is very little of it. It is the nonprofit model… that shows the most promise. More than anything else I can think of, it will serve — is already serving — to hold leaders accountable and keep important issues in public view.

Nonprofit news organizations are important in another respect. The Watergate era made many people see journalism as honest, worthwhile work. They don’t today. The nonprofit model, as it grows and strengthens and stays independent, could bring that spirit back and draw bright, idealistic young people into the profession.

And wouldn’t that be nice.

Barry Sussman, Editor, Nieman Watchdog Project, on the role of nonprofits in investigative journalism.

I’m sad to see that the Washington Independent is closing up shop after three years. I worked there from January 2009 through March 2010, starting up a beat about the conservative movement and the GOP. And because the end of a non-profit news organization (the American Independent News Network of state sites, which operated TWI, will continue) inspires lots of brow-furrowing and analysis about the meaning of that business model, let me just say that the TWI model produced a smart and rewarding publication that didn’t pander.

It also struggled to define itself, but I think — obviously I’m not a businessman — that it came up with a decent model. The highest-profile examples of non-profit journalism have been investigative reporting hubs like Pro Publica and the Huffington Post Investigative Fund which focused on journalism that really was becoming hard to fund privately — investigations that would take weeks to produce news, if they produced any news. That’s the stuff being lost in the age of web ads and shrinking newspapers; also being lost are state house reporters, who get granular on day-to-day political stories, build sources, and discover information that you can’t discover if you’re counting on wires and press releases to tell you how your government works.

David Weigel, Slate
I triple-dog-dare any major nonprofit news organization to take a little of their foundation budget on the side and let the community vote on how it should be spent.
Dave Cohn, Founder, Spot.us