Feed aggregator

Is it Mobile-Friendly or Mobile-Optimized?


Dale Knoop CEO RAZMobile Getting donors to support your cause is the hard part! Make sure you don't turn donors off by having a donation form that isn't user friendly on all devices.

There is a huge difference between “mobile-friendly” and “mobile-optimized” sites.  An easy-to-complete donation form experience allows users to give again–and hopefully become loyal, repeat donors, while a frustrating experience could lead them to never try again. Ever.

How Women Lead the Trend Towards Social Media Use via Mobile


Alex Hillsberg Journalist FinancesOnline A new infographic on how women use social media provides statistics on how they lead the way.

The latest studies on social media demographics show what we’ve already known for a long time: women dominate social media use. Consolidating data from the studies by Pew, Nielsen, and Burst Media, a recently published infographic compared how men and women are changing the social media landscape. Two critical things caught our attention: more women access social media via mobile and they drive more traffic to visually-oriented social websites.

NTEN Celebrates National Volunteer Week: So Many Thanks to Our Board Members


This week is National Volunteer Week! You've probably seen the posts all week on the NTEN blog as we recognize and appreciate the tremendous amount of energy, passion, and action that SO many individuals in the NTEN community contribute to help us as an organization and to ensure that this is a thriving community for all. To round out our full week of gratitude to all those that support us, I want to share a very heartfelt thank you and virtual hug to those individuals helping us stay true to the needs of the community, set high goals for our work, and ultimately set the course for all that we do: the NTEN Board of Directors.

You may have met board members at the recent NTC, or at a monthly Tech Club meeting. You may know them from their work and contributions to the sector. Or, maybe this is the first time you're seeing their name. Whether they are old friends or new ones, please join us in thanking all of them for their volunteer service year-round in support of NTEN!

NTEN Board of Directors

Thank you all for your dedication and service:

  • Agnes Zach, Executive Director, Willamette Valley Development Officers
  • Almin Surani, Chief Information Officer, Canadian Red Cross
  • Amy Borgstrom, Associate Director of Policy, Corporation for National and Community Service
  • Edward G. Happ, Global CIO, International Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies
  • Eileen Twiggs, Healthcare, Information Technology, and Legal Consultant
  • Gayle Samuelson Carpentier, Chief Business Development Officer, TechSoup Global
  • Jereme Bivins, Digital Media Manager, Rockefeller Foundation
  • Katya Andresen, CEO, ePals
  • Maddie Grant, Digital Strategist; Lead Editor, SocialFish
  • Miriam Barnard, Organizational Development and Fundraising Strategist
  • Nancy Schwartz, President, Nancy Schwartz & Co.
  • Rusty Burwell, Vice President, Data and Technology, American Lung Association
  • Steve MacLaughlin, Director of Internet Solutions, Blackbaud

Get Social Covered: 13 Lesser Known Social Media Sites for Your NPO

AFP Blog -

Get Social Covered: 13 Lesser Known Social Media Sites for Your NPO: You’ve got social media covered. Facebook? Please—you were an early adopter. And Twitter? You could do 140 characters or less in your sleep. But you’re just scratching the surface with those two mainstream social media sites.

At the 2014 AFP International Conference on Fundraising in San Antonio, Lisa Chmiola and David Tinker helped us through some of the lesser known social media sites that can help your nonprofit with efficiency and productivity.

Heartbleed Security Flaw

Cruiskeen Consulting LLC -

Many of you have undoubtedly been reading about the Hearbleed security issue with OpenSSL. Some of our servers were vulnerable to Heartbleed - notably our CentOS 6 servers.  The ones running CentOS 5 were not vulnerable because they are based on an older version of OpenSSL.  We upgraded the OpenSSL library on all of our vulnerable servers as soon as a patched version was available, and none of our servers are now vulnerable to this exploit.  We have re-keyed the secure certificates for our clients who were under maintenance contracts.  We would recommend that everyone go out and update your passwords on any web-based systems that may have been vulnerable to this exploit, including logins for email accounts.  If you are having any trouble with this on our systems, please let us know.

Please note that the administrative panel logins on our servers were not vulnerable to this exploit - but your logins through SSL on your own web sites were, possibly.  In any case, rotating passwords occasionally is always a good policy, and we would also recommend (as the Internet gets more and more lawless) that you think seriously about using a password system (we happen to like LastPass) to keep track of your passwords, allowing you to generate random passwords for sites, but to still keep track of them.  Last of all, we'd like to recommend that you think about implementing dual authorization on your important logins.  We are using Authy on some of our administration software to require that we not only have a password, but a random one-time key to log in to our servers. 

Science Experiment: A Semi-Technical Lowdown on Working with iBeacons


Shane Russell Software Developer Consultant ThoughtWorks iBeacons are the first mainstream technology to provide indoor location information to phones. Check out the experiment that the team at ThoughtWorks did to test the performance of iBeacons, and learn about its potential applications for nonprofits.

There’s a lot of buzz surrounding Low Energy Bluetooth Beacons, also known as iBeacons. They’re the first mainstream technology to provide indoor location information to phones, and they’ve opened up an explosion of possible applications for nonprofits. We wanted to share our experience with how well they perform, and how best to work with them.

The Mobilisation Journal: A Way To Spread Learning About Social Change Movements Innovative Use of Technology

Beth's Blog -

The Greenpeace Mobilization Lab has a project proposal idea for a “Mobilization Journal” as part of  the Knight News Challenge.  It’s open for comments and feedback right now – or “applause.”   This blog shares some thoughts about this project and I have to give it a big round of applause.

To understand the project, you have to get familiar with work of Greenpeace Mobilisation Lab.  I’ve been following it for a while now and it is very inspiring on many different levels.    The laboratory gives Greenpeace and its partners a space to design, test, iterative, and roll out  new strategies and techniques for participatory campaigns or what has been called “People Powered.”    What happens in the lab is that they test campaign ideas that make use of new technologies such as  mobile phones, tablets, social media, email, and others, network approaches, and others.    But, more importantly, the lab documents and shares what has been learned with Greenpeace’s affiliates and leaders around the world.

This is an example of a nonprofit organization that has invested in building an internal learning and innovation network that will lead to improved results for Greenpeace’s environmental mission.   Here’s how they describe it:

By providing a space where new ideas can be supported and tested (and existing best practices can be cultivated and scaled), Greenpeace can better leverage the strengths of its existing global network; we build on what’s working. We seek to identify, test, and co-create new ways of engaging individuals more deeply to protect the environment and promote peace. We also embrace a decentralized, networked approach, allowing Greenpeace and its allies and supporters to be nimble, agile and react quickly to a constantly changing landscape.

Greenpeace is running an internal innovation lab, much like what large companies around the world – and especially here in Silicon Valley.      The Mobilisation Lab works with Greenpeace and its partners on the following services:

  • Mobilisation Strategy and Design :: creative and collaborative workshops with multidisciplinary teams
  • Assessments and Review :: evaluating past performance to inform future mobilisation efforts
  • Data Analysis and Research :: building a culture of data-driven campaigning, designing tests with campaigns and offices, and setting up controlled experiments to optimize and improve performance
  • Training and Peer Learning :: skill-building, knowledge sharing, and network building
  • Storytelling and Knowledge Transfer :: sharing innovations, lessons learned, fail stories, and emerging best practices
  • Staffing Support :: advising on staffing structures, integration efforts, and hands-on support with talent recruitment and hiring
  • Innovation Incubation :: piloting new ways of working, from practices to technologies
  • Systems Change :: advising global organisation, campaign teams, and NROs on new ways of working

But what is I like is that their lessons learned from this work doesn’t stay behind a password protected vault.    They are openly, aggressively sharing what they learn through the reports, tool kits, and updates on the site.    Here’s a sampling of the some of the gems you’ll find:

  • Creating Shareable Social Media Content:  You’ll find some excellent frameworks for campaign strategy and using different tools.  This one is for social media.   There’s many other toolkits on the lab site, but I found this of special interest.
  • Networked NGOs: This section shares stories from NGOs in their network about they are successfully plugging into citizen networks.
  • Data and Analytics: This section shares analysis and data from campaigns and how they applied it.

The Mobilisation Journal project on the Knight News Challenge will use  the existing journalism and storytelling work already piloted by the Mobilisation Lab at Greenpeace and scale it more generally for the social change sector.   In other words, they will provide news and information that will help support and strengthen social change campaigners use of technology and networked strategies.

Why I like this idea:

  • There is not a resource that facilitate learning and experimentation from organizations/networks/individuals who want to use networked approaches for social change campaigns – regardless of issue.   This journal provides a way to strengthen practitioners skills and adapt to rapid changes.
  • The journal information will be highly practical but based on research and can be immediately applied.  The potential for a larger feedback loop – of organizations and others using the insights and reporting back what they learn is very exciting.

What do you think?   Add your comments and feedback in the next 8 days here.






For the past few years, the Knight News Challenge has seeks to accelerate media innovation by funding breakthrough ideas in news and information through an open innovation process where anyone can submit an idea and get feedback.   Some of the projects that have been funded through this initiative have also been some of the most innovative activist platforms for social changes.  For example,   Ushahidi, a platform and tool suite that democratizes information, increases transparency and lowers the barriers for individuals to share their stories, was one of the past winners.





NTEN Celebrates National Volunteer Week: Kudos to Our Community Champions


This week is National Volunteer Week! To recognize the tremendous work of volunteers that support the nonprofit sector, we’ll be publishing a blog post every day this week to celebrate their contributions. Today we give a huge thanks to our mighty team of NTEN Community Champions: you helped to collectively raise over $30,000 for the greater good of the #nptech community!

These donations primarily helped to provide 50 scholarships to the 14NTC to nonprofit staff who would otherwise be unable to participate. It also went towards bringing in new members that may not be able to cover the cost of NTEN Membership; supporting our worldwide Tech Clubs with more materials to enhance their experience; and developing new programs and resources for NTEN’s growing community.

So today, we tip our hats to you. Thank you for your ongoing support and effort to make nonprofit technology accessible to a wider audience!

  • Debra Askanase, Founder & Social Media Strategist, Community Organizer 2.0
  • Jereme Bivins, Digital Media Manager, The Rockefeller Foundation
  • Miriam Cook, Marketing Assistant, Ploughshares Literary Journal       
  • Maddie Grant, Lead Editor, SocialFish
  • Steve Heye, Manager of Technology, The Cara Program
  • Beth Kanter, Author, Beth's Blog
  • Allyson Kapin, Partner, Rad Campaign
  • John Kenyon, Nonprofit Technology Educator & Strategist, John Kenyon Consulting
  • David Krumlauf, Chief Technologist, Pierce Family Charitable Foundation
  • Andrew Means, Manager, Impact Measurement & Data Storytelling, Groupon
  • John Merritt, Senior Vice President & CIO, YMCA of San Diego
  • Laura Norvig, Online Community Manager, ETR Associations
  • Birgit Pauli-Haack, Co-Founder, Relevanza
  • Norman Reiss, Project Manager, Center for Court Innovation
  • Ash Shepherd, Strategy & Process, Minds on Design Lab
  • Jason Shim, Digital Media Manager, Pathways to Education
  • Farra Trompeter, Vice President, Big Duck
  • Chris Tuttle, Principal Consultant, Tuttle Communications
  • Cary Walski, Technology Education & Outreach Coordinator, MAP for Nonprofits
  • Robert Weiner, Owner, Robert L. Weiner Consulting
  • Richard Wollenberger, Director of Information Technology, Parents as Teachers

Calling all techies: Donate your skills

AFP Blog -

Calling all techies: Donate your skills: But this year, Technically Philly co-founder Brian James Kirk is focusing on something beyond his usual promotion of entrepreneurship and networking. At 8 a.m. Thursday at Temple University's 1810 Conference Suite, his website-and-event company will unveil its new initiative, the "Commit Pledge of Service." The idea: push the technologically skilled to donate help to nonprofits that desperately need it.

'Technology can offer charities more than just online donations'

AFP Blog -

'Technology can offer charities more than just online donations': Charities are focusing too much on using digital tools for fundraising instead of how technology can be used to improve services for stakeholders, a digital expert has warned.

Mike Thompson, who is a digital consultant at mySociety the charity behind the MP monitoring service They Work For You, told delegates at this year’s CFG IT conference that there are four main areas where technology can be of use to charities: fundraising, campaigns, data and delivering services.

Make Your Nonprofit Website an Email Capturing Machine

Getting Attention! -

Guest blogger Yesenia Sotelo founded Smart Cause Digital where she builds and grows smart websites.

“Email is dead. No one reads their email anymore.”
You might have heard this before and you might hear it again—but not from me! Email is one of the most powerful tools available. In fact, every organization (including yours),  regardless of its size or mission, can do great things with an email list.

“Email is dead! Long live social media!”
I love social media almost as much as I love email. There’s plenty of proof of my love over on Twitter and Instagram. But social media is NOT (yet?) a replacement for email marketing. Email and social media are complementary and they should *both* be in your nonprofit’s toolkit.

Take these three steps to turn your organization’s website into an email-capturing machine…

Is your nonprofit interested in any of these email-friendly goals…

  • Raise money
  • Advocate on a local, state or national level
  • Increase attendance at your events
  • Recruit volunteers
  • Share news and resources about your nonprofit’s mission
1) Ask in all the right places

It’s important that your email signup box be in the right place at the right time. You want to capture a website visitor’s attention when they’re most interested and inspired… like when they just read a great article!

Put an email sign up form in these places on your website:

  • Sidebar
  • Footer
  • Homepage
  • Careers/Jobs page
  • At bottom of a resource or article
  • Thank You pages
2) Make your content desirable

Tell subscribers what they’ll be getting and why it’s going to be useful to them.

You see this a lot on retail websites where they promise a coupon in exchange for your email address. As nonprofits, our version of coupons comes in the form of hope and warm fuzzies. Let subscribers know that your email messages will be full of the good stuff that they want to hear: “Join our email list for news about progress in breast cancer research.” Remember to repeat this message in the thank you email message that subscribers receive when they subscribe and on the thank you page subscribers see right after they submit the form.

Assure subscribers that your organization will respect their privacy. Just add a little line right underneath the subscription form: “We respect your privacy. We will not share your email address.” Mention it, but don’t link to the privacy policy in the form as research has shown that it distracts potential subscribers. Instead, link to your organization’s privacy policy in the website footer.

Use social proof to show potential subscribers that your organization’s content is going to be great. For example, “Over 10,000 fellow Chicagoans subscribe to the our Food Bank Weekly” is a strong piece of social proof. It’s a compelling statement that tells potential subscribers that this Food Bank Weekly thing must be worth a read.

3) Create a beautiful frame

We all like to look at pretty things, so make it easy for website visitors to admire your email signup form! Make the email signup box a bold, contrasting color so that it stands out against the rest of your page.

Use an arrow in the submit button. It will help catch people’s eye as they scan your page.

Keep the email signup box down to one field. If you can’t get it down to one field, then keep it to two fields. If you can’t get it down to two fields, then keep it to three fields. You get the idea. Fewer fields in your email signup box will encourage more people to enter their information.

Did this article spark some questions or ideas? Please share your approach here.


Subscribe to Cruiskeen Consulting LLC aggregator