Posts filed under ‘Innovation’

Headline Oversells Social Media Angle

The Nonprofit Quarterly reports how Missouri Foundation for Health is using social media to reach grantees following the devastating Joplin tornadoes.

In fact, because communications are so spotty since the storm hit, the foundation is still unsure of the fate of some of their grantees – small clinics, domestic violence programs, and behavioral health facilities – that were in the path of the tornado. Since early Monday morning the foundation has tried hard to make sure that all grantees – and even non-grantees – know that they are ready and willing to make emergency grants to them for health related needs.

Well, the foundation is talking with different elected officials via Twitter. Other than that, we didn’t see much information in the story itself about social media. However, it’s a good report indicating the difficulties faced by those responding to the Missouri tornadoes.


May 25, 2011 at 5:57 PM Leave a comment

Jumo Update

From Forbes’s Shades of Green blog: Chris Hughes On What’s Next For Nonprofit Social Site Jumo

April 28, 2011 at 7:19 PM Leave a comment

“Freemium” Exists, Causes Philanthropy

As bloggers, we at Giving Click pride ourselves on our up-to-minute knowledge of twee new buzzwords appearing daily across the interwebs. However, “freemium” – according to Wikipedia, a “business model that works by offering a basic product or service free of charge…while charging a premium for advanced features, functionality, or related products and services” – is a new one on us. This is especially embarrassing since the term seems to be at least five years old.

Nevertheless, we learn from Mashable that one software company has leveraged the freemium model to raise a cool million for charity:

Atlassian recently announced a donation of $1 million to Room to Read, a global non-profit aimed at improving literacy and gender equality education in developing countries. They did this through their “Causium” campaign, a twist — and portmanteau — of “freemium” and “cause marketing.” The name fits: Rather than just give away its products for free, Atlassian charged a minimal amount of money and donated all proceeds to the non-profit.

Freemium runs on the premise that if you give away a curtailed version of your product, your fans will enjoy it enough to then upgrade to a paid subscription. Causium, for all intents and purposes, is freemium in the sense that Atlassian doesn’t receive any money from the heavily discounted sales. It does, however, give the product a nominal value and help brand Atlassian as a charity-minded company.

Okay, so we missed the bus on “freemium”; at least Giving Click is getting in on the ground floor with “causium.”

March 30, 2011 at 6:59 PM Leave a comment

Flush Huffington Post Hires Twitter Co-Founder

Reuters reports that Twitter co-founder Biz Stone has been hired to serve as the Huffington Post’s strategic adviser for social impact, following the site’s $315 million purchase by AOL.

In his new role, Stone will develop a platform to help people get involved with community service while working with other companies to promote philanthropy and corporate responsibility.

Did they really want this guy, or are “Biz,” “Twitter,” and “social impact” current trending topics, making this is just another brilliant bit of search engine optimization?

March 14, 2011 at 7:48 PM Leave a comment

More Skepticism of Social Networking

At Green Prophet, blogger Eliezer Yaari joins the skepticism of philanthropy by social network, complaining about the uselessness of clicking Facebook’s Like button.

It is time to say it loud and clear: I don’t like the “Like.” Did you hear me? I Do Not Like The Like. Don’t misunderstand me: I love when people love me, and I like it when people like what I write and get their thumb up when they read my opinions about the world. This is the fuel that runs the writing of any blogger. I really like it, but I don’t like the Like.

Okay, so Yaari doesn’t like the Like. But is he a mere curmudgeon, or does he have data to support his less-than-impressed attitude?

If you examine the Facebook Causes statistics carefully you learn that the average donations made through it is less then [sic] a dollar, while through online giving systems the level is almost $95.

We do wonder how many of those small Facebook donations might never have happened at all without the social networking site; it’s possible it helps reach an audience who might otherwise be deaf to fund-raising appeals. But Yaari is probably right that simply putting up a Facebook page won’t do enough for your charity.

March 13, 2011 at 4:56 PM Leave a comment

Microlending Pioneer Yunus Ousted

Bumped, with update:

Nobel Peace Prize winner Muhammad Yunus has been forced out as managing director of Grameen Bank by the Bangladeshi government, the New York Times reports. The government, which owns 25% of the bank, charges noncompliance.

Government officials have been examining Grameen’s books for months, saying that it lacked proper oversight and governance. But Mr. Yunus’s allies have argued that the government is simply trying to discredit a critic. Mr. Yunus, who was awarded the Nobel in 2006, briefly floated a political party in 2007 and had criticized Bangladesh’s politicians as corrupt.

Yunus is disputing this and is looking at legal action he might take to keep his position, the report adds.

UPDATE: Reuters reports that Bangladesh’s High Court has struck down Yunus’s petition.

March 8, 2011 at 8:13 PM Leave a comment

Venture Philanthropy Success Story

Just Means reports on Vertex Pharmaceuticals and their foundation-funded progress toward two new drugs to treat cystic fibrosis:

Vertex has created two drugs with promise for treating the disease after more than a decade of funding from the [Cystic Fibrosis Foundation]. It was a two-prong approach. They funded not only the drugs development, but also clinical trials to prove it efficacy.

The foundation gets a portion of the royalties if the drugs prove to be effective and if development stalls, it accepts the loss and moves on. The foundation has given Vertex $76 million alone and more than $260 million overall.

The company is also known for groundbreaking drugs to treat hepatitis C, which are currently pending FDA approval.

March 8, 2011 at 7:55 PM Leave a comment

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