Member Round Up: New Research, New Tools, New Ideas, New Opportunities

Submitted by Eileigh on Tue, 10/09/2012 - 1:30pm

flickr: gonfishinflickr: gonfishinNew research, new tools, new ideas, and new opportunities to share your knowledge and ideas are the highlights of this latest Member Round Up. Whatever your passion – from mapping urban trees to advising nonprofits or building apps to make information more accessible – tune in to your ever-active nonprofit technology community to be inspired and stay connected!

A new report, "Digital Citizenship: Exploring the Field of Tech for Engagement", released by the Knight Foundation, explores the potential for technology to improve democracy -- specifically at how it can help people engage with their communities, leaders, and governments. The report is a product of the Technology for Engagement Summit which convened early this summer. It shares key insights, recommendations, and actions they hope will inspire your contribution toward a nascent field.

If you think a long and flashy subject line will help the success of your campaign, you should check out new findings from MailChimp's Email Genome Project. The project is a research effort into understanding the 'email ecosystem' and is yielding some myth-busting results...such as what you ask? I don't want to spoil any surprises; read it all here.

Speaking of data, contribute some of your own valuable thoughts to The State of Grantseeking Fall 2012 survey until October 12. The fifth installment of GrantStation and PhilanTech's survey will provide the most current information available to help nonprofits as they begin to assemble their grantseeking strategies, as well benchmarks to compare to their own experiences. “The idea behind these surveys is to take the pulse of grantseeking and determine the status of philanthropy in the U.S. today, not a year or two ago,” said Cynthia Adams, CEO of GrantStation. “We live in such a fast-paced society that current information is critical to the success of anyone trying to raise funds.”  You can download your free copy of The State of Grantseeking Spring 2012 here.

For organizations seeking to increase the involvement level of active constituents, Seattle-based Groundwire Consulting launched Groundwire Engage, a new tool that enables nonprofits to track and analyze constituent engagement data. The tool consolidates information on donations, event attendance, volunteering, etc to help nonprofits visualize the effectiveness of their activities and the engagement levels of each of their constituents. Groundwire Engage also includes Gratitude Machine, a handy little tool that makes it easy to give recognition to key supporters. Learn more about Groundwire Consulting at http://groundwireconsulting.com/

Blackbaud announced the release of their 'megablog' npENGAGE, a nonprofit resource clearinghouse of research, best practices, real-life success stories, and guest bloggers sharing expertise. An expanded breadth of focus areas include Analytics, CRM, Event Fundraising, Nonprofit Management, and Integrated Marketing, to name a few. Interest piqued? Start engaging here.

Online organizing and communications tools provider Salsa Labs is offering a new and free gadget for the nonprofit toolbelt: The Essential Guide to End-of-Year Fundraising for Nonprofits of All Sizes. Learn how to tap into that holiday season generosity by registering online to download your copy. Thanks, Salsa Labs!

The smartphone just became a little cooler to urban forestry geeks, as GIS software developers Azavea released the source code for the mobile version of their urban tree inventory software OpenTreeMap. The software was envisioned as a way for organizations to engage the help of the general public in the massive undertaking of mapping the trees in our urban forests and understanding the benefits they provide to communities. Using the code from your smartphone or iPad grants convenient access to the OpenTreeMap database to input and edit data; it also enables you to be part of a unique collaborative effort to collect information that will be used to make management decisions about America's urban forests. Let the tree hunt begin!

Moving us one step closer to knowing the apps of the future, Mozilla announced the winners of Mozilla Ignite's Brainstorming Round. In partnership with the National Science Foundation, this open innovation challenge seeks to design and build apps for the next-generation Internet--one they believe will revolutionize public services, energy, education, and healthcare. Of those who rose to the challenge, eight teams were awarded prizes and their ideas move on to the next round: development. Build one of the winning ideas, mentor a team, or just learn more at https://mozillaignite.org/. Congratulations to all the winners!

Also celebrating are the winners of the first ever Civic Data Challenge who were recently announced at the 67th Annual National Conference on Citizenship in Philadelphia. NCoC and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation launched the challenge to uncover new ways of interpreting and visualizing civic health data. Participants analyzed raw data on civic health, community attachment, safety, education, and the economy for connections and correlations and then transformed their discoveries into infographic apps, animations, and videos that could be shared. Their findings will contribute to a body of knowledge seeking to understand 'why community engagement and attachment are critical to building thriving communities'.

If your mission is to spread transparency and accountability, then a great opportunity has crested the horizon. Testing 123: Global Integrity Innovation Fund seeks new and innovative ideas that will overcome, illuminate, or mitigate challenges in transparency and accountability. Your idea can come in any form and if it is one of the 10 to 15 that is selected, you could win up to $10,000 dollars. Visit http://innovation.globalintegrity.org/# to see the parameters of the challenge or submit your idea by November 16. High-risk, high-impact ideas wanted!

Prizes come in all kinds of packages, like in $60,000 dollars worth of CITGO gift cards. That's right: now in its fourth year, CITGO Fueling Good Program will give away $60,000 dollars in CITGO gasoline to 12 charities within their 27-state area. Encourage your favorite charities to sign up to win $5,000 in gift cards here and then vote between October 17 and November 28 to help CITGO determine the winners.

Need to convince your board members to play a more active role in your organization's fundraising efforts? A new study by the Nonprofit Research Collaborative (NRC) found that organizations whose board members actively engage in fundraising efforts meet their fundraising goals more frequently than organizations whose board members are not involved: 60% versus 53% in 2011. The survey also explored statistical relationships between board member engagement methods used by organizations and the probability of meeting their fundraising goals. You can find these and other findings in their report at www.nonprofitresearchcollaborative.org .

Anything we missed? Share your links in the comments!