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Resources for Nonprofits, Technology and Social Change

Resources are websites, blogs and authors Rootwork has identified as consistently useful to nonprofits and those building social movements online. Have an idea for something that should go here? Suggest it!

Resource: Apophenia

Sociological research and commentary on the use of social networks like MySpaceMySpace is a social network that is not built around a single identity. Users can and do have multiple profiles, with no restrictions on the “names” they use. MySpace is used by many musical groups., FacebookFacebook is a social network encouraging real identity — each user has a single account under their full, real name. Facebook began among US college students but has quickly expanded to people of all ages around the world., LiveJournalLiveJournal is a social network built around blogging. Users can “friend” one another and restrict some or all blog entries to their friends. Users can also join blogging communities built around particular topics., Xanga and YouTubeYouTube is a social network built around video content: posting, sharing, rating and commenting. by teenagers in the United States. danah boyd is a PhD candidate at the University of California Berkeley and a fellow at Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society.

Resource: Beth's Blog: How Nonprofits Can Use Social Media

“A place to capture and share ideas, experiment with and exchange links and resources about the adoption challenges, strategy, and ROI of nonprofits and social media.” Beth Kanter explores the social use by nonprofits of images (e.g., FlickrFlickr is a social media site for photographs and digital images. Like a social network, it allows users to “friend” one another, join groups, and see a recent-updates feed of their own and their friends’ images. Flickr is owned by Yahoo!.), video (YouTubeYouTube is a social network built around video content: posting, sharing, rating and commenting.) and microblogs (TwitterTwitter is a social network built around short status updates — a combination of microblogging and instant messaging, with the ability to post from mobile phones through text messages.), among other technologies.

Resource: Dear SoSi

Social Signal’s Alexandra Samuel and Rob Cottingham are leaders in social media integration and online community development for nonprofits and social change groups. They’ve collected some of their best advice and grouped it by audience — so whether you’re a nonprofit executive, a membership director or online manager, or an activist on a shoestring budget, Dear SoSi will give you some great pointers.

Resource: Donor Power

“If you’re serious about raising money from donors, you need to get
serious about donors. More than ever before, donors are insisting that
you share power with them, not treating them like passive ATMs. This
blog is about the ways you can do that — and the rewards that await
you and your donors when you do.” Jeff Brooks

Resource: e.politics

“Online advocacy tools and tactics.” Colin Delany explores the intersection of politics and technology, with a specific focus on nonprofits and social change organizations using innovative methods and online technology to achieve their goals.

Resource: Frogloop

Care2’s blog on nonprofit online communications, advocacy and social networking.

Resource: Getting Attention

“The Getting Attention blog is a source of ideas, tactics, and tips for nonprofit communicators focused on helping their organizations succeed through effective marketing.” Nancy E. Schwartz

Resource: Have Fun, Do Good

Britt Bravo blogs about individuals and organizations pursuing social change through innovative online methods. She has particular expertise in advising nonprofits on creating podcasts, and oversees NetSquared’s podcast series. In addition to other NetSquared duties, she coordinates the “think tank” blog series.

Resource: Idealware

Idealware “provides candid Consumer Reports–style
reviews and articles about software of interest to nonprofits. Through
product comparisons, recommendations, case studies, and software news,
Idealware allows nonprofits to make the software decisions that will
help them be more effective.”

Resource: NetSquared

NetSquaredNetSquared is an organization “remixing the web for social change” by bringing together nonprofits, activists, techies, social entrepreneurs and funders. These articles deal with using social technology for social change. is a community of nonprofits and groups who are using technology — especially social networks and social media — for social change. In addition to the blog, NetSquared sponsors gatherings in many cities called Net Tuesdays.

Resource: Technology for the Nonprofit and Philanthropic Sector

Nonprofit technology and software for techies, “accidental techies” and nonprofit executives alike, from Deborah Elizabeth Finn.

Resource: The Salsa Scoop

Salsa Labs’ Democracy in Action platform is a nonprofit that provides online advocacy and fundraising suites for nonprofits — if you’ve signed a petition or made a donation online, chances are likely you’ve encountered Salsa’s software. The Salsa blog highlights successful online advocacy and fundraising campaigns by their customers and other organizations. Great for inspiration!

Resource: Zen and the Art of Nonprofit Technology

Michelle Murrain’s perspectives on nonprofit technology, with a specific focus on open-source software.