#NONPROFIT: The 501(c)4 Conundrum & The IRS’s Challenges To Tea Party Groups

The scuttlebutt over the IRS’s double-standards concerning political nonprofits associated with the Tea Party and those associated with other center-right causes is likely well known to our readers. What underlies the conflict has less to do with politics, though, and much more to do with semantics. If the case forces the issue of tax reform upon our politicians, then perhaps that outcome is for the best (both parties agree to the need for reforms, though reformed in which directions remains terribly contentious). But as reforms are discussed − perhaps even implemented − nonprofits should stay aware of where new lines might be drawn.


| Category Advocacy, Civics, Community, Conference/Congress, Cross-Post, Development, Education: General, National/International, News and Current Affairs, Newspaper Article, Nonprofit, Opinion, Politics | | Comments Off

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#ADVOCACY: Google Does Harm To Privacy & Suffers An Hour’s Income For Infractions

Google as a gateway spying agency?

Google as a gateway spying agency?

What you think about Google’s (and Facebook’s. And Twitter’s…) efforts to collect personal information of its users probably says quite a bit about what you think about human nature: If you don’t mind a database of your online activities being used by social networks and search engines, then you are likely comfortable with the fact that Google might know quite a bit about you but will not use that information to do any one harm. If you wonder if that flatscreen TV is looking back at you, then you might see in Google’s inadvertent collection of personal data while collecting its street maps over the last few years as the foundation of our Orwellian fate.

Google was recent fined for its ‘accidental’ collection of information across open Wi-Fi networks while filming its Street Views for Google Maps (And by ‘accidental’, I do not mean to use the term ironically. Google executives, once called on it by the federal government, immediately apologized and said it would accept the fine.). The fine was for $7 million − about what Google Inc. collects per hour from its various advertising and business interests. How might we understand these latest infractions into our privacy?


| Category Advocacy, Case Study, Civics, Communications, Community, Cross-Post, Education: General, National/International, News and Current Affairs, Opinion, Politics, Public Media, Site Administration, Social Media, Social Networks, Technology, Video, Video Interview, Web and Print | | Comments Off

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#FUNDRAISING: Crowdfunding Response To Boston Bombing Raises Hope & Caution

One of the wonderful qualities of Americans is the way we respond with our time and our money when a terrible shock or natural disaster hits our fellow countrypeople. The bombings in Boston on the 15th were certainly ‘terrible shocks’ and as homemade and smartphone videos make clear, volunteers and fellow marathon watchers ran in to help before the smoke cleared. And since then Americans all over the country have been raising money online and via a sprouting group of crowdfunding sites. But along with over $2 million being raised to help survivors recover, warnings are also being raised about cases of fraud. How do legitimate crowdfunding organizations separate themselves from the occasional fraudsters?


| Category Civics, Communications, Community, Cross-Post, Crowdfunding, Events, Fundraising, Low-Income, Mobile, National/International, News and Current Affairs, Newspaper Article, Nonprofit, Opinion, Politics, Social Networks | | Comments Off

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#VIDEO: Ken Sterns’s Book Offers Tough Love To Nonprofit Economy

Ken Sterns has served as CEO of National Public Radio, arguably one of the best-known nonprofits in the country. He supports The American Red Cross, and has served on the boards of a number of charities. So when his book, And Charity for All argues that the nonprofit sector is a huge part of the American economy, yet the least productive sector as well, people listen. And they should.

Mr. Sterns was recently interviewed at The Huffington Post, as he joined a roundtable (‘multiscreen’) discussion that included Alexander Berger at GiveWell; Dr. John Brothers, founder of Quidoo Consulting; and Rigo Sabarino, President and CEO of St. Barnabas Senior Services. The interview begins with him throwing down the gauntlet, wondering if the nonprofit community is even worth preserving.


| Category Advice, Advocacy, Book, Book Review, Civics, Community, Cross-Post, Development, Fundraising, Interview, Marketing, National/International, News and Current Affairs, Nonprofit, Opinion, Politics, Public Media, Public Relations, Publications, Reviews, Storytelling, Strategic Marketing, Video Interview | | Comments Off

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#FUNDRAISING: Register for Maryland Governor’s Grants Conference

Plenary Speaker of Governor's Grants ConferenceAs the calendar year unfolds and the fiscal year 2013-2014 appears over the horizon, so too does registration begin for the Maryland Governor’s Grants Conference. This year’s conference will be held at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County campus on Thursday, February 21st. The one-day conference − sponsored by such organizations as the National Grant Management Association, the Grant Professionals Association, and Deloitte − offers plenary talks by leaders in the grant-providing and grant-winning fields, as well as breakout sessions allowing networking and specific assistance for your organization’s needs.


| Category Advocacy, Civics, Conference/Congress, Cross-Post, Event, Events, Fundraising, Grants, Grants and Funding, Local/Maryland, National/International, News and Current Affairs, Politics, Public Relations, Resource | | Comments Off

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#PHILANTHROPY: #Sundance & A3 Foundation Extend Cooperation for Asian-American Artists

Though the Initial Public Offering of Facebook devolved into comic fodder last May, the fact remains that it made many people quite wealthy − especially those who had been working with Zuckerberg’s company from the early days. A number of those who cashed out their stocks and jobs at the social-network giant have since turned toward philanthropic efforts, and we would like to highlight one of those concerns that also is having a big impact on this week’s Sundance Film Festival in Utah.

The A3 Foundation was founded in 2012 by Philip Fung, Julia Lam, and Franklyn Chien, who were early Facebook employees, and who wanted to encourage both Asian-American artists (thus the ‘A3′) and those working on projects pertinent to the larger Asian-American community. According to their own site, “The A3 Fellows Program is the inaugural program for the foundation placing emerging artists with seasoned artists to learn and grow. The fellowship consists of $10,000-$20,000 in funding, as well as mentorship from more established artists, and the opportunity to build your skillset and network.” A large presence at the Sundance Festival is only the beginning of what they hope to accomplish.


| Category Advocacy, Civics, Community, Cross-Post, Education: General, Events, Facebook, Film Festival, Grants, Grants and Funding, Planned Giving, Politics, Public Media, Social Networks | | Comments Off

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#COMMUNICATIONS: Postal Service Rates To Rise on 27 January

US Postal Service Stamp

Forever stamps still good after the 27th.

We have managed to put off the so-called ‘fiscal cliff’ for a couple of months, but we can’t avoid the changes in postal rates coming in a couple of weeks. Thanks to our fine business partners at Ecoprint in Silver Spring, Maryland, for the heads-up! The US Postal Service (USPS) has been on hard times over the last 5-7 years due to the overwhelming presence of email, social networks, and e-fax services. Moreover, the semi-private/ public service is carrying a striking burden of compensation packages for its executives that, frankly, seem to outweigh the performance of the venerable institution. Be that as it may, be prepared for upticks to many of the services. What’s coming at the end of the month?


| Category Advice, Campaigns, Civics, Communications, Cross-Post, Direct Mail, Education: General, Marketing, Marketing Budget, News and Current Affairs, Newsletter, Newspaper Article, Nonprofit, Politics, Publications, Resource, Web and Print | | Comments Off

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#SOCIALMEDIA: Politicians & NonProfits Need Agility With Online Outreach

Republicans & Democrats on social media for 2012As the Democratic ‘nominee’ Barack Obama delivered his acceptance speech last night in Charlotte, NC, a record number of tweets on politics were sent out − some 52,756 tweets-per-minute (tpm) being posted as he wound up. By contrast, Mitt Romney inspired 14,289 tpm, which was about half as many as reactions to Michelle Obama’s presentation two nights ago.

But what both parties know well is the fact that they must be ‘agile’ with their social-media outreach. They have to find ways to steer the narrative while many thousands of other voices also have the opportunity to steer that narrative. True, campaigns for the presidency take up far more online space than most any nonprofit, which is precisely why nonprofits can learn something from watching how the campaigns are trying to use social media.


| Category Advice, Cause Marketing, Civics, Communications, Community, Events, Marketing, Marketing Skills, Measurement, National/International, News and Current Affairs, Nonprofit, Permission Marketing, Politics, Public Media, Public Relations, SEO, Social Media, Social Networks, Storytelling, Technology, Technology for Nonprofits, Web and Print, Writing | | Comments Off

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#FUNDRAISING: Presidential Candidates Ramp Up Mobile Giving

ABC News photo of text donationsWith the (delayed) start of the Republican Convention in Tampa earlier this week, the really officially serious campaign season starts. For the next 10-odd weeks, most American start to focus on the candidates, their platforms, and their messages. There has been much talk about the low level of discourse that has driven the campaign thus far, but − unlike Senate debates in the 19th century − no one has been caned.

This is the first post-‘Citizens United’ national election, so the astute political junkies are paying attention to the money flow from corporations and unions that need report their large donations until after the voting has been counted. But what about at the other end of the giving scale? This is also the first national election that offers opportunities for texting donations to candidates. How might that change the fundraising landscape?


| Category Advocacy, Campaigns, Cause Marketing, Civics, Communications, Community, Crowdfunding, Events, Fundraising, How-to, iDevice, Marketing Skills, Mobile, Mobile, National/International, News and Current Affairs, Nonprofit, Politics, Social Marketing, Technology, Technology for Nonprofits | | Comments Off

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#PROAGING: Olympics & Social Media Suggest Shrinking Digital Divide

The Social Olympics in LondonNBC might have gotten some bad press for giving away results before showing them tape-delayed in the lucrative hours of prime time. These Olympics have both been the ‘first Social Olympics’ and the first to struggle to understand what such instantaneous communication can mean to corporate and sporting interests. And, as it turns out, most of the griping is coming from the world of social networks. According to the Pew Research Center, 76% of Americans find the NBC communications conglomerate’s coverage excellent or good.

What are the numbers when age is taken into consideration?


| Category Advocacy, Aging, Boomers, Civics, Communications, Grants and Funding, Independent Living, Internet, National/International, News and Current Affairs, Nonprofit, Politics, Report, Seniors Life, Site Administration, Social Media, Social Media, Social Networks, Technology, Technology for Aging | | Comments Off

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#SOCIALMEDIA: IOC Struggles To Corral First “Social Olympics” In London

Infomous envisions social media activity around London Olympics

Click on image to visit

The Opening Ceremonies went off without a hitch. Security concerns have been allayed thus far. The weather hasn’t been too bad. For Americans, we’ve had a few sub-par performances in the pool and on the gymnastics apparatuses, but so far, so good.

Unless the issue is how this so-called “First Social Games” is going. The social media events have not gone quite like fans, competitors, or International Olympic Committee members had thought it would − all for different reasons. Indeed, the biggest security dust-up has to do not with fears of terrorists, but fears of unwanted mention of sponsors by athletes and/or their supporters. Is the IOC fairly trying to protect the Olympic ‘brand’ or are its members greedily limiting expression through social media? And does anybody else really care?


| Category Advertising, Blogs, Case Study, Communications, Events, Facebook, Facebook, Geo-Location, Marketing, Marketing Skills, Media Review, Mobile, National/International, News and Current Affairs, Opinion, Politics, Public Media, Public Relations, Social Marketing, Social Media, Social Networks, Technology, Twitter, Twitter, Video, YouTube | | 1 Comments

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#CIVICS: Nonprofits Should Watch Their Politics On Their Social Networks

Twitter is an independent service for both political parties As the now-famous comic writer Andy Borowitz has posted on Twitter: “Only a billion more lies until the election.” Not only is it easy to get swept up in the horse-trading, haranguing and name-calling during an election, it’s what you’re supposed to do. We live and thrive in a government “of the people, by the people, for the people” (with the Borowitz addendum: “…which are now called ‘corporations'”). We are supposed to be involved in politics because we are called to be engaged citizens. And some of the most engaged citizens work for charities and nonprofits.

But be careful: your nonprofit’s outreach should remain nonpartisan if you want to keep that nonprofit status.


| Category Blogs, Cause Marketing, Civics, Communications, Community, How-to, Local/Maryland, National/International, Nonprofit, Politics, Public Media, Social Media, Social Networks, Technology for Nonprofits | | Comments Off

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#TECH: Apple Backs Down on EPEAT. Welcome Back To EPEAT!

Apple computers are back on EPEAT list

Apple bruised by PR cuts over EPEAT

No, MKCREATIVEmedia doesn’t wield that kind of influence over 1 Infinity Loop. Or any influence, really. But about two hours ago we posted a summation of Apple’s withdrawal from the very EPEAT environmental standards the corporation helped establish over a decade ago. Our little contribution to the issue was not technological or particularly environmental, but political: Apple (and any other corporation, bank, investment firm, media conglomerate…) wants to set the rules, follow the rules, and be umpire of those rules (for itself) all at the same time.

Well, difficult to say that Apple called a foul on itself. But retiring Senior Vice President of Hardware Engineering, Bob Mansfield, has released a press release at Apple’s website explaining why Apple has decided to return to the EPEAT community!


| Category Advertising, Advocacy, Apple, Civics, Communications, Environment, Event, iDevice, Marketing, National/International, News and Current Affairs, Nonprofit, Opinion, Politics, Publications, Social Media, Social Networks, Technology, Twitter | | Comments Off

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#TECH: Once Developed By Apple, Now Abandoned By Apple: EPEAT Standards

Apple leaves EPEAT recycling standards

Has Apple lost its environmental cred?

It can be tough to love Apple, Inc. Stock prices over $600? Check. Over $100 billion in cold, hard, cash? You bet. Products loved even by those who don’t even own one? Of course! Profits over $6.5 billion a quarter? No sweat. Charitable organization? Er… Recycle program for its gadgets? Well, up to a point. Environmentally-sensitive product line? Yes, sort of. Unless we’re not. Tell you what, let’s just drop that off the list, ok?

Apple helped draw up the EPEAT standards for environmentally-friendly production of technologies back in 200-2001. But this past Tuesday Apple quietly backed out of its commitment to the program. In fact, Apple only responded yesterday, once word started to spread (darn that social networking stuff that Apple products do so well!) and some contracts were put on hold.

Why has the leading tech company withdrawn from its own environmental guidelines? Will the Apple brand be bruised by the move?


| Category Apple, Branding, Case Study, Civics, Hardware Review, iDevice, iPad/Tablet, News and Current Affairs, Opinion, Politics, Public Relations, Technology | | 1 Comments

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#SOCIALNETWORKS: OneClimate Is A Social Platform Primed For The Environmental Community

OneClimate is a social network dedicated to environmentalistsOf course those who are engaged in the pressing issues of environmental degradation and global warming want to reach out to audiences as wide as possible. The heavy hitters of social networking (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram…) can serve that purpose. But did you know that other social networks focus on particular issues and offer opportunities to talk with others focused on your organization’s concerns? If those concerns include those of the environment (from global industrial waste to local concerns of residue from asphalt runoff), sign up on the social network Why join yet another social-networking platform?


| Category Advocacy, Cause Marketing, Civics, Climate Change, Community, Community Gardens, Environment, Greening, Media Review, Nonprofit, Politics, Social Marketing, Social Media, Social Networks, Software Review, Technology for Nonprofits | | Comments Off

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#FUNDRAISING: Facebook Gives Pages & Apps To Nonprofits (Zuckerberg Gives Cash)

Nonprofits Group Page logoFacebook’s power on the social-networks scene need hardly be introduced, and thousands of nonprofits and charities have tapped into that power to expand and support their good work. But has the company offered any of its billions to those nonprofits and charities? Facebook, like Apple, does not have a philanthropic foundation like some other corporations, like Dell or Intel. Facebook’s CEO, unlike Apple’s, has given a great deal of charity on his own. Zuckerberg has taken the “Giving Pledge” drive initiated by Warren Buffett and Bill Gates, and he famously gave $100 million to the Newark (NJ) school system last year.

So if a charitable foundation is not part of the Facebook portfolio at this stage, what does it do to support the work of nonprofits?


| Category Advice, Advocacy, Civics, Communications, Community, Crowdfunding, Facebook, Facebook, Facebook, Fundraising, Grants and Funding, Marketing, Nonprofit, Politics, Public Relations, Site Administration, Social Media, Social Networks, Technology for Nonprofits, Thought for the Day, Video | | 1 Comments

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#CIVICS: Apple’s Billions In Tax Dodges Come Under Scrutiny

Apple's corporate headquarters at 1 Infinity Loop

The corporation is in California, but not its tax liability

Apple Inc. is making it difficult to feel sympathy for Apple Inc. When the blogosphere challenged Apple the business and Steve Jobs the CEO to act like a good corporate citizen by offering some philanthropic goodwill, we took a fairly conciliatory position that Apple’s job is innovative technology and Apple’s innovative technology has been a real boon to the nonprofit world. When the terrible conditions at Foxconn China broke, we followed the story arc with you and stressed Apple’s willingness to engage its supplier − albeit belatedly. Then the story dissolved amid retractions and mea culpas that threatened many careers outside Apple or Foxconn.

But now The New York Times has reported that Apple Inc. has been pipelining profits to subsidiaries and ghost offices both in the US and abroad that has lowered its tax liabilities by over $2 billion in the last year.


| Category Apple, Civics, Communications, Community, Marketing, National/International, News and Current Affairs, Newspaper Article, Opinion, Politics, Public Relations, Report, Resource, Sustainability, Technology | | Comments Off

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#SOCIALNETWORKS: Kony 2012 Covered The Night. Did It Jump The Shark?

Young teens enjoy a night out in London advertising Kony 2012

Youth cover some of the evening

The sensation that is/was ‘Kony 2012′ has been a part of the nonprofit social-media landscape for six-plus weeks now. The hundreds of millions who made the original video a viral sensation in March were not all supporters of the message, though, and challenges to the drive launched by the San Diego nonprofit ‘Invisible Children’ continue to be made. The original and ostensible goal is to have Joseph Kony and his Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) brought to justice by making Kony ‘famous’ enough that world leaders will be inspired or shamed to dedicate the resources to get him. The effort to make him famous has been done and the culmination of the effort was this past weekend’s ‘Cover The Night’ campaign. How well did it go? Whether the night got ‘covered’ probably depends on where you are and what you want ‘covered’ to mean, but Invisible Children have ratcheted up their campaign with, frankly, the oddest video yet.


| Category Blogs, Cause Marketing, Civics, Communications, Community, Crowdfunding, Event Review, Events, Fundraising, Marketing, Media Review, National/International, News and Current Affairs, Newspaper Article, Nonprofit, Opinion, Politics, Public Media, Reviews, Social Media, Social Networks, Storytelling, Video, YouTube | | Comments Off

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#INTERVIEW: Mark Van Gurp, Osocio Blog — Showcases the Best Advertising & Marketing For Social Causes

Marc Van Gurp PhotoMark van Gurp is the founder of Osocio, an international blog devoted to showcasing the best advertising and marketing for social causes. Mark began an earlier blog, Houtlist, in 2005 as a personal collection of nonprofit ads. Overwhelmed by the response, he began Osocio in 2007 with more than a dozen regular contributors. He has kept his day job. The interview was conducted by Don Akchin, a principal of Nonprofit Marketing 360 and a frequent contributor to the MKCREATIVE blog.

MKC: Can you explain what you do in your day job?

MARK: I’m webmaster and web designer for a big publishing house. At the unit I’m working for, we write about advertising and marketing. It is like Ad Age.

MKC: What first inspired you to curate nonprofit advertising and create Houtlust?

MARK: It was a coincidence. I was thinking about working as a freelance designer. And because I’m interested in designing for non-profits, I started collecting inspirational examples in the field. Those were the days before Pinterest and other networks, so I started a blog just for myself. It was my online album accessible from anywhere.

| Category Blogs, Communications, Community, Cross-Post, Interview, News and Current Affairs, Nonprofit, Opinion, Politics, Social Networks, Special Series, Storytelling, Writing | | Comments Off

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#ADVOCACY: Kony 2012 Sequel Not Going Viral, Nor Ending Debate

Invisible Children's latest video encourages responsible coverage of their message

Too little too late?

Last Thursday, Invisible Children released their tepidly anticipated sequel to the stunningly viral video Kony 2012 (over 100 million views). The sequel, “Kony Part II – Beyond Famous,” was almost destined not to make as big a splash in the nonprofit/video/social-media ocean because the impact of the message had already been made, and those millions who responded − positively or negatively − probably don’t need to see a sequel to be re-convinced. Since the first video came out, just over a month ago, the ‘media packages’ people were asked to purchase to support the campaign were quickly sold out and the video’s director/narrator, Jason Russell, was arrested and committed to hospital for mental and emotional fatigue.

We still await the climactic ‘Cover The Night’ campaign of 20 April, but what all this has done to bring Kony to justice remains to be seen. What we want to focus on today, though, is how social networks inspired the explosion of interest around the original, and how those same networks might be dampening the responses to the sequel.


| Category Advocacy, Blogs, Campaigns, Cause Marketing, Civics, Communications, Community, Crowdfunding, Fundraising, Marketing, National/International, News and Current Affairs, Newspaper Article, Nonprofit, Opinion, Politics, Public Media, Social Media, Social Networks, Storytelling, Video, YouTube | | 3 Comments

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#SM4NP: Kony 2012 Will Get A Sequel & More Context Today

Invisible Children announce a sequel of Kony 2012

Today is the day. Probably.

As any Hollywood mogul will confirm, when your movie is watched by 100 million people, you need to make a sequel. That market is just too big to pass up. And the renown viral video Kony 2012 has been viewed well over 100 million times. Nevertheless, the reasons the San Diego based firm ‘Invisible Children’ will be releasing a sequel to their 30-minute wunderkind seem not really about tapping a market so much as explaining the phenomenon. It has not been released as of this posting, but one can’t help but wonder if we need the prequel/context-setter any more than we needed Star Wars: The Phantom Menace.

What do we know about a movie that has not yet appeared?


| Category Campaigns, Case Study, Cause Marketing, Civics, Communications, Crowdfunding, Design, Events, Fundraising, Marketing, Media Review, National/International, News and Current Affairs, Nonprofit, Opinion, Politics, Reviews, Social Media, Storytelling, Video | | Comments Off

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#PROAGING: Republican Budget Realigns Medicare But Ignores Long-Term Care

The macro-economics of aging over the next 40 years do not look great: the first Baby Boomers reached the age of Social-Security eligibility 15 months ago, but the crest of this so-called ‘Silver Tsunami’ will not come until about 2030. It will not recede for another couple of decades. The issue is not the number of people so much as the economy’s ability/preparation to deal with the number. According to the Employee Benefit Research Institute, “The baseline 2010 Retirement Readiness Rating™ finds that nearly one-half (47.2 percent) of the oldest cohort (Early Baby Boomers) are simulated to be “at risk” of not having sufficient retirement resources to pay for “basic” retirement expenditures and uninsured health care costs. The percentage “at risk” drops for the Late Boomers (to 43.7 percent) but then increases slightly for Generation Xers to 44.5 percent.”

The combination of retiring Boomers with lengthening life expectancies with a general political trend to cut taxes for all while reducing services only to the poor has meant that the costs of long-term care are growing, while the will to adjust expectations or fund federal programs is shrinking. The FY2013 budget proposed by Senators Rand Paul (R-Kentucky), Jim DeMint (R-South Carolina), and Mike Lee (R-Utah) earlier this month has not much quelled fears of how Medicare will deal with the spread between long-living retired  Boomers and the costs they will impose on an already stressed healthcare ‘system’.


| Category Affordable Housing, Aging, Assisted Living, Boomers, Community, Independent Living, National/International, News and Current Affairs, Newspaper Article, Nonprofit, Opinion, Politics, Retirement Living, Senior Housing, Study, Technology for Aging | | Comments Off

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#SM4NP: ‘Kony 2012′ Still Stirs Engagement, Controversy, And Embarrassment

Many doubt the finances and political connections of the Kony 2012 campaign

Director’s breakdown raises further questions

The controversy surrounding the viral video ‘Kony 2012′ continues even as its views on YouTube surpass 85.4 million as I write. The director, Jason Russell, had something of a mental breakdown a week ago, when he was arrested for indecent exposure while ranting almost incoherently about support and friendships. As reported by late last week, “According to the National Institutes of Health, brief reactive psychosis is triggered by extreme stress, such as a traumatic event or the loss of a loved one. The symptoms, which include delusions, hallucinations and strange speech, can last up to a month, and the person may be completely unaware of them. … Alan Hilfer, chief psychologist at Maimonides Medical Center in New York City, said the backlash over Russell’s “Kony 2012″ campaign could have been traumatic enough to trigger the meltdown.”

How might disconcerting behavior of the video’s producer shift the discussion of the video and the appeal by ‘Invisible Children’ to raise awareness of Joseph Kony’s ‘Lord’s Resistance Army‘?


| Category Advertising, Campaigns, Case Study, Cause Marketing, Civics, Communications, Crowdfunding, Fundraising, Marketing, Marketing Skills, Media Review, National/International, News and Current Affairs, Newspaper Article, Nonprofit, Opinion, Politics, Public Media, Reviews, Social Media, Social Networks, Storytelling, Technology, Video, YouTube | | 3 Comments

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#TECH: Megauploads Shut Down, Highlighting Concerns Of Cloud Computing

Megauploads was shut down in January 2012

But what about all the legal files on the servers?

The move toward cloud computing has numerous benefits, including a place to back up your organization’s most important files and offering access to such files from any mobile device. Indeed, the growing stability and reliability of cloud-computing technologies has been one of the unsung underpinnings of the success of the iPad/tablet market, for they (thus far?) offer comparatively little storage space. Moreover, if that portable device gets lost, sat-on, or stolen, the donor list and the iTunes library are not lost with the device.

But cloud computing does carry some security risks, especially for organizations that feel compelled to rent space on third-party servers. For example, though upkeep of the network isn’t your concern in such a contract, if that third party gets subpoenaed by law enforcement for what’s on its servers, your organization’s data can be caught in the dragnet. As recent developments in the Megauploads case, getting legal and legitimate files back out of that cloud service can be tricky and time consuming.


| Category National/International, News and Current Affairs, Politics, Site Administration, Technology, Technology for Nonprofits | | Comments Off

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#Advocacy: ‘This American Life’ Retracts Story Of Abuses At Foxconn

Mike Daisey's one-man show is over, but is the story?It has been a rough week for social-consciousness movements whose leaders have produced stories a bit too slick to be true. We wrote last week about the doubts surrounding the viral video ‘Kony 2012′ meant to inspire a public campaign against Joseph Kony’s child army in Uganda − if that army still exists and Kony is indeed in Uganda. Over the weekend, the producer Jason Russell was arrested for public drunkenness and self-satisfaction, casting still further doubt on the veracity of the campaign and on the nonprofit ‘Invisible Children’.

To add to the unnerving series of good stories gone bad, Mike Daisey’s story/one-man-show “The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs” has been discredited for his taking numerous liberties with what he claimed were personal encounters at Apple’s suppliers Foxconn in China. His story – somewhat truncated – was broadcast on the popular ‘This American Life‘ public-radio program this past January, causing quite a stir. And it now has been retracted by producer Ira Glass and Daisey has been reconfiguring his story in light of probing questions into its authenticity.

What might be behind the rise and fall of these stories?


| Category Apple, Blogs, Campaigns, Case Study, Civics, Communications, Interview, Marketing, National/International, News and Current Affairs, Newspaper Article, Nonprofit, Opinion, Politics, Press Release, Public Media, Public Relations, Publications, Social Media, Storytelling, Technology | | 1 Comments

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