Archive for February, 2009

Network for Good

Wednesday, February 25th, 2009

Dear All,

My apologies for the quiet time on the mailing list. A team of six of us have been reading through the more than 270 proposals we received for the current round of microgrant funding. We are close to making an announcement – if not by the end of this week, then by the beginning of next.

In addition to seeking small amounts of funding for digital cameras, internet access, and related workshop costs, many of the proposals we received also expressed a desire to connect with like-minded groups, reach new funders, and spread information about the work they are doing. A number of social and project networks have arisen over the past few years to help NGO’s and activists connect with one another, collaborate, and meet funders and volunteers to help carry projects forward and spread awareness about their objectives and achievements.

  • Nabuur | The Globakl Neighbour Network

    “Nabuur.com is an online volunteering platform that links Neighbours (online volunteers) with Villages (local communities) in Africa, Asia and Latin America. Connected through Nabuur.com, Neighbours and local communities learn about each other, share ideas and find solutions to local issues. Everybody has something to offer, and everything is done online.”

  • TakingITGlobal – Inspire. Inform. Involve.

    “TakingITGlobal.org is the social network that connects you to the global issues that affect us all.”

  • BiD Network Foundation

    “The BiD Network sources and selects business plans of small and medium sized enterprises in emerging markets. BiD Network offers tools to the best entrepreneurs, paving the way for them to access finance. The BiD Network Foundation offers investor matchmaking services, runs the business plan competition; the BiD Challenge, from ten countries and operates this online business community website: www.bidnetwork.org.”

  • GiveMeaning – online donation, online fundraising, and creative fundraising ideas

    “GiveMeaning.com is an online fundraising site emphasizing creative fundraising ideas and other unique forms of charity donation.”

  • Amazee | Amazee is social collaboration

    “Do you have goals that require the attention and commitment of more people than just yourself? Then Amazee is the place for you to be. Amazee is a free platform that allows you to share your goals and gives you the tools to connect with like-minded people to run and promote projects. Whatever your goals are, publicize and pursue them on Amazee! Whether you’d like to assemble a multinational football team or set up a massive number of broadband connections in remote towns in Africa, Amazee is easy to use and growing fast.”

  • United Nations Volunteers | Online Volunteering Service

    “The UNV Online Volunteering service connects volunteers with organizations working for sustainable human development. Volunteers contribute their skills online to help organizations address development challenges. Organizations collaborate with online volunteers over the Internet to strengthen the impact of their development work.”

  • Change.org

    “Today as citizens of the world, we face a daunting array of social and environmental problems ranging from health care and education to global warming and economic inequality. For each of these issues, whether local or global in scope, there are millions of people who care passionately about working for change but lack the information and opportunities necessary to translate their interest into effective action. Change.org aims to address this need by serving as the central platform informing and empowering movements for social change around the most important issues of our time.”

  • Givology

    “If poverty is isolation, shouldn’t the solutions to poverty focus on connecting people? Givology is a website that does just this—it connects donors to promising students in developing countries. With small but impactful donations, you can sponsor grassroots community education initiatives and help fulfill the aspirations of children worldwide.”

  • Idealist.org | Imagine. Connect. Act.

    “Idealist is an interactive site where people and organizations can exchange resources and ideas, locate opportunities and supporters, and take steps toward building a world where all people can lead free and dignified lives.”

  • Avaaz.org | The World in Action

    “Technology and the internet have allowed citizens to connect and mobilize like never before. The rise of a new model of internet-driven, people-powered politics is changing countries from Australia to the Philippines to the United States. Avaaz takes this model global, connecting people across borders to bring people powered politics to international decision-making.”

  • Knight Pulse

    In a world defined by information exchange, we need new ways to give, share, find, and receive information in our communities. This is a community site for everyone to talk about issues, problems, and possible solutions for information delivery. Please join us by creating a profile and commenting on the Pulse blog posts (you can leave a video response too) with your thoughts and big ideas.

  • Pop!Tech Hub

    “The Pop!Tech Hub is a place for people working on the forefront of innovation to connect and collaborate with people who are working to make the world a better place.”

  • Kabissa | A Network of African Civil Society Organizations

    “Kabissa was founded on the belief that technology is a revolutionary force for change in Africa. Over the past 8 years, we have built a vibrant network of over 1100 African civil society organizations who are all striving to integrate technology into their work – from fighting human rights abuses to feeding AIDS orphans.”

On each of these different networks you are able to create profiles, describe your project, and connect and discuss with other members. Many of the networks also provide information about relevant funding opportunities, or attempt to create connections between projects, donors, and volunteers. Given the vast number of networks with similar goals, it should come as no surprise that there are even networks of networks.

  • NetSquared | Remixing the Web for Social Change

    “Today the global community stands witness to a momentous time in history where progressive change is not only necessary, but imminent. At NetSquared, we recognize that mandate and believe the social Web is key to making change. NetSquared works toward this goal by mobilizing individuals and communities, providing Web-based tools, and awarding financial support to leverage social action projects.”

  • Social Actions | You make a difference, we make it easy.

    “We help you find and share opportunities to change the world. First, we collect ways to get involved in the causes you care about from these 40+ action sources, including Care2, Change.org, DonorsChoose.org, DemocracyinAction, GlobalGiving, Idealist, Kiva, SixDegrees and VolunteerMatch. Then, we make it easy for you to find these opportunities by presenting them in a user-friendly search engine.”

All the best,

David

Newsletter: 2008-02-04

Wednesday, February 4th, 2009

Dear All,

For those of you who, like me, have trouble keeping up with all the emails flooding our inboxes, please accept my apologies for the unusually high volume of messages on this mailing list over the past week. On the other hand, to all of you who sent emails in response to last week’s newsletter, thank you, for they revealed how Rising Voices can most effectively serve as a resource for communities and organizations who want to make their voices and their message heard.

Several themes stood out from your responses:

Profiles: It was clear that many of you would like others in our community to know about your organizations, your objectives, and how you are using citizen media to engage with the communities you work with. By offering tags and categories to user and organization profiles, like-minded groups and individuals in our network will be able to more easily connect. When new users register with the same categories and/or geographic location, an optional notification would be sent out.

Funding: Many of the responses also included appeals for funding. I envision a system in which every time we publish a news item about available funding related to new media training the system sends out an optional notification to every user who has listed the same categories that apply to the funding opportunity.

Training Resources: Others asked for more training resources to learn how to produce online media and to train others. I am happy to announce that three members of our community have taken the initiative to develop a complete citizen media curriculum so that anyone who wants to develop a citizen media training project can find all of the necessary tutorials, resources, and suggestions in one single space.

Eduardo Ávila of the Voces Bolivianas project will focus on collecting technical tutorials for the tools and software related to blogging, podcasting, digital photography and video. He will also summarize the best practices that our Rising Voices grantees have come up with over the past year and a half of citizen media training. Sahar Romani from Neighborhood Diaries will concentrate on workshop facilitation. Learning how to use the tools is often not enough – we also need to think critically about how to use the tools in a way that is beneficial to our communities. Finally, Janet Feldman of ActAlive will manage the creation of a citizen media guide that specifically targets HIV-positive individuals and explains the benefits of making one’s voice heard online as well as some of the privacy risks that should be taken into consideration.

Rising Voices Grantees Keep on Rising

It has been a while since we’ve given a nod to the incredible work by our Rising Voices grantee projects. Please head over to the website to see how HiperBarrio is redefining itself in 2009; how the Drop-In Center in Ukraine is influencing public policy by using citizen media; how Voces Bolivianas continues to spread new tools beyond Bolivia’s elite by hosting events and partnering with other organizations; how citizen media training in Madagascar was instrumental in getting the word out during a time of crisis; how the REPACTED project in Nakuru, Kenya is using citizen media to spread awareness about contraceptives and to discourage stigma of HIV-positive individuals; and finally how the Orizonturi Foundation is empowering Romanians with mental health issues by giving them an online space to express themselves.

For those of you looking for more funding opportunities, awards, and competitions, make sure to check out our delicious page, which is constantly updated:

http://delicious.com/risingvoices

All the best,

David