Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Community Discussion: Local Implications of the National Economic Crisis

Is your agency or practice seeing fallout from the economic crisis? Are you, personally? Come join us next Monday evening for a community discussion on the Local Implications of the National Economic Crisis. TC Human Services Coalition's own Kathy Schlather is a featured panelist!

All local residents are invited to a panel discussion and forum, “Local Implications of the National Economic Crisis,” will be held on Monday, May 4, 7:00-9:00 pm at the Town of Ithaca Hall, 215 North Tioga St. Panelists are Karl Graham, Director of Community Relations and Development at Alternatives Federal Credit Union, Kathy Schlather, Executive Director of the Human Services Coalition of Tompkins County, and Michael Stamm, President of Tompkins County Area Development (TCAD). The forum will present information from a variety of viewpoints on how the national economic situation is impacting local businesses, nonprofits and individuals, and encourage open discussion and deliberation on possible local responses. The forum is sponsored by the Tompkins County Democratic Committee’s Issues Committee, and is free and open to all interested in attending.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Study Reveals Potential Donors Can't Find Info on Websites They Want

Robert Weiner of TechSoup made the following post, Jakob Nielsen Thinks Your Web Site Sucks, that many nonprofit EDs will find helpful:

Well, maybe it doesn't exactly suck, but potential donors can't figure it out. In a recent study of nonprofit Web sites, usability guru Jakob Nielsen asked participants "what information they want to see on nonprofit Web sites before they decide whether to donate?" The most heavily requested information was:
  • The organization's mission, goals, objectives, and work.
  • How it uses donations and contributions.
He found that only 43% of the sites he reviewed answered the first question on their homepages, and only 4% answered the second question. He did find that most organizations answered these questions somewhere within their sites, but said users often had problems finding this information.

He also looked at the "turn-off factors" that caused charities to lose out on donations and found that:
  • 47% had usability problems relating to page and site design, including unintuitive information architecture, cluttered pages, and confusing workflow.
  • On 17% of the sites, users couldn't find where to make a donation.
  • 53% had content issues related to writing for the Web, including unclear or missing information and confusing terms.

The good news is that "once people had decided to make a donation and found the donation button it was fairly easy for them to proceed through the workflow and donate."

I think Nielsen is making a big assumption: that potential donors visit a nonprofits' Web site without knowing what the nonprofit does, and then look for this information before donating. But his point about the difficulty of finding the donation button on some sites is a well taken point.

You can read the whole study here.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Rural Learning Network conference set for Corning

The conference promotes regional assets for community and economic development and will take place Wednesday, May 13 at the Radisson Hotel in Corning.

Goals include: Highlighting the regional assets of western/central New York; articulate the comparative advantages of the region; encourage communities to build unique niches in a regional context; and explore symbiotic relationships among assets and their multiplier effects.Regional assets are key building blocks in sustainable regional revitalization efforts. These include the skills of the workforce; the vitality of community organizations; the resources of public, private and non-profit institutions; and the physical and economic resources of local places.

To register go to http://www.regonline.com/regionalassets or contact Beverly L. Mancuso, Executive Director Cornell Cooperative Extension of Genesee County at http://genesee.cce.cornell.edu or phone 585-343-3040, Ext. 110.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Sick in America Conference Announced

Are you confused or frustrated by the U.S. health care system? Wondering what other countries are doing right, how different proposals to improve the system will fare in the long run, or how you can get involved yourself?

Come join us during our week-long Sick in America Series, organized by the Cornell Undergraduate Health Cooperative in partnership with the Johnson Graduate School of Management and Weill Cornell Medical College. From Monday April 20th to Friday April 24th, we’ll be hosting events that take a creative approach to fixing our health care ills. Curious as to how landscape architecture can influence the delivery of health care or how the arts can raise awareness for a devastating disease? Or are you interested in how preventative health and wellness can improve our quality of life? Discuss this and much more with experts from a spectrum of backgrounds.Over 45 million people are suffering due to problems with the health care system -- it’s time to start thinking outside the box.

Visit www.sickinamerica.com for complete details!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Online Giving Continues to Increase

The Philanthropy Journal offered this info on a new study about the increase in online giving. As a new study relates, even as the economy began to slide in 2008, online giving continued to grow.

Among a group of 12 organizations, online donors increased by a median 39 percent from 2007 to 2008, compared with a decline of 3 percent among offline donors over the same period.

At the same time, online giving still remains a small share of giving overall, accounting for only about one in 10 dollars donated, says the 2008 donorCentrics Internet Giving Benchmarking Analysis from Target Analytics, a Blackbaud company.

Online donors tend to be younger, with a median of 11 percent of donors under age 35, compared to a median of three percent in that age group among offline donors.

They also are newer donors to the organizations they support, with about half of all online donors being new each year.

Online donors to the companies surveyed gave a median single gift that was $27 higher than offline donors during 2008, the survey says, and the gap was even larger for donors who had been giving for more than one year.

However, online donors are harder to retain, with retention rates for online donors falling slightly below those for offline, and new online donors being harder to keep than veterans.

But online donors likely are worth the effort over the long term, given that their average lifetime revenue-per-donor was a median $237, compared to $86 for offline donors.

Monday, April 6, 2009

The New York Council of Nonprofits wishes to extend its sincerest sympathies to the victims and families of the recent tragedy in Binghamton, NY. We commend the Binghamton nonprofit community for their immediate and compassionate response to this event. To learn more about the nonprofit and community response in Binghamton and how you can help, please click here.