Recent Blog Posts


Netsquared Profile: Randy Moss

Randy Moss, the manager of "futuring and information-based strategies" for the American Cancer Society, attended the Netsquared conference. He tells us a bit about the ACS' role at the conference and what he has learned there.

This video is part of NetSquared's video profile series. You can subscribe to this RSS feed with your favorite video catcher, such as iTunes, Democracy or FireAnt. READ MORE

Even More NetSquared Conference Video Sessions Online

Check out more of the Conference session videos online at ForaTV.  You can view them all as thumbnails in the archive here:

Or go to each individual new session link below:                                                     Conversation with Angela Glover Blackwell, moderated by Daniel Ben-Horin, President & Co-CEO of Compumentor.

The Distributed Grassroots Marketing Team: Letting Your Community, Advocates, Evangelists, and Fans Do the Heavy Lifting featuring panelists Tara Hunt, Chris Messina, and Elisa Camahort with moderator Marnie Webb, VP of Knowledge Services at Compumentor.

The $100 Laptop: Simplicity Can Be Complicated featuring panelist Michael Bletsas with moderator Michael Brown.

Again, thanks to LinkTV for their tireless video coverage of the event. < READ MORE


Nonprofit Blogging Tools Report Available

Laura Quinn
Originally uploaded by cambodia4kidsorg.

I ran into Laura Quinn from at the games expo at the end of the first day of the Games 4 Change Conference in NYC.   Laura was late getting to the conference because she was putting the finishing touches on the blogging report.  Get your copy now! READ MORE


Centromigrante wins MIT

CentroMigrante wins MIT 100K
For a business idea that was just discovered on a "serendipity walk," (see this article) there is no doubt that Centromigrante has made a giant leap by winning the grand prize from the prestigious MIT 100K Entrepreneurship Competition last week in Cambridge, Massachussettes. This is the first time a  Filipino team has taken on this 100K race, a competition that might as well be compared to a marathon for its magnitude and prestige. An advantage arose for the Pinoy team when MIT decided to shift course this year and open 100K to a development track.

Net Tuesdays in July

 Lots of great Net Tuesdays Meetups coming up in July!  If you would like to start your own Net Tuesday in your hometown, email us at net2 AT


Tuesday, July 11th

Time and location are still TBD, but they'll be having a cocktail/dinner event.  Some folks who went to the Net2 Conference will be reporting back on their experience and the group will brainstorm about an LA-based project that they can jumpstart.  You can contact the Group Organizer, Catherine Geanuracos, thru the Meetup site for more information.

NEW as of 7/7: Nico from Adobe will be joining the group to talk about how their software is supporting nonprofits and social change organizations, and brining some things to give away, so don't miss out. READ MORE


Not for the faint of heart: Selecting a fiscal sponsorship accounting application



Any number of nonprofit 501(c)3 organizations in the U.S. serve as fiscal sponsors (sometimes known as "fiscal agents") to unincorporated mission-based projects or associations.  For example, a 501(c)3 dedicated to saving the whales, might offer to serve as the fiscal sponsor of a project designed to save the sea otters, because their missions are congruent, and it's less trouble than setting up a separate entity.  But they're really in the business of saving the whales, not providing services to other nonprofit organizations.

However, a relatively small number of nonprofit mangement support organizations undertake fiscal sponsorship on a large scale, providing not only a legal umbrella but all sorts of back office services to unincorporated projects.  A well-known example is the Tides Center in San Francisco.

As I've previously mentioned in my blog, one of my clients that also does this is Third Sector New England.  As of this writing, TSNE has 26 fiscal sponsorship clients, and an entire team of accountants, HR specialists, and others who dedicate themselves to the needs of these projects.  It's intricate work, and they are very, very good at it.

Unfortunately, it's difficult to find accounting and finance applications that are up to this sophicated task.  The transactions involve multiple donors, grantmakers, vendors, and contractors - on behalf of 26 different projects, each of which having records that must be segregated as if they were completely freestanding organizations.  The security issues are enormous, and added to that are the challenges of integrating an accounting application with workflow management, digital signatures, and document management.

These days, I spend a lot of time researching applications that will meet TSNE's fiscal sponsorship accounting needs.  This is not a task for the faint of heart, because the specifications are numerous, the solutions are shockingly expensive, and the potential for spending a lot of time, energy, and money without actually improving capacity is very high.

Here are some of the applications that I have been checking out:



Doctors without Borders Podcast Creates Connection

I just got a press release this morning (I feel so alternative media), announcing that Doctors without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontiéres has started podcasting (yay!).  The podcast, Frontline Reports will feature emergency updates from Doctors without Borders projects all over the world.

I just listened to the first podcast.  It was a little over 10 minutes long and talked about medical needs in Sudan, the ongoing challenges in Colombia and how people with HIV/AIDS in the developing world are being denied access to new "second-line" AIDS medicine.  (My advice to the podcast's producers is to put in some success stories too, or listeners will suffer compassion fatigue after a while and stop listening).

The quote provided in the release by Executive Director, Nicolas de Torrenté, encapsulates, I think, why podcasting and blogs are such important tools in a nonprofit or NGO's communication plan: READ MORE


Helpalot presentation video, SIGCHI 2006 conference

Presentation on YouTube (10 minutes). 

June 8 I was able to speak at the SIGCHI conference - The Web and Beyond ( about Helpalot. It's a social network site with evaluations.

More on the project on the project weblog READ MORE


The NPTech attention stream: now 75% lighter!

Would you like to participate in the NPTech attention stream but feel like it's too overwhelming? Is the whole idea new to you? Before describing the drastic measures I took to lighten a reader's load, here's the basics on what it's all about...

NPTech is a tag used by people to designate an item they find online as being of interest to the community of nonprofit technologists. People use nptech as one of any number of tags to describe an item online and that item is entered into the nptech attention stream, subscribable by RSS or email. Since it's in RSS format, you can do all kinds of things with it - see for example the feed of the tag net2 syndicated automatically in the sidebar of this site. ("Net2 elsewhere" is what it's titled.) READ MORE


Video of Ethan Zuckerman Segment from Citizen Journalism Session

At ForaTv, more video now available online: Ethan Zuckerman’s segment from the  NetSquared Conference Session: A Voice in the Wilderness to the Wisdom of Crowds: Citizen Journalism, Nonprofit Organizations and Social Change (coverage provided by Link TV). Last week we posted Dan Gillmor’s segment, also from this session. If you go to ForaTv and type in “netsquared” next to the Search function in the top menu bar, you’ll find this session and the others listed here in the archive: READ MORE