Centromigrante wins MIT

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CentroMigrante wins MIT 100K
For a business idea that was just discovered on a "serendipity walk," (see 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

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 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 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.

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

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Any number of organizations in the serve as (sometimes known as "") to projects or associations.  For example, a 501(c)3 dedicated to , might offer to serve as the fiscal sponsor of a project designed to save the , 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 but all sorts of to unincorporated projects.  A well-known example is the .

, one of my clients that also does this is .  As of this writing, has 26 fiscal sponsorship clients, and an entire team of accountants, 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 that are up to this sophicated task.  The transactions involve multiple , , , and - on behalf of 26 different projects, each of which having records that must be as if they were completely freestanding organizations.  The security issues are enormous, and added to that are the challenges of an accounting application with , , and .

These days, I spend a lot of time researching applications that will meet 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

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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, 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:

The NPTech attention stream: now 75% lighter!

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Would you like to participate in the 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.)

Video of Ethan Zuckerman Segment from Citizen Journalism Session

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At , more video now available online: 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 ). Last week we posted , also from this session. If you go to 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:

Nata Village Blog

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Last month Nancy White wrote about a very cool blog fundraising blog, the , that I want to share with you.  The blog documents not only the lives of the people in Nata, but is a tool to raise funds for a for residents living with AIDS, an where youth use the arts to educate others about AIDS, and the .

Readers can donate directly to the village through the blog's PayPal account.

Nata is a village of 5000 people in Botswana.  According to the blog, 50% of the pregnant women in the village are HIV positive and 400 children have been orphaned by AIDS.  Botswana has the second highest HIV infection rate in Africa.


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