Monthly Archive for July, 2009

Lessons from America’s Giving Challenge

America's Giving Challenge

Download the America's Giving Challenge report from

In 2007 the Case Foundation sponsored two distinct charity drives across two very different platforms, in part I suspect to change the top-down charity model to one of partnership and engagement and also to stress-test the emerging socialweb as a platform for carrying out its philanthropic interests.

In June they released a report on what they learned, titled America’s Giving Challenge: Assessment and Reflection Report. Written by socialmedia guru Beth Kanter – also one of the Challenge’s winners – and tech expert Allison Fine of, its a pretty straightforward head-to-head comparison of the performance of both approaches.

On the one hand, Case launched America’s Giving Challenge with PARADE Magazine and through, an example of a mainstream publishing giant adapting to a new Internet reality. The second challenge, the Causes Giving Challenge, was run through Facebook, one of the most popular social networks on the web.

Both Challenges performed incredibly well, though in very different ways. As the report states, “America’s Giving Challenge raised $1,193,024 from 46,044 donors for 2,482 causes. The Causes Giving Challenge raised a total of $571,686 from 25,795 unique donors for 3,936 causes.” Continue reading ‘Lessons from America’s Giving Challenge’

The Idea Project

The Ideas ProjectThe founders of and Nokia have produced a wonderful little site called the which is a place for thought leaders and the public to share their future-setting ideas. Business founders like Reid Hoffman (LinkedIn) share the UI with activist-thinkers that include Ethan Zuckerman (Global Voices) and innovation drivers like Peter Diamandis (X Prize).

The site competes in some ways with other “deep thoughts” sites like TED, and what it lacks in production it makes up for its warmer, more participatory approach: emphasizing a back-of-the-envelope feel and making space for the big shots (“ideators”) to share the screen with joe public, the Ideas Project has the casual intellectual environment of a Viennese cafe ca. 1920. In a good way!

A few other notable if imperfect aspects of the site include a non-linking visualization of ideas and how they connect by people and theme along with a dashboard that enables users to collect and track their favorite ideas. Not sure how this maps with data collection efforts and what the end result would be. Oh, and anyone submitting ideas qualifies to win a Nokia N95 phone. Is this marketing at the end of the day?

At the end of the day, some great pointers in UI, information architecture and design for the Global Challenge.

Social Capital Markets 2009

SoCap09 will take place September 1-3 in Fort Macon, San Francisco. 


SoCap09 will take place September 1-3 in Fort Macon, San Francisco.

Last year for the first time, an unusual unconference was held in San Francisco. Dubbed SoCap08 (Social Capital 2009) it was a who’s who of investors, entrepreneurs, journalists and thought leaders all with a common interest on developing new business models that deliver a more balanced set of returns – financial, social, environmental.

By all accounts it was big success, and the organizers are doing it again. September 1-3 will mark SoCap09, held again in San Francisco and boasting a strong line-up support. Interested in issues like microfinance, BOP product and service creation and delivery, building SMEs in developing markets, L3Cs and other new corporate structures, what the Obama administration is doing to advance the “field,” and much more.

In addition to the substance of the gathering, it should be a great opportunity to network meet some great people. Visit for the full scoop.