Posted in Change Makers
07/17 2014

Want to attend SXSW? Doing amazing social good?

Here’s your chance! The SXSW Interactive Scholarship program recognizes individuals who are using innovative technology and new media to address significant community challenges. This program seeks nominees across all sectors and countries whose innovative, impactful work (whether as a career or avocational passion) helps others. Non-profit leaders, grassroots organizers, individual citizens, and civic-minded entrepreneurs are all eligible to win.

At SXSW, we believe that the strength of community comes from diversity of thought, gender, geography, and background. We strive to achieve this community-centric goal by utilizing a V-O-W-E-L scale of basic diversity principles. See more about the VOWEL judging criteria for the scholarship program here:

To enter your essay for a chance to win a FREE 2015 SXSW Interactive registration for you and the person you nominate (or yourself and a plus one), please use the form here: Deadline for entries is 11:59 pm CT on Friday, July 25, 2014

 (All essays must be original works of 300 words or fewer. Over 300 words will be automatically disqualified.)
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06/27 2014

I’m featured in the NTEN Journal

Hey All! I’m featured in the 14th issue of the NTEN: Change journal is out, and this quarter is all about fundraising.

From Bitcoin, to crowdfunding, to the tricky discussion about overhead – articles cover some of the latest topics in digital fundraising, and opportunities for nonprofits.

This issue is packed with actionable ideas, inspiring interviews, and tips that your organization can use to get ready for the end of the year, if not sooner!

>>Read the June 2014 issue! (online or mobile device)

Here’s a run down of their feature articles:

They also go behind the scenes with KivaGlobalGiving, Urban Ministries of Durham, and FundsforNGOs, and the Surfrider Foundation reveals the key ingredient that’s needed to complement digital tools for effective advocacy and engagement.

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06/11 2014

Bitcoin and Nonprofits Webinar Recording

In case you missed this…’s our Bitcoin for Nonprofits Webinar in all it’s glory!

Bitcoin and Fundraising Webinar Recording

Bitcoin is a digital peer-to-peer currency that has been gaining momentum globally. In 2013, Bitcoin had 3.4 million online mentions and many companies, as well as nonprofits, have begun experimenting with emerging digital currencies. Nonprofit Bitcoin experts, David J. Neff and Jason Shim, will help you understand how the digital currency can benefit your nonprofit.

David J. Neff helped PricewaterhouseCoopers (pwc) with an online consumer survey to gather awareness, attitudes, and behaviors about Bitcoin, and he will share some of the findings. What should nonprofit tech, web, digital, and executives know about Bitcoin and its potential impact? What are the risks and benefits? PwC’s point of view is that Bitcoin can be part of an innovative strategy for products, services, and payment systems.

Jason Shim led the Bitcoin implementation for Pathways to Education Canada in 2013, and has advised numerous other nonprofit organizations on how to integrate digital currency as a donation channel. Jason will explain the process of how Pathways integrated Bitcoin and will discuss common challenges around executive buy-in, legal and financial compliance, donation tracking, and security. In this webinar, you will also learn about a funding opportunity that will donate $1,000 USD to your nonprofit if you implement Bitcoin as a donation channel.

Key takeaways: 

  • A basic understanding of how Bitcoin and other digital currencies work
  • An understanding of the potential impact of Bitcoin and other digital currencies
  • How your nonprofit can prepare for Bitcoin
  • Learn about a funding opportunity that will donate $1000 USD to your nonprofit if you implement Bitcoin as a donation channel

Who should attend:

This webinar is geared toward nonprofit staff members that work in finance, operations, and fundraising. This webinar is ideal for those that run payment and database systems, as well as payment integrations. It is also a good fit for nonprofit folks who work on digital strategy, and online fundraising.

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06/9 2014

Minnesota Nonprofit Hires Director of Cryptocurrency Fundraising

A Minnesota nonprofit called Spare Key, (which we featured earlier this week)  has hired Roerick Sweeney as Director of Crypto currency Development, Markets and Social Engagement.

Spare Key may be the first charity in the nation to hire someone specifically for the purpose of taking advantage of the emerging new crypto currency economy.

“Since late last year Roerick has been providing us with technical advice and assistance, as well as a direct ear to the ground to the crypto currency economy,” said Erich Mische, Executive Director of Spare Key. “Because of his efforts we’ve been able to accept several forms of crypto currency since early 2014, and look to continue to expand our capacity to solicit and accept various forms of crypto currency moving forward.”

Spare Key provides rental and mortgage grant payments to families with critically ill or seriously injured children in the hospital.  Since 1997 the organization has supported nearly 2,200 families in Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin with nearly $2.2 million in housing grant assistance.

Sweeney will begin by expanding Spare Key’s network of potential donors, as well as expanding the platform of the organization’s capacity to secure new forms of crypto currency.

“Ultimately, our goal is to make a seamless commercial transaction between donors that contribute to Spare Key in the form of Bitcoin, Dogecoin, Vertcoin, and many other charity-focused altcoins and then to make rental and mortgage grant payments on behalf of families by using a donor’s preferred crypto coin,” said Sweeney. “It’s pretty exciting to see the culture of crowd sourcing and micropayments applied to the operations of an established non-profit like Spare Key.”

The organization also has a blog dedicated to crypto currency issues at  “This is a brave new world,” Mische. “As early adopters we’re excited to see where this journey leads us.  As a small non-profit we are eager to find creative and innovative new ways to offer portals to supporters to engage with our mission and support our efforts to help families “Bounce and not Break”. This is a bold effort to see where leaning forward on an evolutionary new economic model could well become revolutionary for non-profits across the globe.”

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