Thursday, March 31, 2011

Constant Contact: Miserly or generous?

I recently viewed Constant Contact's program for nonprofits and wasn't very impressed.  To get free service, you must work directly with kids for literacy, arts or education AND be nominated by a current Constant Contact customer.  Otherwise, you can get a "generous" discount: prepay for 6 months and receive a 20% discount or for 1 year and receive a 30% discount. I'm a huge fan of free and feel as though I must ask: why pay for Constant Contact when you can get services for free elsewhere?  If it's the services they provide, think of this: most people don't like getting survey after survey after email ask after email ask.  It really sucks for lack of better terminology. 

Vertical Response: Email Marketing for Nonprofits (and others)

There are so many email marketing services out there: Constant Contact, Mail Chimp, etc.  Why should a nonprofit go with Vertical Response?  Because they have a free program that allows up to 10,000 emails per month and nice discounts on other services (postcards, surveys).  I'm also a fan of their marketing education library, which can be useful too.  A 98% delivery rate isn't bad either. Neither is social media integration. 

Tweetmeme-The tweet aggregator

Tweetmeme has several uses.  You can retweet the most popular tweets, find content, and post content.  How do you post?  Add a button to your site.  Users can comment on stories, tweet story comments, and promote your own original content. 

Twtpoll-Do you wanna take a survey?

I got thrown back to my college years when I first saw this site.  I remember surveying people in person and hating it because of shyness.  Now, I can ask unlimited questions, get 400 responses, get Twitter and Facebook comments and embed a widget on my blog, all for free.  I'm a huge fan of the free and as a casual user, Twtpoll is a great tool.  Even if I were someone who needed more features, a one time fee of $89 max for polls and $249 max for surveys isn't bad. Add branding with your personal Twitter handle and this site is golden. Did I mention it's a one-time fee...FOREVER.  For agencies who manage multiple accounts, $79- $129/month isn't bad.

Twellow-A directory of Twitter profiles

Just got done searching and getting to know Twellow, a Twitter Directory.  It's free to register and you can claim your Twitter profile.  It's great to find people to follow in categories that interest you.  If you're a jobseeker, you can follow companies, consultants, and nonprofits.  If you're a nonprofit, you can get listed in activism, volunteer and other categories.  Looking for venture capital?  Follow some VCs. Find out who's in your Twellohood (people who tweet who are geographically near you).

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Get a new job with Indeed (or search millions)

I'm a huge fan of Indeed.  It's available in 24 languages and 50 countries.  It's free to job seekers, the site crawls and gets information from other job boards and employers can post directly with Indeed. They have an affiliate program if you want to earn money and they're hiring.

Sample search result listing:

Office Assistant

Fuller Theological Seminary - Pasadena, CA
The Office Assistant is responsible for providing clerical support to the Student Financial Services Office and also performs front-desk functions on a fill-in... $10.50 an hour
From Fuller Theological Seminary - 4 days ago - save job - block - email - more...

Branchout: Search your friends' contacts to find a job/customers

This is a great tool for jobseekers and those looking to network. It roots through your friends' information to find out company names and associations.  Most jobs are given through referrals.  BranchOut lets hiring managers and business owners see who to headhunt from friends/contacts and we get to see what companies we wish to join via our friend network.  My favorite part?  The job listings.

Intuit's Go Payment: Is it cooler than Square?

Intuit's Go Payment system has a more difficult sign-up.  I'm not a fan of being told it's going to take me 10 minutes. I'm also not a fan of a processing fee and a transaction fee (even if it is less than $1.00/transaction).  Making me pay a monthly fee if I process over $1000/month?  Really?  C'mon Intuit.  You've gotta do better than that if you want to compete with Square...Yes, the reader is fee, but when you make me pay a monthly fee, transaction fee and processing fee, then I'm not quite as happy.  ESPECIALLY if my phone isn't supported. Give me a mobile credit card processing that is quick, easy, low cost, with a free device and I'm happy.  Nickel and dime me, and I can't give a full thumbs up.  Nonprofits: stick with Square. Create your own mobile newspaper

Turn your social media stream into a newspaper.  Use to pull the posts from the people/businesses you follow and store them for up to 24 hours in a newspaper type format on your phone.  No more keeping up with Twitter by constantly checking the stream.  I love the idea of settling down with my caffeine free tea, my mobile phone and enjoying my voyeur-like tendencies at the end of a busy day.

Square Up and Pay Up

Oh yeah, it's hip to be square again.  Square is a company started by one of the co-founders of Twitter.  Attach a small device to your mobile phone and swipe a credit card to receive payment for services anywhere. This is a great device for those who make house calls, when hosting a table in public, or to get donations while out (listen up nonprofits).  In fact, if you sign up, you get a free card reader in the mail. The only fee? A 2.75% processing fee.  I like that they try to check a person's identity before allowing the person to receive payments, they text an app download reminder to begin use. The best way to shorten a link

Wow.  I just shrunk (from to on, effectively giving myself more characters for Twitter writing.  While I like that they have an open API, I'm not a fan of having to use captcha every time I want to shorten a link.  The only way around that is to sign up for their service.  If you're like me and you are commitment-shy, this isn't the site for you.  However, if you want really short links and want to keep track of analytics, then maybe we can get over our fear of commitment together...Don't want to give up information...then sign in using Twitter. is the platform used by Hootsuite. Where'd all the letters go?

Nemo eats them. I use to shorten and keep track of my links.  I love's quick, easy to use and best of all, FREE.  They have an open API and if you want, you can always upgrade to a premium plan (no thanks says the cheap bird here).  How to use it: paste a link into the box.  Ex:

Press shorten and Nemo gets to work. He leaves us with  Now, you don't have to worry about that 140 character limit on Twitter.

Does anyone else find it funny that a company with a fish as a logo began at a place called Betaworks?

ps, I call the fish "Nemo"...I don't know his real name. Having been born too late for the telegram, this will definitely do

Are you like me and wish you lived in during the olden days/days of yesteryear, just to receive a telegram?  Well, now you can get one via your smartphone.  Ok...via an iPhone.  You can share photos to Facebook, Flickr, Twitter and check-in to Foursquare with this app. features 11 filters, including color, tonality, border, and mood.  With an open API for developers, it's a definite "win".

CNET: Is it still relevant?

Yes...but really only because of the downloads and video.  In the software section, one can read reviews, find applications of choice and search according to price (free, free trial, purchase and update). I prefer the layout on Retrevo, but cross check with CNET for directions on how to use a product and the buying guide for each category. It's good to know what to look for in a product and what the reviews actually mean, right?  Besides, how can you dislike a site that calls certain products, "sexy"?

Retrevo: CNET without the downloads

Looking for a camera, TV, computer or other electronic device? Well, look no further.  Stop by Retrevo for their product reviews.  Each review shows a product relevance meter (new, reaching prime, over the hill, ready for retirement), a value ratio with a value map and you can read expert reviews of the product.  Think of this as a cooler CNET, but without the software downloads.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Storify: unleasing the storyteller in all of us

Use Storify to collect social media stories from around the web.  Compile them and turn them into one big story that uses embedded links to post online. Right now, potential users have to request an invite.  Totally worth it.  Storify can be used in Mailchimp, Tumblr, Posterous and WordPress. the service that leaves me speechless

That's hard to do and it's why won my respect.  Connecting visuals (videos, pictures) and audio to Twitter and other sites embedded in URLs was a winning idea and I'm glad someone acted on it. It includes an API, analytics, and is relatively inexpensive ($20/month with a 50,0000 URL ceiling).

MailChimp: Reliving my youth through email

The Mailchimp logo looks like a cousin of Curious George.  I fell in love instantly.  Not only can I use it for free to create mailing lists of under 2,000 people and 12,000 emails/month, but the emails can include co-branding, social stats, facebook integration, templates and more.  It's also Storify friendly. This is perfect for enterepreneurs, startups and small nonprofits.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Freecycle---the originator

Freecycle: How Do I love Thee, Let Me Count the Ways:

1. Free
2. Local
3. Free
4. Where else can I get a free stove, groupon that expires tonight (since I didn't have a stove), cell phone charger, lemon tree, clothes, books, DVD, carpeting, AND scissors?
5.  Can be used within my worksite so I can give and get items from co-workers
6. I'm going green
7. You're finally outta Yahoo! Groups
8. I can get stuff for my favorite nonprofit or school's classroom
9. You kick people out for trying to sell and warn us from posting our newly acquired goodies on Ebay (shame on those who do!)
10. Did I mention free?
11. You're always looking for moderators (newly acquired job skill)

Swap, Have Fun and Save the Environment

Any site that's helped reduce our carbon footprint by 10.7 million pounds is great in my book. lets people hold swaps online and hold them offline too.  You can swap for yourself, for your school or for your favorite cause.  They have an iPhone app coming soon (this Android user will have to wait). Each swap is $0.50 to $1.00 plus the cost of shipping if handled online (price includes delivery confirmation). I can't fault them for that because they deserve to make money.  It's a social enterprise built on a great idea. Heck, they even give advice on how to swap safely.  I'm a fan of their Swap4Schools program, where school employees can create classroom wishlists.

SwapTreasures: Barter, Trade, Swap

I love a site that runs a contest and Swap Treasures runs a $25 monthly giveaway.  Don't's half a tank of gas! Register for free, gain access to the items and services you want.  It's a fairly new site and so I'm giving it time to grow before I make a final decision. Downside: they don't give as much information up front as other sites.

U-Exchange: Sway just about anything

You can search for items around the world using U-Exchange. They're up front about spotlight advertising by businesses, which is a plus in my book.  It helps keep the site free. I like that my email isn't available and that we have to use verification codes to post/send email.  People have pretty neat items they want to get rid of and I don't have to pay to browse listings (window shop before you ask for items). People even trade services. 

IDA: Get rewarded for saving

IDA (Individual Development Account) is a program run by the US Dept of Health and Human Services.  It helps people save money by rewarding them with money for saving. To find a grantee/program office near you, click here. Warning: must be employed and 200% below federal poverty level.

Swap Mamas

I love the idea behind Swap Mamas: give/swap your children's items and save money.  It's also green:).  I'm not a fan of the giver paying shipping, even though I understand it makes everything totally free.  They have a great online community that can be taken offline too. Plus, I give props to anyone who was laid off that creates something that does good for others.

How Microsoft is helping families get safe online

Get Game Smart uses quizzes, videos and articles to help parents teach their kids about internet and gaming safety. They explain the game rating system, parental controls and more.  I like it when a company exhibits corporate responsibility and takes a proactive step against the exploitation of children.

Kodu and a contest for kids from Microsoft

Have you heard of Kodu?  If not, then you will shortly. It's a programming language designed to help kids learn how to create games.  Currently, Microsoft is running a contest for kids ages 9-17 ( and teens). Games created using Kodu run on the Xbox. By entering the contest, kids can win Microsoft Office 2010. If they win the grand prize, they can win $5000 for themselves and their school.

If you pay for gas, then is definitely a must use site.  If you have a smartphone, then download the app. is a community of people who update each other (and us) on gas prices throughout the Canada and the US.  Answer trivia, earn prizes, calculate the cost of a trip and get updates. 

Next Digest

From Tech Jobs to startup news, NextDigest sends readers weekly reading lists with uberhelpful articles, like the best social marketing sites.  I'm subscribed to each list.  Who are the curators?  Marketers for venture firms, successful entrepreneurs, and a TEDx Curator. 

Profounder: Help raising and managing investors

They're on tour!  I've always wanted to say that about a company.  Profounder helps startups by creating a pitch, offering investment terms, inviting investors, creating a funding page, informing investors of quarterly reports, etc.  How's it different from Kickstarter and IndieGoGo? Investors are just that.  They own a part of the company and aren't giving money in exchange for swag.

Wicked Start--Ready for your start-up co-pilot?

A site that helps start-ups for free?  Management tools, a roadmap, a supportive online community, file manager and progress tracker are all offered here. Their FAQs are pretty good and concise.  They deal with common start-up questions rather than Wicked Start questions.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

SwipeGood-doing good deeds with your credit card

How many of us use a credit card?  Too many to count, right?  Well, now you can do even more good with it.  You've got it signed up with eScrip, you're giving money away with Members Project, now you can round up your purchase amount and do even more.  SwipeGood lets people donate to nonprofit organizations by giving their change.  Make a $5.37 purchase at your favorite location and it gets rounded to $6.00.  Of that amount, $0.63 goes to your favorite charity.  

Mini-Donations-The big don't

I was all gung-ho about this site until I read the fine print.  A nonprofit that donates to other nonprofits?  Woohoo?  Right?  NO.  In order to get their platform off the ground, they were willing to sell email addresses and contact information to investors.  When that plan didn't work, they decided to become a nonprofit.  How do I know this?  They posted it on their blog.  Instead, I'm spending my time on SwipeGood.   I'm also writing a "Shame On You" about the Austin Community Foundation.  They should know that approving an organization that was willing to sell off donor info to the highest bidders may not have been a wise choice...especially if said organization posts that on their site.  Who knows..minidonations may take off...but not with my purchases and hopefully not with yours.

The full text of the article:

"Recently, Ambassador Sada Cumber and I had an incredibly engaging and thought-provoking conversation. In the course of our discussion, we developed an intriguing fundraising approach.
First of all, if you don’t know it already, MiniDonations is not your “typical” non-profit. Its purposefully designed around making money and self-sufficiency with a heart for pure altruism. It’s a disservice to organizations like us – and there are several – to label them “non-profit” or “not-for-profit.” I’d much rather we rally around a different term: “Social Benefit Organization” (SBO). But that’s another conversation…
As you may know, equity is typically exchanged when a for-profit raises capital. That equity may later convert into dividends or be worth cash in IPO or M&A events. Of course, non-profits are forbidden from giving equity away.
One of our founding principles involved sharing a portion of our profits with members of the MiniDonations Social Network. For the sake of explanation, imagine a 50-50 split where 50% goes to MiniDonations’ Endowment and 50% distributed amongst our Social Networking Community.
To attract large, early-stage donors, we simply need to tweak our “profit sharing” strategy a bit and employ an Endowment/Donor Community/Change Agent (or “Seed” Donor) split of, say, 50/40/10.
Turning a $100,000 profit would mean $50,000 would go into our endowment, $40,000 into the MiniDonations Social Network (as thanks to our Donor Community) and $10,000 among our Change Agents (as thanks for their “seed stage” donations). In all cases, profits allocated to the Donor Community and Change Agents would be deposited into their respective MiniDonations Donor Accounts. By keeping community profit sharing within MiniDonations, we comply with IRS regulations and, more importantly, encourage continued use of our giving management tools and social networking environment.
“Change Agents” would equally share the total profits allocated to their level. For example:
Donation LevelAmountProfit Share
Founding Change Agent$250,0004%
Platinum Change Agent$100,0003%
Gold Change Agent$50,0002%
Bronze Change Agent$25,0001%

I love this idea because it marries the profit sharing aspect of the for-profit world into ours. However, the ultimate beneficiaries are not investors but charities. Our success allows our donation community to give even more to their favorite causes: think “Pay it Forward.” This could not only get philanthropists, foundations and corporations excited when funding us but might also appeal an unlikely crew as well: VCs and Angel Investors." 

That didn't sound bad until the response by the CEO to someone's comment was:

"ramileo 06. Feb, 2010 at 1:03 pm #
Great feedback! Thanks!
First of all, our foundation will have no problem meeting the 5% requirement. The vast majority of money sitting in our foundation will be from donors like you and me. That money is intended to be given away to non-profits every quarter.
Regarding the for-profit/non-profit/hybrid model, we’ve gone down these routes already. As a for-profit, the most significant roadblock we faced was our integration partners’ perception that we were competition.
Essentially, by partnering with us, they were agreeing to send us their most precious asset – their customer – with whom we could do whatever we pleased (i.e. route them to other competitors, send them targeted e-mails, etc.). Initial discussions with integration partners went nowhere. Yet, the moment we converted MiniDonations into a non-profit, their adversity to us changed. They were no longer afraid of us. Our conversion conveyed the message, “We are a truly altruistic organization” without us uttering a single word. Discussions became fruitful and centered around social good and partnerships to create new, vast revenue stream for non-profits.
Restructuring ourselves as a non-profit also meant we didn’t have to answer to investors. While we will always answer to anyone funding us and must meet and exceed our goals with them, the reason for our existence is not monetary ROI to our investors, but social change ROI.
Requiring to return profits to our investors would have meant our “social organization” could become selfish. We had enough stressors executing our mission much less worrying about returning significant gains to investors.
That’s not to say that, as a Social Benefit Organization (non-profit), we wouldn’t be in similar shoes. Yet, those who support our mission will know that their investment in us will help keep operations afloat and allow people’s donations to continue flowing to community chosen charities." at its best asks a few basic questions: What's your favorite cause and in what areas can you help?  You're then sent to project pages of nonprofits that have specific questions.  A hospital in one of the M states needed help with getting people to interact on their Facebook page.  They weren't asking for "likes" and you don't have to "like" them to see the page.  Those who answered gave constructive criticism with 5 star advice.  Another organization asked for people to peruse their blog and give them feedback (on about their posting, layout, etc. Who doesn't like 5 minute volunteering or an open API?   

Flip Video--Ever wanted to design the camera casing?

Flip Video sells camcorders created by Cisco that are pretty cute.  They're small, plug into the computer without a cord and are being given away to nonprofits.  They're perfect for shooting videos for YouTube or photos to appear on Crowdrise.  Best of all, buy one and get one free as a nonprofit.  The design part?  If your organization (or an individual on behalf of an organization) can create a cool design, it will be imprinted on cameras that are sold in their online store. Did I mention that they're rated a "Good Buy for Everyone" on Retrevo?  Well, some of the models are anyway....not all.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Biz Spark-What made me fall for Microsoft all over again

Ok, so I don't like every product, but Microsoft BizSpark is a program that Microsoft got right.  They help tech startups within the first 3 years of operation.  The startup gets free professional software from Microsoft, the chance to be a Start Up of the Day (wide exposure over Facebook, Twitter and more), access to capital, access to experts, student help and other great features.  Not interested in being an entrepreneur? That's can find talent here too.  They have a DreamSpark program for students and another program for those interested in web development. 

Foursquare-Don't underestimate its power

An article in Fast Company sums up the power of Foursquare really well.  This BizSpark company grew into over 15 million venues via check-in over the past couple of years.  Yes, it's great for businesses, people love badges (it's the only time I'd ever consider being Mayor), and more nonprofits are using it for fundraising.  Businesses without physical locations don't have to worry.  Now Foursquare is manually creating Pages just for you...want your own badge? Come up with a campaign that's super compelling and you Foursquare will create one for you.

DoGooder, You Tube and the NonProfit Video Awards

Do a good deed, make an awesome video, get votes and win big on YouTube for your favorite cause/nonprofit.  While you're there, sign up for the Daily DoGooder email to learn about what other people and nonprofits are doing. 


Sign up for the Animoto nonprofit program to get professional tools for free.  Make a video from your event photos, ad music and wording and voila, a video ready for YouTube is born.  Animoto even provides music.  Y

You Tube

24 hours of America's Funniest Home Videos, informercials, music videos and more.  I use YouTube to learn how to use applications, software, listen to music, and even watch a dog use a remote to turn the TV channel.  Nonprofits should be using it to showcase their good deeds, learn about technology and share videos about their cause and work.  I love YouTube's Nonprofit Channel and Do Gooder Awards (recently DoGooder (See3 Communications) also sends out daily emails highlighting worthy nonprofits using technology the right way).  If you only have pictures, don't worry...Animoto allows people and businesses to turn their photos into videos for posting online.

Ignore this

RKYGM6SDVFUK...The things I 'll do for a claim.

Meet Katie

Katie is the person Love Drop is helping this month.  Katie is a single mother with pituitary cancer, hydrocephalus and an enlarged right ventricle.  Love drop wants to help make a dent in her medical bills and bring friends to her.

To help, please click here. To watch an inspirational quote from Katie, watch the video below.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Cause Marketing Forum

The big prize from Cause Marketing Forum and AOL 365: One (1) Grand Prize Winner will receive the opportunity to have their organization’s message featured on the home page of AOL for up to 24 consecutive hours on a date to be determined by Sponsors between June 3, 2011 and December 31, 2011 (approximate retail value $60,000). 

What you have to do: 1) A short essay on how your cause-related initiative would leverage this exposure

2) The power of the three lines of copy and image you submit.

End date: April 15th (tax day). 

Start date: March 8th


AOL 365

I can't wait until April (and not just because of my birthday).  AOL 365 launches.  This initiative gives nonprofits exposure on the front page (top right corner) of AOL's site.  How do you get on the homepage?  Through contests.  They're highlighting one nonprofit/day for a year.

Salute to Service

This site, presented by Causecast highlights organizations that help veterans.  It launched in time for Veteran's Day 2010.  Salute to Service organizations are veteran organizations on the Causecast website.


CauseCast helps nonprofits market online via platforms and apps.  The nonprofits are vetted through their CauseCast (nonprofit) site.  Through the nonprofit site, one can look for volunteer opportunites and ways to donate.  Nonprofits that are willing to give financial information (990s) can apply to join.  CauseCast has a partnership with HuffingtonPost. PS...they're hiring and looking for interns in Culver City, CA.

CTK Foundation Heart and Soul 2011 Grant

This grant rewards the nonprofits with the ability to put their mission and work into a poem.  Contest ends March 28, 2011

HuffingtonPost Impact

Now that it belongs to AOL and has a Twitter exec in charge of social impact, the Huffington Post has a new channel.  Using CauseCast and Causecast nonprofits, they're highlighting good deeds around the country and nonprofits that are helping people, the environment and animals. 

Citizen IBM

You can follow them at Twitter (@citizenIBM), Facebook, and YouTube (citizenIBM).  IBM's employees are using their considerable tech knowledge to solve problems around the world for nonprofits and others.  They're using video, social media and challenges to inspire themselves and others to help the world.  You can also find and read their blog.

My Impact

Why do I love my impact? Let me count the ways:

1. I can log my volunteer hours
2. I can log my donations
3. I can log what I did while volunteering
4. I can ask others to help a worthy nonprofit
5. It got a shout out from Create the Good. 

Did I mention that it just surpassed 600 members?  It's small and growing.  That means that for nonprofits, one can get found easier.  It's also pretty easy to place a nonprofit on the site. 

Salesforce Foundation

The Salesforce Foundation gives away 1% of the products, time and money of Salesforce.  What is Salesforce? It's open source and allows businesses to manage contacts.  Nonprofits can manage mailing lists, donor contact lists, grant lists, track funding and so much more.  If you aren't chosen to receive Salesforce for free, as a nonprofit you can continuously renew your 30 day trial for free (don't say it). It more than rivals Constant Contact and has great support.   


There's something about a social enterprise that features causes on Twitter and Facebook that makes my heart smile.  Twibbon allows individuals, businesses and nonprofit organizations raise awareness for causes that are close to them.  The Twibbon weaves together a community of people using social media.  You can also raise awareness about political issues, brands, entertainment, etc.  There are 5 categories from which users can choose. I like that I can upload an image for my Twibbon or use one from Google (you have to try it out).  I can also edit the campaign and for $99 I can customize it.  For as low as $19.99, I can get it featured to where 15,000 people will see it (they have packages). If I were using this site for a nonprofit, a customized campaign may be worth it, but I'd probably use Salesforce Foundation's software to let current supporters know to support us here too. 

Love Drop

Help Attack!  Love Drop...who comes up with the names?  I love it.  Love Drop helps people in need.  Each month they highlight someone in need.  You'll see a YouTube video and paragraph description.  Plus for the people who can't afford it, paying $1/month ($12/year) to help people in need is pretty nice.  As a blogger, I can't wait to help them spread the word (and the help).  Seriously, bloggers: click on blogs.  Once a month blog about someone in need.  You can give a gift (besides money) to recipients once or monthly.  They also need help "on the street" if you've ever wanted to be a Santa Ninja (my phrasing, not theirs) then volunteer to help. 

Help Attack!

This online fundraising site was just named as a Top 12 Site on Mashable.  I love it.  I can make a small pledge and make a donation.  All I have to do is tweet or post on Facebook.  The number of posts are counted and the amount I owe is charged to my credit card.  I'm a lazy donor.  I admit it.  I don't like having to remember to donate or to keep making purchases. If I can do what I normally do and make a difference, then I'm happy.  Plus, how can you not like a site called Help Attack!?  Money raised goes to nonprofits and to people in need.

One Percent Foundation

Ever wanted to be a philanthropist but didn't have millions of dollars?  Here's your chance.  One Percent Foundation is a giving circle.  Members pledge 1% of their salary each month and the money then goes to nonprofits of the group's choice.  Don't know what 1% is of your monthly salary?  Don't worry.  They have a calculator to help you.  Someone who makes $40,000/year will give less than $40/month (perhaps they take into account taxes?).  For March Madness, they got creative and are having a Tourney Contest.  A $10 pledge lets you nominate a nonprofit and enter their tourney.  The tourney winners receive the ability to donate the pot to the nonprofit(s) of their choice.  Hurry...You have until March 17th to enter!

I don't know if I'd call FORA a rival for TED or a siblilng.  It's the site that makes my brain smile and where I'm always in my happy place.  You can watch lectures from renowned speakers,techies, filmmakers, educators, foreign leaders, and authors.  The best description is NPR meets TED.  Sometimes I don't agree with what's said, but it's said in an intellectual, researched way and I can respect that.


Odesk is one of my favorite sites for freelancers.  I know there's Guru, a similar site.  However, I like the insurance plans at Odesk.  There's something about being able to get into a group insurance plan that this freelancer likes.  Don't let the online environment scare you.  Yes, you have to interview for some of the jobs.  But, there's a job tracker, money is paid in advance to Odesk for certain jobs, there's a time tracker utility to make sure that you get paid (or that your contractor is working).  It's great for writers, designers, developers, editors, etc.  If you've ever wanted to be a virtual assistant, you can give it a try here too. 

Blog Grader

Don't judge me yet.  I just started.  Blog Grader judges blogs for content, relevance and followers.  It's like Google Analytics, but solely for blogs.  Their company also makes Twitter Grader, a rival to Twitalyzer. How relevant are you?  

Blog Talk Radio

I like that I get to hear interviews and shows from people in different fields.  On BlogTalkRadio, you can listen to an author chat then move on to listening to tips from your favorite broker.  When finished, you can hear a comedy show, watch an interview and create your own show for free.  Shows are archived and we can all sign up for CinchCast, their microblogging site (think a more newsy Twitter). Cinchcast users can use their smartphones and upload videos, pictures and text. We all can be citizen journalists using this site.

Sunday, March 13, 2011


I'm getting it out of the way.  I love the MaZuck (Mark Zuckerberg).  I don't read that very often.  He's loyal (fired Sean Parker but "partnered" with Causes) and brilliant. I love a site where I can rent movies (thank you Warner Bros), learn (TED, almost every magazine, nonprofit and consultant under the sun), "like" myself, and interact with people from around the world.  I can fundraise (causes, pepsi, members project, toyota, chase, etc), gain supporters/volunteers and so much more just by spending a little bit of time every day (or once a month). The world really is a more social place...I can even RSVP for offline events and schedule appointments thanks to the Schedulicity FB app.  When I can read entire books (maybe a partnership with Borders is in order), I'll have hit my online heaven.   The power of Facebook is endless, especially for those who are savvy.


Who doesn't want expert advice from the founder of  From their own words (I couldn't say it any better), "Sprouter is the place to get answers from renowned entrepreneurs, active investors, and experts in small business topics including law, SEO, and marketing."  Ask questions, attend events, vote, share, comment, browse experts, get news and enjoy a hub of your own.  Did I mention you get all this for FREE?


Schedulicity is by far one of my new favorite sites and services.  Schedule an appointment online with your favorite hair dresser, salon (new partnership with L'Oreal), personal trainer, realtor, or consultant.  You can book online or call for an appointment.  It's free to clients and businesses pay under $20/month for a basic service.  I can't wait to see what other features they roll out next. 

Inc Magazine

What's so great about Inc Magazine is that you can find it offline too.  They're best at blog articles regarding web applications that help make business operations easier and marketing easier.  I'm a Twitter follower and a fan on Facebook. This magazine is created especially for the entrepreneur.  However, nonprofits should follow this site too.


I can't say enough good things about Mashable.  I'm a fan on Facebook and follow most of their channels on Twitter.  I learn about all the hot new social media sites, mobile apps (Grouped In anyone?), SXSW, technology in education (so great!),  technology for good, startups, web apps (Schedulicity is a new favorite) and so much more.  I swear they're responsible for most apps on my phone and making my life much easier and much more organized.  I also love their articles that are specifically written for marketing and businesses.  Very readable and entertaining.


I go to slideshare to learn from top nonprofit organizations like AARP, from Dell, and from other businesses and people who have held webinars.  It's a great information social sharing site.  I can learn about social media strategies, the best ways to fundraise, donation trends, and share that information via twitter, my blog, Facebook or email. 


What can I say about Twitalyzer? It's an amazing site.  You can find out your Twitter impact or the impact of your favorite users.  Your clout, lists, followers, followings, signal, generosity, velocity, engagement, influence and impact are all analyzed.  For a complete list of how they score a user, along with an explanation, click here.  Plus, they have a discount program for nonprofits if you want to use one of their paid plans.  The average user doesn't need a paid plan though.

Urban Daddy

Urban Daddy is my guilty pleasure.  When I want to learn about bacon delivery (yes, there's a company that delivers bacon to your door), cigar rooms (I don't smoke them, but there's something cool about a cigar box), or a billionaire's hacienda vacation spot in Costa Rica that I can't afford, I go here.  Although...maybe if I invite 20 of my closest friends I can go there some day.  I also love their contests...who doesn't want to jet off with a star, golf with a billionaire (stock tips from Warren Buffet), etc. 

Trend Hunter Magazine

This is my joyful spot.  I can read articles here all day long.  I learn about fashion trends, technology trends, art trends, business, social media trends, etc.  I can post a trend and review a trend.  As a company, one can post too. I'm a huge fan of sneak peaks :)  I can't say enough good things about Trend Hunter.  Just make sure you have ample time when you decide to look.

100 Cars for Good

This program by Toyota gives away 100 cars to 100 worthy nonprofit organizations.  The contest started March 7th and the application deadline is March 30th or after they receive 5000 applications, whichever comes first.  By April, the 500 finalists will be announced and in May, public voting begins.  If you know a worthy nonprofit, send them to 100 Cars For Good.