How to participate
The official start of the program is September 5, 2011 and will end November 11, 2011. You will need to register a blog to participate if you want to be eligible for the prize drawing. If you don't already have a blog, you can choose the blogging platform that best suits you: (Blogger, WordPress, Tumblr). If you need help setting up your first blog, here is a quick Blogger tutorial.
You can register your blog using this form. Each of the ten weeks you will be asked to complete exercises and write a blog post about what you learned. The post can be as long or as short as you want. While not required, you are encouraged to participate in the learning discussion by contributing a comment each week. You can access each week's learning discussion by clicking on the link provided at the end of each week's exercises. Expect to spend about an hour each week completing the week's activities.
Participants are encouraged to complete all the exercises on this list by November 11th in order to qualify for the prize drawing. Winners will be contacted by the end of November. If you’re not interested in registering your blog for the prize drawing but would like to follow along, you can do that as well. You don't have to make an account for each and every tool covered in this learning program, but it might help you get better acquainted with each.
There are three prizes planned for those who qualify for the final drawing:
Grand Prize: Nook Color
Second Prize: Kodak Video Camera
Third Prize: Sylvania MP3 Player
Week 1: Blog platforms and blog search
- Explore blog hosting platforms (Blogger (basics), WordPress (basics), and Tumblr (basics).
- Explore Blog search - Technorati (basics)
- View examples of blog use in philanthropy:
- Chronicle of Philanthropy's Social Philanthropy blog.
- Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's Pioneering Ideas blog.
- Council on Foundations RE: Philanthropy blog.
- On your blog, create a post to answer these questions:
- What are your thoughts on the examples provided and the use of blogs in philanthropy?
- Is your organization making use of a blog? Is it a topic-focused blog or a general blog?
- Minnesota Council on Foundations example.
- What are your thoughts on this tool and how do you think it can be used to improve the field of philanthropy?
- Do you think this tool can help cut down on the number the use of face-to-face convening of grantees? Why or why not?
- Check out YouTube (basics) and Vimeo (basics).
- View examples of how nonprofits make use of these tools.
- Edutopia - using YouTube to highlight what works in education.
- Cystic Fibrosis Foundation (CFF) - using YouTube to share personal stories about their work.
- Knight Foundation (KF) - using Vimeo to share presentations and other knowledge.
- Philanthropy Forum - using YouTube to gather and share meeting lessons.
- What do you think about YouTube and Vimeo? Do you have a preference for one over the other? If so, why?
- What did you think about the examples provided? Did you prefer one organization's use of vlogging over the other? What use resonated with you most?
- Does your organization make use of either of these tools? If so, which style does it follow most (Edutopia, CFF, KF, or the Philanthropy Forum)?
- You can post and share presentations, use Zipcast, create a Slidecast, share documents and videos.
- What do you think about SlideShare? How about Screenr? Does your organization make use of either of these tools?
- What did you like most about the SlideShare foundation examples? Do you think Slidecasts can help foundations improve the sharing of lessons within the field? Why or why not?
- Check out Flickr (basics) and Picasa web albums (basics).
- View examples of how other nonprofits are making use of these tools:
- Case Foundation Flickr account.
- Shell Foundation Flickr account.
- Waco ISD Foundation Picasa web album account.
- Which do you prefer, Flickr or Picasa? Why?
- Does your organization make use of either of these tools? If so, which one? If not, why?
- Check out Twitter (basics, basics infographic).
- Read about the Twitter hashtag.
- View examples of how Twitter is used in philanthropy:
- Council on Foundations Twitter account.
- Chronicle of Philanthropy's Twitter account.
- George Lucas Educational Foundation Twitter account.
- What are your thoughts on Twitter and microblogging? Do you think that Twitter is a useful tool to engage an organization's audience or is it a waste of time?
- Does your organization make use of Twitter? If yes, how has it provided your organization value? If not, in your opinion, what is holding your organization back?
- Check out Delicious (basics), StumbleUpon (basics), and Reddit (basics).
- View examples of how these tools are being made use of by nonprofits.
- One example of Delicious users tagging content from the Kauffman Foundation.
- Example of the Gates Foundation allowing visitors to contribute content to social bookmarking sites (scroll to the bottom of the page).
- With so many foundations focusing so much of their attention on more popular social technology like Facebook and Twitter, why do you think social bookmarking has been left by the wayside?
- How do you think these tools can help provide your organization value?
- Check out LinkedIn (basics) and Facebook (basics).
- Check out the group and page development and management tutorials: Facebook group management and LinkedIn group management. *If this is your first time with either of these sites, check out these tutorials: Facebook tutorial and the LinkedIn tutorial.
- View examples of how these tools are being made use of by nonprofits:
- Linux Foundation LinkedIn Group example.
- Robert Wood Johnson Foundation LinkedIn Group example.
- RWJF Facebook Group example (article).
- In your opinion, which site do you think is more appropriate for foundation use - LinkedIn or Facebook? Why?
- Does your organization make use of the group feature of either of these sites? If so, which one? If not, why not?
- How do you think that these tools can provide value to your organization? For those of you who currently make use of Sharepoint, you probably have to check documents in and out to work on them and verify you are working on the correct draft of the document. Do you think these real-time collaboration document tools can help your organization or do you think they hold no potential for use? Explain why.
- Write a final post on your blog summarizing what you have learned and your thoughts on this program.
- Participate in this week's final learning discussion by leaving a comment here.