Foundation Friday: More corporate giving, and synchronicity

The Nonprofiteer, being something of a technophobe, thinks that reports of the value of social networking sites have been widely exaggerated; but this is very much a minority view, as demonstrated in yesterday’s virtually simultaneous announcements that YouTube and Facebook will now offer systems for facilitating their users’ donations to charity.  The theory, of course, here as in every other aspect of social networking, is that millions of tiny transactions will add up to something very big, in this case a significant source of additional support for beneficiary charities.  We shall see; it’s a noble effort, in any case.  Thanks to readers Robert Tolmach at and Morgan Seal of Allison PR for bringing these to our attention:

. . . . Every day,
thousands and thousands of facebook™ members spend real money sending $1 virtual
gifts to one another: a picture of a balloon, a coffee cup, or whatever. It’s a
nice way to show your love.

Now, there’s
an exciting new alternative: you can show your love and make the world a better
place. $1 gifts from ChangingThePresent
on facebook are actually donations, and the pictures your friends receive show
what you did in their names to make a difference. . . . More than a thousand inspiring donation gifts
cover a full range of causes, so you’re sure to find something that moves you
and your friends.

Imagine the
impact we can make together as this type of meaningful gift becomes a social

Please add the
app to your facebook™ profile so your friends learn about it and know you would
welcome a meaningful gift. Ask them to
do the same. Send the gifts to your
friends. . . .

And from YouTube via the Clinton Global Initiative:

Organizations Can Now
Apply for a Designated Nonprofit Channel and Collect Donations Through Google
Checkout for Non-Profits

. . . .Today at the Clinton Global Initiative, YouTube
announced the YouTube Nonprofit Program, a way to make it even easier for people
to find, watch and engage with nonprofit video content on the

2007/2008 Clinton Global Initiative commitment enables nonprofit organizations
(in the U.S. those with 501c3 tax filing status) that register for the program
to receive a free nonprofit specific YouTube channel where they can upload
footage of their work, public service announcements, calls to action and more.
The channel will also allow them to collect donations with no processing costs
using the newly launched Google Checkout for Non-Profits….

participants will

•    A
premium channel on YouTube that serves as a nonprofit’s hub for their uploaded
videos. . . .

•   Designation as a "Nonprofit" on YouTube that clearly
identifies organizations as a nonprofit for YouTube

•    The ability to
embed a Google Checkout donation button on their channel and video watch pages,
allowing people to quickly and securely make a contribution directly from
YouTube. Starting today, nonprofits who offer Google Checkout for Non-Profits as
a donation option — whether through YouTube or on their own sites — will
receive 100 percent of donated funds, as Google has committed to processing all
donations for free through at least the end of 2008.

•     In the coming
months, nonprofit channels will have a centralized area on YouTube* . . . . 

Nonprofits can apply for a nonprofit channel type by
going to and filling out
a short application, which will be processed by our grants team.


*Nonprofiteer question: Does this mean "We’ll stick nonprofits in their own ghetto on the site where people can more readily ignore them"?


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2 Responses to “Foundation Friday: More corporate giving, and synchronicity”

  1. russburke Says:

    Dear Nonprofiteer:

    Another classic post that holds out one hand and shakes a finger at us with the other. Caution is indeed advised in this new world.

    On I’ve cited your post and commented:
    Nonprofits will have to exercise care that their utilization and investment in these donation pathways allows for, by design, the additional gathering and cultivation opportunities that can feed into more personalized, directed cultivation and stewardship. Failure to do so will mean that initial interest will lie uncultured, uneducated and, eventually, lapsed.

    We are just at the beginning of this evolution….and the thing about evolution is that it is amoral.

    Good luck to us all.

  2. Bill Dalton Says:

    Dear Nonprofiteer-

    So now you’re in the “Dear Abby” role!

    Well , I think you handle it well.
    I.e., I REALLY liked your response to “Withering.”
    Sometimes when the staff/ E.D. of a non-profit is somehow immune to the ‘bite on the butt,’ we need to try your kind of “Creme Pie in the face!”

    And thanks for the specific info re. the burgeoning potential for on-line donating.
    I’m passing it on to a few of my big-hearted n-p colleagues who might find ways to tap this new resource.

    Have a Good Day!

    Bill D.
    Salem, Oregon

    P.S: Try not to be quite so cynical.
    This whole ‘thing/ world’ we’re in makes little sense (Someone asked at a meeting last night “How many
    minutes of the Iraq War would it take to fund our entire levy request ..??”.).
    But your kind of energy/ ideas/ perspectives/ Support — especially when shared — DOES make a
    positive difference (Even if at the time it sometimes seems it’s just providing another thin cotton blanket
    for the ‘orphans’ in our corner of the basement … . 🙂

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