In Foundations

Micronews on philanthropy.

Connecting Online Play To Philanthropy

From the Columbus Dispatch:

Like dozens of other online virtual worlds for kids, Elf Island offers games; earned points to accessorize users’ customized elfin avatars (complete with hair, clothing and facial features); and the ability to safely chat with players from around the globe.

But Elf Island players also solve mazes, tend to virtual gardens and race vehicles in diversions that might look like other online games but also achieve a real-life result when thousands of players successfully finish them.

For example, when 10,000 Elf Island users completed last month’s home-building GoodQuest game, the outcome was a $20,000 donation to Habitat for Humanity that allowed the nonprofit group to build a real house for a family in Central America.

Full article here.

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Filed under: giving, innovation, youth

Foundation Program Officers Like Venture Capitalists?

By Sasha Dichter of the Acumen Fund:

One of the big unanswered questions in the nonprofit space is how new, innovative, effective nonprofits can raise enough capital to grow big and expand their impact.  At the core of the conversation is the fact that, unlike in for-profit markets, there’s no clear and established way for nonprofits to raise money around a great idea and a great team.

The ideal proxy, in my opinion, is the venture capital business. . . .

[T]here are a number of features of the venture investing world that will be very unfamiliar to the nonprofit space, and we would have to figure out how to tackle these if we expect to make progress:

  1. Acceptance of failure. . . .
  2. Betting on people and teams first. . . . 
  3. Clear path to exit. . . . 
  4. Aligned incentives between the venture investor and the entrepreneur. . . .
  5. We’re in this together. . . .

Full article here.

Follow-up article at Tactical Philanthropy here.

Filed under: giving, innovation

How: 40 Days to $1.2M Using Internet Video

From Chris Condayan at Chocolate City Media:

Back in June of 2008, the Kristin Brooks Hope Center was desperately in need of money. They had 40 days to pay a $46,000 termination fee with their phone carrier that supported their 1-800-SUICIDE number, the nation’s most popular suicide prevention hot line. Without this money the line would go dark, leaving thousands without access to help and hope.

After several phone conversations with KBHC, we decided we would produce a video that would raise awareness of this dire situation, explain why KBHC was in debt to the phone carrier, and highlight the public need for the hot line.

. . .

After 40 days, and all was said and done, we raised $1.2 million in cash and pledged commitments, recruited more than 400 hot line volunteers, and reinvigorated the spirit of KBHC. Woot!

Full article here.

Via @csuspect.

Filed under: innovation