The foundation of a successful online communications and fundraising campaign is built upon a well-designed, well-written website and e-newsletter, as well as a clear understanding of how social media has fundamentally changed how organizations engage and inspire supporters and donors.
The content of this webinar is specifically tailored for executive staff in the nonprofit sector, particularly those who may be skeptical or unclear of the value of social media.
The webinar will:
Join us for this FREE webinar on Thursday, 2 May, at 9:00 AM, Singapore time.
This webinar series is being delivered by Heather Mansfield, founder of DIOSA Communications and the NonprofitOrgs Blog, as part of Microsoft Citizenship’s regional Tech4Good programme.
Skype is an amazing technology. Anyone who travels regularly or who has long-distance friends and family and uses Skype to keep in touch understands that regular video chats can erase the miles instantaneously. With more than 245 million users worldwide, Skype is connecting families, business communities and the nonprofit sector in ways that are transforming our relationships, our work days and our ability to foster social good in the world. All that said, nonprofits may not be fully aware of how Skype technology works or how extensive its tool set is.
Heather Mansfield from DIOSA Communications and founder of the NonProfitOrgs Blog shares six ways nonprofits can use Skype to improve communications and fundraising.
1) Free one-on-one video chats or calls.
As long as both parties have installed Skype (for desktop, mobile or TV), a nonprofit can make unlimited video calls. For example, Skype can be used for regular check-ins with staff who work remotely, board members or funders. Nonprofits could also use Skype to interview prospective staff or volunteers. Technically, it's worth noting that the video and audio portion of the chats are streamed through the Internet and thus no phone service is required. Attendees will need video cameras and microphones installed on their computers, mobile devices and Internet TVs to enable video chats, however, video is not required for Skype calls. You could simply have a one-on-one conversation via Skype with cameras tuned off.
2) To make inexpensive international calls.
By purchasing Skype Credits, nonprofits can call any phone number (landline or mobile) in the world at extremely low rates. This is transformational for nonprofits and foundations that work in international development. If Internet access is poor in remote areas making the free Skype video chats or calls difficult, using Skype Credits to call mobile phones and landlines directly keeps the lines of communication open which is especially crucialduring times of crisis.
3) To send inexpensive international text messages.
Many nonprofits - particularly those in developing nations - use text messaging as their primary method of communication, however, texting internationally can very expensive for both parties. By using Skype Credits, nonprofits can send text messages at very low rates to one individual or up to 50. In a perfect world, foundations that make grants internationally would include $250 in funding annually with each grant for Skype Credits and Skype Premium.
4) To host group video meetings.
The free version of Skype enables group calls (no video), but to host group video meetings you must upgrade to Skype Premium. Rates start at $4.99 USD a month and when purchased annually the fees are heavily discounted. Group video meetings can be used for volunteer training, staff meetings, board meetings or to report back to funders. The video service allows up to 10 attendees, while group conference calls with audio only can accommodate up to 25 people. Quite often communications are lacking in the nonprofit sector due to long distances and lack of funding, but Skype Premium is an exceptionally affordable service that can instantaneously improve staff and board relationships and strengthen donor's personal connections to your nonprofit's work and achievements.
5) To present group webinars.
Imagine being able to pitch a foundation for funding from 10,000 miles away. Or share financials and fundraising strategies to board members in real-time no matter where they are located. How about training volunteers on how to be activists for your organization? Skype Premium also enables screen sharing during group video meetings (maximum of 10 attendees).
6) To present tours of your facility to current and prospective funders.
If your nonprofit has a smartphone or tablet, you can easily use Skype to present real-time tours of your office, your facilities and your community. A simple flip of the camera can broadcast live any setting, any picture, any event. You have the technology to transform the way your nonprofit communicates and raises funds literally in the palm of your hand.
Skype makes it easy for your nonprofit to connect with beneficiaries, donors, partners, staff and board members.
This is part of a series of YouthSpark profiles where we highlight young people in Asia who are dedicated to changing the world through technology, and inspiring others along the way.
NAME: JOSHUA SIM TWITTER: @JOSHUASIM1 COUNTRY: SINGAPORE OCCUPATION: STUDENT
BioJoshua Sim excelled in the Imagine Cup 2012 Worldwide Finals, the world’s premier student technology competition, being the only polytechnic student to finish in the top three of the competition. The second-year student at the School of Information Technology, Nanyang Polytechnic (NYP) in Singapore, plans to pursue his interest in cloud computing and use technology innovations to address some of the world’s leading social challenges. Joshua believes in contributing to the community, especially through improving the quality of life for senior citizens, and spends his weekends volunteering at residential homes for the elderly. Most recently, he helped the residents of an elderly care center in Singapore lead a more active lifestyle.
Tell us one exciting thing that you have been working on in the past 3 – 6 months.My friends and I are currently working on a project that manages vehicular traffic for the city. We plan to realize this through IPv6 — the latest version of the Internet Protocol (IP), the primary communications protocol upon which the entire Internet is built. By leveraging the benefits of IPv6, we aim to create applications for real-time analytics and congestion management. We see this as a good opportunity to learn and experience how we could alleviate real world problems through innovation and IT.
What are some of the challenges facing youth today that concern you the most?Young people today often find their sense of creativity stifled, having been burdened with too much stress and academic pressure in their formative years to enjoy their childhood. To me, this is a major concern as I believe that creativity and innovative ideas are essential to the development of new products and services to drive economic advancements.
If you had the ability to create one change in the world, what would that be and how can technology help you achieve this change?I would ensure that there is Internet connectivity available in every home. Studies have shown a strong correlation between Internet access and economic growth, as the Internet not only connects people but is also a great avenue for knowledge and innovation. Overcoming the digital divide around the world would be a positive step for humanity and progress.I aspire to... learn something new every day. With the knowledge gained, I want to help the world progress.
Sarvodaya-Fusion, the information and communication technology (ICT) education arm of nonprofit group Sarvodaya, has been involved in developing and implementing a broad range of educational programmes in disadvantaged communities since 2006. Microsoft Sri Lanka is committed to providing Sarvodaya-Fusion with technical and financial support in aid of their efforts to strengthen community bonds and empower marginalised youth in Sri Lanka through ICT training.
In November 2012, Microsoft supported Sarvodaya-Fusion in the launch of a new programme to train ‘citizen journalists’ to develop news stories and share the information in real time — with the ultimate objective of using technology to facilitate increased transparency and citizen participation at the community level. During the workshop, participants were given the opportunity to receive personal coaching and practical experience in the field of participatory journalism, as well as develop basic photo journalism skills.
The use of ICT as a powerful but affordable means of communication has vastly reshaped the nature of journalism — a good example is how a local citizen journalist is able to conduct interviews and leverage social networks to deliver a piece of news relying solely on a smartphone’s functions. According to Sarvodaya-Fusion, the yardstick of success for this citizen journalism programme would be measured by the stories generated by the trainees, as part of the efforts to build stronger communities.
Udara Dharmasena, a Project Coordinator at Sarvodaya-Fusion, said, “This new service provides an exciting opportunity for young people to actively contribute to society and culture. With the support of Microsoft, we have provided all of the tools needed to record, upload and distribute news in real time, something that has never been possible before.”
Microsoft has also joined forces with Sarvodaya-Fusion to initiate a new ICT training and employment scheme for underprivileged youth in the northern and eastern provinces of Sri Lanka, which were greatly affected by the civil war over the past decades.
Together, Microsoft and Sarvodaya-Fusion aim to provide better access to ICT education to more than 1,400 young people by implementing specialised training schemes at six Sarvodaya centres and more than twenty regional ’telecentres’ across the country. The students, typically between the ages of 14 and 19, will undergo a six-month course and sit for Fusion Education’s Diploma in Computer Application (DICA) qualification, which provides a recognised accreditation in ICT knowledge.
Harsha Liyanage, Sarvodaya-Fusion Managing Director, said, “It has been a wonderful experience to work with Microsoft and offer new training opportunities to young people. The students have been enthusiastic and worked hard throughout and more than deserve the recognition and success that they are now receiving. It has been a privilege for us to be able to assist these communities that have been ravaged by the war and help them to create a sustainable future.”
“It has been a wonderful experience to work with Microsoft and offer new training opportunities to young people.”
- Harsha Liyanage, Managing Director, Sarvodaya-Fusion
For more information, please visit http://fusion.lk
On 1 March, Microsoft Philippines partnered with the Asian Development Bank to host the ADB’s Staff Community Fund NGO partners at an NGO Connection Day in Manila. The event is one of many activities offered through Microsoft’s Tech4Good program for the nonprofit sector, which helps organisations better understand, use and implement technology.
The Asian Development Bank’s Staff Community Fund NGO participants at Microsoft’s NGO Connection Day in Manila
The NGO Connection Day featured Microsoft speakers who delivered presentations on government and civil society, trends in technology, social media, Microsoft resources for the NGO sector as well as training on Windows 8 and the new Office.
The NGOs in attendance were happy to learn about new technology available to them through Microsoft’s software donation programme offered by TechSoup Asia as well as to network with each other. “It’s good to go out and meet other NGOs that share the same advocacy as us,” said Haydee Sofranes, Finance and Administrative Officer, DCHFI – Stepping Stone.
Abegail Canis, Administrative Officer from Kaibigan Ermita Outreach Foundation, added: “Very good event; topics are relevant and speakers are very knowledgeable.”
Participants receiving training on the new Office
Microsoft’s Citizenship team and the ADB’s NGO & Civil Society Center have worked together since 2010 to support NGO capacity building across Asia Pacific, including programmes in the Philippines, Sri Lanka and Vietnam, and have co-presented on the Microsoft/ADB partnership at external events like the CIVICUS WorldAssembly. Microsoft’s NGO partners have featured prominently at the ADB’s Annual Meeting since 2011.
To find out about upcoming NGO Connection Days in your market, subscribe to our Tech4Good e-newsletter here.
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