8 May: The Webby Awards are the leading international award honoring excellence on the Internet. They were established in 1996 by The International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences. While most of the sites recognized are for-profit businesses, there are categories specifically for nonprofit organizations.
Winning “best nonprofit Web site” were the American Public Broadcasting Service (http://www.pbs.org/) and Historypin (http://www.historypin.com/), an initiative in London with global plans. Historypin – a mapping project that seeks to connect different generations through old photographs – was created by We Are What We Do (http://www.wearewhatwedo.org), a nonprofit effort to designed to make “it easier for people to do small, good things everyday” (read more about their work, which might be categorized as micro-volunteering).
20 February: The Minnesota Association for Volunteer Administration (MAVA) has released its 2011 survey report, “The Status of Minnesota’s Volunteer Programs in a Shifting Environment.” As Minnesota is gradually coming out of the recession, MAVA conducted a follow-up study to its 2009 report on the status of volunteerism and volunteer programs during challenging economic times. In late 2010, 350 leaders of volunteers and nonprofit managers across the state responded to a survey. Six themes emerged in the findings:
23 January: A new national survey released last week by the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project has found that 75% of all American adults are active in some kind of voluntary group or organization and Internet users are more likely than others to be active. “The Social Side of the Internet” reports that 80% of Internet users participate in groups, compared with 56% of non-Internet users. Moreover, social media users are even more likely to be active: 82% of social network users and 85% of Twitter users are group participants.
Breaking the stereotype of loner Web surfers, 80% of Web users surveyed volunteer, vs. 56% of those who don't go online, the report said. It said 85% of Twitter users are active volunteers. Of those respondents active in groups, 48% had a page on a social-networking site, while 30% had their own blog and 16% communicated with other group members via Twitter.
In its weekly Briefing, Youth Service America (www.ysa.org) notes: "Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. devoted his life to the work of building a more just and equal society. While we have made great progress, we still have work to do to realize Dr. King's dream. As Americans, that is a job for all of us – not just on MLK Day but throughout the year. To mark the 25th anniversary of the King holiday, and to encourage ongoing service throughout the year, [the Corporation for National and Community Service] will be launching the MLK 25 Challenge next week. It's a call to all Americans to honor Dr. King by pledging to take at least 25 actions during 2011 to make a difference for others and strengthen our communities. Stay tuned for the launch on www.MLKDay.gov, which will include a list of 100 ways for you to get started!"
9 January: In an impressive show of government communication, the British Cabinet Office has released what is called the “Giving Green Paper” through a Web page that also offers seven accompanying essays solicited to add to the discussion. Go to http://www.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/resource-library/giving-green-paper to download all the items and see for yourself the way they are presented. It is introduced as:
The Giving Green Paper sets out the Government’s initial ideas for building a stronger culture of giving time and money to start a national debate on our society’s attitude to giving. This is not a conventional green paper. We want it to embody a collective approach to building culture change so it is written from a variety of perspectives. In addition to our own proposals and announcements, we have highlighted many ideas from outside of government.
2 January: On December 20th, the Corporation for National and Community Service released “My American Story,” a series of television public service announcements that feature ordinary Americans who are tackling problems in their communities through volunteering. From an Iraqi war veteran who serves with AmeriCorps helping fellow soldiers readjust to civilian life, to an RSVP volunteer who uses his life experience to help youth on probation; the spots show the power of people to improve lives and strengthen communities. Visit Serve.gov to watch the videos (there are also tips to help you get your local television stations to air the PSAs).