Social Networks for Doing Good

    by David Sasaki
    February 25, 2009

    At Rising Voices we are getting ready to announce the newest grantee projects. We received over 270 proposals from non-profits, NGOs, and activists from around the world who want to use citizen media tools to bring new and under-represented voices to the conversational web.

    In addition to seeking small amounts of funding for digital cameras, internet access, and related workshop costs, many of the proposals we received also expressed a desire to connect with like-minded groups, reach new funders, and spread information about the work they are doing. Fortunately, a number of social and project-based networking platforms have arisen over the past few years to help NGO’s and activists connect with one another, collaborate, and meet funders and volunteers to help carry projects forward and spread awareness about their objectives and achievements.

    • Nabuur | The Globakl Neighbour Network

      “Nabuur.com is an online volunteering platform that links Neighbours (online volunteers) with Villages (local communities) in Africa, Asia and Latin America. Connected through Nabuur.com, Neighbours and local communities learn about each other, share ideas and find solutions to local issues. Everybody has something to offer, and everything is done online.”

    • TakingITGlobal – Inspire. Inform. Involve.

      “TakingITGlobal.org is the social network that connects you to the global issues that affect us all.”

    • BiD Network Foundation

      “The BiD Network sources and selects business plans of small and medium sized enterprises in emerging markets. BiD Network offers tools to the best entrepreneurs, paving the way for them to access finance. The BiD Network Foundation offers investor matchmaking services, runs the business plan competition; the BiD Challenge, from ten countries and operates this online business community website: www.bidnetwork.org.”

    • GiveMeaning – online donation, online fundraising, and creative fundraising ideas

      “GiveMeaning.com is an online fundraising site emphasizing creative fundraising ideas and other unique forms of charity donation.”

    • Amazee | Amazee is social collaboration

      “Do you have goals that require the attention and commitment of more people than just yourself? Then Amazee is the place for you to be. Amazee is a free platform that allows you to share your goals and gives you the tools to connect with like-minded people to run and promote projects. Whatever your goals are, publicize and pursue them on Amazee! Whether you’d like to assemble a multinational football team or set up a massive number of broadband connections in remote towns in Africa, Amazee is easy to use and growing fast.”

    • United Nations Volunteers | Online Volunteering Service

      “The UNV Online Volunteering service connects volunteers with organizations working for sustainable human development. Volunteers contribute their skills online to help organizations address development challenges. Organizations collaborate with online volunteers over the Internet to strengthen the impact of their development work.”

    • Change.org

      “Today as citizens of the world, we face a daunting array of social and environmental problems ranging from health care and education to global warming and economic inequality. For each of these issues, whether local or global in scope, there are millions of people who care passionately about working for change but lack the information and opportunities necessary to translate their interest into effective action. Change.org aims to address this need by serving as the central platform informing and empowering movements for social change around the most important issues of our time.”

    • Givology

      “If poverty is isolation, shouldn’t the solutions to poverty focus on connecting people? Givology is a website that does just this—it connects donors to promising students in developing countries. With small but impactful donations, you can sponsor grassroots community education initiatives and help fulfill the aspirations of children worldwide.”

    • Idealist.org | Imagine. Connect. Act.

      “Idealist is an interactive site where people and organizations can exchange resources and ideas, locate opportunities and supporters, and take steps toward building a world where all people can lead free and dignified lives.”

    • Avaaz.org | The World in Action

      “Technology and the internet have allowed citizens to connect and mobilize like never before. The rise of a new model of internet-driven, people-powered politics is changing countries from Australia to the Philippines to the United States. Avaaz takes this model global, connecting people across borders to bring people powered politics to international decision-making.”

    • Knight Pulse

      In a world defined by information exchange, we need new ways to give, share, find, and receive information in our communities. This is a community site for everyone to talk about issues, problems, and possible solutions for information delivery. Please join us by creating a profile and commenting on the Pulse blog posts (you can leave a video response too) with your thoughts and big ideas.

    • Pop!Tech Hub

      “The Pop!Tech Hub is a place for people working on the forefront of innovation to connect and collaborate with people who are working to make the world a better place.”

    • Kabissa | A Network of African Civil Society Organizations

      “Kabissa was founded on the belief that technology is a revolutionary force for change in Africa. Over the past 8 years, we have built a vibrant network of over 1100 African civil society organizations who are all striving to integrate technology into their work – from fighting human rights abuses to feeding AIDS orphans.”

    On each of these different networks members are able to create profiles, describe their projects, and connect and discuss with other members. Many of the networks also provide information about relevant funding opportunities, or attempt to create connections between projects, donors, and volunteers. Given the vast number of networks with similar goals, it should come as no surprise that there are even networks of networks.

    • NetSquared | Remixing the Web for Social Change

      “Today the global community stands witness to a momentous time in history where progressive change is not only necessary, but imminent. At NetSquared, we recognize that mandate and believe the social Web is key to making change. NetSquared works toward this goal by mobilizing individuals and communities, providing Web-based tools, and awarding financial support to leverage social action projects.”

    • Social Actions | You make a difference, we make it easy.

      “We help you find and share opportunities to change the world. First, we collect ways to get involved in the causes you care about from these 40+ action sources, including Care2, Change.org, DonorsChoose.org, DemocracyinAction, GlobalGiving, Idealist, Kiva, SixDegrees and VolunteerMatch. Then, we make it easy for you to find these opportunities by presenting them in a user-friendly search engine.”

    Tagged: grants NetSquared ngos rising voices social networks

    6 responses to “Social Networks for Doing Good”

    1. Thanks so much for drawing attention to Social Actions and *so many* of the amazing organizations that create opportunities to connect and make a difference.

      As you mentioned, Social Actions makes it easier to find these opportunities. One way to do that is to encourage widgets and applications that distribute them across the web.

      That’s the motivation behind our just-launched Change the Web Challenge.


      Developers who enter the Change the Web Challenge have a chance to win a share of $10,000 by building web applications that draw on Social Actions’ open database of 60,000+ actions people can take across a range of issues. The Challenge launched on February 23rd and submissions will be accepted until April 3rd.

    2. Randy says:

      Hi David – Great list. But (shameless plug) don’t forget the first and biggest of them all, Care2.com. We have many nonprofits using our services to connect with our 10 million members on a variety of causes. Nonprofits can create a group, post news stories, post a petition, or simply network with our members (all for free).

      We also help nonprofits recruit new members / activists (we recruited over 2 million activists last year for nonprofits) through our network.

    3. On behalf of all volunteers and local communities at NABUUR, thank you for including us in this impressive list. We’re in excellent company – changing the world has never seemed easier. :)

    4. You might also want to point your readers to http://www.wiserearth.org – with over 110,000 organizational listings and a community over 20,000 spread around the world it can be a great resource for social activists.

    5. Your readers might also want to check out WiserEarth – with over 110,000 organizations, 20,000 community members around the world it can be a useful resource for social activists.

    6. Chris says:

      You guys might want to consider adding http://befuckingawesome.com to your list. Despite the colorful name, it’s a twitter-esque social network revolving around doing good deeds in everyday life. The greater the deeds you perform, and the higher people vote on them, the higher your Awesome Quotient becomes.

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