Thursday, August 28, 2008

MacArthur Foundation's Digital Media & Learning Competition

The MacArthur Foundation recently announced the 2008 Digital Media & Learning Competition that will award $2 million to projects focused on participatory learning online. Awards in the Innovation and Participatory Learning category will range from $30,000 to $240,000. This year the foundation added a new category for Young Innovators; these awards are for visionaries between the ages of 18 and 25 and will be range from $5,000 to $30,00.
To read more about the competition, check out the website here.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Media Panel Update

As we near the end of August (and summer), our September 17th AEA meeting is fast approaching. We have been busy confirming our panelists for the program, "Nonprofits & The Media: Strengthening Our Partnership." We are very excited to have the following panelists: Calvin Stovall (Executive Editor of The Press & Sun Bulletin), Sam Pollack (Editor of The Daily Star), Brian Sickora (CEO of WSKG), George Wells (General Manager of Central NY Radio Group) and representatives from News Channel 34 in Binghamton and WISF 15 in Oneonta. We are firming up the details for the program, and the Steering Committee recently finalized the panel discussion questions. The questions are:
  1. What are some tips to get more and better coverage?
  2. What are the best ways nonprofits can collaborate with the media to establish a higher local and regional presence?
  3. What role do nonprofits play for the media, and what does your organization want from nonprofits?
  4. Does purchasing paid advertising have an impact on editorial or feature coverage?
  5. Is there an opportunity for input or feedback about editorials or opinion pieces before they are delivered?
  6. What scenarios can you think of where nonprofits and media outlets could both benefit?
Let us know what you think about the panel questions! We are already planning for our last meeting of the year, and the Steering Committee discuss a follow up program that may feature a discussion with experts on ways to work with the media. Join us on September 17th and help your nonprofit community strengthen our relationship with the media.
Register here!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Planning Capital Campaigns

As you plan capital campaigns, what do you think of using the AEA as a place to touch base with area organizations to see if there are other large campaigns planned for the same time? We were thinking that a point of connection might decrease the amount of overlap that sometimes occurs. Do you see the need for this kind of communication and planning? Do you think the AEA is a good place for this? We were thinking that this might be a case where the blog calendar might be useful. Let us know what you think!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Community in the 21st Century

Check out this short article on "Weaving a Tighter Web 2.0" by Mike Musgrove from The Washington Post. He uses several examples of sites that are incorporating more "cross-pollinating features" that make it easier for users to access and share content with each other. From online gaming to photo sharing, online communities are becoming stronger every day. The possibility of using online networks to benefit your organization is exciting, but it's easy to become overwhelmed when exposed to the dozens of websites and tools under the Web 2.0 category. Try to explore your options and experiment; don't get too distracted by the unfamiliar language. As Jeffrey Housenbold, the chief executive of Shutterfly says, "Social networking is just this era's new way of saying community."

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

What's the purpose of an editorial?

Responses to the media survey that we sent out were mostly focused on event coverage and advertising-- but what about opinion pieces? Editorials focusing on the nonprofit community have appeared in several local publications this summer and have left us with some questions: What's the goal of an editorial? Should you have the opportunity to give input before the piece is published? Is it appropriate to respond to an opinion piece? How would you go about doing so? What's the best way to continue discussion about a hot topic?

Here are two examples of opinion pieces that discuss nonprofits:
Village of Cooperstown Library
Taxing Utica Nonprofits

Even if your organization hasn't been the focus of an editorial, you probably have some opinions of your own in response the the questions raised. What do you think the purpose of an editorial is? Share your comments by clicking below.

Journalism Today

While planning the upcoming media panel, we have had the opportunity to chat with many different media representatives. It's been interesting to learn more about the perspectives of folks outside of the nonprofit community as we describe the program we are putting together. Although he will not be participating in the panel, Steve Waters, publisher of The Rome Sentinel, shared some of his big-picture ideas on the state of journalism today. He directed us to his essay on "Journalistic Indifference" where he explores the idea that "if journalism does not protect society it undermines its own existence." You can read more on his blog Just add Waters. While discussing responsible journalism, he also pointed us toward the book Less than Words Can Say by Richard Mitchell, the "Underground Grammarian."

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Blame it on the price of gas...

Has the rising price of gas affected your volunteers? If so, The New York Times is looking for your story! If your organization relies heavily on volunteers and is seeing volunteering impacted in any way due to the rising price of gas, The New York Times wants to hear about it. We don't have many details, but do know that they are looking for organizations with volunteers who are willing to talk about how the price of gas is impacting their ability to continue working with your nonprofit. If this sounds like your organization please contact Valerie Venezia immediately via email at or call (800) 515-5012 ext. 121 and she will connect you with The NY Times reporter. Thank You!