Another of my favorite website’s that are advancing technology and its use for social change is the Organizer’s Collaborative, a Boston-based group that provides technology, tools and training, especially focusing on open-source and low-cost technology. They have a fantastic blog on their website and are engaged in several projects making technology available to grassroots organizations to increase their capacity.

Organizers Database

One of the projects that the Organizer’s Collaborative sponsors is the Organizers Database. For the small to medium nonprofit, it is very effective fundraising software. It’s free to download, runs on Windows and is easy to use. It manages emails and addresses, generates labels, prints thank you letters and incorporates custom codes to target your appeals. The website also includes an active Forum and Organizer’s Collaborative also offers very low cost support if you are a very inexperienced user of these kinds of databases.


I know that I am deviating from my original intent for this blog.  But I promised that I would post this video in support of our Marines, who despite fighting in such highly dangerous conditions, still find humor and fun in life.  Please share this video and make it super viral for these brave men and women.

I know I said I would be posting my favorite free Internet resources on this blog.  However, occasionally I will come across the work of a nonprofit’s cause that I just have to share here.  The amazing work of Breaking Free and the video they released publicizing the need to fight human trafficking is worth the posting here.  Please watch the video and support this agency’s work.

One of my favorite sites that I have used for over 10 years is the amazing  Free Management Library,    updated and maintained by Authenticity Consulting, LLC. The Library provides free, easy-to-access, online articles covering over 650 topics with over 10,000 links. What I like about the Library is that there are articles for the individual’s professional growth and also provides articles and resources to both for-profit and non-profit organizations.

Library Content

I really like how the Library focuses on free resources and information that you can quickly use and apply to your work. The Library topics are soup to nuts for professional and personal development…covering Jobs, Facilitation, Work-Life Balance, and Problem-Solving, to mention a few. The Library also has a wealth of resources that address Organizational Development, Starting a Non-profit, Fundraising and Employee Management & Development. The Library also has an extensive list of blogs hosted by experts in each topic with opportunities for posts from guest writers. Again, the blogs are practical in nature, focusing on tools and tips. The other piece of the Library I like is the list of Free Management Training Programs, which provides links to free, online training programs that provide free materials and ways to confirm your learning.

So you get an idea of extensive the Library is, I have provided one of the topic lists for Fundraising:

Fundraising Basics
Are You Ready for Fundraising?
Fundraising Laws and Ethics
Fundraising Leadership: Board, Development Directors and Others
Development Staff: Defining, Hiring, Evaluating and Firing)
Direct Appeals
Grants: Foundation and Corporate
Grants: Government (Public Grants)
Special Events
Annual Funds
Major Gifts and Planned Giving
Capital Campaign and Endowment Fundraising
Fundraising Online (including social media, online malls, corporations that accept online proposals)
Fundraising Software
Donor Communications, Feedback and Recognition
Fundraising Planning (Tying It All Together)
Hiring Fundraisers and Paid Solicitors

General Resources
Library’s Fundraising Blog

Additional Resources
Free, Online, Self-Paced Program to Completely Build/Strengthen Your Nonprofit
Basic Guide to Nonprofit Program Design and Marketing
Nonprofit Grantseeking Resources

Children in a camp for displaced persons, Photo by K. Burns, USAID

One of my new favorite websites on the Internet is actually sponsored by the US Federal Government.  The website, USAID, is an independent federal agency supported by the Secretary of State.  Its focus is:

  • economic growth, agriculture and trade;
  • global health; and,
  • democracy, conflict prevention and humanitarian assistance.

They provide assistance in five regions of the world:   Sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, Latin America & the Caribbean, Europe & Eurasia and the Middle East.

The website is a little overwhelming, however, if your non-profit operates to serve those regions or serves people from those regions, you will find some very helpful resources.  My 2 favorite resources are:

USAID Photo Gallery

The Photo Gallery provides thousands of photographs like the one on this page free of charge as long as you credit the photographer.   The range and scope of these photos is amazing.  If you are looking for photos to depict the people of your cause, you will find it here.

Global Health eLearning Center

I love this eLearning Center.  You can obtain in-depth training on a variety of global health issues.  They offer free courses and certificate programs on subject areas such as Family Planning & Reproductive Health, HIV/AIDS, Gender & Health, and Infectious Diseases.  Many of the topics are applicable to our work with immigrant families in the US and are also critically important to those organizations that provide support directly to people in those countries.

Welcome to internetmine

Posted: April 17, 2011 in Uncategorized

I am officially addicted to my ability to mine the internet for resources to support social justice causes. As a past director of small and/or struggling nonprofits who wanted to spend their limited funds on actually advancing their cause, I found it necessary to research and use free or low cost resources on the Internet.  From databases to research, from grant seeking to online fundraising…you can do it all with most of the resources on the Internet.  We need to resist the urge to follow the huge nonprofits spending thousands of dollars on Adobe, Razor’s Edge and expensive media use and production software.  For those of us with limited budgets, we can still make a huge impact with free software.

The other area small nonprofits can save money is on training materials, presentations on their cause for community members, and research on their cause to support their grant and fund development efforts.  The resources at fingertips on the internet can keep us informed, educated and trained in the most research-based methods for delivering our programs.

My hope is that this website will help motivate you to find your own resources and mine the internet.  In the meantime, I will share with you some of my favorites.