Listening to feedback, improving craigconnects

Folks, it won’t happen real soon, but we’re getting lots of feedback, figuring out what to do about it.

We need to clarify the purpose of this thing.

We need to better suggest how to help.

Also, lots of newish nonprofits want to participate, we need to help figure out the whole mass vetting thing, will have suggestions.

0 thoughts on “Listening to feedback, improving craigconnects

  1. We’re launching girls campaign next week with some specific measurable goals. I would welcome input from others on how to be efficient and effective. And I would be willing to help others as well. Many non-profits are tooled up to receive donations but not to utilize volunteer power. This is the key.

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  2. I’ve been doing non-profit work for 10 years and have worked with lots of volunteers. Dan is right, many are not set-up to utilize volunteer power. Volunteers can be so helpful if they’re prepped for the job. Give them clear directions. Tell them your expectations and let them do the job. If they feel good about helping and feel like they’ve made a difference, there is a good shot they’ll come back. 🙂

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  3. The general input about volunteering and nonprofits seem to lump all volunteers into one big interchangeable bucket, which I think is part of the issue. What a nonprofit needs for engaging/training/motivating/evaluating ongoing volunteer staff is significantly different then having volunteers to plan and execute on an event/specific activity. I think we need to create a way of differentiating and helping nonprofits manage the many different types of volunteers.

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  4. I spearhead a startup community service project whose intention is demonstrating and offering education regarding establishing permanent sustenance gardens. Our project empowers people to easily and affordably grow their their own food within walking distance of their own homes while rehabilitating land and restoring habitat.

    We are developing a website, publications, a curriculum, a demonstration site and more. What does Craig Connects offer that can help us help our community?

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  5. I wonder if a helpful step would be surveying the non-profits you’re connecting with. What are their needs and how do they hope craigconnects can help: board development, strategic planning, fund-raising (not $ but techniques), internal systems (ie, databases), gov’t relations, communications/pr, volunteer mgt, best practices in their field…? Combining that data w/ org info (location, programmatic focus, # of staff, year established, annual budget, sources of revenue…) will let you know who you’re talking to and the trends in terms of need. From there you can identify and communicate your focus for ‘phase 1’. Note: the outfits you’re hearing may not be the places where your work could have the greatest impact; once your focus is established some focused outreach might be worthwhile.

    I’ve worked for non-profits for while, the last few years at a foundation. I’m not surprised your very generous offer to be helpful has generated a huge response. Good luck w/ everything!

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  6. Wow! Good work Craig! Obviously the biggest issue is what does the website do? match money? Tell stories? Provide help?

    I guess I would take it one step at a time. Start with the stories. Then build content (techniques) to help spread the story. Then build connections to fund the stories (and provide charitable tax benefits).

    what does that home page look like? i guess it should be about the stories… tugging at the heart.

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  7. i think for the longest time organizations and not just for profits but all organizations grear themselves for a particular power structure in society or at least the way we have understood organization to take place within these insitutions. The problem is the net has offered up a way things can be shared…ideas, thoughts, dilemmas whatver. And now we have craigconnects….I think this should build upon this sharing movement but without hiearchy….where some organizations get highlighted over others or people become more significantly important for their particular cause without seeing that all things are equal and connected.
    I think craig connects should be relating organizations to understand these connections and how they can benefit. It serves no purpose to take the same actions institutions have done in the past and continue to do which is to follow similar power structure patterns ….people no matter where, no matter what part of society should have a say in how those organizations are run, where resources go etc. it should not be simply left to a board of directors or even a group of individuals that started something. The days are gone when recognition, awards, or even contribution should be made apparent only by the few that have power, prestige, money, etc. Craig connects should be more about how individuals can be stakeholders …no matter what the organization or its cause.. This is simply redefining the way humans will coexist in the future….sharing not competing for resources…and helping each other not robbing from one another…

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  8. i placed a ad on craigslist but i cant find where it is inder what should be under transport can you help me

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  9. I recommend exploring the area of “social cohesion,” and honing the definition of “community-building” for craigconnects purposes. The efficacy of strengthening social systems in localized ways is poorly understood. (We still need a metric to gauge success.) Large groups and networks that call themselves community-builders sometimes are building constituency and donors for other (usually great) purposes while the small, informal, grassroots community-builders get lost in that shuffle. The process-based stuff of church basements, block associations and small businesses where real people work out real problems in real places, coupled with structural/strategy-based approaches like micro-lending represents a promising way forward. “Join our online community” or “sign-up so we can move public policy, and advocate for or educate you community folks” is different.

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  10. I represent one of the newish nonprofits that reached out. I think Dan’s request for input mirrors what I think many people will be looking for, a two way connection to other smart people to brainstorm, give feedback, help, etc. I personally feel like I am on a island at times looking for people to work with or share ideas with, but have difficulty finding those people at times.

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  11. One thing that seems to be missing in the nonprofit sector is a forum for local conversations among nonprofit and people interested in nonprofits. The craigslist model works because you can choose, down the the neighborhood, who you want to communicate with.
    We (the nonprofit sector) currently have lots of affinity forums, lots of national forums, list servs and discussion groups, but I can’t think of any nonprofit site just for San Francisco organizations to discuss grants, trends, funding, frustrations. And to share thoughts, resources etc. For example, my nonprofit is looking for a new office space, and we’d like to share space with another nonprofit in SF. It would be great to have one space where I could post this request and it would be available to all SF nonprofits.

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    1. @Karen I second that. I think localized connection is so important for nonprofits, but has been harder than I thought it would be to make that connection.

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  12. @Karen and @Joey I totally agree. Being able to locate non-profits by geographical location would be a great feature for several reasons. Along with the great points made by @Karen about communication, it would allow volunteers, donors, or people interested in any type of involvement with a local org to actually LOCATE one (this is particularly important for the volunteer and community building areas of craigconnects.com). For example, I recently tried to find out if there were any global health NP organizations in the Philadelphia area that I could potentially get involved with and I had no luck finding a site that listed what NPs were even in the area. Secondly, the organization that I am involved with is constantly looking for community grassroots organizations around the globe to form partnerships with. If we were interested in a particular area and could identify what other NPs were located there it would help us to find an org that shared our sustainability philosophy. It could also eventually help NPs in the same area to work together to collect more accurate data, measure progress, implement shared programs, and work towards common community goals, etc.

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