Software Applications for NGOs

Tools for Community: Mobile Phones, Speakeasy, Networks, and more..

Another story from MobileActive: Emily Gertz, our friend at WorldChanging and our prolific MobileActive blogger, profiles Tad Hirsch of txtmob fame and his Speakeasy project in Chinatown in Boston.  Using voice over IP telephony and mobile phones, Speakeasy is a "a software-enabled telephone call center staffed by multilingual community volunteers. Newcomers to Chinatown who are not fluent in English can call the service and connect with someone from the neighborhood who can provide immediate language interpretation, answer questions, and offer advice."

Cell Phones for Campaigns -- Stories from MobileActive

MobileActive is over but the work has just begun...Stories about the convergence and the use of cell phones and texting in avocacy and civic campaigns are coming in fast after the first-ever MobileActive.  The event brought together a group of activists from around the globe to explore the use of cell phones for social justice and citizen participation campaigns.

Patrick Burnett, a participant from Fahamu, puts it well: "In the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) SMS is being used to monitor child rights violations.

Greenpeace Argentina campaign against forest destruction In Argentina indigenous communities are using SMS to halt the bulldozers that destroy their forest livelihoods.  And in the Philippines, angry activists have used SMS to hold government to account. The power of cellular technology is no longer up for debate; what remains to be discussed is how to maximize it for social good. Mobile Active Convergence, held recently in Canada, did just this... What came out of the three-day event...went far beyond this expectation, as a diverse group of people from around the world banged their heads together, mixed their ideas and thrashed out a vision for just how far cellular technology can go in creating a better world. The end result was new ideas, the formation of a lasting network and the production of a body of knowledge available to many beyond the confines of the conference."

MobileActive: Cell Phones for Civic Activism on WorldChanging

There is a nice write-up on WorldChanging about MobileActive, the convergence of mobile phone activists from around the world that we are convening with our friends at Green Media Toolshed. Emily Gertz, a woman I have long wanted to meet, writes: "Mobile phones: How we love their transformative potential on Worldchanging. With all the ways mobiles a becoming key tools for economic and political development world wide, it's probably a great time for strategic gatherings to share stories and lessions learned from the field."

Nonprofit Software and Nonprofit Missions

Aspiration board member Michelle Murrain writes on her personal blog about Convio's recent decision to take on an anti-gay marriage organization as a client. She argues:

CivicCRM 1.0 is out

From David Geilhufe. CivicCRM is an open source constituency relationship management application running on Drupal (for now):

"Progress on CiviCRM is coming along well and now is the time to get involved!...CiviCRM is now ready to be integrated into other applications. If you have or are considering an NPO application that stores CRM data (contacts, relationships, actions), please take a look at CiviCRM as a basis for your project.

CiviCRM is open source and as long as you contribute your modifications to CiviCRM back to the community, you can do anything you want with the software. CiviCRM is already being adapted by consultants for custom applications in fundraising and member management.

SMS Tools

There are a number of lists of tools and strategy on using short text messaging for advocacy and other nonprofit work.

AdvoacyDev generated a list of SMS Tools.

On Mobile Active, we are compiling resources and articles on using SMS for advocacy. Aspiration and Green Media Toolshed are hosting the site in conjunction with a strategy meeting of activists in Toronto in September 2005.

It includes a rich set of resources, articles, case studies, and tools.

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