5 Powerful Fundraising Videos (and Two Bonus)

November 20, 2010

What makes you stand up and take notice- or sit down and listen for three minutes? Here are five powerful fundraising videos that are best practices models.

You may be asking how I can call these “fundraising videos” if not a single one asks for money? My answer is that each one is a powerful motivator that brings you to a new place in your thinking about the issue, the organization, and the mission after watching. Friend-raising comes first; fundraising follows.

Other than this introduction and the source information, this is a textless entry. I encourage you to share your own favorites in the comments section or by posting at The New Jew: Microblog on Facebook. I look forward to adding a best practice sections to both this site and the microblog shortly.

Note of Exclusion:  Unpacking the White Knapsack

I chose not to include videos which feature:

  • A white spokesperson for a cause in the developing world
  • Celebrities
  • Focus on poverty and not people

For me these three items detract from the issue at hand. The point isn’t to relate to a person you’re familiar with (pretty woman, middle class white man), but to go beyond and connect with the real people whom the issues affect. I’ve chosen here films that support sustainable community growth and empowerment- and lay the gauntlet forth in doing so. Many a strong contender was excluded for an overemphasis on a Western or white perspective.

* For more information read Peggy McIntosh’s “White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack” (PDF, 4 pages).

Videos

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies present “The Shelter Effect” (3:57, 2,850 hits)

The Girl Effect presents “The Girl Effect” (2:23, 676,500 hits)

Companion video: “The Clock is Ticking” (3:05, 209,500 hits)

—   Click Through to See Most Best Practice Videos   —

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Israeli Water: Innovations and Challenges in 7 Videos (Blog Action Day 2010)

October 16, 2010


No issue is more critical in the Middle East than water. But what does that really mean? Water is a transboundary issue that affects the environment, geopolitics, social, and health concerns.

Today is Blog Action Day for the environment and this year’s theme is water. I’m on a quest to learn more- even if it only means bolstering my knowledge incrementally- and I’m happy to take you along for the ride.

Water and the environment are a vital issue. But where to begin? I decided to consult the experts using videos from Israeli universities, the Jewish National Fund, Israel21C, and more. I encourage you to post your own links in the comments section so that we can learn from each other.

Post Preview

Here’s how this post is organized.

  1. Introduction: Get acquainted with the issue of innovative water technologies in Israel and overview of the challenges we face
  2. Best Practices:  Meet students and alumni from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev and the Arava Institute of Environmental Studies who are becoming global scientific ambassadors on water-related issues
  3. Next Steps: Learn from a case study in the Bedouin community of Um Batin. One of Israel’s next steps in water management is in bringing basic resources to all the citizens of the nation

Innovations in Israeli Water Technology

Straight from Israel’s new YouTube channel comes this overview of Israeli water technology that focuses on Israel’s role as a scientific ambassador to governments around the world. It additionally covers:

  • Water purification, desalination, and reclamation
  • Drip irrigation as a technique to maximize crop yields while simultaneously decreasing water usage

— Read on to learn more —

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ROI, I Love You, But…

July 9, 2010

Broken Heart of Social Media

This could have been my love letter to ROI.  But it’s not. I’m frustrated. ROI, you can do better and I want to lay out a basic outline of how.

Social Media Bonanza

If you’re not familiar with ROI, this organization is focused around an annual global summit of young Jewish innovators. It is supported by a PR company that does advance media, a blog, a Facebook page, a YouTube channel, a Flickr account, and a Twitter feed as well as hashtag– all linked here.

So what could I possibly be complaining about? They have all their bases covered, right?

Well, no. I don’t think they fully practice what they preach– and I’m saying this as a 2009 ROI fellow as well as someone who has been in contact with ROI offering them my support on numerous occasions with regard to social media and web content. I’m saying this out of love: ROI, you can do better.

What’s the Problem, Exactly?

The two primary problems I identify are as follows:

  • There’s a disconnect between the Summit and the rest of the year, and
  • A disconnect between those actively participating in the Summit and those on the outside

With all the excitement generated for the Summit, there’s no carry through for those who aren’t participating. The ROI blog is updated minimally and there don’t seem to be many blog posts coming from participants– which makes sense because they’re really, really busy.

The primary way to follow the Summit is via ROI’s hashtag, which is #roicom. But how much can you really say in 152 characters? Well, I believe that you can get your point across quite effectively, but it has to be a concerted effort: not just comments but actual commentary.

— Now you have an idea of the problem. Keep reading to hear the solution. —

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Exodus to Empowerment (Guest Author: Dana Talmi)

July 8, 2010

Dana Talmi profiles Avraham Nega Admasu for
PresenTense Magazine’s recent “Heroes” issue

Name: Avraham Nega Admasu
Home: Rishon L’Tzion, Israel
Profession: Material engineer, father, community leader
He’s a hero because: He’s empowering Ethiopian youth

Who is Avraham Nega Admasu?

A 38-year-old father of three, material engineer, and community leader, Avraham Nega Admasu empowers Ethiopian youth in Israel to connect to their culture and to integrate into the broader Israeli community.

Admasu is part of a garin—a Hebrew word that means “seed,” a collaborative community working together for the betterment of society, under the umbrella of the Friends by Nature.

The nonprofit organization works to empower and educate the Ethiopian community in Israel. Committed to planting the seeds for a successful and vibrant Ethiopian community in the town of Rishon Letzion, the garin is one of 10 such communities dedicated to strengthening the Ethiopian community from within.

Ethiopian Beginnings

Admasu’s path as a community leader is informed by his life story. He grew up among 11 siblings in Kabazit, a small village in northern Ethiopia.

During his childhood, he tended livestock with his father and helped the women bring water from the nearby well. In 1984, his family sold their livestock and bribed the necessary local officials, enabling 52 family members to leave the country secretly and make the 12-day trip to the Sudanese border by foot.

— Don’t stop reading now. Continue on to Israel. —

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Street Smarts: Harnessing the Creativity of Urban Activism

July 4, 2010

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Does your organization take its activism to the street? This low budget urban social movement can be done with little funding and lots of creativity.

Here are some recent examples that come to mind. I know there are lots more– and would love to hear your examples.

Scientists on the Train

Hebrew University researchers take to the train for free monthly lecture series in specially designated compartments.

Recent lectures include a profile of Albert Einstein’s contribution to humanity (in honor of his March birthday which marks Israel Science Day), physics experiments in motion, and Israel’s development of new food crops, like genetically modified tomatoes.

My favorite quote from a passenger, “It was weird, but good.”

What would your organization do to go public? Lectures on trains and singing on street corners may seem extreme, but there’s always a lesson to be had in translating your mission and objectives into hands-on contact with constituents.

— Is Your Organization Brave Enough to Sing on Street Corners and Write on the Walls? Keep Reading to Find Out Who Is —

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Why Israelis Don’t Give– Or Do They?

June 18, 2010

Shekels Credited to "MichaelPlump" on Flickr

Earlier today I posted a link on The New Jew: Microblog to an article in Ha’aretz called “Why Israelis Don’t Donate.” We got a good conversation going and I wanted to highlight the ideas that we discussed.

So, according to the author, Lior Dattel, why don’t Israelis donate? He provides three reasons:

  • Governance: there’s no incentive in the tax structure
  • History: Diaspora giving heavily outweighs national giving
  • Social: Little personal culture of giving, as evidenced by low numbers of volunteerism and personal giving

What the Author Missed

But readers, is this valid? Two of my commenters, Joe Brown Leer and Shai Litt thought otherwise.

Joe writes:

“The first and foremost issue is that of taxation. In Israel, where taxes reach almost 50% for those who you would want to be giving your “regular” donations (the “standard small” donors of over $1,000 a year to a cause) mean that they don’t have the luxury to be giving MORE to society.

It’s not just that there’s no incentive – there’s a NEGATIVE incentive when taxes are that high.”

He adds:

“… ‘Little personal culture’ does not take into account the issue of compulsory army service, and its effect on the balance of  ‘how much have I given the country already.'”

Shai remarks:

“Under the circumstances, Israelis are a pretty generous people.

But I’d add – Wouldn’t it be that the ‘socialist’ mind-set is that you donate to the government so that THEY can do the things that you’d donate to voluntarily that causes the perceived shortfall between what is and what we’d expect?

This first occurred to me a few years ago when I spoke to an Israeli (a man I respect a great deal, by the way, as an idealist in the realm of architecture and city planning) about volunteerism here (in conjunction with my Bronfman project that was first described on your original blog) and he said, ‘I think you American’s have it wrong – you shouldn’t be taking the role of government – you’re allowing the government to get away with not doing it’s job. I won’t give money to beggars because the government should be taking care of them, not me. ‘”

— Continue reading: Can we measure Israelis and Americans by the same standards of giving? —

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The New Jew: Microblog– An Experiment in Social Media

June 17, 2010

Reflections via Luis Argerich on Flickr

In December 2009 I took fingers to keyboard and wrote with a heavy heart that I was signing off from The New Jew. Thing is, it was harder to leave it than I anticipated.

Let’s ignore the fact that my page views and subscription numbers are higher than ever (proof that it’s not always the front post that matters), the deep devotion that lead to the founding, development, and ongoing creation of The New Jew are still very much with me.

While I recognize the fact that I in no way have sufficient time to dedicate to full-time blogging as I once did (and what a true joy it was), I am embarking on an experiment in microblogging with Facebook as my platform. Join me at The New Jew: Microblog— an experiment in social media (http://tinyurl.com/TheNewJew).

New Beginnings

What does this mean? Well, let me back up and tell you how I came to this idea. In the fall of 2009, I began work at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev’s Department of Donor Affairs (you won’t hear me talking about this frequently as I think work issues deserve to stay internal, but in this case it provides a general context for discussion).

Coming from a blogging background and understanding the importance of a good social media presence, I encouraged the university to create a Facebook fan page and Twitter account (which I co-administer and run, respectively). Working with Facebook fan pages helped me understand how versatile they can be– and how easy they are to use as a social media platform, especially in relative terms.

During this time, I’ve been investigating how organizations, and bloggers in particular, were using Facebook fan pages to reach their audiences or provide a different channel of communication to their readers. My overwhelming conclusion is that they are not. The two seem to be binary: there’s either a blog or a fan page, but not both.

— Read more about the experiment and what you can expect —

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