Articles: Advocacy

Idealware articles, like those in our Few Good Tools series, give nonprofits concise, critical information on the software choices available for specific organizational functions and goals. We compare software options, offer real life examples and case studies, and give you the tools to make the right decision based on your specific needs.

Articles: Advocacy

  • By Laura S. Quinn,
    June 2013

    What are we really asking for when we require nonprofits to produce data on performance, effectiveness and impact? While the surface logic is clear—we need to know this information—the full context and set of assumptions surrounding the request bears closer examination. Idealware's founder and executive director, Laura Quinn, wrote the following article for the Markets For Good blog.

  • By Chris Bernard,
    January 2012

    What if a percentage of the $150 billion spent annually in online shopping could be donated to nonprofits working to make the world a better place?That’s exactly the promise a growing number of web-based businesses are making—purchase something from an online retailer you find through their site, and they’ll send a percentage to the organization of your choice. Neither users nor their designated charities pay anything—the donations come from participating merchants, who pay the sites a commission for each online purchase referred through them.

  • By Kyle Henri Andrei,
    November 2011

    Advocacy organizations often encourage their grassroots supporters to influence politicians and corporations using different methods, from promoting a cause or opposing legislation to challenging ad campaigns or policies. A large display of public opinion can have a powerful message, and advocacy groups often help to focus and channel this support to make the most impact.

  • By Laura S. Quinn and Kyle Henri Andrei,
    July 2011

    Petitions and pledges provide ways to effect change by letting people add their names to a particular cause to show the amount of support for it. They can also help your organization build a list of people interested in its causes. So how do you implement these measures?

  • By Eric Leland,
    February 2011

    Online surveys can be a huge help in understanding what your constituents think and how successful your programs are, without breaking your budget. Last year we spoke to five nonprofit staff members to understand how existing online survey tools compare—this is an update of that article with current information about the tools’ features and pricing.

  • By Laura S. Quinn,
    October 2010

    Regardless of your organization’s demographics, chances are good that a majority of your constituents use mobile phones.  How can you reach out to them on their cell?  We walk through the possibilities:  texting, two-way communication, giving, pledging, websites, apps, and more. 

  • By Laura S. Quinn ,
    June 2010

    Are your online communications working?  How can you tell?  In this article, we talk through four types of measures-- Views, Followers, Engagement, and Conversion-- that help you track your efforts to see if they're worthwhile.  

    Chances are, your organization has a website. Perhaps you also send out broadcast emails, or maintain a blog, Twitter or Facebook account. Is the effort you’re putting into online communications working? How can you tell?

  • By Laura S. Quinn,
    March 2010

    One of our most popular articles, fully updated March 2010. Email newsletters, action alerts, or fundraising emails can be a very cost effective way to communicate with your supporters, but it can be complex to send and track thousands of emails. We talked to eleven nonprofit technology experts to find out what eNewsletter tools have worked well for them.

  • By Kaitlin LaCasse and Laura Quinn,
    March 2010

    Is Twitter useful for nonprofits?  It’s certainly been useful for Idealware. In this detailed case study, we talk through how we use Twitter, the results we’ve seen, and how it might be helpful for your organization.

  • By Stella Hernandez,
    January 2010

    When it comes to online communications, social networking has huge communities of people sharing information with each other. And its rise comes as people question email’s effectiveness—are social networks replacing email as a communications channel?

  • By Eric Leland,
    December 2007

    Online integrated applications allow nonprofits to manage a number of different aspects of their constituent information and Web presence all together in one package. Eric Leland took a close look at eight packages to compare their functionality in a variety of areas.

  • By Ronald "Skip" Cole and Teresa Crawford,
    June 2007

    Information and communication technologies can be a huge aid in the effort to build lasting peace, by helping people communicate, view information, make decisions, and understand each other better. Teresa Crawford and Skip Cole give a tour of the possibilities.

  • By Ivan Boothe ,
    February 2007

    In less than two years, The Genocide Intervention Network transformed itself from a small student group to a national non-profit. How did they do it? Among other methods, they used social media sites like MySpace, FaceBook, Flickr, and YouTube to reach the young people who are their core supporters.

  • By Alan Rosenblatt,
    January 2007

    Limited budgets don’t have to substantially limit your online advocacy possibilities. Alan Rosenblatt describes the new generation of online tools that help organizations of any size cope with the increasingly complicated internet world.

  • By Michael Stein,
    January 2007

    New integrated online software tools lead to more possibilities for nonprofits. How do you choose?   Internet strategist Michael Stein describes what's available and offers some considerations when choosing tools that can help with emailing, online donations, advocacy online, and more.

Articles: Advocacy