Another Look at Jumo and Other "Charity Portals"

 Since we’re now a few months out from the beta launch of Jumo, the new social network for nonprofit organizations from Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes, it seems like a good time to talk about what it is, and what other options are already out there.

Jumo is, by design, deeply integrated with Facebook. There’s been a lot of complaints over the requirement to have a Facebook profile in order to join Jumo, and it’s a significant pain for organizations.

Other, better established “social middleware” sites already integrate with Facebook, like Causes already has over 140 million members, and allows them to follow causes that they create, donate to nonprofit organizations through the site, or have friends and family donate to a cause as a “birthday wish.”

But if working with Facebook really isn’t your thing, Idealist just relaunched its website, retooled to function more like a social network, as well as enhancing its existing search features. GreatNonprofits is several years old, and well-established, with over 1.2 million nonprofits in the system. The reviews on GreatNonprofits are all user-submitted, helping potential volunteers and donors not only find an organization, but find out what working with them is like, from the people who already have. To possibly net a greater reach in audience, nonprofits can certainly create articles on Wikipedia, with the added benefit of Wikipedia’s high hits on search engines.

One important complaint with Jumo is that when someone makes a donation, Jumo automatically takes 15% as operating fees, meaning they get a noticeable piece of every donation. Other, better established sites also use this donation model; also takes 15% from each donation made through their service. If you aren’t quite comfortable with this model, doesn’t take any money for itself, but their donation service provider, Network for Good, takes only 4.75% to cover processing fees.

So why is Jumo needed at all? Is it all just hype?

Really, the hype is exactly why we need Jumo. Chris Hughes is bringing the kind of publicity that only a founder of Facebook and the Obama campaign’s social media guru can generate. The buzz can only help bring more interested, civic-minded individuals to nonprofits, and isn’t that the point?

Do you use any of these sites?


If what is needed to recruit

If what is needed to recruit new donors to nonprofits is Chris Hughes and his skills, why didn't he bring his panache to one of the many existing sites that you have identified?  Perhaps that kind of star power is necessary, but I don't think another database of nonprofit organizations is really what is needed. Sites like Great Nonprofits and WiserEarth, not to mention Network For Good, already have databases of nonprofit organizations, and information about them, as well as (in the case of the first two) ways for people to weigh in about the organization.

Frankly, I've been pretty surprised at the lack of publicity for Jumo in the months since its launch, and I myself haven't felt the urge to return to the site, nor have I seen any social mentions of Jumo in my facebook feed.


Jumo drawbacks

I had great hopes for Jumo, based on the visibility of the founder, which you correctly note.  The main drawback precluding me from joining was the mandated requirement that Jumo could place whatever it wanted on your personal Facebook wall at any time, whether you were there to see it or not.  This type of close association with Facebook makes this a very limited service, in my opinion.

"The buzz can only help bring

"The buzz can only help bring more interested, civic-minded individuals to nonprofits, and isn't that the point?"

Bringing more individuals would be ONE point. If they're interested and civic-minded, they're already involved with nonprofits. The Jumo point seems to be to augment the Facebook empire. I looked at Jumo the instant it was opened, but I will not participate personally in Facebook, and so I could not participate in Jumo.