Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Matthew Harvey * BDPA Epsilon Community Service Award

BDPA Epsilon Awards recognize individual achievement by technologists who are nominated by BDPA chapters or corporate sponsors. One of the five award areas is community service. Matthew Harvey (Eli Lilly and Company) earned the 2009 Epsilon Community Service Award.

His nomination read as follows:
Matthew Harvey has demonstrated a consistent and selfless approach to community service. Matthew graduated from Florida A&M University in 2004 and consistently influenced his new community. He has volunteered as a basketball coach for an Indianapolis public school, where he linked playing time to classroom performance. He has served as the FAMU alumni community service chair, leading a diverse set of community activities.

In 2006, Matthew participated in the United Way Generation Next Leadership series, which continued to develop his skills in community leadership. Matthew currently holds a board member position with BDPA Indianapolis chapter. He has utilized this position to help rebuild the BDPA chapter.

Additionally, Matthew has been both the Coordinator and Head Coordinator for the chapter's High School Computer Competition. The computer competition program has helped many high school youth in learning new skills, which they have applied in both case competitions as well as in their high school studies.

Finally, Matthew and his wife identified an opportunity to utilize their marriage as a ministry by participating in their church’s marriage ministry. They have actively participated in this ministry since 2006.

Matthew’s consistent, heart-felt passion for serving the Indianapolis community deserves recognition.
The BETF-Blog is proud to have seen Bro. Harvey in action with his HSCC students over the past few years. His team came in 15th place at the national championships held in Raleigh NC earlier this year. That is the highest placement by BDPA Indianapolis chapter in the history of the competition.

Share some BDPA-Love with Matthew using the COMMENTS option below.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Are There Easy Ways to Reduce Donor Attrition Rates?

by Stephen Hitchcock
Reprinted from

Today, losing donors has special urgency because more and more organizations are struggling to acquire new donors. Response rates are down exactly at a time when paper and postage costs keep climbing.

Your organization may also be facing sharp drops in giving from major donors who have taken a beating in the stock market. Every donor you lose—no matter at what giving level—creates more financial instability for your organization.

Put positively, increasing the loyalty of your donors produces huge benefits. The longer a donor keeps giving to you, the more likely it is that you will receive a major gift—often because that individual receives a windfall (or his or her children finish college). Those donors who stay with you year after year are also more likely to leave a charitable bequest to your organization.

So, what can you do to achieve this state of bliss?
  1. Send a thank you note as quickly as possible. For most donors, the greatest motivation for giving is a sense that their contributions are appreciated—and make a difference.

  2. Get the new donors on your newsletter mailing list right away—or send the most recent copy in a special mailing. Loyal donors feel they are well informed about organizations they support.

  3. Call your new donors and invite them to become monthly donors. Automatic gifts through electronic funds transfer or credit card transactions creates a group of donors with almost zero attrition.

  4. Keep your names and addresses as clean as possible. NCOA and PCOA processing should be a regular part of your mailing plan (and NCOA is required if you want to get postal discounts). If your mailings stop reaching donors, then they can’t give to you!

  5. Encourage donors to use an 800-phone number or a dedicated e-mail address to let you know about changes of address.

  6. Survey your donors—ask them for their advice and suggestions. You’ll find out some things you may want to correct. Just as important, your donors will feel more involved and engaged with your organization.

  7. Be sure to have enough mailings in your schedule. At the most mundane level, mailing frequently enough will provide you with corrected addresses as your donors move. At a substantive level, more mailings give your donors more opportunities to contribute—and keep them from lapsing.

  8. Make it as easy as possible for donors to make contributions at your Web site. For some groups, the home page is now the donation page. More and more individuals respond to mailings or newsletters by making an immediate gift on-line.

  9. Even if you’re not a membership organization, you'll want to have a "renewal series" of anywhere from three to nine mailings. The message "It's time to renew your annual support (or membership)" wins hands-down against any other philanthropic proposition. Individuals don't want to let their support "lapse" or become "inactive."

  10. Let your donors know that you haven't heard from them. It's always startling to hear and read from individuals who say, "I didn't realize that it had been so long since I've given." A simple letter that starts, "I'm writing to you because our records indicate your last gift of $50 was in May 2006. If we've missed a recent gift, please let us know."

Not all of these suggestions are "easy." All will require an investment of time and energy. Some may involve additional expense, but all of these initiatives—even the survey—will generate immediate income. And, best of all, long-term loyalty.

As you implement some or all of these activities, be realistic in your expectations. One of the realities of fundraising is that even the best of organizations experience donor attrition. In any given year, 20 to 25 percent of those individuals who gave to you last year won't make a gift again this year. If your organization is acquiring or attracting a lot of new donors, then this attrition rate can be 30 to 40 percent.

Remember, the challenge of direct mail fundraising is that less than half (and sometimes as few as a third) of those who make an initial first gift go on to make a second gift. However, of those that make a second gift, two-thirds to three-quarters will go on to make many more gifts.

So focus on gifts and donors—and watch your donor attrition rate fall.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

BETF Executive Director Wayne Hicks on the Radio

BETF executive director Wayne Hicks was a guest for the full hour on the Cathy Harris Radio Show. Click here to listen to archive audio recording of the show.

Empowering Ourselves Now

I received an email the other day from Dartmouth College student Jarrett Mathis. He is a product of the Bedford Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn, NY. Over the past few years he used several research grants to find an effective way to stop Black youth from using the N-word.

Earlier this year, he transformed this research into a documentary that can be seen on his website. Here is a trailer that gives you an idea of what to expect from the full documentary:

Empowering Ourselves from Jarrett Mathis on Vimeo.

I encourage all BETF-Blog readers to check out the full documentary and support Bro. Mathis as you deem appropriate. Come back and let us know what you thought about his website, documentary and efforts.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

‘Giving Identity’ Seen as Vital for Fundraising

Crossposted from Philanthropy Journal

By helping existing and potential donors develop a "giving identity" for themselves, nonprofits can encourage supporters to give their time and money, a new study says.

Giving can be spurred by changing the context in which people give, says the article, published in the August 2009 issue of Stanford Knowledgebase and written by Jennifer Aaker of the Stanford Graduate School of Business and Satoshi Akutsu of Hitotsubashi University.

When soliciting a donation for a cause that has a personal or emotional connection, for example, approaching a donor in a personal setting may elicit a better response than a workplace meeting.

Making prospects aware that other members of their social profile have given to the cause tends to elicit a larger donation, the article says.

And giving can be increased by asking a prospect to volunteer time before asking for money.

The mere act of giving also can affect a person's "giving identity" by making them see themselves as a giver of a particular type.

Among people who say they do not plan to give or volunteer, the most common reason is that they are unable to find the right opportunity.

By making opportunities available and by adjusting the "ask" to fit different giving identities, nonprofits can improve their fundraising, the paper says.

Read the full article.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Toyota TAPESTRY Program Accepting Entries for the 20th Annual Science Grant Competition

The Toyota TAPESTRY Grants for Science Teachers program, one of the largest science teacher grant programs in the United States, is now accepting entries for the 2009-2010 competition. Sponsored by Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A. and administered by the National Science Teachers Association, the program offers grants of up to $10,000 each to K-12 teachers for innovative science projects that enhance science education in their school or district over a one-year period.

Fifty large grants and a minimum of 20 mini-grants totaling $550,000 will be awarded this year. Individual science teachers or a team of up to five teachers can submit proposals in one of three categories: physical science application; environmental science education; and integrating literacy and science. A judging panel convened by the NSTA will select the award-winning projects based on several criteria, including their innovative approach in teaching science and ability to create a stimulating and hands-on learning environment.

Applicants must either be an elementary teacher who teaches science in the classroom or a middle or high school science teacher. Applicants must be residents of one of the 50 states or a resident of Washington, D.C.; Puerto Rico; or the U.S. territories including American Samoa, Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

For more information about the Toyota TAPESTRY Grants for Science Teachers program or to learn how to apply, visit the link to Complete RFP.

Join BDPA Group on LinkedIn Network

There are hundreds of BDPA members on the LinkedIn Network. I have my profile on LinkedIn. I shared my thoughts on the LinkedIn Network a few months ago.

Anyhow, I want to invite all current and former members to join the BDPA Group on LinkedIn. Joining will allow you to find and contact other BDPA members on LinkedIn. The goal of this group is to help you:
  1. Reach other members of BDPA
  2. Accelerate careers/business through referrals from BDPA Group members
  3. Know more than a name – view rich professional profiles from fellow BDPA Group members
All you need to do is click here to join the new BDPA Group created on LinkedIn Network for us.

I hope to see you in the BDPA group. Please post a comment below if you are currently a member of LinkedIn. What has been your experience to date with this professional network?

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Transparency of Nonprofits Improved with new IRS Form 990

By Carroll Boardway

The dramatic turmoil of our current financial situation has been injected with an ever stronger platform of full transparency. Not to ignore nonprofit organizations, the Internal Revenue Service has recently updated Form 990 to reflect the greatest number of changes in reporting requirements since the 1970s.

Though nonprofits do not pay income taxes on their revenue, they are obligated to report their income annually. In addition to these reports, called 990s, these groups are now faced with the demands required by a deeper look into how the organization operates. Such scrutiny extends from policies of the entity to board configuration and compensation for the executive team, among others. The goal is for the IRS to ensure that all nonprofits have built in safe-guards to promote accountability and protect from corruption, thus giving donors peace of mind when making the decision on which organizations to fund.

Read the rest of the Fort Worth Business Press article here.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Foundations That Tweet

I trust that most BETF-Blog readers follow the BDPA Foundation on Twitter. If so, I would be interested in your thoughts on the analysis that Beth Kanter completed on a list of “foundations that tweet”. Beth breakdowns the various ways the foundations are using Twitter.

She breaks the profiles into four types:
  1. Pure Foundation Brand
  2. Foundation with Personality
  3. Employee with Foundation Association
  4. Pure Personal Account

Personally, I think that the BDPA Foundation twitter 'profile' fits option #2. I think that we are a 'Foundation with Personality'. What do you think?

Monday, September 21, 2009

Grant Recipient: BDPA Greater Columbia ($850)

BETF provided an $850 grant to support the Student Information Technology Education & Scholarship (SITES) program implemented by BDPA Greater Columbia chapter.

The funds helped the high school computer competition (HSCC) team trained by BDPA Greater Columbia to participate in the Southeast Regional Competition. The three students on the team (Dominique Geiger, Sami Patel, Raven Stevenson and Courtland Thomas) took home the silver medal at the regional event in Charlotte NC.

Later the team travelled to Raleigh NC to compete in the national championships. The team finished in 19th place.

However, an unexpected serendipity happened at the Awards Gala during the conference. The United States Navy offered a $180,000 scholarship for Raven Stevenson to study biomedical engineering at Duke University!

Please call BETF on (513) 284-4968 or email us if you want to make a tax-deductible pledge in support of the restricted Greater Columbia Chapter Fund.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Most Americans Cut Back on Volunteer Work, Report Says

by Stephanie Strom

As the recession took hold, most Americans cut back on volunteer work and other civic activities, according to a survey conducted for the National Conference on Citizenship.

That finding undercuts anecdotal reports of volunteers’ flooding nonprofit groups as unemployment has increased and suggests the challenges faced by the Obama administration, Congress and foundations working to encourage greater volunteer service and civic participation.

They’re not saying they’ve stopped volunteering, but they are cutting back on the time spent on volunteering and civic engagement,” said David Smith, executive director of the National Conference on Citizenship, which conducted the survey as part of a study titled America’s Civic Health Index.

Read the rest of the New York Times article here.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

8 Ideas for Book Donations to Support African Nonprofits

One of our BETF supporters recently requested support in his effort to obtain book donations for an African nonprofit organization. BDPA Orlando chapter president Pablo More provided him with eight remarkable ideas. Our blog shares these tips with our readers for posterity:
  1. Get in touch with your local member of Congress both U.S Representative and U.S. Senators. Make them aware of what you are working and ask for guidance and assistance.
  2. Seek out the U.S. Ambassador where the nonprofit is located. The embassy may help with transporting of the books to that country at no cost to you. to the specific African country
  3. Reach out to nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) that have partnerships with Alkebulan.
  4. Visit your local Goodwill, Salvation Army, and Public Libraries to pick up books that are being disposed.
  5. Visit your local state college or university libraries and speak with the librarian about when do they dispose of their books. College Libraries tend to keep a copy of text books in their shelves which they get rid of after new editions become available. There is only so much shelf space in a library. This tends to occur over the summer and winter recess.
  6. Contact the major publishing companies below. Seek out the sales rep in your district explain your initiative and if your organization has a 501c3 non-profit status with a good track record and a good education program you "might" get a shipment of books at little to no cost.
  7. Seek out other NGOs that operate in Alkebulan with offices in the United States.
  8. Make sure your renew your BDPA membership and pre-register for the 2010 BDPA technolgy conference.
The major textbooks publishers are:
I hope that this information helps anyone seeking to donate books to African nonprofits. If you are looking for similiar programs in the United States ... you might check out the First Book program.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Microsoft sponsored Imagine Cup 2010 in Poland

Are you technically savvy, a problem solver, or a digital media wizard looking to test your skills against the best students in the world with a chance to win cash prizes?!

If so, registration for the Poland 2010 Imagine Cup sponsored by Microsoft is now open. Imagine Cup 2010 is the premier student technology skills competition and one of the largest tech competitions in the world. The competition categories for Imagine Cup 2010 are Software Design, Game Design, and Digital Media.

We highly recommend that you register yourself or your team early because Imagine Cup 2009 just ended and over 300,000 students registered.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Planning and Preparing for College


Please visit the blog at and view opportunites on scholarships, internships, fellowships, college preparation, college search engines, common application, and much more.

I have justed updated the blog with the

The National Security Agency (NSA) Summer Position...

2010 TN Governor's Schools -- Application Accepte...

The Gates Millennium Scholars (GMS ) - Deadline: ...

Yale's College Tours Scheduled

Upcoming College Fairs


It is also important that students take the time to prepare for college properly. Below is a link that provide a guidelines 12th grade parents and students to follow along with important tips:

(click link to retrieve info)
How To Prepare for College Correctly -- Please Sha...
ACT Test Dates -- Please Read

Please take the time and share with others.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Corporate Philanthropy Can Boost Education

By Michael Inganamort

As American philanthropy continues to expand and corporate foundations seek to address increasingly complex societal problems, these resources can and should be applied to an area that directly affects our national security and quality of life -- educational competitiveness.

When it comes to the United States' ability to compete with other countries in the areas of math and science, alarms bells have been ringing for years.

A critical examination of the United States' technological infrastructure and its promotion of math and science education suggests the country is steadily losing its competitive edge.

While less than one-third of American undergraduate students earn degrees in science and engineering, nearly 60 percent of Chinese students and roughly two-thirds of Japanese students received degrees in these fields.

These choices are not without consequences.

Read the rest of the Philanthropy Journal article here.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Wealthy Philanthropists Undeterred by Recession, Look for Charitable Impact

Although many charities are focusing their outreach efforts on engaging a younger generation of philanthropists, the wealthy demographic represents a powerful resource for sustaining charities through the economic downturn, a recent survey found.

Titled “Tomorrow’s Philanthropist,” the report was conducted by Ledbury Research in partnership with Barclays Wealth, and surveyed exclusively high net worth individuals - responses were culled from 500 people with investable assets of more than $1 million and 150 people with assets of more than $5 million.

The report found that wealthy individuals have largely retained their focus on philanthropy despite the recession. Many wealthy individuals reported that they consider philanthropy a "key expense" and would sooner cut back on comforts than reduce donations - 77 percent said they would not decrease their level of giving as a result of the recession.

Read the rest of the Daily Tell article...

NOTE: BETF Director Tayo Ibikunle is leading our initiative to seek support from BDPA members that may be high net-worth individuals like the folks in this article. The results in the Tomorrow's Philanthropist research paper are encouraging to us.

What are you thoughts?

Monday, September 14, 2009

Joe McMahon * BDPA Career Achievement Award

BDPA Epsilon Awards recognize individual achievement by technologists who are nominated by BDPA chapters or corporate sponsors. One of the five award areas is career achievement. Joe McMahon (Sabre Systems) earned the 2009 Epsilon Career Achievement Award.

His nomination read as follows:

Sabre Systems is proud to nominate Joe McMahon for the 2009 BDPA Epsilon Award. Joe's superior performance has distinquished him from his peers throughout his career of more than 20 years as a technology leader, innovator and mentor. He reached the executive ranks on his steadfast ability to effect change, work seamlessly with senior corporate and military leaders, all while ensuring development of subordinate leaders. He is the founder of two BDPA chapters -- Baton Rouge and Hampton Roads.

As a leader of technology advancements, Joe has made a lasting impact on transformational technology. He served as Deputy Director for Innovation and Experimentation for the Navy's Network Warfare Command where he directed military, government civilian, contractor support and foreign military employees in strategic planning, technology discovery, concept development, experimentation, assessments and new systems integration.

He skillfully supervised technology development across more than 50 agencies including military, industry, research laboratories, academic institutions and foreign governments. His team integrated over 300 military technology capabilities for naval ships and shore installments.

He directly influenced over $500M in defense acquisitions for U.S. Navy and Marine Corps customers. As department head for military aviation operations, he directed and supervised the first fleet installation and operational deployment of AGM-65 Maverick missle system and CAINS II Navigation system for the S-3B aircraft.

Joe was instrumental in bringing the US Navy to the 2009 national BDPA Technology Conference in Raleigh NC earlier this year.

I hope that you will take a moment to congratulate Joe using the POST A COMMENT link below!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Why It's Better to Give Than Receive

By Dr. Mary E. Donohue Ed.D.

The adage that it is better to give than to receive - a corruption of "It is more blessed to give than to receive." Acts 20:35 - is a difficult principle to follow for anyone in charge of corporate giving in a recession.

The return on investment of corporate philanthropy is hard to measure and even harder to justify to shareholders at the best of times, but when profits are down, giving gets harder. In the past, when the economy slowed, money, in the form of philanthropy, became a trickle.

Read the full Financial Post article here.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

50 and Older May be the Golden Years of Philanthropy

By Jenna Weiner

When it comes to volunteering and philanthropy, older generations are outpacing their younger counterparts, according to a recent survey from the Hartford Financial Services Group.

The study found that 53 percent of people aged 50 and older participate in volunteer work, compared to 45 percent for people aged 49 and younger.

Read the full Daily Tell article here.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Message from Los Angeles Chapter President

BDPA Los Angeles is the 17th largest chapter in the nation. This is one of our few chapters on the west coast of the nation. It is important for BDPA that we have a strong and vibrant chapter in Southern California.

As such, it encouraged me to read the following message from BDPA Los Angeles chapter president John Malonson to his chapter stakeholders:

Greetings BDPA Los Angeles,

Due to our nation's economic situation, 2009 has been a very challenging year for many of our members and their families. We are reminded that it's not necessarily "what you know" but "who you know" that may link you to your next opportunity.

This cliche still rings true today; however, the game has evolved and new tools have emerged to connect people with one another. Whether you are gainfully employed or searching for opportunities, be sure to take advantage of this month's Social Networking workshop. I look forward to seeing you at our next event!

  1. September 19, 11:30am - 1:00pm PT: Social Networking for the 21st Century - This month, we will show you how companies and enterprising individuals are networking in the 21st century. Seating is limited so be sure to RSVP for this event today.

  2. Where's your Resume?: If you have not done so, now is also the time to make sure employers can find you in our BDPA resume database.

  3. Membership and its Benefits - We are currently the 17th largest chapter in the nation with aspirations of being THE LARGEST CHAPTER. In addition to chapter programs, your dues directly support our most important community service component ... the High School Computer Competition program ... which trains up to 30 students annually. I encourage you to join or renew your membership in BDPa so that you can lay claim to these excellent membership benefits.

Feel free to contact me directly should you have any questions or feedback. My line is always open.

John C. Malonson III, President
BDPA Los Angeles Chapter
Phone: (562) 726-2677

Next step is yours ... please take a moment to respond to the message using the POST A COMMENT option below.

2009 Black Weblog Award Winners

Over 8,000 votes by the blogging public determined the winners of the 2009 Black Weblog Awards. A second award in each category made by a group of judges. Maurice Cherry and his crew at the Black Weblog Awards are to be commended for putting together this recognition.

This BDPA Foundation Blog is honored to be named by both the Black Weblog Award voters and the judges as the 2009 Best Business Blog. This category is for blogs that talk about the modern business world (advertising, marketing, finance, business trends and such). We will proudly display this award in our sidebar for the next year. I hope that the recognition encourages more support for our foundation.

Here is the full list of 2009 Black Weblog Award Winners:

Best Blog Design
Popular Vote: My Brown Baby
Judges’ Vote: Black Digerati

Best Blog Post Series
Popular Vote: Starving Artists” Series on 25 Magazine
Judges’ Vote: “Wet Wednesdays Erotica” Series on Naked With Socks On

Best Business Blog
Popular Vote:
BDPA Foundation
Judges’ Vote: BDPA Foundation

Best Culture Blog
Popular Vote: Afrobella
Judges’ Vote: FreshXpress .:. The PULSE of Young Black America

Best Faith-Based Blog
Popular Vote: Infinite Gen
Judges’ Vote: Reflections of a Jazz Theologian

Best Food Blog
Popular Vote:
Judges’ Vote:

Best Gossip Blog
Popular Vote: The Fury
Judges’ Vote: The Fury

Best Group Blog
Popular Vote: MESH.
Judges’ Vote: Very Smart Brothas

Best Health and Wellness Blog
Popular Vote: Mother Knows Best
Judges’ Vote: Mother Knows Best

Best Hip-Hop Blog
Popular Vote: GangStarr Girl
Judges’ Vote: The Rap Up

Best Humor Blog
Popular Vote: Awesomely Luvvie
Judges’ Vote: TWiB! This Week in Blackness

Best International Blog
Popular Vote: Ebony Intuition
Judges’ Vote: black and (A)broad

Best LGBT Blog
Popular Vote: Xem VanAdams
Judges’ Vote: Xem VanAdams

Best Microblog
Popular Vote: @brotherjesse
Judges’ Vote: @elonjames

Best Music Blog
Popular Vote: GangStarr Girl
Judges’ Vote: Industry Plug

Best New Blog
Popular Vote: Three Ways to Take It
Judges’ Vote: FreshXpress .:. The PULSE of Young Black America

Best Parenting and Family Blog
Popular Vote: My Brown Baby
Judges’ Vote: spelhouseLove

Best Personal Blog
Popular Vote: Brother Jesse Blog
Judges’ Vote: Blog It Out, Bitch

Best Photo Blog
Popular Vote: Swagger: Paris, New York
Judges’ Vote: Street Etiquette

Best Podcast
Popular Vote: Man and Wife
Judges’ Vote: Man and Wife

Best Political/News Blog
Popular Vote: Postbourgie
Judges’ Vote: The Field Negro

Best Science/Technology Blog
Popular Vote: Urban Science Adventures! (c)
Judges’ Vote: The Koalition

Best Sex and Relationships Blog
Popular Vote: Single Black Male
Judges’ Vote: Single Black Male

Best Sports/Recreation Blog
Popular Vote: Ed The Sports Fan
Judges’ Vote: Ed The Sports Fan

Best Style and Fashion Blog
Popular Vote: Mane & Chic
Judges’ Vote: The Fashion Bomb

Best Teen Blog
Popular Vote:
Judges’ Vote: I (heart) That

Best Video Blog
Popular Vote: Xem VanAdams
Judges’ Vote: TWiB! This Week in Blackness

Best Writing in a Blog
Popular Vote: Very Smart Brothas
Judges’ Vote: The Black Snob

Blog of the Year
Popular Vote: Brother Jesse Blog
Judges’ Vote: TWiB! This Week in Blackness

Blog to Watch
Popular Vote: Mane & Chic
Judges’ Vote: FreshXpress .:. The PULSE of Young Black America

And the winner of the Aaron Hawkins Award is…
Bill Cammack! - Bill Cammack is an Emmy Award-Winning freelance video editor who has focused his attention on the New/Social Media space.

Share your thoughts on the 2009 Black Weblog Award winners. Did you choice win? Do you feel that some deserving Black blog was left out this year? Any new learnings from this year's list? In other words ... share your thoughts in the COMMENTS area below!

The Cycle of Giving in Challenging Times

By Veronica Meury

Today, as individuals and businesses face challenging and troubling economic times, charitable foundations shouldn't underestimate the power of personal touches in every phase of their giving programs.

As the executive director of a relatively new foundation that supports technical education, I have learned that creating a long-term sense of community between donors and recipients establishes and extends the cycle of giving far beyond the dollars donated.

Almost everyone agrees that the Internet has made it easier to contact new generations and segments of donors, but it is also easy to overlook personal touches.

Read the rest of the Philanthropy Journal article here...

Thursday, September 10, 2009

BDPA LinkedIn Group Hits 1,200 Members!

by Keith Warrick

Another important milestone for BDPA was achieved today when the BDPA LinkedIn group hit 1,200 members! This is only after reaching 1,000 members just three short months ago!

We continue to make our mark in the exploding and burgeoning world of social media by creating the largest concentration of IT professionals of color on LinkedIn but we still have more work to do.

So, for every IT professional that you know that is not on LinkedIn or not in this group, please tell them what they are missing and invite them to join us.

Remember that membership increases the expanse of your network so the more members, the deeper your network reach when you need to reach out for assistance and expertise that you may not possess. This all translates to better and increased networking opportunities as Wayne mentioned when we hit 1,000 members.

We are still looking to read about any success stories as a consequence of being connected via this group so please share them with us.

Congratulations go out to Aaron Jones of Houston, Texas for becoming member 1,200!

BDPA Hall of Fame Nominations

We announced creation of the mythical BDPA Hall of Fame (HOF) earlier this year. BDPA co-founder Earl Pace was the inaugural HOF honoree.

Initially, we had no rules for inclusion into the HOF ... however, it seems that there should be some minimum standards to be included. Here are the proposed rules for entry into our mythical BDPA Hall of Fame:
  1. Nominations must be placed as a COMMENT on this blog post
  2. Nominees must have served in at least two separate positions on the National BDPA Board of Directors
Once three eligible candidates are identified, we will write a post arguing the case for (and against) their inclusion. Then we'll put it to a vote.

It's that simple. There aren't any other rules at this point. I hope you will participate. You can begin right away. Who do you think should be elevated to the mythical BDPA Hall of Fame?

Nonprofits say YES to social media… and mostly to Facebook

Originally published in onLine Philanthropy.

We know there is some dispute over whether or not Facebook is good for fundraising. Maybe it is, maybe it isn’t. [SOURCE]

But there’s no dispute over its popularity. In a recent NTEN survey, almost 1,000 nonprofit professionals answered questions about their organizations’ use of social media. And they said loud and clear that they’re using it.

Some highlights:

  • 86% have a presence on commercial social networks in general, and 74% are on Facebook.

  • 81% said their primary purpose for having a presence on these networks is marketing.

  • 81% allocate at least one-quarter of a full time employee to the networks.

  • The average Facebook community size is 1,369 (unless you leave in those big three organizations that skew the average to 5,391).

  • The average Twitter following is 291, LinkedIn community is 286, and YouTube is 268. Oh, and MySpace, which comes in at 1,905 members.

Your constituents are on Facebook. Your competitors are on Facebook. And there’s a lot of marketing going on.

So it’s not always a question of the dollars coming in due to Facebook, but how well you are marketing your organization, and engaging new and loyal supporters.

Thanks to this NTEN study, you can measure your organization against industry benchmarks. And, you can prove your success and relevance in social media in other quantifiable ways. Track the numbers of Facebook Fans and their demographics (via improved Insights reporting on Facebook Pages), the number of Followers and @ mentions on Twitter, and the click trends of short URLs in tweets.

With donations dwindling in this tough economy, it’s important to keep supporters engaged, even with brief status updates of “what’s on your mind” and tweets about “what you’re doing.”

Ninety-five percent of nonprofits said they are either maintaining or increasing staffing resources given to social networks over the next year.

Indeed, everybody’s doing it.

Nonprofit Social Network Survey Report:

NOTE: BETF is currently on a number of social networks including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn Network and YouTube. However, we could use your support and ideas on ways to improve our social media presence.

What say u?

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Message from Philadelphia Chapter President

BDPA Philadelphia is the 3rd largest chapter in the nation. More importantly, they are the 3-time defending 'BDPA Chapter of the Year'. Much of the chapter's success can be attributed to the leadership of president Monique Berry. Here is the message that Monique shared with her chapter's stakeholders this month:

Dear Colleagues,

You have the power to influence the focus and direction of BDPA Philadelphia Chapter in a very concrete way -- by volunteering on a working chapter committee or nominating a colleague (or yourself) for board membership. As you are returning from summer vacations, please take a few minutes to consider increasing your involvement in the volunteer management of BDPA Philadelphia Chapter. If you are currently involved with a chapter committee, nominate yourself for the Executive Board.

The Board determines the strategic direction for the chapter and is very involved in educational programs, networking activities for members and non-members, and fundraising endeavors. We need experienced and active BDPA members to help us with fiscal matters, promotion and branding, and long-range strategic planning for our chapter.

Board members also interact with the volunteers and staff at the National BDPA and have regular contact with colleagues in other areas of the country. I volunteered for the Chapter as the Vice President of Membership Management for two years followed by two years as President Elect and now President of the Philadelphia Chapter. On a national level, I serve on the Board of Directors and I have enjoyed meeting and working with board leaders from other chapters across the United States.

Board members are expected to actively participate in board meetings and serve or chair a board committee. New board members begin their term in January of each year and serve for a two year term. Nominations may be submitted by any member of the Philadelphia Chapter and we welcome self-nominations. Celeste Robinson chairs the nomination committee. We are committed to nominating a board of directors who are actively involved in the on-going programs of the Chapter.

Please go to the members' area of the BDPA membership database to submit a board nomination for President Elect and Vice President of Finance and to review the duties of these open positions and consider volunteering your expertise to the Philadelphia Chapter Executive Board.

If you are not currently involved in committee work but would like to get involved, please consider volunteering for a chapter committee. We need your expertise, time and energy to continue to provide high quality programming to BDPA members and non-members. Make a difference to our profession by giving your talent, expertise and, yes, some of your valuable time!

The deadline for nominations is September 30, 2009.

I look forward to working with you as a new volunteer or board member in 2010.

With warm regards,
Monique Berry, President
BDPA Philadelphia Chapter

Please share your thoughts about this message using the COMMENTS link below.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Future City Competition for Middle School Students

BETF wants to advance the careers of African Americans from the classroom to the boardroom. Ideally, we acheive this mission through the programs and services of BDPA at local and national levels. However, we want to encourage any programs that move our mission forward. As such, I am proud to introduce many BETF-Blog readers to an existing program that educates and motivates young teenagers that are still in middle school ... Future City Competition.

The folks behind this program believe that the typical American seventh or eighth-grader can think beyond sports, texting or hip hop to a different level -- a level that involves creating a vision of the future.

How cool would it be for BDPA students to participate in the National Engineers Week Future City Competition, which each year invites young people to create a city of tomorrow. What began in 1992 as a modest project to encourage math and science skills and lay the foundation for a career in engineering has become the nation’s largest engineering education program, this year expected to reach 30,000 students in 1,100 schools.

Forty region competitions funnel students towards an all-expense-paid trip to the Future City National Finals in Washington, D.C., February 15-17, 2010 during National Engineers Week. Grand prize is a trip to Space Camp in Huntsville, AL.

The competition asks students, working in teams and under the guidance of a teacher and a volunteer engineering (or IT professional) mentor from the community, to design a city of the future and include a plan that helps meet a particular social need.

Students build their cities first on computer using SimCity 4 Deluxe and then in large three-dimensional scale models. They must also write an abstract describing their city, and an essay on a topical engineering issue. Finally, five of the best teams have to present and defend their design before a panel of prominent engineer judges all the while parents, teachers, guests listen.

Future City purposely directs participants to incorporate real engineering challenges into their plans and this year is no different. With thousands of roads, bridges, and railways in need of repair and increased traffic straining budgets, the effective use of basic transportation construction materials will become a pressing topic.

Students can create any kind of city or transportation system, but as they devise monorails, people movers, bike paths, or freeways, they will be giving extra scrutiny to urban expansion, environmental issues, and sustainability with achievable, measurable results. A special focus of the 2010 competition will be to create green living spaces to house the neediest. Designing affordable housing for those most in need is enormously complicated. But how will these students propose to accomplish this task with an emphasis on energy efficiency and a low carbon footprint?

The hands-on lessons in practical math and science can prove critical in maintaining studies through high school, giving students the skills they need to pursue science, technology, engineering or mathematics in college. Aren't these lessons that would be useful for our BDPA student members?

Monday, September 7, 2009

Obama's Speech to America's Students (Video/Text)

On Tuesday, September 8 — the first day of school for many students — the President talked directly to students across the country on the importance of taking responsibility for their education, challenging them to set goals and do everything they can to succeed.

Anyone that objects to having the President of the United States speaking directly to their children about staying in school is a fool. That's my opinion. President Obama announced that he would be speaking with students during his interview with Damon Weaver (Canal Point Elementary School):

Because some fools expressed outrage that the President would be speaking to their children ... the White House released an advanced copy of his speech. Here is the text of his remarks:

Hello everyone – how’s everybody doing today? I’m here with students at Wakefield High School in Arlington, Virginia. And we’ve got students tuning in from all across America, kindergarten through twelfth grade. I’m glad you all could join us today.

I know that for many of you, today is the first day of school. And for those of you in kindergarten, or starting middle or high school, it’s your first day in a new school, so it’s understandable if you’re a little nervous. I imagine there are some seniors out there who are feeling pretty good right now, with just one more year to go. And no matter what grade you’re in, some of you are probably wishing it were still summer, and you could’ve stayed in bed just a little longer this morning.

I know that feeling. When I was young, my family lived in Indonesia for a few years, and my mother didn’t have the money to send me where all the American kids went to school. So she decided to teach me extra lessons herself, Monday through Friday – at 4:30 in the morning.

Now I wasn’t too happy about getting up that early. A lot of times, I’d fall asleep right there at the kitchen table. But whenever I’d complain, my mother would just give me one of those looks and say, "This is no picnic for me either, buster."

So I know some of you are still adjusting to being back at school. But I’m here today because I have something important to discuss with you. I’m here because I want to talk with you about your education and what’s expected of all of you in this new school year.

Now I’ve given a lot of speeches about education. And I’ve talked a lot about responsibility.

I’ve talked about your teachers’ responsibility for inspiring you, and pushing you to learn.

I’ve talked about your parents’ responsibility for making sure you stay on track, and get your homework done, and don’t spend every waking hour in front of the TV or with that Xbox.

I’ve talked a lot about your government’s responsibility for setting high standards, supporting teachers and principals, and turning around schools that aren’t working where students aren’t getting the opportunities they deserve.

But at the end of the day, we can have the most dedicated teachers, the most supportive parents, and the best schools in the world – and none of it will matter unless all of you fulfill your responsibilities. Unless you show up to those schools; pay attention to those teachers; listen to your parents, grandparents and other adults; and put in the hard work it takes to succeed.

And that’s what I want to focus on today: the responsibility each of you has for your education. I want to start with the responsibility you have to yourself.

Every single one of you has something you’re good at. Every single one of you has something to offer. And you have a responsibility to yourself to discover what that is. That’s the opportunity an education can provide.

Maybe you could be a good writer – maybe even good enough to write a book or articles in a newspaper – but you might not know it until you write a paper for your English class. Maybe you could be an innovator or an inventor – maybe even good enough to come up with the next iPhone or a new medicine or vaccine – but you might not know it until you do a project for your science class. Maybe you could be a mayor or a Senator or a Supreme Court Justice, but you might not know that until you join student government or the debate team.

And no matter what you want to do with your life – I guarantee that you’ll need an education to do it. You want to be a doctor, or a teacher, or a police officer? You want to be a nurse or an architect, a lawyer or a member of our military? You’re going to need a good education for every single one of those careers. You can’t drop out of school and just drop into a good job. You’ve got to work for it and train for it and learn for it.

And this isn’t just important for your own life and your own future. What you make of your education will decide nothing less than the future of this country. What you’re learning in school today will determine whether we as a nation can meet our greatest challenges in the future.

You’ll need the knowledge and problem-solving skills you learn in science and math to cure diseases like cancer and AIDS, and to develop new energy technologies and protect our environment. You’ll need the insights and critical thinking skills you gain in history and social studies to fight poverty and homelessness, crime and discrimination, and make our nation more fair and more free. You’ll need the creativity and ingenuity you develop in all your classes to build new companies that will create new jobs and boost our economy.

We need every single one of you to develop your talents, skills and intellect so you can help solve our most difficult problems. If you don’t do that – if you quit on school – you’re not just quitting on yourself, you’re quitting on your country.

Now I know it’s not always easy to do well in school. I know a lot of you have challenges in your lives right now that can make it hard to focus on your schoolwork.

I get it. I know what that’s like. My father left my family when I was two years old, and I was raised by a single mother who struggled at times to pay the bills and wasn’t always able to give us things the other kids had. There were times when I missed having a father in my life. There were times when I was lonely and felt like I didn’t fit in.

So I wasn’t always as focused as I should have been. I did some things I’m not proud of, and got in more trouble than I should have. And my life could have easily taken a turn for the worse.

But I was fortunate. I got a lot of second chances and had the opportunity to go to college, and law school, and follow my dreams. My wife, our First Lady Michelle Obama, has a similar story. Neither of her parents had gone to college, and they didn’t have much. But they worked hard, and she worked hard, so that she could go to the best schools in this country.

Some of you might not have those advantages. Maybe you don’t have adults in your life who give you the support that you need. Maybe someone in your family has lost their job, and there’s not enough money to go around. Maybe you live in a neighborhood where you don’t feel safe, or have friends who are pressuring you to do things you know aren’t right.

But at the end of the day, the circumstances of your life – what you look like, where you come from, how much money you have, what you’ve got going on at home – that’s no excuse for neglecting your homework or having a bad attitude. That’s no excuse for talking back to your teacher, or cutting class, or dropping out of school. That’s no excuse for not trying.

Where you are right now doesn’t have to determine where you’ll end up. No one’s written your destiny for you. Here in America, you write your own destiny. You make your own future.

That’s what young people like you are doing every day, all across America.

Young people like Jazmin Perez, from Roma, Texas. Jazmin didn’t speak English when she first started school. Hardly anyone in her hometown went to college, and neither of her parents had gone either. But she worked hard, earned good grades, got a scholarship to Brown University, and is now in graduate school, studying public health, on her way to being Dr. Jazmin Perez.

I’m thinking about Andoni Schultz, from Los Altos, California, who’s fought brain cancer since he was three. He’s endured all sorts of treatments and surgeries, one of which affected his memory, so it took him much longer – hundreds of extra hours – to do his schoolwork. But he never fell behind, and he’s headed to college this fall.

And then there’s Shantell Steve, from my hometown of Chicago, Illinois. Even when bouncing from foster home to foster home in the toughest neighborhoods, she managed to get a job at a local health center; start a program to keep young people out of gangs; and she’s on track to graduate high school with honors and go on to college.

Jazmin, Andoni and Shantell aren’t any different from any of you. They faced challenges in their lives just like you do. But they refused to give up. They chose to take responsibility for their education and set goals for themselves. And I expect all of you to do the same.

That’s why today, I’m calling on each of you to set your own goals for your education – and to do everything you can to meet them. Your goal can be something as simple as doing all your homework, paying attention in class, or spending time each day reading a book. Maybe you’ll decide to get involved in an extracurricular activity, or volunteer in your community. Maybe you’ll decide to stand up for kids who are being teased or bullied because of who they are or how they look, because you believe, like I do, that all kids deserve a safe environment to study and learn. Maybe you’ll decide to take better care of yourself so you can be more ready to learn. And along those lines, I hope you’ll all wash your hands a lot, and stay home from school when you don’t feel well, so we can keep people from getting the flu this fall and winter.

Whatever you resolve to do, I want you to commit to it. I want you to really work at it.

I know that sometimes, you get the sense from TV that you can be rich and successful without any hard work -- that your ticket to success is through rapping or basketball or being a reality TV star, when chances are, you’re not going to be any of those things.

But the truth is, being successful is hard. You won’t love every subject you study. You won’t click with every teacher. Not every homework assignment will seem completely relevant to your life right this minute. And you won’t necessarily succeed at everything the first time you try.

That’s OK. Some of the most successful people in the world are the ones who’ve had the most failures. JK Rowling’s first Harry Potter book was rejected twelve times before it was finally published. Michael Jordan was cut from his high school basketball team, and he lost hundreds of games and missed thousands of shots during his career. But he once said, "I have failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed."

These people succeeded because they understand that you can’t let your failures define you – you have to let them teach you. You have to let them show you what to do differently next time. If you get in trouble, that doesn’t mean you’re a troublemaker, it means you need to try harder to behave. If you get a bad grade, that doesn’t mean you’re stupid, it just means you need to spend more time studying.

No one’s born being good at things, you become good at things through hard work. You’re not a varsity athlete the first time you play a new sport. You don’t hit every note the first time you sing a song. You’ve got to practice. It’s the same with your schoolwork. You might have to do a math problem a few times before you get it right, or read something a few times before you understand it, or do a few drafts of a paper before it’s good enough to hand in.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it. I do that every day. Asking for help isn’t a sign of weakness, it’s a sign of strength. It shows you have the courage to admit when you don’t know something, and to learn something new. So find an adult you trust – a parent, grandparent or teacher; a coach or counselor – and ask them to help you stay on track to meet your goals.

And even when you’re struggling, even when you’re discouraged, and you feel like other people have given up on you – don’t ever give up on yourself. Because when you give up on yourself, you give up on your country.

The story of America isn’t about people who quit when things got tough. It’s about people who kept going, who tried harder, who loved their country too much to do anything less than their best.

It’s the story of students who sat where you sit 250 years ago, and went on to wage a revolution and found this nation. Students who sat where you sit 75 years ago who overcame a Depression and won a world war; who fought for civil rights and put a man on the moon. Students who sat where you sit 20 years ago who founded Google, Twitter and Facebook and changed the way we communicate with each other.

So today, I want to ask you, what’s your contribution going to be? What problems are you going to solve? What discoveries will you make? What will a president who comes here in twenty or fifty or one hundred years say about what all of you did for this country?

Your families, your teachers, and I are doing everything we can to make sure you have the education you need to answer these questions. I’m working hard to fix up your classrooms and get you the books, equipment and computers you need to learn. But you’ve got to do your part too. So I expect you to get serious this year. I expect you to put your best effort into everything you do. I expect great things from each of you. So don’t let us down – don’t let your family or your country or yourself down. Make us all proud. I know you can do it.

Thank you, God bless you, and God bless America.

What are your thoughts on the message from President Obama to our young 'uns?