VONVO: Converting followers into Donors and Volunteers Through Video Conferencing

I attended another great HandsOn Tech seminar to educate non-profit communications professionals in new media. Unlike their seminars at Google Headquarters in NYC, this one I attended via the online webinar service, VONVO.

VONVO is more than a webinar  too, however. It’s a service for non-profits, allowing them to bring together and engage people who are passionate about a cause.  Unlike other webinar services, it features a “donate” button on the right, providing crowd funding properties.

Throughout the video conference, users learn about an organization that serves a cause that they are passionate about; two thirds are converted into donors and volunteers. It has applications for organizations from the United Nations, to non-profits, including non-profit journalism organizations.

A site covering Syrian news, for example, could draw attention to the issue by hosting a discussion, and raise coverage to the challenges of their coverage, even showing the crisis in the background. A site looking for medical volunteers for the crisis could likewise raise funds.

Staffing needs for non-profit journalism organizations

Non-profit journalism organizations when surveyed, show their greatest need is in business, advertising and fundraising. Likewise, surveys for organizations addressing hunger, namely soup kitchens and food pantries, also show the highest need for skilled volunteers, such as those who can build an online presence, or aid with these same needs.

While it is impossible to avoid processing fees (2.5 cents), Vonvo only takes 2 cents on the dollar, Affordably priced, seminars either come with a monthly subscription, or cost $100 (or they will work with your organizations budget and size). When one considers this could eliminate the cost of a gala fundraising event, not to mention pushing planning from up to nine months down to 2-4 weeks. this could be an advantage.

Most of the turnover time is spent in marketing. VONVO promotes the event to their network onFacebok, and also works with one key person at an organization to personally plan an effort. It works with EventBrite, and so one could couple it with techniques from HandsOn Tech’s EventBrite seminar, about how to use the tool with social networks to maintain a sustained interest up to an event. A celebrity promotion could also drive numbers through the roof.  The seminars are then posted on YouTube afterwards, allowing organizations to continue to share the content.

Search all US Public Data with Enigma.io

Back when I was graduating from Columbia, two chums of mine decided to go into intellectual property rights, a burgeoning field, before they were sure what to do in it.

Wisely, they positioned themselves well, because two years later in 2009, President Obama, for the sake of transparency, deemed that all public data from all public offices had to be released in a digital export form.

However, in many ways this policy of the administration was never realized until Mark DaCosta and Hicham Oudghiri, co-founders of the site, launched Engima.io in March of 2014. The tool allows you to search all public records.

There are numerous possible applications for Enigma.io. Journalists no doubt used it to help blow the top off of the story that methane fields in the US had such big leaks:  the Guardian reported on leaks in the US, but commented that this public information is simply not available in the UK. If not for this information, the full impact of methane fields on climate change would not have been understood.

Another possible use is for financial types to stay on top of emerging news about companies to invest in:  this tool will tell them all the writing on the wall.  A quick search on Koch Industries, for example, sifts up Toxicity Reports, plans in South Dakota, an ecologically delicate area over America’s largest acquifer they were trying to drill in (according to enigma, they’ve managed nonetheless to get their hands on 98 wells in the state, and it even provides directions for you to go see them), lists of employees and titles from CrunchBase. You can even see the details of their company headquarters in the UK.

EAP, Department of the Interior, Defense, Senate, Government Spending:  its interactions with every single government department have been meticulously logged.  It’s a journalist’s dream. For paid support, they will even provide you with data sets, support, and more.

Can anyone else think of any other great uses for the public data on Engima? Let us know what you find!