Friday, December 7, 2007
That wasn't the case at a recent London Fundraiser, where celebrities, including British Actor Nigel Havers (Empire of the Sun) and rugby player Matt "Daws" Dawson, joined 500 others at a West London swimming pool to raise money for charity -- and to break the Guinness world record for the world's largest formal underwater dinner party.
In groups of 20, diners sat down to a NASA-style meal of smoked salmon, crap and hazelnut praline, all jellied so as to not disintegrate in the water. To eat the ice cube-sized portions, explained The Park Club in West London, "...remove the aqua lung from your mouth, pop in the space food from NASA, replace the aqua lung in your mouth and press the button on the aqua lung to purge away the water in your mouth and start breathing again: as simple as that!"
The record-breaking attempt -- the previous record was 100, set in 1991 -- raised more that $400,000 for six charities, including Save the Children, Wooden Spoon, and The Shooting Star Children's Hospice.
- Marla E. Nobles
Thursday, December 6, 2007
Any nonprofit can face a difficult struggle when trying to bring relief to, or even cope with, a site of widespread devastation. The World Wide Web can be an extremely useful resource.
Rick Christ, managing partner of NPAdvisors.com, visited New Orleans. The city is still far from recovery, but Christ offered recommendations for utilizing the Web to stay operational that were presented to New Orleans nonprofits but that could have universal application.
The recommendations are:
- Think cheap and quick. There are plenty of free Web tools, but don't use any that take too long to learn.
- The Web was created for man, not man for the Web. A small nonprofit with no budget or tech staff that is literally digging itself out of the mud needs only to "do" online what produces real and immediate benefits. If there is no short-term gain online, don't do it.
- Get the fundamentals right, forget the rest. Focus on usability, on value to the Web user and on fundraising. Integration is only a problem if you have a lot of data.
- Web must follow mission. Only do online what furthers your mission (this week). If your mission is advocacy, the Web can help. If it is bringing people together, think chat rooms.
- Everyone wants to help. Ask. This can be true primarily along the Gulf Coast, but to an extent it's true among all nonprofits.
Tuesday, December 4, 2007
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