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Topical Resource Lists

Nonprofit Organizations and the Internet:
A Resource List

The Internet has revolutionized the way nonprofit organizations conduct their day-to-day operations, and has permitted entirely new ways of keeping in touch with members, reaching new donors, and communicating a message. This resource list contains citations to selected works on this topic from the Foundation Center's bibliographic database, the Catalog of Nonprofit Literature. For a more readings in this area, search the catalog by using the following headings in the subject field: Internet, Internet-directories, Fundraising-computer aided, or Computer technology.

General Resources

Ghidotti, Natalie; Hrywna, Mark. "Turbo-Charged Web Use: Embracing Technology to Tell stories, Raise funds, and Create loyalty." NonProfit Times, vol. 21 (1 April 2007): p. 1, 4, 6.

Nonprofits are utilizing MySpace, mapping tools, and other emerging technologies to help expand the reach of their Web sites. Organizations profiled include Life Rolls On, American Cancer Society, New York City Coalition Against Hunger, Heartspring, Arkansas Repertory Theatre, Generations United, and March of Dimes.

Hart, Ted; Greenfield, James M.; Johnston, Michael. Nonprofit Internet Strategies: Best Practices for Marketing, Communications, and Fundraising Success. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, 2005. xiv, 345 p.

Covers the multiple aspects of utilizing the potential of the Internet, including developing a strategy, planning, staffing, building an online community, enhancing the brand, and creating an integrated fundraising plan. One chapter deals with legal issues, while appendices include a code of ethics for online practices. With glossary and index.

Waters, Richard D. "Nonprofit Organizations' Use of the Internet: A Content Analysis of Communication Trends on the Internet Sites of the Philanthropy 400." Nonprofit Management & Leadership, vol. 18 (Fall 2007): p. 59-76.

The author reviewed web sites of nonprofits listed in the Chronicle of Philanthropy's Philanthropy 400 to study online communication and fundraising practices of top charities. The content analysis explored various features, including online annual reports and shopping carts, with results broken down by organization size and type.

Westcott, Scott. "Face Time." Chronicle of Philanthropy, vol. 19 (25 January 2007): p. T-2-3.

Nonprofit organizations are using social networking sites such as MySpace and Facebook to connect to volunteers, promote awareness, and increase membership. Westcott stresses the importance of understanding the culture of these sites and maintaining fresh content in order to sustain online relationships.

Blogging and Podcasting

Hrywna, Mark. "Blogging From the Top: Donors--and Everyone Else--Get Access to the Boss." NonProfit Times, vol. 22 (15 May 2008): p. 1, 4.

Describes the blogging experiences of two nonprofits, Soles4Souls and Humane Society of the United States.

Williams, Scott. "What's in Podcasting for Nonprofits?" Nonprofit Quarterly, vol. v. 14, n. 3 (Fall 2007): p. 69-74.

A discussion of how podcasting works, how it has been used by both for-profit companies and nonprofit groups, and why it may or may not be useful for particular nonprofit organizations. The article examines four nonprofits – Planned Parenthood, the Multiple Sclerosis Society, Volunteer San Diego, and First Book – and how they have used podcasting in effective and innovative ways.

Digital Divide

Cohen, Todd. "Despite Years of Discussion, There's Still a Digital Divide." NonProfit Times, vol. 19 (1 November 2005): p. 1, 42-3.

Treuhaft, Sarah, et al. Bridging the Innovation Divide: An Agenda for Disseminating Technology Innovations Within the Nonprofit Sector. Oakland, CA: PolicyLink, 2007. 66 p.

Technology plays an important role in enabling nonprofits to respond to social needs, and to perform fundamental functions—research, communications, public education, advocacy, fundraising, program development, and service delivery—with ever-greater speed and efficiency. But unequal access to the newest technologies has created an “innovation divide,” according to the authors. Therefore, adoption of many newer applications remain concentrated among a handful of organizations with high technology capacity. The report offers a plan for addressing the issue.


Hall, Holly; Panepento, Peter. "Donors Take Control: Grass-roots Fund Raising Flourishes on the Internet." Chronicle of Philanthropy, vol. 19 (22 March 2007): p. 25, 27-8.

In a growing trend, nonprofit groups are using Internet campaigns to collect small donations from large numbers of people. Bypassing professional fundraisers, these groups rely on word of mouth and social networking technologies such as blogs. The online campaigns also offer new ways for donors to get engaged beyond traditional one-time gifts.

Grobman, Gary M.; Grant, Gary B. Fundraising Online: Using the Internet to Raise Serious Money for Your Nonprofit Organization. Harrisburg, PA: White Hat Communications, 2006. 189 p.

Information about the options currently in use for online fundraising, with an emphasis on resources that are available to assist in decision making. The process begins with a fundraising plan, and may include electronic newsletters, podcasts, online stores, and other techniques. Practical advice is accompanied by numerous illustrations. With bibliographical references and index.

Hart, Ted; Greenfield, James M.; Haji, Sheeraz D. People to People Fundraising: Social Networking and Web 2.0 for Charities. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, 2007. xxv, 262 p.

Explains how to use the latest Internet tools and approaches to fundraise and develop support for your cause. Topics discussed in the volume include social media, advocacy, special events, Web site evaluation, integrated campaigns, widgets, and other technologies.

Wallace, Nicole. "After the Flood." Chronicle of Philanthropy, vol. 20 (12 June 2008): p. 7, 12-5.

An analysis of the Chronicle of Philanthropy's survey on the rate of online donations for charities in 2007. While online giving slowed in 2007, and comprises a relatively small portion of most organizations' fundraising totals, some charities have found that online donations are becoming an increasingly substantial part of their overall fundraising. Includes a chart tracking online fundraising at 203 charities.

Legal Aspects

Hopkins, Bruce R. The Nonprofit's Guide to Internet Communications Law. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, 2003. xx, 332 p.

Hopkins elucidates the relationship between laws affecting nonprofit organizations and their use of the Internet. Focusing on fundraising, lobbying, political activity, management of charitable giving, he explains and footnotes with case citations the relevant legal precedents. He also cautions that development of new laws in this area is fast-paced, and advisors to nonprofits need to remain current with the changing regulations. He notes that there are three paramount issues from a legal perspective: the cost of Internet use; essence of hyperlinks; and record keeping. Includes a table of cases.


Bhagat, Vinay; Hauf, Brian; Donovan, Quinn. The Online Marketing (eCRM) Nonprofit Benchmark Index Study. Austin, TX: Convio, Inc., 2007. 17 p.

The first annual report on which aspects of online marketing nonprofit organizations should emphasize. Analyzes web site traffic, online registrations, and response to fundraising e-mail appeals from 30 Convio clients of various sizes and missions. Data is meant to provide a scale against which other organizations can measure themselves.

Krautzel, George. "Social Media: Marketing Myths and Universal Truths." FundRaising Success, vol. 6 (June 2008): p. 39-40, 42.

Gives an overview of social media and how groups can use it to increase their presence and fundraising ability online. Lists a series of myths and realities regarding marketing with social networking sites.


Cravens, Jayne. "Online Volunteering Enters Middle Age." Nonprofit Quarterly, vol. 14 (Spring 2007): p. 65-8.

The author demonstrates why online volunteering is a management issue rather than a technological one. Beginning with an overview of how online volunteering has emerged, Cravens gives tips on how to successfully integrate online and face-to-face volunteer programs.

Ellis, Susan J. "Address It WWV: An Update on Technology and Volunteers." NonProfit Times, vol. 21 (1 May 2007): p. 20-1.

Topics covered include volunteers and the digital divide, virtual volunteering, and new technologies (Podcasts and blogging).

Tomaselli, Kathleen Phalen. "Kids, Volunteering and the Digital Age: The New Way to Recruit Youth Volunteers." Volunteer Leadership, (Winter 2007): p. 14-20.

The article provides examples of how organizations can promote youth civic participation, especially with the help of online technologies.

Web Design and Technology

Beveridge, David. "Why You Need a Content Management System." Nonprofit World vol. 24 (March-April 2006) p. 16, 18-9.

Explains the virtues of a using a content management system (CMS) for keeping an organization's Web site up to date. With a CMS, new content can be checked and approved, presentation can be consistent, and updates can be scheduled.

Burton, Heather; Gonzalez, Daniel. "Web to the Max." FundRaising Success, vol. 6 (June 2008): p. 45-6.

Instructs beginners on how to make the most of their nonprofit's web site in order to engage donors. Offers a brief overview on Web 2.0 strategies, design and content, tracking web performance indicators, and methods of increasing a site's visibility.

Dysart, Joe. "Analyze This: Let Web Analytics Software Be Your Guide to Dynamic Web Site Redesign." Association Management, vol. 57 (September 2005): p. 58-60, 63-5.

Four specific software products are compared.

Links to Internet Resources

The Foundation Center's Links to Nonprofit Resources

E-Philanthropy and Online Fundraising
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