Beautiful Greenpeace crowdfunding site lets you buy a piece of the new Rainbow Warrior

Crowdfunding websites that let you contribute to specific projects are nothing new, but launched by Greenpeace to generate funds for their new Rainbow Warrior has lifted the bar to a new level in terms of on-site experience.

The site opens with a great full screen video telling the story of the current Rainbow Warrior and the need for a replacement. Then you can take a look at the planned new vessel through an interactive 3d model and browse through detailed blueprints of the new ship to select items that you’d like to ‘buy’ to help fund its construction – anything from a Survival Suit at €800 to a €10 Toilet Roll Holder. All donors will receive a Certificate of Purchase and have their name added to a dedication wall on the ship itself.

Elsewhere on the site you can see personal stories from the Rainbow Warrior crew and view video of the latest stage of construction via a webcam at the dry dock in Germany. Social sharing opportunities are provided through Facebook and Twitter share buttons.

Overall, it’s a great user experience. Right down to the soundtrack becoming muffled if you drop beneath the surface of the sea to view the underside of the ship!

The only thing they don’t seem to have got right is the search strategy to help drive traffic to the site. I first heard about it on Twitter (thanks to @101reinier). But then when I wanted to show the site to someone else and tried to find it using Google it was nowhere to be seen. Even typing ‘New Rainbow Warrior’ didn’t bring-up the site, although it did return a wide range of news stories about the ship being built and a range of other Greenpeace fundraising landing pages like this one.

Social Actions team launches Social Entrepreneur API

Social Entrepreneur API

Last week an interesting new initiative was launched by the team at Social Actions – whose open source database of microphilanthropic opportunities from over 50 different non-profits I wrote about in April this year.

This time they have brought together data from a number of different social enterprise funders to create the world’s first open source database of social entrepreneurs who have who have won fellowships and awards. The idea being to make it easy for philanthropists, investors, journalists and others involved in similar non-profit work to make contact with formally vetted social entrepreneurs – and so facilitate easier collaboration, future funding, etc.

The social entrepreneurs on the database range from representatives of non-profits to individuals working within their own communities, but all have in common the fact that they have been formally recognised for their work by the organisations that have contributed the data. As with the Social Actions microphilanthropy database, this unique dataset can be searched based on keyword, location, cause area, etc. but has also been specifically designed to enable any third party to access and re-publish the data through their own web applications.

For more information visit

Spezify visual search engine creates amazing online mood boards


I just came across the recently launched visual search tool Spezify thanks to a RT from my old Rapp colleague @riksta.

Spezify is essentially a search engine that provides its results in a range of different visual ways – with the end result that you get a fascinating ‘mood board’ presentation in response to whatever search terms you enter.

Go-on… visit the site and type-in your organisation name (in “commas” to get a full word search) or any subject you’ve been trying to come-up with new creative approaches to and see what a rich range of things it fills your screen with.

But don’t blame me if you’re still ‘testing’ it in a few hours time – as it is strangely addictive.

On its 20th birthday, the creator of the World Wide Web explains why its future is in shifting from ‘linked documents’ to ‘linked data’

Today is apparently the 20th birthday of the World Wide Web! So, why not celebrate this great day by taking a little time to stretch your thinking about the Web just a bit.

Go on, make yourself a cup of tea, relax… and watch the great TED video above, in which Tim Berners-Lee explains how he invented the World Wide Web – and sheds some light on how he believes his brainchild will evolve in the future.

In this short talk, Berners-Lee explains how the World Wide Web all began because he wanted to refine the way we use information and work together – and, apparently, because his boss humoured him and agreed that he could spend time on it on the side as a “play project”. All bosses with bright staff – take note!.

It goes without saying that this particular play project ended-up revolutionising our lives through the way the Web links documents together online.

But this is just the beginning. The future, Berners-Lee explains, will comprise evolving from the current ‘linked documents’ approach to a ‘linked data’ approach. This is the next revolution. Releasing, repurposing, and re-using the infinite wealth of data we collate – from medical research databases to data on relationships held on social networking sites – by linking it up in previously unconsidered ways to support previously unachievable applications.

This revolution has already started, with the ever increasing number of of APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) being launched – from Facebook to Kiva – which enable the data traditionally held within websites to be accessed, combined with data from other sources, and re-purposed in an infinite number of new ways (such as Google Maps mash-ups).

It might take a second, stronger, cup of tea – perhaps with sugar – for you to start to consider what this means for your own Web activity. Could you release the information you currently only share through ‘documents’ on your website for others to use and share on your behalf? What implications will this mean for your future web architecture and implementations? And what benefits might this bring, given the challenges of marketing within today’s highly savvy and highly connected networked society?

A very happy third birthday to Kiva!

This month marks the third birthday of the fantastic person-to-person, micro-lending website Kiva – and what a three years it has been since their launch. From raising $1million in its first year, to $10million by year two, and an amazing $40million by the end of year 3! It just goes to show what incredible things can be achieved when visionary fundraisers embrace the benefits of the internet to enable donors to support life-changing projects in a truly engaging and personal way.

According to the latest Kiva stats (updated nightly) over 350,000 individual lenders have now supported projects in 41 different countries through Kiva, and it still seems to be growing as fast as ever.

While the micro-lending business model is very different to traditional fundraising (you can get your money back once the projects you’ve funded have repaid their loan – if you want to – although most supporters just ‘re-invest’) there is still a wealth of learning to be gained here for others looking to grow their online fundraising. If you’ve never visited the site, then get over there and take a look. Or, if you’ve seen the site but haven’t been there for a while then take another look, as they’ve added some interesting things like Kiva lending teams – which fits perfectly with the key trend of online community fundraising.

(Image and Guy Kawasaki quote from the Kiva Blog)

Two twitterers keep the tweets flying thick and fast at the International Fundraising Congress

I’m over at the 28th International Fundraising Congress in Holland right now, nursing a bad cold with lots of Lemsip and relaxing a bit after giving a couple of morning sessions back to back on The Future of Fundraising in a Networked Society.

One of the great things about conferences like this is the opportunity to catch-up with folks you just don’t get the opportunity to see much the rest of the year, a case in point here being my catching-up with Howard from and Jonathan from Justgiving – who I usually only talk to online. The two of them are apparently the only delegates out of some 950 folks here from all around the world who are microblogging their experience at various sessions using Twitter. I only found this out when Jonathan mentioned that he’d been twittering away in the back row of my second session this morning (including mention of the ‘dubious’ Dutch language ‘are you lonely’ Facebook ad that appeared in my profile when I was using it to illustrate a point – see above!-).

You can follow the full results of their marathon twittering here.

Btw – for anyone who attended my sessions who is wanting to get the presentation downloads – I’ll post details of the IFC web address where you can get these as soon as I find-out what it is.

Time for another Lemsip now.

Second Life Relay For Life 2008 doubles previous record, raising over $210k

Bit of late news here I’m afraid. Due to the last couple of months being pretty busy with my moving jobs I missed this year’s Second Life Relay for Life, held on July 19th and 20th in support of the American Cancer Society. However, the great news is that they more than doubled the $100,000 achieved last year, raising a grand total of over $210,000 through the combined efforts of 85 teams made-up of 2,230 avatars – plus all the volunteer designers and other organisers.

This is the largest amount yet raised by a single fundraising campaign within the virtual world and represents a wonderful example of what can be achieved when a specialist community becomes enthused with an innovative opportunity to raise money for a great cause.

For a feel of what a sponsored run within a virtual online world looks like, take a look at the video above compiled by Jovana Qinan.