RESEARCH NUGGET #2

1. “Online Fundraising for Environmental Nonprofit Organizations” by Irene Pollach, Horst Treiblmaier, and Arne Floh

Pollach, Irene, Horst Treiblmaier, and Arne Floh. “Online Fundraising for Environmental Nonprofit Organizations.” IEEE Xplore: 1-9. IEEE Xplore Conferences. Web. 10 July 2014.

Link

Main Claim:
Pollach, Treiblmaier, and Floh created this study to research how individuals and nonprofit organizations connect. They examine the relationships between individuals and online donating, nonprofits and the internet, and donors and nonprofit organizations. They argue that the motive for individuals to donate to organizations is because of the human need to help others. Pollach et al. also search to identify factors that lead people to use the internet for financial transactions, such as online donating, and how nonprofit organizations could benefit from the capabilities of the web.

Nuggets:
1. “The most effective activator of this intrinsic motivation is thus an appeal to this need to help others. For nonprofit organizations this means that donors must perceive the organization’s cause as worthy of help, in which case their motivation translates into behavior, i.e. a monetary donation. Andreasen and Kotler [5] argue that all donors give because they expect tangible or intangible benefits in return. Benefits people may enjoy as a result of their donations may include public recognition, self-esteem, satisfaction of expressing gratitude for one’s own wellbeing, or relief from feelings of guilt [3, 11]. Brady et al. [7] found that people also donate because they perceive a sense of obligation or a need, because they are attached to the organization, or because they have an innate or acquired philanthropic disposition.”

Individuals cherish the feeling of something well done. Donating to a good cause stimulates that sensation, which ultimately motivates an individual to continue. However, the nonprofit organization has to have a purpose that connects to people and are trustworthy and admirable. People who are following a specific organization are more likely to contribute continual donations than those who don’t look into the organization. To gain followers, how nonprofits carry themselves and promote their cause must be respectable and appeal to individuals in order to receive donations and create change.

2. “The three basic functions of nonprofit Web sites are information, interaction, and fundraising [33]. Previous research on Web sites of nonprofits has focused on how nonprofits harness the power of the World Wide Web and e-mail [27, 40, 44, 45], how the Internet may provide them with a strategic competitive advantage [36], and how nonprofits engage audiences in two-way communication on their Web sites [48]. In general, Web sites of environmental nonprofits have been paid little attention to, apart from one study in the UK [52], which has identified a need for environmental nonprofit organizations to set up more professional Web sites with more sophisticated features.”

Nonprofit organizations lack the time and expenses into putting together a sophisticated website.  These charities receive donations from individuals who are interested in the cause, so many small nonprofits rather use the aid towards their objective than their website.  However, to receive more online donations, the nonprofit’s site needs to be appealing in order to have repeated visits from users. This can turn a small, local nonprofit organization into a worldwide charity. There are free features provided by third parties to polish and enhance the functions on nonprofit organizations’ websites.  The goal for every nonprofit is to provide information about their cause and interact with the public to receive donations and recruit volunteers.  A refined website can do all this and ultimately benefit these organizations.

 

2. “Save the Whales? Save the Rainforest? Save the Data!” by Andrew S. Pullin and Nick Salafsky

Pullin, Andrew, and Nick Salafsky. “Save the Whales? Save the Rainforest? Save the Data!.” Conservation Biology 24: 915-917. Wiley Online Library. Web. 10 July 2014.

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Main Claim:
Pullin and Salafsky wrote this article to inform individuals about the unavailability of data for conservation actions. They argue that this failure to develop a shared evidence base for conservation is due to the missing or inaccessible raw data in conservation research and practice. They state that the public’s interest in conservation has been accompanied by growth in research, which is generating more primary data and scientific articles. Despite this, iconic conservation targets such as “Save the Whales” and “Save the Rainforest” have neither been achieved.

Nuggets:
1. “The development of a data-sharing culture, like any large-scale shift in human behavior, requires practitioners and researchers to have the necessary infrastructure,
awareness, and incentives. Although data from conservation projects are often more complex and heterogeneous than genome sequences, conservation professionals are starting to develop the tools necessary to facilitate sharing of data from both conservation practice and academic research. For example, a standard nomenclature is being developed for both the specific threats that conservation projects face and the conservation actions that these projects are using to counter these threats (Salafsky et al. 2008).”

Researchers and scientists have to receive the accurate information and incentives from conservation projects in order to distribute their efforts through shared data. Conservation projects are complex and require a lot of effort in delivering their purpose to others. Data from conservation actions are often misunderstood or even inaccessible, making it difficult for the cause to administer their intentions.

2. “Academic researchers (and more importantly their assessors) focus on outputs in the form of peer-reviewed papers, which often do not present any raw data or at
best present raw data from a perspective limited to the hypothesis being tested. There is currently little or no institutional incentive for researchers to make raw data
available for future use. Thus, it is commonly not feasible to “recycle” data, reexamine interpretations, correct faulty analyses (Ionnadis 2005), or use these data to inform different research questions. Outside academia the situation is no different. Practitioners typically receive little encouragement to document their findings and thus rarely do so; at best they produce reports and assessments that are not subjected to peer review, lack raw data, and potentially include a relatively high number of errors in methods and interpretation.”

Peer-review articles are derived from previous articles, which are derived from previous articles, and so on. Hypotheses arise from other’s products and scholarly articles about previous research. If there is all this modern research from present and past scientists that link together, why would future analysts construct a completely raw report of their own? Scientists don’t do this because they trust other scientist’s work and feed off of those to build their own data. In regards to conversationalist, this is a disadvantage to their purpose because there is little effort in creating a complete raw data report for their projects and research.

 

3. “How Nonprofits Use Social Media to Engage with their Communities” by Ritu Sharma

Sharma, Ritu. “How Nonprofits Use Social Media to Engage with their Communities.” Nonprofit Quarterly, 13 Mar. 2014. Web. 10 July 2014. <https://nonprofitquarterly.org/management/23837-how-nonprofits-use-social-media-to-engage-with-their-communities.html>.

Link

Main Claim:
Sharma examined and surveyed 500 nonprofit professionals to better understand how nonprofit organizations integrate social media and online communications into their strategies. The informal survey was created to help advance how nonprofits use social media to engage communities and reveal their online methodologies and practices. The results argue that the majority of nonprofits use online media as a social network for announcements and sharing information. At the end of the article, Sharma discusses how individuals of the public can learn from nonprofit organizations and what they can do to help.

Nuggets:
1. “Nonprofits overwhelmingly (88%) said their most important communication tools were email and their websites, even though fully 97% of them are on Facebook. This may have to do with the fact that in their mind, the pinnacle of engagement is a donation (47%). Clearly, simply getting folks to retweet or comment (18% each) is helpful only to the extent it culminates in financial support, which still typically happens through a donate page.”

Email is the original online communication tool and is still used by almost every person who has access to the internet. However, Facebook and websites are good for nonprofit organizations because it allows them to create their own page with links for pictures, articles, etc. Websites and Facebook can be made into something personal for nonprofits and their cause. They can support their purpose and provide information through external links. Most charities also maintain their donations through their personal website, so everything is presented in one site.

2. “When asked how nonprofits engage their communities with social media, most (74%) use social networks as a megaphone, announcing events and activities and sharing organization-centric info. Only 53% actually follow the best practice of posting issue-centric content to establish thought leadership in their nonprofit’s area(s) of focus. Clearly, the sector still has a long way to go on this front.”

Nonprofit organizations utilize social media to announce fundraisers and public events, and try to receive donations. They provide information about the organization and what their purpose is. However, many nonprofits don’t share articles or information about issues that correlate with their cause. In order to receive more donations and followers, and also to educate the people, nonprofits have to respond to controversies that the organization faces through online means.

 

Synthesis:
For my first and third articles, they have a lot of segments in common and explain similar factors. They both argue about how nonprofit organizations utilize the web and communicate to the public. How nonprofits use and benefit from their personal website is an important element in both of these articles. They also discuss followers and how organizations receive their donations online.

My second article doesn’t have much in common with either my first or third article. However, the second article discusses mostly about how data of nonprofit organizations is shared and how much is accessible. Both my first and third articles examine social media and personal websites of nonprofits, which are public forums. These public forums allows what information (or data) can be shared and accessed by individuals. These three articles can link together about how data and information of nonprofit organizations can be shared to the public.

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