This is a resource for ordinary people doing extraordinary things -- social entrepreneurs and nonprofit staff and volunteers, i.e., those who work hard every day to make positive change. I'm a nonprofit professional, too, and I'm interested in the ways that the Internet, personal technology, and other tools can help advance the goals of those in the social sector (which, by my definition, encompasses the nonprofit sector, but also goes beyond it to include those in the private and public sectors who are pursuing social innovation).
As a result of my interests in personal tech and communications, I often find myself telling friends and colleagues about a Web site for tracking down the address of a prospective donor, or an easy way they can keep up with the issues their nonprofit addresses or a free Web-based calendar, task, and contact management application that can help individuals and teams be more productive. I hope to do the same thing with this blog -- to share information and tips from time to time that will help people accomplish their social-change goals more effectively.
I won't pretend to be definitive or even authoritative. In fact, much of the advice here will be pretty basic, as I find that even many brilliant leaders in the social sector know little about RSS, blogs as communications tools for nonprofits, or all that Google can do for them! (Watch for more info on these tools in future posts.)
I'll just share what has worked for me, as well as what others with far more knowledge and experience are recommending. I plan to review what experts in personal tech, life hacks, productivity, cool tools, and nonprofit tech are publishing, and then share the best of it here, adding ideas for how nontechies in in the social sector can apply the tips to their particular concerns. In that sense, I hope studio 501c will be a time-saving filter blog.
I also hope that it will offer a practical perspective to current discussions on how nonprofits can use the Internet and technology to further their missions. These discussions, though well intended, sometimes become unrealistic, especially when they involve nonprofit techies talking with other nonprofit techies. With studio 501c, I'll aim to address the everyday concerns of nontechies in nonprofits and other social-sector organizations.
I hope that you can help with this effort. Please post your ideas, advice, and experience in the comments section of this blog so that we can all learn from each other.