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News from the Case Foundation and what people are talking about this week in the world of giving, tech and everything in between.
World Water Day
On Monday, the global community celebrated the 18th annual World Water Day, to raise awareness of the importance of safe, reliable water sources. Numerous organizations, including our partner Water For People, took part in spreading awareness of the day and media and blog coverage of the day was extensive. On our blog, Dee Benzing reflected on the significance of the day not only for bringing awareness to developing countries, but to become more conscious of water quantity and quality in our daily lives. In this piece on the Huffington Post, Michael Deane, executive director of the National Association of Water Companies, shares insights on a few of the many activities that have been taking place to improve access to clean water and challenges readers to "identify and implement solutions to the many challenges associated with water quality, access and availability." On the Fast Company site, James Cascio shares insights on three projects that were introduced during a meeting of LAUNCH, a new organization intended to "dig up and offer support to innovations in sustainability." This Christian Science Monitor article outlines water challenges in the Gaza Strip as one example of the human cost of a lack of access to clean water and sanitation. The number of resources and articles on World Water Day is endless, feel free to check out other news as it relates to this week's events on this Google News search results page.
Facebook co-founder to launch Jumo, philanthropy-based social networking site
Interesting news this week from Chris Hughes, founder of Facebook and orchestrator of social media efforts during President Barack Obama's 2008 campaign, that he will launch Jumo, a new social networking platform which, as this San Francisco Business Times article describes, is designed to "help members find and connect with the causes, nonprofit organizations and individuals working on issues that they care about." This Wall Street Journal blog post about the launch, which is slated for the fall, makes note of other online tools that aim to connect people with causes they care about, and notes how Hughes plans to differentiate Jumo by focusing on creating "longer-term relationships between people and causes." And in coverage on the Chronicle of Philanthropy, Hughes notes that "will be designed to take advantage of content that has already been created elsewhere and offer robust tools for sharing content." Naturally, this news has been getting a ton of buzz including articles on Fast Company, GigaOm, Huffington Post and Mashable just to name a few others. It's clear that many are anxious to see how Chris Hughes builds on his prior social networking success to bring this new site to life.
Nonprofits expect tough year ahead
While this news did not get extensive coverage, it's worth noting the recently released results from the Nonprofit Finance Fund's annual survey as first reported by Stephanie Strom at the New York Times, showing that a majority of nonprofit organizations expect another tough year in 2010. As the Times article points out:
Some 80 percent of the 1,315 nonprofit groups responding to the survey said they expected the demand for service to be even greater this year, and only 49 percent of the respondents expected to be able to meet that demand...
This Reuters piece also notes observations that nonprofits are coming up with creative coping methods during tough times, quoting Clara Miller, the fund's chief executive:
"Nonprofits aren't rolling over in the face of economic strain," said Miller. "While the 'coping mechanisms' we're seeing are encouraging, we also need to make fundamental changes to the way the sector is financed."
Google shuts down China site
We wrote in a previous weekly roundup about Google's surprise announcement that it would no longer censor search results in China, and this week as this Mashable post reports, the company made good on its promise by transitioning traffic to its Google.cn property to its site in Hong Kong, which does not censor results. Google explained its decision on a post on its company blog. Not surprisingly, this story has received quite a bit of media coverage. This article from Network World's Robert X. Cringely does a great job in summing up how the story has unfolded throughout the week. This MSNBC article shares interesting insights from the reaction to Google's move within China, which received some praise and some criticism amongst Internet users in the country. Washington Post business colunmnist Steven Pearlstein expresses his belief that "We're about to find out whether China needs Google more than Google needs China," while this insightful piece from CNET News' Elinor Mills notes her belief that "it changes very little for the approximately 400 million Internet users in China who have long lived with restrictions on their online and offline activities." The number of articles commenting on the twists and turns to this story are too numerous to include in this summary, but an angle worth pointing out in a bit further detail is that domain name registration company GoDaddy also announced this week (following Google's move on Monday) that it would "that it will cease registering Web sites in China in response to intrusive new government rules that require applicants to provide extensive personal data, including photographs of themselves" (as reported by the Washington Post).