What Is Razoo? Social Networking For Changemakers

What is Razoo?

Razoo is an online community that lets you create goals and groups for raising awareness and taking action for various causes. The site is currently in public beta.

From Mashable , a blog about social networking. How did I hear about them? Through Omidyar Network, which is transitioning their community over to the Razoo platform:

We strongly believe in the power of community-based efforts, and we feel the best way Omidyar Network can continue facilitating the kind of work that’s being done both within and through omidyar.net is to empower communities online that are more narrowly focused on specific interests and moderated in a style of their own preference.

It seems like the Omidyar community scattering to several different platforms/communities, of which are all listed on this page (AboutUs.org, Better World Island, dowire.org, Facebook, groups.cx, Ned.com, etc.).

Check out Razoo’s press release which was released earlier this month: RAZOO LAUNCHES A “SOCIAL NETWORK FOR SOCIAL GOOD”. I’m planning to check out their other projects which are announced in that release.

In addition to the Razoo.com website, the company has launched several other platforms, each sharing the goal of inspiring giving and serving among young people. The Good Happens blog and newsletter aim to be the “MTV News” of the social good space, shining a spotlight on the good that happens around us every day. Speed Granting is both an online and offline platform that encourages and rewards social entrepreneurs for their social initiatives, and allows their peers cast votes to determine the recipients of the grants. And Brewing Good is a monthly offline event that brings together young people in a fun and creative environment to encourage, recognize and celebrate the good they are doing.

WSJ: A New Generation Reinvents Philanthropy

The Wall Street Journal offers a nice piece on web based tools to help make the world a better place:

Young donors and volunteers, snubbing traditional appeals such as direct mail and phone calls, are satisfying their philanthropic urges on the Internet. They’re increasingly turning to blogs and social-networking Web sites, such as MySpace and Facebook, to spread the word about — and raise funds for — their favorite nonprofits and causes. They’re sending Web-based fund-raising pitches to their friends and families, encouraging them, in turn, to forward the appeals to their own contacts.

At the same time, a growing number of charities — ranging from start-ups to established names such as the Salvation Army — are launching profiles on popular social-networking sites, hoping that young people will link up to the pages. Some are also encouraging bloggers to mention the causes on their sites, raising thousands of dollars in small donations from readers.

Some of the charitable online organizations profiled include: Causes on Facebook, Change.org, DoSomething.org, Firstgiving.com, GiveMeaning.com, Impact.MySpace.com, Kiva.org, and SixDegrees.org.

If the article is walled, give me a shout and I’ll get you a more detailed review.

Members Project Winner Announced: Children’s Safe Drinking Water

An American Express Members Project winner has been announced: Children’s Safe Drinking Water!

Check out the video at Members Project. If you don’t want to watch the video, you can just go to the winner’s page. If you don’t feel like clicking anything, here’s the description for the winning project:

Children’s Safe Drinking Water

Description: For Two Cents We Can Change the World. Four thousand children die needlessly every day from drinking contaminated water. It’s a tragedy that hundreds of millions of people obtain their drinking water from polluted sources such as muddy rivers, ponds, and streams. This public health crisis can be addressed today through an innovative and low-cost technology that effectively purifies and cleans water while removing bacteria, viruses, and parasites. Right now millions of people in Africa, Asia, and the Americas are being reached by a not-for-profit project, but millions more are in need. Help us reach a goal of providing 2 billion liters of safe drinking water. For only two pennies a day a child can have safe drinking water. We’d love to hear your thoughts. In fact, Give Us Your Two Cents Worth. Thank you.

Fulfilling Organization: US Fund for UNICEF

Award: In addition to funding the winning project with $2,000,000, we are proud to announce American Express is donating a RECOGNITION AWARD of $100,000 to each of the organizations paired with the remaining 4 projects to be used in the spirit of the Cardmember’s idea.

Microfinance Reading- CGAP

Check out CGAP’s Portfolio newsletters for some great microfinance reading material and resources.

CGAP is a consortium of 33 public and private development agencies working together to expand access to financial services for the poor in developing countries. CGAP was created by these aid agencies and industry leaders to help create permanent financial services for the poor on a large scale (often referred to as “microfinance”).

I particularly like their primer on microfinance.

MyHomeTownHelper.com- Giving away up to $100,000 to help fund projects in hometowns

A Social ROI reader, Jess, writes:

My name is Jess and I work with Hamburger Helper. My job is to spread the word about Hamburger Helper’s grant program, “My Hometown Helper.” I have been reading your blog and thought you might be interested.

You have probably heard of Hamburger Helper (think, cheeseburger macaroni and the talking hand) but have you heard about “My Hometown Helper”? It helps local groups make a difference in their own community. Imagine seeding a community garden, putting a new scoreboard up at the local high school baseball field, re-stocking a small town library with new/additional books. Starting August 1st, you can apply online at www.myhometownhelper.com for a one-time grant from $500 to $15,000 to help fund a project.

So far, thirty three towns have been helped and over $132,000 awarded. The deadline for applications is September 30, 2007.

TreeHugger Blog Acquired By Discovery

Congrats to the folks at TreeHugger! Discovery Channel Acquires Treehugger.com For $10 Million

Leading up to the launch of their Planet Green network in 2008, Discovery had appeared flush in original content, but not so heavy in terms of what they would project online. In an incredible move, it’s now been revealed that Treehugger.com, the number one green site on the Internet, has been acquired for a cool $10 million.

Jobs: Ithaka Research Analyst

Research Analyst
New York, NY

Ithaka promotes innovation in higher education by helping pioneering initiatives thrive. We also undertake projects to provide the academic community as a whole with new perspectives on our changing environment. Supported by the Mellon, Hewlett and Niarchos Foundations and affiliated with JSTOR and ARTstor, we are an entrepreneurially-minded organization that values teamwork, a collegial spirit, and collaboration.

The research group focuses on understanding academia’s transition to an electronic environment so that it can be managed most effectively. We provide actionable insights into the ways that new technologies affect the scholarly community, focusing specifically on the transition from a print to an electronic environment for research, teaching, publishing, and library collecting. We pursue research projects for which there is demonstrable demand, guided both by individual clients and an external advisory committee, and then share the findings broadly. We aim to be an engaged citizen of the academic community, making a positive impact on strategic decision-making across the sector. An overview of our work is available at www.ithaka.org/research.

We seek a talented, energetic Research Analyst to play an active role on the Research team. You will take principal day-to-day responsibility for one or more major research projects. Our research projects fall into three broad areas of interest:

* The transition from print to electronic formats for academic libraries and scholarly publishers;
* The changing information-services needs and practices of faculty members and students; and
* Technology-assisted forms of teaching and learning and the impacts they may have on higher education.

Through your work on these projects, you will make a direct contribution to the successful transformation of the higher education sector to a technology-rich environment. In support of this role, you will:

* Undertake a variety of different kinds of research (from interviews and document analysis to economic and survey techniques, depending on the project);
* Write reports and articles communicating findings and recommendations;
* Develop and maintain systems for organizing information gathered and knowledge generated;
* Speak publicly on your research and represent Ithaka at conferences and networking events;
* Travel regularly as needed.

If you know someone who might be interested, please encourage them to contact me directly at rcs@ithaka.org.