Microsoft Tries Its Hand At Affinity Search Marketing

The Empire State Building Sculpted with Food Cans! The Golden Gate Bridge Sculpted with Food Cans!

Microsoft feeds the hungry if you download and install their browser:

Today, the Internet Explorer Team took over New York City’s Time Warner Center and San Francisco’s Justin Herman Plaza where local artists used food cans to create sculptures of the Empire State Building in New York and the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. After the sculptures are completed, the cans will be donated.

It’s all part of our Browser for the Better campaign. Turns out that during the school year over 17 million U.S. children receive free or reduced-price breakfast and lunches at their schools. But once the school year is ends and summer begins, these children longer receive this benefit as they are no longer in school until the fall. In response, we are joining forces with Feeding America to help these children this summer.

For every completed download of Internet Explorer 8 through the Browser for the Better website, we will donate the financial equivalent of 8 meals to Feeding America’s network of 206 local food banks. These food banks supply food to more than 25 million Americans each year! The Browser for the Better campaign starts today and will run through Aug. 8, 2009.

Other companies have tried a form of affinity search marketing in the past, but now it appears that Microsoft is using it to grow their browser market share, which in turn, increases their search traffic.  Here are a few posts I’ve written on the topic:
Everyclick.com – A UK-based Charity Search Engine

Yahoo Tries Affinity Search

More Affinity Search From Microsoft: Search And Give

College Students Raise Funds to Bring Clean Drinking Water to African Families

BH2O+ Day of Recap Video from Nuru International on Vimeo.

More than 950 students at 11 college and university campuses joined forces the week of April 20 to raise awareness of the need for clean drinking water in Africa. With the generous support of Dry Tears, Living Water International, Radiata Investments and The Franklin and Catherine Johnson Foundation, they raised nearly $37,000, which will enable Nuru International, in partnership with Living Water International, to drill four deep water wells at schools in the Kuria district of Kenya.

The students were part of a nationwide effort called BH2O+, or “Be Hope to Her”, sponsored by Nuru International, a 501(c)(3) non-profit, public benefit charity committed to pioneering holistic, sustainable solutions to end extreme poverty in partnership with the poor.

To learn more visit http://www.bhope2her.org/ and http://www.bhope2her.org/bh2o-photos/

WaPo: Though Popular, ‘Causes’ Ineffective for Fundraising

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The Facebook application Causes, hugely popular among nonprofit organizations seeking to raise money online, has been largely ineffective in its first two years, trailing direct mail, fundraising events and other more traditional methods of soliciting contributions.

Only a tiny fraction of the 179,000 nonprofits that have turned to Causes as an inexpensive and green way to seek donations have brought in even $1,000, according to data available on the Causes developers’ site. The application allows Facebook users to list themselves as supporters of a cause on their profile pages. But fewer than 1 percent of those who have joined a cause have actually donated money through that application.

Continue reading at WaPo

MicroMentor 2.0 supports local small businesses by providing entrepreneurs with access to one-on-one mentoring

Check out MicroMentor:

“MicroMentor’s commitment to helping micro and small business owners start and grow their enterprises successfully, is directly aligned with the Citi Foundation’s commitment to the economic empowerment of individuals in need, so that they can improve their standard of living,” said Amy Feldman, Program Officer, Citi Foundation. “We are very pleased to be the primary funder of MicroMentor 2.0.”

To participate in MicroMentor, mentors must have significant business experience (usually three or more years of management), and mentees must be actively starting or growing a small business. For more information about the program or to become a mentor or mentee please visit: http://www.micromentor.org

Launch: GoodCompany Ventures, a Philadelphia-based venture-style incubator program for socially-conscious entrepreneurs

GoodCompany Ventures, a team of social finance investors and start-up experts, today announced the launch of a business incubator targeting entrepreneurs with innovative solutions to unmet social needs. The program will provide facilities, mentoring and access to a network of capital sources to qualified entrepreneurs whose business models offer investors an attractive mix of financial return and social impact. The program will culminate in a venture fair where companies will pitch their ideas to investors.

Here’s a link to their website and a link to their press release.

Lebone Solutions– Developing fuel cells from the bacteria in soil or waste.

“You can just literally make energy from dirt,” said Aviva Presser, a graduate student at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. “And there’s a lot of dirt in Africa.”

New York Times

Link to Lebone website
Lebônê

Light + Energy = Opportunity

Lebônê Solutions, Inc. is a social enterprise working in off-grid energy delivery and lighting technology. The mission of Lebônê is to help end the energy and lighting crisis in Africa by identifying and harnessing emerging technologies, developing and adapting them for the African market, and delivering them to rural villages in an innovative and accessible manner. The group was incubated under the tutelage of Professor David Edwards in the Harvard Idea Translation Lab.

Al Gore: “Web 2.0 has to have a purpose”

“The purpose, I would urge all of you — as many of you as are willing to take it up — is to bring about a higher level of consciousness about our planet and the imminent danger and opportunity we face because of the radical transformation in the relationship between human beings and the Earth,” Mr. Gore said Friday evening at the Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco.

Link to New York Times