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ePhilanthropy award: best online advocacy and funding campaigns receive honors.

Five charities were honored for their ephilanthropy initiatives during the second annual International ePhilanthropy Awards held last month at the Harvard Club in New York City. Organized by the ePhilanthropy Foundation in Washington, D.C., some 68 ephilanthropy initiatives from all seven continents competed for the recognition in five categories.

volunteerXchange.com in Australia took the award for Best Online Community Building Volunteerism and/or Activism Campaign, sponsored by Fundraisinginfo.com. The organization is a virtual volunteer system that delivers professional services, skills and advice to the community sector via the Web, 24 hours a day, anywhere in the world. Volunteers get the flexibility and convenience of volunteering at their own computers and using their professional skills to help solve the issues faced by community organizations. The volunteers also receive feedback on contributions and audited reports that can be used as a record of their added experience and professional development.

Greenpeace International in Amsterdam took the Best Integrated Online and Offline ePhilanthropy Campaign category, sponsored by GetActive Software. Its "No Whaling Virtual March" was a global- scale campaign that mobilized more than 61,000 people from 252 countries in just 33 days. The campaign's objective was to protect against the South Korean government's intention to reopen commercial whaling. The international pressure was successful.

Kids Help Phone, based in Toronto, won the Best Special Event Registration and/or Membership Campaign award, sponsored by Artez Interactive. The organization is Canada's only toll-free, 24-hour, bilingual and anonymous telephone counseling, referral and information service for children and youth. Its Bell Walk is a pledge-driven fundraising event that utilizes the Internet for the majority of its communication and outreach. The Web site is the central hub for all participants and donors, posting staff blogs and sending email marketing blasts to past participants and donors. In 2006, the number of online registrants went from 38 percent to 50 percent. Online donations went from $675,945 to more than $1 million.

Network For Good in Bethesda, Md., won the Best Online Donations/Fundraising Campaign, sponsored by eTapestry. Nominated by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, Network For Good allows visitors to its Web site to donate, volunteer and get involved in issues. In 2005, it launched a fundraising campaign to re-energize donors and compel them to "do good, feel good." In just five weeks, the site generated more than $7 million for 8,000 different charities. And, 6 percent of donors enrolled in monthly giving programs.

The People's Choice Award sponsored by the Verizon Foundation, went to The African Well Fund (AWF) in Schenectady, N.YAWF raises funds for the construction and maintenance of clean water wells in Africa. The AWF and its Web site are operated entirely by unpaid volunteers.

One of the AWF's most successful fundraising efforts has been its yearly "Build a Well for Bono's Birthday" campaign. While not directly affiliated with U2 or their management, the AWF has the advantage of being able to appeal directly to U2 fans for help, since addressing Africa's poverty emergency has long been one of the most publicized endeavors of lead singer Bono.

More than $82,000 was raised by the previous three campaigns, including $32,000 this year. One reason for the great success of the BWBB campaign is the AWF's use of various online U2 forums and news sites to spread the word. This year, U2's official Web site posted a story about the drive. Other well-known fan sites also promoted the campaign.
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Title Annotation:Online ...
Author:Clolery, Paul
Publication:The Non-profit Times
Date:Oct 15, 2006
Words:577
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