Google has announced a new program for nonprofits, which they say will include a grant for adwords, exclusive tools, and collaboration forums. “Instead of applying to each Google product individually,” nonprofits can apply for a suite of tools here, according to Google’s blog posts.

For further details including video presentations, see:

http://www.google.com/nonprofits/

http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2011/03/youre-changing-world-we-want-to-help.html

http://www.fastcompany.com/1739527/google-announces-new-service-for-nonprofits

Microsoft Corporation has announced the launch of the Elevate America community initiative, a new grant program to support nonprofit organizations offering employment services, including technology skills training and job placement, in local communities across the United States. The initiative is the latest extension of Elevate America, which was launched in 2009 to provide people across the country with no-and low-cost access to the technology skills they need to find employment.

To support the initiative, Microsoft is committing a total of $4 million in cash and $6 million in software and technology skills training curriculum over the next two years.

Grants will be allocated through a Request for Proposal process which invites nonprofits to share their plans for partnering with Microsoft on creating successful, scalable programs that respond to the twenty-first century skills training and employment needs of people across the U.S. For this initiative, the company has a particular but not exclusive interest in working with partners focused on the needs of women and young workers (ages 18-25).

Successful grant recipients will be funded to provide individuals with the support they need to find employment. The services provided by grant recipients to ensure a fully supportive experience for participants must include technology skills training, job placement, and strong employer connections and may also include career counseling and other support services such as childcare, transportation, and housing.

Grant applicants must be U.S.-based tax-exempt 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations and their partner organizations, which may include workforce agencies, community colleges, labor organizations, and other nonprofit organizations.

Complete grant program guidelines and an eligibility survey for nonprofit organizations are available at the Microsoft Web site: http://www.microsoft.com/about/corporatecitizenship/en-us/community-tools/job-skills/Community-Initiative/

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has announced the opening of round six of its Grand Challenges Explorations, a $100 million grant initiative to encourage bold and unconventional global health solutions.

Grand Challenges Explorations offers researchers the chance to win grants of $100,000 to foster innovative projects with the potential to transform health in developing countries. The initiative focuses on areas where creative, unorthodox thinking is most urgently needed.

For this round, applicants are asked to focus their proposals on one of five topic areas: new approaches to cure HIV infection; next-generation sanitation technologies; low-cost cell phone-based applications for priority global health conditions; new technologies to support maternal and newborn health; and the poliovirus endgame: ways to accelerate, sustain, and monitor eradication.

The topic focusing on sanitation technologies highlights the integrated approach the foundation is taking toward health in developing countries. Improved sanitation is essential to reducing waterborne illnesses and has profound economic, educational, and social benefits.

The initiative uses a streamlined grantmaking process. Applications are two pages, and preliminary data about the proposed research is not required. All are encouraged to apply.

The foundation and an independent group of reviewers will select the most innovative proposals, and grants will be awarded within approximately four months from the proposal submission deadline.

Initial grants will be $100,000. Projects showing success will have the opportunity to receive additional funding of up to $1 million.
Grand Challenges Web site

Key Findings From the 2009 Middleberg / SNCR Survey of Media in the Wired World

Author
Jennifer McClure
Don Middleberg

Society for New Communications Research
Publication Date
February 1, 2010

Summary

The Second Annual Middleberg/SNCR Survey of Media in the Wired World examines: 1) how journalists are adopting these new social media and citizen journalism tools and technologies, and 2) their attitudes about how social media and citizen journalism are affecting their profession. The study found growth in the use of these tools across all their data sets, in contrast to the 2008 study in which uptake was higher among younger versus older journalists.

* “Nearly 70 percent of journalists are using social networking sites, a 28% increase since the 2008 study
* 48 percent are using Twitter or other microblogging sites and tools, a 25% increase since 2008
* 66 percent are using blogs
* 48 percent are using online video
* 25 percent are using podcasts
* More than 90 percent of journalists agree that new media and communications tools and technologies are enhancing journalism to some extent”

“…91 percent of respondents agreed that new media and communications tools and technologies are enhancing journalism. Journalists that participated in the study reported that they are increasingly using social media to disseminate news, find story ideas and sources, monitor sentiments and discussions, research individuals and organizations, keep up on issues and topics of interest and participate in conversations. Additionally, journalists’ perception of the credibility of most social media channels is increasing. Nearly 80 percent of respondents agreed that new media and communications technologies allow them to report with greater accuracy, and 80 percent of journalists believe that bloggers have become important opinion shapers in the 21st century and many are increasingly incorporating citizen-generated media into their reporting.”

Click here to read this document in PDF format.

Elephant Energy is looking for volunteers to work on our small-scale renewable energy projects in Namibia, Africa starting in May/June 2010 (see http://www.elephantenergy.org ). EE works to distribute and market small-scale renewable energy technologies in wildlife-rich conservancy areas in rural Namibia. We are looking for one or two volunteers that are able to start quickly, think independently, and run projects on the ground relating to small-scale renewable energy distribution with the support of the World Wildlife Fund in Namibia and associated NGOs. Elephant Energy is currently fundraising to provide support for volunteers, including funding for plane tickets, lodging and a small stipend, however, the ability to self-fund some or all these expenses or help raise funds is a plus. In addition, volunteers from Colorado are preferred, so future involvement with the Elephant Energy organization is possible.

In less than a year of operation, Elephant Energy has worked with numerous locally-run conservation organizations to distribute and market nearly 1000 BoGo solar-powered lights (see http://www.bogolight.com ) to community members through the use of revenue earned from community wildlife tourism efforts. EE plans to continue working with these local conservation organizations to establish energy shops throughout the rural Caprivi region that will provide cheap, durable, life-changing energy technologies to rural residents. We are currently experimenting with a variety of new technologies, including cookstoves, UV water purifiers, solar phone chargers, etc.

This project is run by creative, hard working volunteers that are given lodging and potentially a small stipend for their work. We want to work wth volunteers that are interested in starting something new and investing themselves in something that is sure to grow (See http://www.elephantenergy.org for more info). As our organization is growing, we are looking for volunteers that would be willing to spend an extended period working to help establish our program in Namibia (at least four months, but six months is preferred). A relevant degree (environmental studies, energy, law, business) and prior work with communities in developing countries is the most appropriate experience. Any relevant knowledge would be appreciated to help us innovate and expand our projects.

How to Apply:
Please let us know if you are Interested in working with Elephant Energy in Africa. Interested volunteers should read EE’s 2009 Field Report available at http://www.elephantenergy.org ) and submit a resume and short letter describing their interest and availability to elephantenergy@gmail.com.

FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES
http://www.comminit.com/en/funding.html

Justice Initiative Fellows Program at Central European University
Announcing a 2-year programme of study and practical work experience intending to support and further develop a network of 10 lawyers and activists working on human rights-related issues internationally.
Deadline: January 25 2010
http://www.comminit.com/en/node/13895/348


Nieman Fellowships in Global Health Reporting

Awarding 2 Nieman Fellowships in Global Health Reporting for the academic year, one to a US citizen and one to a non-US citizen. The fellows will spend one academic year at Harvard University in the US, followed by 3-4 months of field work in a developing country.
Deadline: January 31 2010
http://www.comminit.com/en/node/266302/2754

Fellows Program in Population Policy Communications
Accepting applications from doctoral-level students from developing countries who are in their 3rd, 4th, or 5th year of studies in family planning and/or reproductive health at academic institutions in the US or Canada.
Deadline: February 4 2010
http://www.comminit.com/en/node/267230


Stop TB Partnership’s Challenge Facility for Civil Society

Inviting applications from grassroots civil society organisations (CSOs) that seek to help shape policy at local levels by giving a voice to people living with tuberculosis (TB) and those involved in its prevention, treatment, and care.
Deadline: February 10 2010
http://www.comminit.com/en/node/307920/347

Rosalynn Carter Fellowships for Mental Health Journalism
Providing stipends to journalists to study topics related to mental health or mental illnesses.
Deadline: April 19 2010
http://www.comminit.com/en/node/265474/2754


Atlas Service Corps Fellowship

Seeking mid-career non-profit (non-governmental [NGO] or citizen sector) leaders in developing countries and the US to apply for a 12- to 18-month overseas fellowship.
Deadline: May 1 2010
http://www.comminit.com/en/node/267935

All Roads Seed Grant Program
Providing a platform for indigenous and underrepresented minority-culture storytellers around the world to showcase their works in order to promote knowledge, dialogue, and understanding with a broader, global audience.
Deadline: Rolling deadline
http://www.comminit.com/en/node/284500


Humphrey Fellowship Program: Journalism Fellowships

Offering a 10-month stay at a journalism college in the US to study journalism and undertake professional affiliations at US news organisations. Applicants should have a minimum of 5 years of substantial professional experience, limited or no experience in the US, and demonstrated leadership qualities and commitment to their communities.
Deadline: Varies by country
http://www.comminit.com/en/node/147205/2754

The IJP Journalists’ Bursaries
Inviting applications for participation in an exchange of German journalists with international colleagues. For every German journalist taking part in a programme abroad, a foreign colleague will have the opportunity to work in a German media organisation. Where requested by media organisations or bursary sponsors, participants can also initiate a direct exchange.
Deadline: Varies by programme
http://www.comminit.com/en/node/306525/2754

International Service for Human Rights Internships
Seeking interns to observe and learn about both the United Nations (UN) human rights system and the international human rights non-governmental community through full- and part-time internships from 3-6 months at the Geneva, Switzerland, Office of the International Service for Human Rights (ISHR).
Deadline: Varies by internship
http://www.comminit.com/en/node/297464/348


Ford Foundation International Fellowships Programme

Providing opportunities for advanced study to individuals from any one of 22 countries who will use this education to become leaders in their respective fields, furthering development in their own countries and greater economic and social justice worldwide. The fellowship provides support for up to 3 years of formal graduate-level study leading to a masters or doctoral degree.
Deadline: Varies by country
http://www.comminit.com/en/node/147050/348

African Women’s Development Fund (AWDF) Small Grants Programme (SGP)
Supporting small, community/rural-based grassroots women’s groups in Ghana, Uganda, Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Nigeria. The SGP also supports emerging or emergency issues.
Deadline: Rolling deadline
http://www.comminit.com/en/node/267128/38

We Media PitchIt! Challenge
Filed Under:

* media
* journalism
* competition

Deadline: January 20, 2010. US$25,000 prize

Are you a storyteller? An influencer? A connector? An idea person?

We Media and Ashoka’s Changemakers are looking for the most innovative ideas inspiring a better world through media. Be part of the 2010 We Media PitchIt! Challenge.

ENTER your solutions from now until January 20, 2010. The top finalists will pitch their ideas at We Media Miami, March 9-11, 2010. The best entry in each category–non-profit and business–will receive a $25,000 prize to help launch their new venture.
What happens when people have the power to tell their story?

We Media and Ashoka’s Changemakers have teamed up once again to find and launch the best new ideas for inspiring a better world through media. In the We Media PitchIt! Challenge, we’re looking for groundbreaking solutions from all fields that incite action, encourage collaboration, and lead society to knowledge.

Thanks to a generous grant from the Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation, we will provide $50,000 in seed funding to help launch the best solutions. One business and one non-profit venture will each receive $25,000 in seed capital.

Entrants will have the freedom to collaborate with potential partners and investors, while the global online community will discuss, debate and improve upon the most creative solutions.

All finalists will participate in the sixth annual We Media Event in Miami, March 9-11, 2010, and present their ideas to a panel of judges as well as potential funders and partners.

The competition will be open to individuals from all countries. We consider the following criteria:

* Media Focus: Ideas should reflect the theme of the competition. We are searching for innovative ideas that use media to create social change.
* Idea Stage: We’re looking for early-stage ventures or brand new ideas that have not yet been launched or built. These may be entirely new ventures, new companies or new projects from existing organizations.
* Business or Non-Profit: There will be two categories: business and non-profit. In the business category, the funding must be used to support the start-up of a new business that will have a sustainable revenue model. In the non-profit category, the funding should be used to support the launch of a non-profit venture or the development of a new project for an existing non-profit organization.
* Completed Form: Entries must be fully completed and submitted before the deadline of January 20, 2010.
* Language: Entries should be submitted in English.

B. Assessment Criteria

There will be several stages to this process:

1) The community’s comments will be included in the evaluation process.

2) The finalists will be selected by a combination of We Media and expert judges. Finalists will be announced on February 3, 2010.

3) Each finalist will attend We Media Miami March 9-11, 2010 and make a formal presentation to attendees and a panel of expert judges. There will be separate expert panels for business and non-profit ideas.

4) We Media PitchIt! Challenge finalists will each receive the following travel assistance for attending We Media Miami 2010:

* Up to $300 toward a coach airline ticket
* 2 nights lodging in Miami
* Registration for the entire We Media Event
* A display location in the gallery

5) Winners each receive $25,000 in seed funding: The judges will select one business and one non-profit entry. Each winner will receive $25,000 in seed funding.

Judges will consider the following criteria:

* Innovation: Is the idea innovative? This is the knock-out test. The idea should represent a disruptive innovation that changes the way media works. The innovation should demonstrate a substantial difference from other initiatives in the field and have the potential for large-scale expansion. We look for innovative business practices, entrepreneurial quality and a plausible sustainable model.
* Story Telling: Does this idea tell a story in a new or innovative way – or enable others to tell their stories? Does it create and apply a unique storytelling experience through journalism, discovery, narrative, exposition, or new methods and metaphors? We are looking for ideas that change the way we experience or understand storytelling. In this context, we define storytelling broadly.
* Social Impact: Does the idea affect social conditions, stimulate citizenship, raise awareness, influence public policy, or marshal support for an idea of broad social significance? Does this idea present a solution for increasing access, knowledge or connection for all? The idea may address a specific underserved community or the society at large, but ultimately it is important that the innovation has a potential for application or replication globally. It is also important that the idea does not have a negative environmental impact.
* Sustainability: Will the innovator be able to launch and sustain this idea? For an innovation to be truly effective, it should have a plan for securing financial backing and community support. We are looking for social entrepreneurs with ideas that are financially sustainable and scalable. We will also consider the experience and capacity of the innovator (or team), who will be expected to launch the idea.
* Design: Does the idea creatively engage multiple levels of intelligence and understanding of complex information with clarity, style, and meaning?
* Pattern Change: Does the idea pioneer original approaches and paradigms?
* Purpose: Does the idea express a purposeful vision through values reflecting ethics, credibility, responsibility and authenticity?
* Community: Does the idea seek to organize a community, virtual or geographic, in a new way?