Google for Nonprofits Newsletter - October 2011

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Leslie Hernandez

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Oct 31, 2011, 8:35:43 PM10/31/11
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Google for Nonprofits Newsletter - October 2011
Your monthly round-up of the latest news and notes from Google for Nonprofits.
October 31, 2011
In this issue
By the way
What's new
Tools in action
Expert corner
Connect

By the way TOP
Greetings from the Google for Nonprofits team! Fall is in full swing, and we’ve got lots of great updates for you from the Google for Nonprofits team, some new ways nonprofits are using Google Docs & YouTube and a few projects we think you should know about. We hope you have a wonderful Halloween and here’s to a bountiful and productive November.
What's newTOP
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Google for Nonprofits Help Center Launched
We’ve launched the Google for Nonprofits Help Center, a one-stop-shop where nonprofits can find support for the Google for Nonprofits Program and all associated products. Close to 50 new articles have been added to what used to be the Google for Nonprofits FAQ page. We have also cross-published relevant articles from the Google Apps, Google Earth, and SketchUp help centers. As such, the Google Grants Help Center has moved to the Google for Nonprofits help center. From now on, you can head to the Google for Nonprofits Help Center when you need support.
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Nonprofits Use Video to Drive Action on World Food Day
On World Food Day, we wanted to highlight some of the ways we saw nonprofit organizations around the world sharing stories of the over one billion people who are living in hunger through YouTube. Organizations like the ONE Campaign employed famous faces like Bono, George Clooney and Jessica Alba to help raise awareness about the issue. Others like LinkTV used this important day to highlight the drought and famine in the Horn of Africa. Your organization can think about how online video can bring to life the cause you champion. To get started with YouTube, check out the 'First 5 things a Nonprofit should do on YouTube' here.
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Online Marketing Challenge Winners Announced
We’re pleased to announce the winners for the NGO Impact Award, a new award that recognizes Google Online Marketing Challenge student teams that made an outstanding difference to their nonprofit partners via superb Adwords online marketing campaigns.  The deciding factors for these winners were the effectiveness of the campaign and a short report on how the advertising impacted the nonprofit.  Read more about the winners here.
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Google Apps New Feature Highlights
Over the last few weeks, we made big improvements to Google presentations, introduced a version of Google Docs optimized for Android tablets, and enabled more dynamic content in Google Sites. If people in your organization work together to develop presentations for donors or the board, Google presentations has many new features that make it easier to collaborate with colleagues on presentations & create more visually appealing presentations with new animations, transitions, themes & more. You can read up on all of the new Google presentation features here.
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Small Businesses in NYC Help Fight Breast Cancer with Pink Pin
This October and November, Google and Susan G. Komen for the Cure are taking the fight against breast cancer to New York City with the Pink Pin Initiative. Physical businesses that register at PinkPin.com will be marked with a Pink Pin on our map. Customers who visit these businesses will be able to donate to Susan G. Komen for the Cure at stores via mobile phones. We’re encouraging everyone  to inspire others by sharing their stories about the cause online at www.pinkpin.com.
Tools in actionTOP
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The Children's Radio Foundation (CRF) is a nonprofit working in Cape Town, South Africa that focuses on using the rich subtext of radio media to give young people a voice, and empower them to contribute to individual and social change. One of their volunteers, Tom Henry, has greatly helped the organization by designing a method for them to host and share files using Google Docs. With Google Collections, he can label related files and group them into folders that can then be shared with others across the organization.

“In 2008, Children’s Radio Foundation realized it quickly needed a virtual “filing cabinet” for our far-flung staff and board members - and it had to be forgiving as our needs evolved. After 3 years, Google Docs now holds all CRF’s financial, operational, and project data. Everything from Students for CRF letterhead and COP17 press badges to spreadsheets of World Cup in my Village field contacts from UNICEF and fundraising event guest lists are logged. No training is required and it's simple to access whether it be needed in Cape Town, New York, Oxford, or increasingly at remote project sites ranging from Kenya to Zambia."

Tom Henry, Board Member, Children's Radio Foundation

You can learn more about how Children’s Radio Foundation uses Google Docs here.
Expert corner TOP
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This month we caught up with Nigel Snoad, Product Manager for Google Crisis Response, to offer us a sneak peek into specific tools and efforts for crisis response.

Q: What is Google Crisis Response?
A: Google Crisis Response is a  team of Googlers focused on improving disaster response and preparedness activities. We disseminate emergency information and create tools to help people affected by crises as well as first responders working in the field.

Q: What does the Google Crisis Response team typically do during times of disaster?
A: I spent several years 24/7 on call for the UN and with search and rescue groups and find that I'm still this way at google.org. Basically when an event happens we assess the situation, and then work with government and nonprofit first response organizations to collect and communicate to the public important information about the crisis. This ranges from maps of storm paths, to new satellite imagery, to the locations of shelter and relief stations. For example in Hurricane Irene, we worked with partners to show storm paths and flood maps, and we have an agreement with the American Red Cross to show shelter locations. Our CrisisMaps and Landing pages are two ways we present this sort of information. We also launch relevant applications such as Google Person Finder to help people locate friends and loved ones in the aftermath of a disaster, like we just did in Turkey for the recent earthquake.

Q: What are some of the Crisis Response tools that first responders use on the ground?
A: First responders employ many of the same tools nonprofits use on a day-to-day basis to aid in disaster management. For example, many are using Google Earth to map and plan events and responses, and tools like Fusion Tables to store and visualize crisis data, and My Maps to present and share information such as road closures and power outages. And, they use Google Docs and Spreadsheets so volunteers, staff, and partners can collaboratively track and communicate their activities. See some case studies of these tools in action on our resources page.

Q: Do you have any tips for organizations to prepare for crises?
A: We encourage all organizations to try out Google's tools: we’ve created some tutorials and case studies to make this easier. Organizations that are responsible for getting information out quickly and broadly to the public in times of crisis should also prepare by ensuring they can update info dynamically through feeds (like a blog or RSS feed) rather than via static website content.  And, they should publish data in open formats including KML for geographic information and CAP for other emergency information to allow others to easily view,  repurpose, and communicate their information.

Q: Can you give us a sneak peek of any new tools for crisis response that your team is currently working on?
A: We’re working on new ways to quickly and dynamically post emergency information from credible sources to the places where people are looking during crises: Google Search, Google Maps and mobile. We’re building relationships to get better and more reliable emergency data from government agencies and other groups so we (and others) can channel it to the public when and where it matters most. If you work for such an organization and would like provide us with your emergency data, make sure your alerts are in the Common Alerting Protocol (CAP 1.2) and sign them up on Google's alerthub. We can work with you from there.
ConnectTOP
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