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“Will Kiva Kill Your Nonprofit? Donations 2.0” Nope, not ours!

By Ruth-Anne Renaud

Ian Haisley, Jonathan Neddenriep, Reuben Thiessen and I will be meeting in Austin, Tex., this Friday to attend the South by Southwest (SXSW) Interactive Festival. We are very excited to be with the “world’s most creative web developers, designers, bloggers, wireless innovators, content producers, programmers, widget inventors and new media entrepreneurs.” 

The festival includes presentations and panel discussions, and I will be representing OptINnow in the panel discussion, Will Kiva Kill Your Nonprofit? Donations 2.0”. I will be joined by a group of remarkable panelists including: Skylar Woodward of Kiva, Milo Sybrant of Amnesty International USA, Michael Cervino of Beaconfire Consulting, and Katie Bisbee of DonorsChoose.org. It is a great opportunity for Opportunity International, in particular OptINnow, since this panel is already is being marked as one of the festival’s top panels.

SXSW Interactive has become a focal point for nonprofits who see technology as integral to accomplishing their missions, and  are looking to learn, share, and dream about what’s possible.

The “Will Kiva Kill Your Nonprofit? Donations 2.0” panel will focus on the relatively new person-to-person online fundraising strategy first introduced by Kiva and now being absorbed, adapted and transformed by other organizations, including Opportunity. By being an innovative online fundraising platform that not only connects donors to clients, but also creates an online community, teaches visitors about microfinance and provides various ways to get one and one’s networks involved, OptINnow will undoubtedly be a strong voice at the table.

The panel will explore tough questions about the donations 2.0 model and social media and how they apply to nonprofits of all industries and have fundamentally changed donors’ expectations on transparency and accountability. The person-to-person/ donor-to-client model is common with microfinance organizations; however, the question remains whether this model will be relevant for other nonprofits, in particular advocacy organizations like Amnesty International. 

Participation in this panel and our attendance at many others will most certainly be a learning experience for all of us. Being surrounded by innovative organizations, ideas and leaders will expand our views and ideas for OptINnow. The SXSW Web site says, “Year after year, the festival is a launching pad for new creative content.” We look forward to being part of this launching pad: being involved in the conversations, working with other nonprofit leaders and learning how we can make OptINnow a better fundraising, educational and engagement tool for donors.

If you’d like to learn more about the discussions and what people are saying about events as they are happening, The PepsiCo Zeitgeist allows you to take the pulse of SXSW without having to read through hundreds of thousands of Tweets from Austin. Go to http://sxsw.com/node/4335 for more information.

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