Big Duck Studio

Mark Morris Dance Group
November 1, 2008

If you’re a fan of dance, you’ve probably heard of Mark Morris. His witty, inspired choreography is celebrated for its thoughtful relationship with musical accompaniment and exceptional craftsmanship. Morris’ work is accessible to the dance novice but sophisticated enough for the aficionado. He frequently choreographs for arts institutions around the world, but his own dance group and center are located in my backyard — fabulous Brooklyn, New York. Today we’ll be examining his organization’s Web site: The Mark Morris Dance Group includes the company and a school. The site’s homepage showcases both, plus its location (the Dance Center building),

Web Watch: Seedco
July 1, 2008

This month we’re looking at, the Web site of Seedco, a national nonprofit that creates new and sustainable economic opportunities for low-income Americans. We anticipated a site that reflects the organization’s principles of community, progress and results. What we found was one that offers solid information about the organization itself, but lacks some of the more compelling aspects of online engagement that inspire a donor to invest.

Nevada Cancer Institute
March 1, 2008

This month, we’re looking at the Web site for the Nevada Cancer Institute, the only comprehensive cancer center in Nevada. The site for the Nevada Cancer Institute, which opened its doors in 2005, touts its high-quality, state-of-the-art treatment and care, innovative research, and compassionate staff. And while we don’t know how local residents perceive this nonprofit, its Web site certainly seems to reinforce its claims of excellence.

AIDS Organization’s Site Lacks Passion, Power
January 1, 2008

For those of you who don’t live in New York City (or haven’t seen a Broadway show recently), Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS has a reputation in town for living up to its tagline as “the nation’s leading industry based HIV/AIDS fundraising and grant-making organization.”

What’s the Big Idea?
November 1, 2007

Sponsoring a child is, for many Americans, one of the most identifiable and accessible forms of philanthropy. So much so it was even used as a comedic device in the film “About Schmidt.” At a recent conference titled, “Experimental Approaches to the Study of Charitable Giving,” held at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University, researchers presented evidence that suggested one victim’s story can be much more effective at raising money from people than the tragedy of, say, an entire community.

Small Nonprofit Goes Big Online
September 1, 2007

There’s been a lot of buzz in the nonprofit sector about creating dynamic Web sites that engage audiences in exciting ways. In some cases, nonprofits are encouraging user-generated content. Web 2.0 has been moving and shaking the nonprofit world lately, too. All of this begs the question: If your organization is operating on a relatively small budget or with a small staff, how can you engage your audiences without overextending limited organizational resources?

One Word: Streamline
July 1, 2007

Recently, my colleagues at Big Duck and I met with Michael Hoffman, CEO of See3, a firm using video, audio and photography to help nonprofits create deeper relationships.

Web Watch: Anxiety-Free Interaction
May 1, 2007

Those of us over the age of 14 with busy lives are, perhaps, just catching up with the latest in user-based interactive Web sites. Sites like Wikipedia, MySpace and YouTube rely on heavy traffic and participation from Web visitors to generate fresh, meaningful content every day.

Web Watch: Simply Successful
March 1, 2007

On a typical day, you’ll probably see hundreds — if not thousands — of marketing messages by the time you get to work. You’ll see ads on TV or in the newspaper. See them on billboards and hear them on the radio as you drive. See them on hats as you walk. Hundreds more await you in your mailbox and e-mail inbox. So how can an organization with a wide array of programs and services cut through the clutter and grab attention?

Avoid Web Site Stagnation
January 1, 2007

If you worked in corporate America before you decided to help make the world a better place, you probably experienced the Internet revolution of the ’90s first-hand. If so, you probably chuckle today over the sweat you and your colleagues poured into those first basic Web sites: “Should the navigation go on the top? Left? Right? Where can I find a 13-year-old who can program this thing?”