In fall of 2008, the 25-year-old Food Bank For New York City was facing a crisis. A quickly souring economy was a double-edged sword — making for an increased need among people requiring food assistance, and decreased donations of both food and money from businesses and individuals feeling the pinch.
I have been tweeting on Twitter (my call sign is addedvalueth) for the last two weeks, wondering why a grown-up would share mundane parts of his personal life ("heading to sleep") with complete strangers on the other end of a computer or handheld. And why anyone would want to read aforementioned drivel.
The Harris Poll® examined the behaviors and attitudes of people who give money or time to charitable organizations or advocate for them, and how their behavior has changed as a result of the economy. Almost half (45%) of these people report that their giving and their volunteering have not changed, but many people are giving to fewer organizations (24%) or giving smaller amounts (31%). In addition, six percent are not making any donations and seven percent are volunteering less. The only positive finding is that nine percent report volunteering more of their time because of the economic downturn.
According to a new report by web measurement firm Hitwise, in the past two weeks visits to Gmail have been consistently higher than popular Google-owned video site YouTube. Additionally, these two sites have been contending for the #10 spot overall since the week ending January 10, 2009. Historically, the same top 10 sites have been fixed in their positions, so this shift represents the first big change in quite a while.
Yesterday, the mother of a sick child Googled the name of a devastating disease. She got thousands of results, but the ones that interested her the most were links to your organization’s Web site; two stories from the national media; a handful of online support groups for patients and their families; a general health Web site with online communities dedicated to the disease; and one site focused exclusively on a heartsick father’s negative experience with an operator on your organization’s support line.