I come across so many great conversations, ideas, and resources all over the web every day. Here are some of the most interesting things I’ve found recently (as of January 29th). You can join the conversations in the comments, or click through to the original posts to find what others are saying.

To follow more of the things I find online, you can follow @amysampleward on Twitter (which is just a blog and resource feed), or find me on Delicious (for all kinds of bookmarks).

  • JustGiving blog: Seven-year-old Charlie raises more than £100,000 for Haiti! – Read this great case study from JustGiving about Charlie's bike ride to raise money for Haiti relief support. "Charlie was really upset by the television footage of the Haiti disaster, so, in conversation with his mum, he came up with idea of cycling around South Park near his home in Fulham, London as many times as possible. As Charlie puts on his JG page, ‘at least 10 laps, I hope!’. Charlie set himself a fundraising target of £500 for UNICEF – not an insubstantial amount for a seven-year-old."
  • Why We're In the Age of the Citizen Philanthropist – There's a great post up on Mashable with quotes from Britt Bravo (Have Fun Do Good), Kari Dunn Saratovsky (Case Foundation), and Peter Panepento (Chronicle of Philanthropy). "Our new communications technologies have empowered the individual, and caused a disruptive effect on the non-profit sector. Here are five examples of the citizen philanthropist’s immediate impact."
  • Footnotes: Online Outreach on a Budget – January Nonprofit Blog Carnival – "This month we spent some time collecting posts about nonprofit communications on a budget. Below you'll find a combination of great resources that were submitted, and information I've found useful in my own research on online outreach. So bookmark this post and take the time to apply this knowledge to marketing and communications at your organization – it's cheap (or free) and has worked for others!"
  • Online Branded Communities: Misguided and Missing the Point – Marketing News Blog – This is an excellent review of best practices and case studies for online community management. Even though the authors (Kathy Baughman and Steve Hershberger) are focused on for-profit brands, the lessons ring true across sectors. "If you ask brand managers the purpose of online communities, the reply you’ll most often hear is “customer engagement.” Among marketers, this term is more prevalent than Frisbees at a dog beach. But the real question is this: Are brands providing meaningful and engaging experiences to their customers through their online communities? Our research on 135 online communities representing 45 major brands indicates that, with few exceptions, the answer is no."
  • Idealware Field Guide to Software for Nonprofits by Laura Quinn in Computers & Internet – "What types of software should your nonprofit be using? It’s hard to even know even what types exist, let alone what might work for you. Through a friendly, easy-reference format, this book helps you pinpoint the types of software that can help your organization based on your needs and your level of technology savvy, and provides user-friendly summaries to demystify all the possible options.

    The 84-page Field Guide includes an overview of 35 different types of software, helping you to understand what each is, how it fits in with your needs, how much you might expect to pay, and some of the most common vendors in the area."

Great reads from around the web on January 29th
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