First Reflections on Jumo

by Amy Sample Ward on November 30, 2010

As you may have heard, Jumo is now open in beta. What is Jumo? As Mashable reports, “Jumo was designed to let users find, follow and support the causes important to them, and with 3,500 organizations on board at launch, would-be philanthropists should be able to find and follow something of interest upon joining. (For comparison’s sake — Apple’s Ping had 2,000 artists two months out of the gate.)” I’ve been playing around with the new social platform this morning and wanted to share some of my early reactions. (So have others – here’s a blog post from Beth Kanter and Steve McLaughlin on Jumo.)

Functionality

Persistence

So far, trying to navigate the site to browse or set up a profile has about a 50/50 chance of hitting either a 504 or 500 error page. It’s been quite a frustrating process, especially when inputting 33 different countries one by one in the “where we work” section just to have the “save” not work. Complaining about the errors on Twitter along with @Kanter, @pgjones00 was Mark Mann:

It is in beta, let’s not forget! So, patience and persistence are the keys to success. I’m always the first to admit I’m not patient, but I persistence this morning has gotten me pretty deep into the site – so keep refreshing your browser and you’ll get through!

Facebook Requirements

It seems that you have to have an organizational presence on facebook in order for the project page on Jumo to work/look right – I put in my facebook ID, thinking it was verifying my association as the admin on the organizational account, but instead it put my photo and info as the organization’s! I’m not sure that organizations will want to maintain, or create, a profile on facebook just as a ticket to using Jumo. Is this experience correct – have others found this to be true?

Transparency

Here’s the screen shot for the TechSoup Global page on Jumo. I am following the organization and am an administrator on the page – doesn’t appear to show either of those facts!

I’m also not finding any way to customize the URL so that users could more easily find, and I could more easily share/promote the page.

Messaging

I’ve had quite a string of issues with the messaging in Jumo. Here are some of the posts I’ve shared this morning with members of a social media for nonprofits group in facebook:

  • when I try posting on people’s pages, it doesn’t appear to go through, but then they say they get 4 emails telling them about it (this is what one contact reported after I posted on his wall); when I tried posting an update on my own page it went through twice! Just checked back and Jumo deleted the second/double post but the diction is very strange! “Amy Sample Ward wrote on her/her profile:”
  • I just posted on Beth’s wall on jumo and left the “post to facebook” box checked to see if it would post on her or my facebook wall as well, but it doesn’t seem to have done so.
  • Also interesting, that it let me post on Beth’s wall (if the Jumo terms use “wall”) even though we weren’t following each other. Could mean that users don’t have a way to manage the amount of posts (read: spam) that could get through to them…
  • I got an error that said only letters, spaces and punctuation were allowed… no numbers?!

Avi Kaplan shared some feedback on my facebook wall this morning, as well:

I really agree with Avi – there doesn’t seem to be a way to comment on someone’s post to reply, or to reply to the news items. Isn’t that the point? Not just to broadcast, but to have a conversation, share ideas, and provide context.

Building a Network

As Debra Askanse posted in a facebook group discussing Jumo this morning, how do follow people, and not just organizations?

The reason a site for finding and following causes you care about has social features is because it isn’t just the organizations we care about that we like to follow, but also the people we care about. If a friend or family member donates to an organization, starts or shepherds a campaign, or shares an appeal for support, data has shown that we are more likely to listen and even take action – we trust our friends and family and listen to what they say more than just ads or mass-messages. So, finding and following the people we want to listen to should certainly be easier in Jumo!

Donations

As Marie Deatherage pointed out, “Did you see that 15% of donation goes to jumo, about 5% to network4good? That’s the default.” As an administrator on an organization’s page, I find it interesting that it doesn’t share these details with you during the set up process. You would need to seek out the details to find out what the donation details are even though the option for people to donate through the profile is there immediately!

Purpose

As Tom Watson posted in a facebook group this morning, what’s the point?

Jumo vs Change.org – is that the question?

Change.org describes itself as:

Change.org is the world’s fastest growing social action platform, empowering people to make a difference across a variety of important causes. Our team of writers and editors provides daily coverage of breaking social action campaigns, connecting people to opportunities to get involved. We also provide free tools that allow anyone to run their own campaigns. Our tools are used by thousands of grassroots activists and organizations around the globe. We count many of the world’s leading nonprofits as partners, including Amnesty International, Sierra Club, Human Rights Campaign, and the United Nations Foundation.

So, does the nuance between the two platforms come down to “action” or something else? Organizations that I am or could follow are on both platforms, so what is the deciding factor influencing their strategy for engagement on the platform and the deciding factor for which platform I use to connect with them?

Beyond a Platform

Beyond this platform or that one, why do you, as an individual who is passionate about a cause, want to connect directly with a nonprofit organization online? Is it to take action – online? or off?  Is it to know what they are doing and how they use the funds you may have given them? Is it to see if they are worth your donations or volunteer hours? How does your purpose for engagement influence your choice of platform?

I’m really interested to hear what you all think! What are your experiences, thoughts, reactions or conjectures? What are you most curious about or hopeful for?

  • Anonymous

    Amy…

    Bravo on a great write-up on Jumo. I think people should keep in mind that this is their first day…just like Google, Facebook, and Twitter had their first day once too. The concept and early progress is encouraging.

    Here’s some more who, what, where, when, and so what and who cares about Jumo: http://www.nptrends.com/nonprofit-trends/what-is-jumo.htm

    • Anonymous

      Thanks, Steve! I totally agree – and tried to note “that it is in beta!”

      I shared the link to your guest post on Beth’s blog in the piece as well.
      Thanks for sharing such a great overview for folks. Looking forward to
      seeing what comes next :)

      • Afine

        This is a great post and comments, Amy, thanks for getting us all started! I’m curious about something – wondering why Jumo isn’t seen as competing with Facebook and Causes but rather Causes.org and others? Thanks again,
        Allison

        • Anonymous

          Thanks for adding your thoughts and questions, Allison! I think Jumo’s “purpose” statement set us up for comparisons with non-facebook-related platforms as it is supposed to be a place not for donations (which Causes is great at!) but instead for finding, following, and taking action. Though, as you can see from the long comments thread here, I think we are all still looking for the most-fitting comparison as well as a more clear vision and purpose from Jumo.

  • Katrin

    Hi, Amy – a few things: 500 server errors is pre-alpha, not beta. That is not excusable when that org has $3.5 million raised. Requiring FB is crazy – that should be optional. The default donation is likewise presumptuous and hard to opt out of. Lastly, I am with Tom Watson – what is the need for Jumo that is not already served by organizations such as Idealist, VolunteerMatch, and Change.org? Note that Chris went out his way NOT to talk to any of the three in his ‘research” Overhyped, and underdelivering – and worse, not meeting a discernable need.

    • Anonymous

      Katrin – thank you so much for weighing in and sharing these thoughts here!
      I couldn’t agree with you more and appreciate having some support on the
      issues! I am poking around trying to find how/where to change the donation
      set up but can’t get far with all the 500 errors so haven’t successfully
      changed much, or even been able to save basic organizational profile data.
      It seems quite strange to me that you can set up an organizational profile
      page and not be the administrator – so there are pages without
      administrators? How does that not cause lots of red flags for organizations
      just stepping into this space?!

      I was contacted by (actually first connected with them by Beth – thanks!) a
      couple folks at Jumo to talk with/interview me about the site, the
      opportunities, the NEEDS in this space but the call didn’t happen (I believe
      the person was sick) and despite my emails was never rescheduled. I know
      that I’m a tiny fish in this big ocean, but Idealist, VolunteerMatch, and
      Change.org are big fish and I imagine would have been very open to talking,
      just like I was. I guess “due diligence” is very different outside of the
      foundation world though and a business is a business? I know now…

      Thanks again for sharing here – I really appreciate it!

      • http://reneeahamilton.com Renee Alexander Hamilton

        To your administrator issue–I have (after 2 hours of trying) set up our profile and yet it continues to offer the “Become administrator of this page” option. When I fill out the form and click the green button I either get the 500 or a notice to check my email. As of yet nothing has come.

        • Anonymous

          Thanks for sharing this feedback, Renee!

          I couldn’t find an account for TechSoup Global so created one, and then
          later finally find one that was already set up but without an admin. So, not
          sure if “they” were creating a bunch of organizational profiles or how that
          happened. I was, though, able to (after about 5+ tries) able to get the
          admin request to work (I kept getting an error that said my email had to
          match the org domain – I just kept trying with the same email until it went
          through).

          Even though I was able to confirm, it doesn’t show me as the admin though,
          but I can edit the page. Keep us posted if it changes and actually works :)

          • Katrin

            Eeks – I am now scared to set up an org account there, and I definitely do NOT have the patience you have for buggy software. I am sure that could have been tested well in advance of the launch. Hoping that no one else does for us but hey – unless they are persistent, it’s unlikely :)

          • Anonymous

            Katrin – Eeks is totally right! As I read your post I finished it the same
            way you did :) At least point, I don’t really see the need for excitement or
            worry – there are too many issues to be resolved first before a real wave of
            organizations and users could test the space.

      • http://twitter.com/rachelannyes Rachel Weidinger

        Re “I guess “due diligence” is very different outside of the foundation world though and a business is a business?”

        Jumo is a fellow 501(c)3 nonprofit. See: http://www.jumo.com/faq#about

        15% default must be part of their earned revenue/ sustainability plan.

        • Anonymous

          Thanks for joining the conversation here, Rachel! I didn’t mean that Jumo is not a nonprofit, I know that it is – I meant the people behind it. Much like the sentiments in DBH’s comment, it doesn’t seem that Jumo is coming from the same place that many in this sector are.

      • Findinggrace

        One thought – Change.org is a for-profit endeavor, and may not have wanted to help the competition.

  • Anonymous

    Here’s a great point from Joe Solomon on twitter:
    @engagejoe: .@Jumoconnect’s disappointment reminds us that web tools wont save the world. People will. The web can/should connect us–in the real world.
    http://twitter.com/#!/engagejoe/statuses/9656804883566592

  • http://twitter.com/unicefusa UNICEF USA

    • http://twitter.com/unicefusa UNICEF USA

      darn it–meant to post from @luckyrenee — the opinions above are my own and not necessarily that of US Fund for UNICEF.

  • http://reneeahamilton.com Renee Alexander Hamilton

    Apologies for the post errors–logged in correctly now ;-)

    As Social Media Manager for US Fund for UNICEF it has been a frustrating morning fielding emails from colleagues wanting to know why we are not set up on Jumo, why they are getting errors etc. I’m with Katrin, with the level of funds and talent (Chris Hughes) behind this, these simple errors should not be occurring. It also seems that some beta outreach to key NPO’s in advance could have benefited and also provided options for users. Perhaps this was done and I was unaware but it seems all of us in the NPO world have been waiting to see what this would look like. Moreover I think we all are wondering (as Tom Watson put it) do we really need it? Seems like yet another profile we now need to maintain and monitor for our great causes and channel to splinter and confuse our target donors and activists…egads!

    • Anonymous

      Thanks for sharing here, Renee (and glad the posting problems are
      resolved!). I believe they reached out to some organizations and just pinged
      Wendy Harmon at the American Red Cross to confirm that (I think they were
      given the chance to create a profile ahead of time).

      I would have thought if they were doing any kind of organizational seeding
      that they would contact UNICEF as it is so well-known. What has the reation
      been from your organization – more of we should be there because it’s
      new/others are there/etc. or more of something else?

      • http://reneeahamilton.com Renee Alexander Hamilton

        Thanks Amy and Wendy, I had responded back in March as well but never heard back. I just joined UNICEF and am not sure if outreach was done here prior but have not heard anything from my colleagues after asking around.

        I am certainly drawing no conclusions on the service yet, however I am surprised they did not do more internal testing prior to launching to the public. Certainly the NY Times article is both helping and hurting as they launch.

        I am asking my colleagues here to log on later in the week when the load dies down. Will be happy to update you as we continue to click around.

        (for the record I am still unable to fully set up the UNICEF USA account)

        • Anonymous

          Renee- I’d love to hear the feedback and experiences you and your
          organization experience once you’ve given it a few days for the fever to
          burn off :)

    • http://blog.redcross.org Wendy

      Amy asked me to weigh in here. We were not contacted, but when I read about Jumo for the first time last March I think I signed up and then after seeing several articles about Chris Hughes and Jumo I sent several emails to info@jumo.com. Their Outreach Director Kristin Resnansky contacted me a few weeks ago. We had a phone conversation and she told me the Red Cross would be included in their initial launch. I didn’t get too many details or a say in the content displayed (although it looks good to me so far).

      I think we have to wait and evaluate the place in the market for Jumo (and if there is one) after some of the initial kinks are worked out and some regular people have joined.

      • http://blog.redcross.org Wendy

        Sorry, that email address is contact@jumo.com. Kristin’s is Kristin@jumo.com.

      • Anonymous

        Hey Wendy – thank you so much for responding so quickly to the ping :) Great
        to have better information here and that it was really you doing some poking
        and prodding that started it off. It is interesting to me that even though
        they invited ARC to be included for the launch, that YOU weren’t able to be
        the one that set it up! I find it really strange that people can create a
        page/profile/project (not sure on the official platform terminology yet) for
        an organization 1. without being the admin and 2. they aren’t affiliated
        with! Seems like potential for a big stressful mess for organizations.

        I totally agree that as more kinks get worked out and hopefully more users
        voice their opinions about they want a platform that relies on them and the
        traffic from their communities to work, things will get better. But getting
        better, at least for me, will mean incorporating REAL action in the space.

        Thanks again!
        a

  • Anonymous

    In trying to investigate additional information about donations and organizational presence on Jumo, I found this message in the FAQ:

    “To receive donations, you must provide your organization’s EIN as registered with the IRS by clicking on “Edit this page” and entering it in “Settings.” If you do not know your organization’s EIN, you can search for it here. If you have questions related to donations through Jumo, you can contact us here (link to donation help form).”

    Doesn’t appear to have been updated (as there is no link to that “donation help form”) and it doesn’t include information about the donation charges.

  • http://ashshepherd.com Ash Shepherd

    Thanks for the write up and more importantly screenshots since I can’t even seem to create an account at this point. We all knew there was going to be integration between Jumo and Facebook but a requirement seems a bit much. Seeing a a number of groups are still working to become strategic on Facebook adding a second that is dependent on the first might be a bit daunting for a lot of groups.

    I understand what beta means but this buggy with this much hype and backing is feeling a bit “Buzzy” to me right now.

    Thanks as always for the helpful insight.

    • Anonymous

      Thanks, Ash! I have way more screen shots and just uploaded them to flickr
      actually as I have heard from a lot of people that they just can’t access
      the site. If you want to take a look, they are here:
      http://www.flickr.com/photos/amyrsample/sets/72157625377624859

      I wholeheartedly agree that a platform that is supposed to serve (I feel
      weird saying that as it doesn’t “serve”) organizations (rather, relies on
      organizations driving traffic by pulling in their communities) would require
      an account AND a profile on another platform first just doesn’t make sense
      for adoption, strategic uses, and much value.

      It’s buzzy, yes – we’ll see where it goes!

  • Anne

    Amy –

    I too tried to connect this morning with limited success (numerous errors)…but what really threw me was the Facebook connection – that I could not create an account on Jumo without a Facebook account. But more than that…that by linking my Facebook account, I was going to allow Jumo to post to my Wall and access my profile when I was not on the application. In the day and age of a customized approach to privacy, I am not sure how this will be successful. This should have been an optional add-on, not a requirement from the get-go. I will admit I am hesitant to link the accounts and even get started…. I look forward to more of your observations.
    Sincerely,
    Anne

    • Anonymous

      Thanks for sharing your experience, Anne! As I just posted in reply to Ash,
      I find the facebook connection requirement alarming because not only as a
      user do you have to have a facebook account to join Jumo, if you want to
      have an organizational presence there you also have to link it to the
      organiztional presence on facebook – where many organizations haven’t yet
      broken in and been successful. So now add another layer to further muddle
      the mess?

      Thanks for your comment!
      a

  • http://hellobeautifulworld.com Rachel Beer

    Interesting post, thanks Amy – it’s really useful to get some insights into the user experience (I think the site went down earlier, as I couldn’t log back in to try it out after creating my profile).

    For me, the point you make about *purpose* is key. I must admit that my first reaction was the same as Tom Watson’s: Why does the marketplace need Jumo? I posted along those lines here this morning: http://twurl.nl/v2rg6q

    You know how enthusiastic I am about any advancement that helps people connect with and support good causes and effect positive change in the world, but I’m not sure that another platform is needed to do that. Of course, it really boils down to what people adopt, which is heavily influenced by which functionality helps them most and what’s easiest to use – therefore, if Jumo is that thing, it will add value.

    However, another massive factor is how much promotion a new platform or service gets – otherwise regular people (as Wendy brilliantly put it!) just won’t hear about it to have the chance to adopt it. This can sometimes come down to marketing budgets, brand and influence, so Jumo might be in a good position on that front, with Chris Hughes’ at the helm and a significant amount of funding already secured. The Facebook integration – presuming this is quite deep? – could also make a big difference if it can make the transition and experience between the two link meaningfully and bring Facebook users to Jumo.

    I think I’d better test it out before I say any more! ;)

    • Anonymous

      Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts, Rachel! You have a great post and
      I appreciate you adding it to the conversation here.

      To further your points here, I’d say that people have to know about a site
      for them to use it – yes! But, when they get there, it needs to serve a
      purpose, be valuable, be usable. On the web, the fight isn’t to get clicks,
      it’s to get membership, engagement, action. Lots of people probably visited
      Jumo today (or tried to, rather) and will continue to do so – but unless
      it’s serving a purpose that’s needed they won’t go back. I’m curious to see
      if that purpose actually emerges because I don’t think it’s there now.

      Thanks again!
      a

  • Daniel Ben-Horin

    Really excellent, helpful post Amy. Thanks. And good discussion below.

    When I first heard about Jumo quite a few months ago, I reacted basically as Tom Watson did, though more snarkily. Subsquently, a mutual friend brokered a call between Chris and me. He’s obviously a smart guy and he’s trying to do good in the world. I think it’s important that we in the nonprofit tech space stay open to new ideas, projects, people in our space, and don’t hold it against the the newbies that they are able to raise money easily or maybe haven’t paid what we might consider the appropriate dues. There’s no growth if we try to pull up the drawbridge behind us. That said, my feeling talking to Chris was that he was kind of checking off a box. I sensed he had received blowback for not having talked to enough NPO folks and was remedying that, but was very much in love with his concept, and wasn’t really open to revisiting his paradigm. He was going to do what he was going to do and our call felt very pro forma. I wouldn’t say that Ami, Greg or Ben of Idealist V’match and Change.org missed a whole lot, though of course if he was going to reach out to the field, Chris should have reached out to the orgs that are most active in the corner he wishes to inhabit.

    But I think we should take a long view here. It is not foreordained that Jumo will ‘sweep away the competition.’ This is a different environment than the more or less purely social one of FB. With all his dough and pedigree, Chris and his team will still have to earn trust in order to succeed, and it’s not clear to me how well they understand that or how they expect to address that need. Frankly, Chris’s round of interviews notwithstanding, I think they have a *huge* learning curve about the npo sector and the ngo sector and civil society generally. Basically, I think the right approach is the one Amy is taking here–Try to understand what they are offering…withhold judgment as much as possible…openmindedly try to make Jumo ‘work’ for our organizations and causes….learn by doing so and hope they learn too. While it is frustrating to have tech glitches, let s/he among us who is without sin in that regard cast the first stone! I don’t see much point in castigating them for being pre-alpha rather than Beta. In general, the proof is in the benefits they provide for social change and I think that our community’s reaction should be focused on that, which will take some time to reveal itself.

    The Jumo project reminds me a bit of when AOL Foundation set up Helping.org in late 90’s. I had funders tell me they wouldn’t support TechSoup because Goliath was clearly going to win this one. Didn’t happen that way after all, and I attribute the results to the much closer relationship we had to actual on the ground nonprofits. Idealist, V’match, Change.org (and I’d certainly add Wiser Earth to this list) have built up really committed followings. Jumo has a long way to go to get there.

    On the other hand, none of us has built Facebook and we all talk about scale, reaching more people, getting beyond the circle of hard core activists etc. It’s conceivable that Chris and Jumo have sometihng to teach us there. I’d like to find out.

    • Anonymous

      Daniel – as always, thank you for such a thoughtful, insightful, measured response! I really appreciate you taking the time to include your experiences and thoughts in the conversation here.

      What strikes me from the conversation and comments I’ve shared both in the post and in the comment thread here and in your thoughts, is the need for purpose. Maybe as people who work in a sector where we are constantly sharing our mission, our vision, our purpose – both to the community of potential members AND to potential funders – we are just more used to putting that kind of stuff out in front. Facebook never really had to say “look! this right here is why we are important and why you should join” because it didn’t have to, it started at universities and students used it like it was going out of style and when they graduated, and it opened to the public, it was easy to see the network expand. Jumo, though, probably needs to lean more towards our way of explaining and proving your value first and then moving with what the community responds with.

      We shall see :)

    • Katrin

      Hey, DBH, so nice to hear and read from you! Miss you! One quick thing: I am SO for innovation and improvement and filling needs and niches with new products and ideas. I am in the mobile space, after all :) Love the pace, the innovations, the brilliance of so many in our network and community.

      What I do not love, though, and Chris exemplified this with his approach, hype, and hooplah is haughtiness – the attitude that people in the NPO sector are basically dumb and do not know what they are doing. After all – if we did, we’d be in the corporate sector making lots of money, right? All he is showing with this less-than-stellar launch that his site is pretty amateurish and unprofessionally run and not providing a service or meeting a need for me or my organization right now. Time will tell of course, and you are perfectly right that trust will be key.

      However, the lack of care and thought and user research as well as lack of server capacity, clearly, leaves me wondering whether that very trust is not being squandered as we all are watching. We shall see.

      I for one look forward to Idealist’s relaunch this month with its own social network – see for an org page, for example http://idealist.org/if/idealist/en/I3preview/OrgProfile/default. With 100,000 orgs on the site, and 100K uniques a day, I for one, have a lot more trust in them for actually having earned it over the years — without any PR hype.

      Cheers!

      Katrin

    • http://nonprofitable.org Dave Chakrabarti

      “On the other hand, none of us has built Facebook and we all talk about scale, reaching more people, getting beyond the circle of hard core activists etc. It’s conceivable that Chris and Jumo have sometihng to teach us there. I’d like to find out.”

      Agreed, but this is a both an advantage and a challenge. Facebook benefits from a monopoly in the social networking space, which allows it to scale technology with glitches in a way that users might not accept if social networking were more distributed. For example, if I click on a profile picture and suddenly find myself able to access photo albums that I shouldn’t have had access to, or suddenly find all of my albums shared despite an explicit privacy setting, the sheer ubiquitousness of the platform keeps me from doing much more than complaining about it.

      This is a very different space. The buggy user experiences, constant glitches, and lack of a clear mission aren’t as easy to overlook; there are already established competitors in the marketplace, with established platforms and followings. The last thing that is needed in this space is arrogance.

      “In general, the proof is in the benefits they provide for social change and I think that our community’s reaction should be focused on that, which will take some time to reveal itself.” Why am I having a hard time finding how the company, at least, defines where they will fit into that equation? No comparisons with existing platforms, or (based on comments here) even conversations with them? Are they relying on having millions of users who are unfamiliar with the nonprofit sector in general, so that this conversation is too specialized to apply to their existing marketing plan?

      I worry when “scale” is an excuse for not having those conversations :) Google, Yahoo, Salesforce…there are a lot of players in the market who understand scalability, both in terms of technology and audience, and they still seem to succeed or fail based on how well they talk to that audience.

  • Lori Smith

    So far in canada each page takes me to an error or bad gateway message?!!

  • Pingback: Jumo Grabs the Hype, But What’s the Value?

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for this overview- it’ll give me some idea of what to look for when I start experimenting with Jumo a little bit. That is, once I can actually get past these errors and create an account…

  • http://www.wish.org Petri

    Aside from the 20% taken off the top for Jumo and Network for Good, any idea how Jumo/Network for Good treats donor information? Do they just send one check every month to the designated charity and keep the donor data or do they pass along donor information to the charities to cultivate?

    • Anonymous

      Great question, Petri! I’ve sent in requests for information about all the donation-related stuff to the Jumo Support and have really only gotten feedback about the NFG fee. Have continued asking though and will let you know if/when I hear more!

  • Anonymous

    Here’s a great post from Tom Watson to add to the mix:
    http://www.causewired.com/2010/11/jumo-grabs-the-hype-but-whats-the-value/

  • http://www.volunteermatch.org Robert J. Rosenthal

    Thanks for a great piece, Amy. It sounds like a lot of these questions could have been answered by more FAQs on the part of Jumo. Let’s assume that those are forthcoming, least if Jumo is serious about helping charitable organizations and not just creating a social network of individuals who care.

    I second Daniel Ben-Horin: There’s more than enough room in our field for innovators and, frankly, there’s no obligation that entrepreneurs do outreach or collaborate… even if best practices suggest otherwise. I actually feel that most of the criticism is shorthand for fears of a new mouth to feed in a tiny market. Foundation and corporate investment in web platforms for social change are just not expanding at a rate sufficient to fund all of us. That’s a fact – and a huge difference from political campaigns and for-profit Web 2.0 platforms – areas that have seen enormous investment and spending in recent decades.

    And while we at VolunteerMatch weren’t contacted by the Jumo beforehand, we’re excited to help out. In fact, we recently released an updated Public-Use API to make it easy for the Jumos of the world (or any nonprofit Web service) to support the 75,000 organizations that participate in the VolunteerMatch network. You can learn more about it here:

    http://www.volunteermatch.org/pressroom?id=633

    Thanks again, Amy. Your leadership and commitment make you a “big fish” in my book.

    • Anonymous

      Hi Robert-

      Thank you so much for sharing your kind words and your thoughts in this conversation! It’s great to know that the Volunteermatch API continues to grow. But to me, maybe it’s just the fact that VolutneerMatch is doing so, that Social Actions built an API and much more, that Change.org, Idealist, GuideStar, and SO many others are talking to each other, putting out tools and resources, and and and…then the Jumo experience today. Sitting on the user/NGO side, I am not worried about venture capital or board members – I care whether something is valuable or not. Especially it it means someone else’s branding is associated with my profile, if it is a platform I can’t control that I’m sending my community to. It needs to be valuable for my org and for my community.

      I’m thankful you included the link to the API update news and hope folks check that out!

      Looking forward for more on this conversation :)

  • http://www.causevox.com Jefferson

    I was very excited about the launch, but somewhat underwhelmed. Coming from a tech background I know the bumps in doing a launch and all the site slowness/bugs are understandable; people just have to be willing to see through that.

    For me, the issue is of value added. Like many others mentioned, there are already established sites for learning about and engaging in new issues (change.org, idealist), and while I applaud their efforts…in its current form, then world does not need another directory. CN and guidestar do a good job of vetting non-profits, albeit a not so good job of integrating social aspects. If it’s about revolutionizing fundraising, I don’t see it at this point either. Their 4.5% processing fee + the 15% optional (next suggested tip is 10%) kills that for me.

    They have a lot of hype and momentum going in right now. Had this been a smaller operation I think people would not be so willing to see what happens. It has potential, but they need to figure out what they are bringing to the table.

    • Anonymous

      Thank you so much for weighing in, Jefferson – I said a big “YES” aloud when reading your comment! As Laura points out above, they even said themselves that the platform wasn’t about donations – and that seems to be the only action someone could take. The purpose/value really needs to emerge quickly or the users will probably fade as the hype dies down. Really appreciate you joining the conversation and hope you’ll share any more insights/reflections as the site works on some of the glitches!

    • http://twitter.com/mindsondesign mindsondesign

      Jefferson, my initial reaction was similar. Bugs and performance issues aside, my first impression was to wonder what is new about this and question why would someone want to devote time to this new space. That being said, I am interested to see how it evolves.

  • http://twitter.com/Laura_J24 Laura Jones

    Thanks for this article. I also signed up for Jumo but have held off setting up a page for our nonprofit (HorseNet Horse Rescue) even though I tend to be an early adopter. Primarily because of the bugs and the point that you make – what’s the unique purpose? Seems a lot like Causes and Crowdrise, only with less features. What is the value of this over our current Facebook page? And I havent looked at the donation part of it that has been mentioned – I’m a bit confused that there is a donate option, because the article I read on Jumo had a statement that it “was about connecting supporters to nonprofits, not about the big red donate button like all the other services” So, why is there an emphasis on donations? I honestly dont see anything unique about Jumo yet.

    Will keep an eye out but from my brief experience, I’d rather dedicate my time to useful communities and networks like Facebook, Twitter, TechSoup/Non-profit Commons, Crowdrise, Idealist, and VolunteerMatch. And for donations, stick with Network for Good and Paypal, not a Network for Good/Jumo hybrid with more transaction fees.

    • Anonymous

      Thanks so much for sharing your ideas, Laura! I just got this message from Jumo Support about the fees:

      “Donations on Jumo are processed by Network for Good, a nonprofit, donor advised fund. All Network for Good donation transactions include a 4.75% processing fee. Users can choose to tip Jumo, a registered 501(c)(3) organization, in the donation process. Your donation is tax deductible to the full extent of the law.”

      But I also asked if they could 1. share a link where this infomration is listed on the site, and 2. clarify what the default “tip” to Jumo is – haven’t heard back on either of those items yet.

      I think your last point really hits on something important here: maybe the deciding factor in all this is the fees! So, if you can donate all over the darn place online, why not go where the fees are the lowest!

  • http://twitter.com/lhtorres Lars Hasselblad Torr

    Hi Amy,

    Tech glitches aside and competition aside, it seems to me what *is* needed in the marketplace is a social utility that serves as a reference point for support/action when “causes” come up in conversation – kind of like Wave meets GlobalGiving or Kiva. And why them, and not Change? Largely because the didactics are stripped away, and micro-level opportunities are put in front of the user, within the right context.

    Is Jumo that solution? Probably not – yet. But I sense that’s the ambition. Opportunities for action in the context of social relations. I’m most interested in learning what kinds of organizations thrive in an environment like Change.org (receive prominence, benefit from network scaled action, translate online engagement into real-world impact) and what kinds of efforts will thrive in Jumo.

    For me, its the little efforts that are the most interesting – that’s where the human stories are most compelling and the sense of a relationship reified. But is that what’s good for impact and progress on urgent challenges?

    Oh, and what has happened to Wiser Earth?

    Cheerios and Trix,
    lars

    • Anonymous

      Thanks for joining in, Lars!

      I really appreciate the need you highlight but counter that if it is something “like Wave meets GlobalGiving or Kiva” how any of the others fit or don’t fit: Social Actions, VolunteerMatch, Care2, WiserEarth, Guidestar, Idealist, Foundation Center, etc etc

      To your question about the kinds of organization that thrive at Change – to me, Change.org is a social impact platform driven largely through blogging, the site is divided up by channels/topics and the main landing pages and orientations are blogs. Organizations and actions are thus associated under that umbrella. “For me, its the little efforts that are the most interesting – that’s where the human stories are most compelling and the sense of a relationship reified. But is that what’s good for impact and progress on urgent challenges?” If they are interesting stories that drive traffic to a blog/platform, then they’d be right for Change.org. When it comes to Jumo, the content is aggregated from elsewhere and so far the only actions are to donate – calling Jumo a social utility that supports action is a bit too far for me to go right now (and I know you are saying the same).

      What do you mean re “what has happened to Wiser Earth?” – any specific thing you’re referencing?

      Thanks again for joining in,
      a

  • Anonymous

    Here is the latest from Jumo Support about the donation fees – glad they are working to update the site so it is a bit more transparent:

    Gitesh
    DEC 01, 2010 | 07:07PM EST
    Hey Amy,

    Users are are notified of the tip right before they enter how much $ they wish to donate to the org. If you go to the donate page for an org like: http://www.jumo.com/org/4c8ea4cc880e1e75248e0916/, you’ll see where in the flow it appears and where the user can choose to change this amount.

    I’m going to update our FAQ’s to reflect this a little better – it should be up on the site shortly.

    Gitesh

    Amy
    NOV 30, 2010 | 06:39PM EST
    Thanks, this is very helpful! Can you clarify where in the donation process
    the tip to Jumo happens or if it is on our/organization’s side? Just to be
    clear. And, if the information about the processing fee is on the site, can
    you share the link as many people are asking me about it on twitter.

    Thanks
    a

    Gitesh
    NOV 30, 2010 | 04:59PM EST
    Hey Amy,

    Donations on Jumo are processed by Network for Good, a nonprofit, donor advised fund. All Network for Good donation transactions include a 4.75% processing fee. Users can choose to tip Jumo, a registered 501(c)(3) organization, in the donation process. Your donation is tax deductible to the full extent of the law.

    Hope this is helpful

    Gitesh

    • Anonymous

      ooooh, that’s SO sneaky! You actually have to click a link to bring up a lightbox to change the percentage of donation going to Jumo.

      So users DON’T choose TO tip, they actually have to actively choose to NOT tip.

      • Anonymous

        The opt-in vs opt-out debate. I’m never a fan of opt-out.

  • Anonymous

    Ok. Now I am pissed.

    I have gone through, created our org, added in all the stuff….and it has auto-filled with GARBAGE. In fact, not just garbage, stuff like videos from youtube that have not only nothing to do with us, but are actually videos that hate on us and others in animal welfare. Yay!

    There’s so little thought behind this in terms of an organizational presence, I would be shocked to find out that any representative from any organization actually worked with them to understand what an org would want and need.

    I wholly agree with Katrin. That’s a lot of money to put into something that is not only barely useable, but if properly functioning, nothing special or new. Just another shiny toy for everyone to jump up and down.

    • Anonymous

      Jon – Thank you for sharing your experience here as it’s part of this conversation!

      It’s really troubling that you don’t have control over the content that’s being pulled in! I imagined that the “connection” options in the Settings were to pull in anything you had posted on, for example, your YouTube channel. Not to search for your organization’s name on YouTube and pull in anything and everything! What options are you seeing for managing that content, blocking it from the page, or so forth?

      To you point about research/collaboration – I think Daniel’s comments here, as well as Wendy’s indicate a not-so-proactive approach taken to research and evaluate their product. I’m hoping that public-facing, honest conversations like the one happening in these comments will be our way of sharing feedback and direction to the Jumo team. We’ll see what happens…

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  • Carol G

    Was just eavesdropping on the conversation and wanted to mention a few things that I thought were odd about Jumo’s offerings:

    1. For an organization that is trying to develop meaningful relationships with nonprofits, the signup process is very odd. I am asked to follow organizations without having much information about what they do or the specific problems they attempt to address. It seems I can only learn these things by following the org, which leads to problem 2.

    2. Jumo greets me with a stunning amount of text. Impressive in terms of gathering information, but lackluster in ability to actually engage me. I care a lot about certain issues, but I’m not going to sift through these enormous blocks of text that may be poorly written, not informative, or as a comment above suggests can happen, completely contradictory to the organization’s purpose.

    3. This seems to be another place for orgs to talk AT me, instead of WITH me on ways to get involved. I’m presented with a ton of information, but I can’t do anything except “Like” articles and projects. Why would I come back to this site?

    • Anonymous

      Hi Carol – Thanks for eavesdropping! And thanks for joining the conversation, too :)

      I really appreciate your comments and felt all three myself – I also think that all three points hover over the same issue: value.
      – If people should turn to Jumo as a way to find organizations, well, as you point out, there isn’t much someone can do to browse and review organizations.
      – If people should turn to Jumo to learn more about organizations they have already identified and can select, well, as Jon Dunn points out below, the content that is pulled in is often not even related to the organization!
      – If people should turn to Jumo to engage with organizations they already know and care about, again to your point #3 here, there’s not much in the way of engagement as an option.

      I’ll be watching, and suspect many others will be too, to see if these points get reversed.
      Thanks again for sharing your insight!

  • http://twitter.com/ACTionAlexVA ACTion Alexandria

    Tracy here, Great post!
    I’m part of a hyperlocal Jumo-like effort in Alexandria, Viriginia, and my concern is how these large scale national efforts leave out small, local charities, pose administrative challenges for them, etc. Some of the orgs I work with have a staff of 2 or 3 people but they are providing the help that communities need.http://www.actionalexandria.org/2010/12/challenges-jumo-poses-for-local-charities/

    • Anonymous

      Hi Tracy – Thanks for joining in and thanks for sharing your link here in the mix! I think you point out a great issue and that is the competition for attention. When presented the way Jumo has, it really seems to favor following a national or even international organization rather than a hyperlocal one – why? Because if I was following a hyperlocal one I probably wouldn’t need Jumo to help me find them and stay in touch. Would love to hear from other small orgs how they are finding the site!

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  • Anonymous

    Hey that’s me! Things seem a little more steady than yesterday on Jumo. That’s a good thing. I don’t see the value initially with a platform like this… just one more thing I need to add to my list of websites to maintain. Without any sort of really good FB integration I don’t think I’ll spend a whole lot of time over on Jumo.

    • Anonymous

      Thanks, Mark – great to hear a comment on the pro-side of facebook integration! From the user perspective, I also thought there would be more that came with that connection, hey, like maybe suggesting organizations to connect with in Jumo that I ALREADY follow in Facebook even :)

  • http://twitter.com/dawnamaclean Dawna MacLean

    Hi Amy, what a great post! You inspired me to write a blog series on the topic, I would love to know your thoughts http://dawnamaclean.com/2010/12/01/new-blog-series-mass-responsibility/

    Thanks!
    Dawna

    • Anonymous

      Hi Dawna – Thanks so much for joining in and adding your post to the conversation! Like the others in this thread, hoping readers can check it out and weigh in there as well :)

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  • http://bit.ly/harish Harish Venkatesan

    I wrote a post about Jumo here that addresses a few of the issues you bring up– http://bit.ly/f5Dz2kTo sum it up, I’d say that Jumo seems to be a more ideal approach for maintaining interest and keeping people engaged in topics they care about, based on its design as a social information stream (that’s personalized to your interests!) vs. a collection of articles.

    • Anonymous

      Thanks for adding your link to the conversation, Harish! I’m curious about your comment and how you see Jumo “keeping people engaged” – could you elaborate? I didn’t really find engagement opportunities personally. The collection of content is clearly in beta though and has a lot to be worked out. We’ll see it how it looks/works in a few months!

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  • http://twitter.com/thinklynsen thinklynsen

    Amy – this was a really helpful post for when I couldn’t log into Jumo to see it for myself. Thank you!

    Generally, I like the interface of Jumo and the fact that it aggregates existing content rather than being One More Thing nonprofit have to update, but I definitely have my doubts about whether it brings anything new to the table. Also, as a donor/volunteer who connects with nonprofits, I think I prefer to have their information in my Facebook News Feed rather than check another place for updates. But time will tell, I suppose.

    I also just wanted to let you know I gave you a shout-out on my blog post on Jumo yesterday. http://www.smallact.com/blog/jumo-love-it-or-hate-it/ Thanks again for such a thorough, in-depth review!

    • Anonymous

      Thanks for joining in! Checking out the blog link as well :)

      You raise a great point, and one I happen to personally agree with – if I’ve selected to follow certain organizations in a social space online, it’s probably because I want to interact with them in that space in the way the platform allows (news feed, messages, etc.). Not sure about just a dashboard of content, especially as others have raised in the comments here if the that content isn’t even related to the org!

      Thanks again :)

  • http://twitter.com/wildwomanfund Mazarine

    Hi Amy!

    I wrote about Jumo here, and got screenshots:
    http://wildwomanfundraising.com/what-is-jumo

    At first glance, it does seem unnecessary.

    And the fact that you can’t be the visible community manager makes me wary.

    It just seems entirely too dependent on facebook for my liking.

    Your thoughts?

    Mazarine

    • Anonymous

      Thanks for joining in the conversation and sharing your link, Mazarine! My post and my comments here completely align with yours :)

  • Piyoo

    Thanks Amy for a great post! I was having the same problem you mention of it asking for facebook log in and then I realized the picture up was not for an “organization” but a person. My understanding is that it first creates a “person” for say xyz and then if you are xyz project then you can “add project”. So its duplicating xyz’s presence?? Do you think that too?

    I had another question not sure if you have any insights on it: I am unable to get “talk” or top news on my project profile (not person profile)! Not sure where the settings are? Do you have any suggestions. Would greatly help! Thanks again for a very useful post!

  • http://www.nynjtc.org Walt Daniels

    I persevered through the first day troubles and got our org registered. It seems more stable now. Unfortunately one has to at least establish a presence on essentially all such new sites to prevent someone else taking over. We did not get on Facebook before someone else captured our name. We recovered but it was a pain. We are http://www.jumo.com/org/4cf52ea6072290e3a8b6640e but it would be nice to have a memorable name. Currently I am playing it it wait and see mode.

    One thing that is not clear is how to use it promote our own issues which tend to be quite local and with a narrow focus without a broad audience, e.g. working for budgets for state parks.

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  • http://twitter.com/ithorpe Ian Thorpe

    I added my own take here- building on your great analysis. As well as the bugs, the main problem for me is it is not clear who or what Jumo is for. It appears to be trying to meet several needs that are not necessarily compatible. A month after writing my blog on this I’ve only gone back there once, so I suppose I’m voting with my feet.
    http://kmonadollaraday.wordpress.com/2010/12/08/jumo-what-is-it-good-for/

    • Anonymous

      Thanks for adding your post here, Ian, and sharing your feedback. I feel
      like you are probably not alone, I haven’t gone back either – and guess many
      others haven’t as well.

      Maybe once more bugs are worked out they will focus on really zeroing in on
      the need and building towards that? We’ll see!

      Thanks again,
      a

  • Kate

    We are a new organization trying to raise money; we have a fiscal sponsor (the four-start Urban Affairs Coalition, based in Philadelphia). We have a lot to say and are a leader in our field. But because of our fiscal sponsor, we can’t accept donations via Jumo. And I don’t see a system by which we could submit blog content–but bigger groups are already right there, front and center.

    Jumo appears to promote the biggest, name-brand organizations, like Greenpeace. I mean, I love GreenPeace, but you can find them without Jumo. For us, as a small nonprofit, it seems like a competition we could never win, rather than an opportunity to introduce ourselves to people interested in our work. It’s a little depressing.

    Kate Krauss AIDS Policy Project–focused on a cure for AIDS. http://www.AIDSPolicyProject.org

    • Anonymous

      Hi Kate-

      Thanks so much for joining the conversation here and sharing your
      experience! I have heard from many other members of small organizations,
      even mid-sized organizations, saying the same thing. They don’t have the
      bandwidth to beat the algorithm underlying JUMO and get their content,
      message, and so forth actually in front of people. I am hoping to see some
      changes and evolution to the platform.

      Thanks again for sharing and I hope that as a sector we can help guide
      platforms towards a space that helps all of us!

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