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 September 13th). 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).

  • Groupon Case Study: Jolkona’s Groupon Experiment | Community Organizer 2.0 – Check out this great interview by Debra Askanase with Laura Kimball, discussing their experiment using Groupon! "Jolkona ran a Groupon deal as an experiment to try to raise money for a specific campaign using Groupon. Jolkona partnered with the Seattle International Foundation (SIF), which pledged to match every donation, dollar for dollar, up to $25,000. Starting July 26th, Groupon Seattle’s G-Team allowed subscribers to join Jolkona and SIF in making an investment in women’s leadership by pledging support in increments of $10. For each $500 collected, Jolkona would fund one week of training for a woman leader to come to Seattle and participate in a 10-week fellowship program, run by iLEAP: The Center for Critical Service."
  • Year-end appeals have you stumped? Four quick tips to get the ball rolling | Big Duck – "This is the time of year when most people I know are thinking about ‘back to school’ and beginning to plan their fall/winter holidays and vacations. Of course for us Ducks and most of you, this time of year is dominated by the ever-glorious year-end fundraising appeal. These days, the year-end giving season starts as early as October. In fact, as I write this (in mid-August), we’re already at work on several year-end campaigns. If you’re not quite there yet, here are a few quick tips I hope you’ll find useful to get your fundraising wheels in motion."
  • When Communities Identify Their Own Poor, Aid Has The Most Effect | Fast Company – "When governments and NGOs plan on giving assistance to the most needy, how do they know who needs the most assistance? It's a question people are at great pains to answer, yet social welfare programs around the world are still plagued by error and abuse. That has not deterred the development of programs to help people escape extreme poverty. But because the poor–especially those earning less than $2 or $3 per day–typically hold informal jobs with no official records about their earnings, conventional ways to determine need are ineffective. MIT researchers in a recent study (PDF) looked at two alternative methods for establishing who needs assistance."
  • 7 Things Nonprofits Can Talk About on Facebook Besides Themselves « – "Recently I met with a client who was sensitive about what they posted on Facebook, because they not only had privacy issues to be concerned with of their constituents, but they didn’t think that the other things they do would be applicable to their fans on Facebook. In other words they didn’t think that their fans on Facebook cared about what their organization was doing other than fundraising."
  • Complex and Contradictory: A New Way to Think of Digital Activism | The Meta-Activism Project – "The effect of digital technology on political contention is neither good nor bad, it is both.  Yes, the Internet can help activists mobilize and re-frame public issues.  It can also distract citizens and feed apathy.  It can also help repressive governments watch and censor their citizens.  The sooner we accept digital technology’s complex and contradictory effect of political power dynamics, the sooner we can move forward to answering more interesting questions about those effects.  What contextual factors lead to these different outcomes?  Why does one factor win out over others when all three are in play?"
  • 5 Reasons Social Media Measurement is Making You Lie to Yourself | social media measurement | Social Media Consulting – Convince & Convert – I love the comparision Jay makes here between Twitter and email, followers equals sends and actual Twitter reach (people reading and responding) equals open rate. Really changes the impact of those Twitter numbers! "Social media measurement causes unsavory (and ineffective) marketing behavior because unlike the rest of our marketing key performance indicators, social media metrics are out there for anyone to see."
Great reads from around the web on September 13th
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  • Thanks so much for including a link to my interview with Laura Kimball of Jolkona, about their Groupon fundraising deal. Thanks also for pointing me to Jay Baer’s post about social media metrics, and especially his points about who actually sees Tweets and what Tweet impressions mean. Bookmarking that post to continue to reference!

    • Thanks for the interview, Debra! I found it really interesting and love having direct feedback like that from people/organizations trying new things.

      • I echo Debra’s gratitude – thank you for including us in your roundup, Amy!