All posts in Social Media
Just in case you missed this announcement on our home page, we’re excited to share news of our next iteration!
On a related note, we’ll continue sharing news here on the mkf.org site until our changeover officially happens on May 15th.
For the past year, we’ve been keeping you abreast of an ongoing strategic shift here at the Kapor Foundation. We’re very excited to announce that we’ve arrived. As of May 15, 2013, the Kapor Foundation will have a new public face, the Kapor Center for Social Impact. Through a shared vision, set of values, and program activities, we’ll work more closely with Kapor Capital, our sibling venture capital microfirm focused on seed-stage tech startups.
The Kapor Center’s working mission is to “relentlessly pursue creative strategies that will leverage tech for positive social impact in underrepresented communities, primarily focusing on closing academic, political, health, and economic gaps.” This mission represents our deep belief in the power of information technology as a tool to accelerate social good, and fully aligns with the Kapors’ longtime involvement in the tech industry, stemming back to their days at Lotus Development Corporation in the early 1980s.
This article, Diversity in Tech and the Myth of Meritocracy, recently posted on Ebony.com is special for several reasons: the author, Tracey Ross, is an Oakland native, a UC Berkeley graduate, and an alumna of a Kapor-supported scholarship program. This article shows only a small bit of her awesomeness.
It also revisits the ongoing discourse about the false equivalency in the tech industry between tech’s reaching people in every demographic group and tech being a demographically “diverse” and representative sector. Anyone who looks closely at the makeup of tech firms, VC firms, or startups accelerators can see that this fabled representation just ain’t so. Mitch Kapor said as much in 2011 on CNN’s Black in America; Freada Kapor said it again last year, and Tracey is reasserting it again here.
SPOILER ALERT (kinda): In the coming months, we’re going to be actively focusing on diversifying the tech sector through funding, advising, convening, and advocacy. You’re going to be hearing a lot more about this from us.
Meanwhile, congrats to Tracey!
Just wanted to loop back around with everyone; we’ve received a few eager inquiries about our2013 grantmaking priorities. As we’ve mentioned before, we’re in store for some major changes as we shift our focus to tech-driven strategies and tools that further social justice/social impact. Once ready, we’ll announce the changes here on our website and Twitter account, so please check back with us in mid-February for updates.
The fight against voter suppression and harassment became personal this past Tuesday, when my niece, a 19 year old college student in North Carolina, was challenged at her polling site by a “very nasty” electioneer – NOT an official poll worker but an “observer” – who demanded to know if she was old enough to vote, and then handed my niece a slate of opposition candidates. Knowing her rights, my niece held to the Aries fire that she shares with her grandmother and rebuffed the “poll monitor,” proudly casting her first vote in a presidential election.
“Here’s our basic idea: we can crowdsource democracy. Let anyone in the country create a voter guide and promote it through Tumblr, Facebook, Twitter, Google+, or Pinterest. Then we’ll compile these thoughts into user-friendly formats so anyone can see what their friends and neighbors think about the stuff they’ll be voting on.” - Matt Singer and Scott Duncombe, http://news.theballot.org/
As a relatively new California voter, I’m overwhelmed by the various candidate races and ballot initiatives that I’ll have to vote on come Nov. 6th. Voting in NY was nothing like this. Voter guides – printed or online guides usually offering basic information or strong opinions on races and/ or propositions produced by a single organization or entity – are one immensely helpful way of navigating the many choices at the polls. (more…)
We’re in the midst of making some major changes to the Kapor Foundation’s approach to social impact work, as I alluded to in a July 17th post. Last week we shared an update with our current grant partners that may be useful for others to know:
“The purpose of this email is to update you on our evolving strategy to meet our mission, which has not changed: ‘We support organizations that provoke social change in communities of color en route to equality.’
For the past five years, the Kapor Foundation has worked to support critical work that affects communities of color both nationally and here in the Bay Area. At the beginning of 2012, we shared our interest in learning more about how info tech can be mobilized in pursuit of positive social impacts. With the ever-growing presence of info tech in our everyday lives, we strongly believe that CBOs must harness technology to more effectively achieve their missions.
Hmmm. This is interesting. The Center for Effective Philanthropy (CEP) has just released a report, Grantees’ Limited Engagement with Foundations’ Social Media, saying that “only 16% of grantees surveyed report using social media created by funders or their staff.” Last year CEP surveyed more than 6,000 nonprofits about their experiences with one of the 34 foundations in this study. The top findings were:
- “The majority of foundations use social media tools in their work.
- Very few grantees use social media from their foundation funders or their funders’ staff.
- Grantees that do use foundations’ social media find those resources less helpful than other communication resources for learning about the foundation.”
Last Wednesday I was pleased to have been a part of the Tides Foundation Momentum Mixer which brought together top social media executives, nonprofit, and philanthropic leaders to talk about how social media is impacting social causes and the ways that the nonprofit sector is influencing new media. The event was standing room only and packed with social innovators, including a panel of key representatives from YouTube, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Zynga.
One of the evening’s highlights included stories from each company of how they have responded to users needs for social impact by improving their technology in this area. For example, with the increase of Smartphone video-use to document popular uprisings, YouTube has refined its video settings for the needs of activists by creating a face blurring option to protect the rights and anonymity of participants. In addition, they have made it easier to link petitions or causes pages to videos for more effective mobilization. LinkedIn responded to users needs by creating a “Volunteer” and “Causes” section available to people who increasingly wanted to make their social passions and involvement known. (more…)
This opinion column, Virtual Becomes Personal, is hot off the press in the July 1 issue of The NonProfit Times. I think the last paragraph is particularly relevant to the Foundation’s future direction:
The nonprofit community would do well to pursue three recommendations toward a unified goal of strengthening advocacy campaigns. First, traditional and digital organizers need to emerge from their respective silos and come together in forums to learn from each other how to leverage both forms of advocacy. Second, nonprofits should incorporate both traditional and digital organizing within a coherent strategy to broaden and deepen public participation, either developing the capabilities themselves or negotiating partnerships with others. Third, private foundations and nonprofit research institutions can add value to the field by undertaking more systematic research around the possibilities of digital organizing and online advocacy.
Read the entire article here (pdf). More details about our development will be forthcoming in the fall.