New Report Identifies Emerging Nonprofit Digital Strategy Landscape and Trends

Digital Outlook Report 2015

Digital is, now more than ever, an inherent component of effective organizations. A new report offers seven steps for nonprofit digital strategy success in 2015. The findings - released by Care2, hjc, and NTEN: The Nonprofit Technology Network - compiles responses from nearly 500 individuals that work in the nonprofit sector about their outlook for 2015 in regards to their staffing, strategies, tools, and more. The findings reveal that despite digital strategy being a growing priority in nonprofits this growth is not consistent across organizations in terms of staffing, tools, and strategies. 56% of survey respondents (all from nonprofit organizations) reported that they do not have any staff dedicated to digital strategy, but some of it has to do with size, where 66% of respondents from … [Read more...]

Technology and the Jewish Holidays: Insights from Text Me: Judaism and Technology

By Dr. Jeffrey Schein On March 6-7 there will be a national focus on an unplugged Shabbat, spearheaded by Reboot and a coalition of other organizations. We ought to celebrate this effort. I share none of the cynicism of a colleague who remarked somewhat quizzically “well, didn’t we have Shabbat before we had “unplugged Shabbat?” Nor was it really helpful when a more philosophically minded colleague pointed to Abraham Joshua Heschel’s volume Shabbat as having captured the value message that goes well beyond the behavioral dimension of Shabbat, a back-handed compliment to the unplugged Shabbat efforts if there ever was one. Learning new behaviors like turning off our technology on Shabbat requires a creative surround for the greater part of Jewry for whom shemirat Shabbat is neither organic nor … [Read more...]

It’s Official: Facebook Page Tops 100,000 ‘Likes’


Content attracts followers from all over the world, who have responded to the content postings By Karen Schwartz Tuesday, Feb. 3 wasn’t just any day for the Facebook page. For one, it was the start of 15 Shevat that evening - the New Year of the Trees. If that wasn’t enough to celebrate, that same day also made a bit of Chabad history: It counted 100,000 Facebook users who had clicked the Like button. The milestone highlights’s ongoing role in current and emerging platforms to reach people around the world. “Thank G-d, we’ve been blessed with an engaged community - 100,000 people who want to learn, want to share and want to explore Judaism online,” says Rabbi Mordechai Lightstone, the 30-year-old social-media editor at “I think it’s a chance to reflect … [Read more...]

Pew Releases Social Media Update


In a new survey conducted in September 2014, the Pew Research Center finds that Facebook remains by far the most popular social media site. While its growth has slowed, the level of user engagement with the platform has increased. Other platforms like Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and LinkedIn saw significant increases over the past year in the proportion of online adults who now use their sites. Facebook’s large base of users continues to be very active. Fully 70% engage with the site daily (and 45% do so several times a day), a significant increase from the 63% who did so in 2013. About half (49%) of Instagram users and 17% of Pinterest users engage with their respective platforms daily, although neither of these represent a significant change from 2013. Some 36% of Twitter users visit the site … [Read more...]

Igniting the Light of Channuka with Apps

My Menorah App

By Mordecai Holtz When I hear the word nonprofit, I don’t usually think of technology and apps. In the age of digital media and, in many respects, digital communities, Jewish organizations need to continue to find the tools that respond to current interests, technological opportunities, while remaining true to the Jewish traditions of educating and inspiring the next generation. Thankfully, albeit slowly, more Jewish organizations are pushing the envelope by redefining the classic definition of engagement. These organizations and agencies are bridging the gap between classic Jewish education and the technology available to ensure that Judaism remain relevant and engaging to future generations. With chanukah around the corner, many are polishing their silver menorahs, fine tuning their … [Read more...]

How Does Your Website Measure Up?


Early in 2014, over 500 Canadian charities took a benchmark survey where they were asked about everything from website strategy and revenue tracking to metrics and digital fundraising activities. After you read this report you will be able to answer questions like: Why do we need a web strategy? How often should we plan to update our website? What does the perfect donation page look like? How does my charity measure up to sector benchmarks? What role should our website play in growing our fundraising program? Your organization does not need to be Canadian to benefit from the results. The complete report 2014 State of the Web Nation is available here. … [Read more...]

Why Mechon Hadar’s New Website is a Big Deal

open access

By Aharon Varady Founded less than a decade ago, Mechon Hadar, or Hadar for short, is the umbrella institution of the celebrated halakhic egalitarian Yeshivat Hadar. Hadar just updated its website and it's not just another institutional facelift. After eight years of growth, Hadar has created a treasure trove of Torah resources, and now it has chosen to share them, intentionally. With very few exceptions, all of Hadar's resources are now shared with an Open Content license. Open Content licenses employ the power of copyright law to ensure that a creative work remains properly attributed while abrogating the normal operation of copyright that forbid the work's redistribution and adaptation. Open Content is an outgrowth of Open Source, a strategy by which computer programmers have long … [Read more...]

Growing Jewish Identity on the Platforms the World is Moving Onto


By Abigail Pickus When Mordechai Lightstone attended the South by Southwest Interactive Festival (SXSW) in 2010 to speak about ‘Judaism 2.0,’ he packed a little something else in his suitcase besides his clothes. “We bought kosher meat in New York and brought it with us,” said the 29-year-old social media director for Chabad-Lubavitch headquarters who, with his wife, Chana, traveled to Austin from their home in Brooklyn with the plan of throwing a one-off kosher bbq. Little did they know that their bbq, which they initially tweeted as an open invitation for one and all, would soon become a SXSW tradition. Today, #openShabbat, which bills itself as an “unplugged Sabbath,” now attracts upwards of 150 people - many of whom are participants in the popular conference on emerging technology. … [Read more...]