This page is part of Benton Foundation's online archive. We've kept some old stuff around for historical purposes.

Peer2Peer Learning (Benton Foundation)
Strategic Communications ... ... in the digital age 

Think it Through

Put it to Work

What to Watch

Peer2Peer Learning Benton Discussions Stories & Lessons Other NP Discussions

Funders' Corner

950 18th Street, N.W.
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Benton Foundation 2001

Peer2Peer Learning
"There are no mistakes; a mistake is simply something you do that produces a result you weren't after, perhaps even opening a door you didn't know existed." -- Antonia (Toni) Stone, Founder, CTCNet

Benton Discussions | Stories & Lessons | Other Nonprofit Discussions

Learning through shared experience is very effective. In this area we welcome you to visit our featured discussion and share your ideas, or just read what other nonprofits have to say about their own experiences in creating and implementing a successful communications strategy in the digital age.

Benton Discussions

Benton is co-hosting a series of online discussions with TechSoup. Our current discussion is on Evaluating and Improving Your Web Strategy.

Archives of past Benton discussions: Technology and Communications Planning, 26-30 March 2001 (with TechSoup; ongoing) Adding Streaming Media to Your Web Site, (with TechSoup; ongoing) Targeting Your Audience, 22-26 January 2001 (concluded) Online Organizing and Advocacy, 4-8 December 2000 (concluded) Building and Managing Online Communities, 23 Oct - 3 Nov 2000 (concluded) Online Fundraising: Who, When, Where, What Gives? 25-29 September 2000 (summary) Seven Characteristics of an Online Organization, 21-25 August 2000 (summary) plus an additional summary focused just on technology planning.

Not comfortable sharing your organization's story in a public forum? Share your story with Benton. Fill out our short form and we may contact you to be interviewed for feature story on your organization!

Shared Stories & Lessons

Good Works in the Palm of a Hand
The Chronicle of Philanthropy discusses the use of handheld devices by nonprofit organizations in social service and disaster relief.

Advocacy Video: Producing Change
This excellent report provides 15 examples illustrating the use of advocacy videos by broadcasters, individuals and nonprofits to win direct results in campaigns to further social causes. (Benton Foundation, 1997)

Online Discussions: Benton's Lessons Learned
In this article, we share with you our own experience hosting online discussions at

Environmental Defense: From Brochureware to Actionware
As one of the earliest adopters of Internet technology in both the nonprofit and environmental activism sectors, Environmental Defense has many lessons to share. Learn from their challenges and successes in this interview conducted by Michael Stein.

Using the Internet to End Domestic Violence
The Family Violence Prevention Fund uses the Internet for outreach, fundraising, and advocacy in pursuit of their mission to end domestic violence.

Smart Strategies: CARAL Chooses the Internet
This interview with the California Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League (CARAL) reads like a model "how-to" guide to nonprofit communications on the Internet. Learn how CARAL uses its Web sites and e-mail to collect donations, encourage activism, and communicate with supporters as they fight to defend a woman's right to choose.

Using the Internet to Deliver Technical Assistance
In this profile, a representative of Consortium for Appropriate Dispute Resolution in Special Education (CADRE) shares how this national nonprofit has harnessed Internet technology to deliver technical assistance to its constituency.

The Impact of Internet Technology on Big Brothers Big Sisters of San Francisco and the Peninsula
From online giving to newsletters to discussion boards, BBBS has tried it all! Michael Stein interviewed them about what BBBS learned developing their own Internet strategy.

Building a Virtual Support System: The Evolution of QuitNet
See how this smoking cessation organization uses its Web site as a service delivery mechanism -- in this case, to help quitting smokers stay smoke-free.

Planning for the Web: American Rivers
Learn how this river conservation organization used strategic planning to strengthen their use of the Internet in support of its mission.

E-Commerce and Nonprofits: Three Case Studies
Examines the lessons learned by Drayton Hall, a historic preservation organization and museum; the Perfect Storm Foundation; and the Film Arts Foundation as they each explore the challenges and successes of implementing e-commerce into their operations.

Open Studio: Lessons Learned
This Benton project sought to increase the amount of local arts and cultural content on the Internet. In partnership with the National Endowment of the Arts, Open Studio funded ten organizations across the nation to provide the arts community with the basic skills needed for online communications and electronic publishing. "Open Studio: Lessons Learned" shares the lessons that these ten original Open Studio training organizations learned while bringing artists and arts organizations into the digital culture.

Networking in Local Communities
Open Studio's Digital Canvas magazine profiles the Ink People Center for the Arts, a nonprofit community arts organization in California that funds its technology programs through local partnerships.

Connect For Kids' Web Strategy
When Benton's Connect for Kids (formerly KidsCampaigns) redid their entire web presence and identity, they also documented what they did and why.

Lessons from Others:
Here are other collections of "lessons learned" that we've found on the Internet: Wired for Good: Lessons Learned About Technology Case Study Evaluations of Department of Commerce TOP (formerly TIIAP) Projects

Tech News: Enhancing Human Services through Technology Case Studies from the National Endowment of the Arts
In particular, these address communications: Evolution of a Web Site Designing for Change: The Texas Commission on the Arts Creates A Village in Cyberspace University of Illinois Chicago's Neighborhoods and Nonprofits Network

Other Nonprofit Discussions

Benton's Up For Grabs Discussion List
Members of this discussion list share how communications policy and practice are affecting the public interest.

Digital Divide Network Discussion List
Hosted by the Benton Foundation, this active discussion addresses the technology and communications divide.

Family Service of Greater Boston

Nonprofit Charitable Orgs Discussion Forum's nonprofit guide, Stan Hutton, hosts this a user-friendly place to discuss issues of interest to the nonprofit community. (Free registration required)

Charity-PR is an open discussion forum for nonprofits interested in all aspects of PR and media relations.

NonProfit Tech
A computer support and educational online resource center for nonprofit organizations; topics range from current state of nonprofits using technology to future goals for the use of technology in nonprofits.

A moderated discussion list hosted by OMBWatch, NPTalk addresses how nonprofit organizations utilize information technologies in their public policy activities.

Online Fundraising
A moderated discussion list hosted by the Gilbert Center.

.Orgwebmasters discussion group
A non-moderated, technical and fairly advanced discussion list for Webmasters of nonprofit organizations.

TechSoup's community message boards
This ongoing community discusses a range of issues from databases to technology planning.

Last updated: 25 October 2001 mff