Why your .org does what it does

There was a moment a last weekend’s Wisdom 2.0 conference that I won’t forget. When I learned that Kiva sends everyone in their organization to the developing world they help serve to reconnect with the original reason they first joined, I was blown away!

How often does your organization step back and remember your mission? Sure, you know what your mission is, but how often do you refine the sense of mission that exists in the hearts of your staff, board members and supporters?

This year’s Heart & Soul grant program, put on by the CTK Foundation, is designed to do just that.

Heart and Soul 2011 Grant Award

To win, you have to channel your creativity to write an original four- to eight-line poem or stanza that reflects the work or mission of your nonprofit. No poets on staff? Ask your supporters to write a poem for you.

The 1st place winner will receive $10,000 and will have their submission turned into a song to be used in public education or awareness. The song will be written and recorded by songwriter Bill Dillon — who was recently exonerated after 27 years in prison thanks to Innocence Project of Florida — and produced by Jim Tullio of Butcher Boy Studios. The contest is open to all nonprofits in the United States, Canada and the UK.

The winning nonprofits will receive one of the following awards:

  • 1st place award is the song, plus a cash grant of $10,000 (US)
    or it’s value in foreign currency
  • 2nd place award is a cash grant of $5,000 (US)
    or it’s value in foreign currency
  • The 2011 Blogger’s Choice Award, where a randomly selected blogger participating in spreading the word among nonprofits about the H&S Grant Award Program will choose a nonprofit applicant to receive a $1,000 cash grant
    or it’s value in foreign currency
  • 2 steel-stringed guitars, signed by all members of Los Lonely Boys (which you can auction for fund-raising)
  • Up to 20 technology grants, valued at $10,000, to nonprofits that indicate an interest

There is a quick turnaround on these grants. You must submit an application by midnight on March 28, 2011, and you’ll be notified if you’ve won on April 10. Visit www.communitytech.net to apply.

Follow the effort on Twitter at #ctkgrant.

Wells Fargo ATMs: an example of usability

It’s not only that they speak many languages. Or that you can make envelope-free deposits in them now. The single most impressive feature I’ve found on Wells Fargo ATMs recently was that they are sensitive to  your most recent (or common) transactions.

Say you normally go to the ATM to withdraw $80 for weekly meals or to deposit a check. Now, on the screen where you are prompted for your PIN, instead of only letting you enter the 4-digit number (as shown above), you are presented with that VERY option directly, so you can skip the selection process altogether which typically followed once you hit the green OK button.

Not only that, it remembers preferences such as whether you wanted or not a receipt, or whether you wanted the scanned version of any deposited checks or not… THIS is an amazing example of usability! Plus it shaves about 20-30 seconds of time at the ATM for each customer that uses this convenient feature.

Update (Jan. 31, 2011): thanks to Wells Fargo for sending a screenshot showing the above capabilities. I am even more impressed with you guys having spotted the blog post AND taken action about it!