The expansion in the US nonprofit sector’s use of the Internet in the past year is demonstrated by comparing two resource directory publications from the Chronicle of Philanthropy. This year’s edition has many more Website addresses than last year’s.
Management and Leadership Resources for Non-Profits was published on 11 January 1996 by the Chronicle of Philanthropy, compiled by the Applied Research and Development Institute International. It includes 1,733 resources, 373 of which were not listed in previous editions. Resources listed included ” books, pamphlets, bibliographies, audio- and video-tapes, computer software, on-line information, training kits, reports of recent research studies, and other published materials.”
Despite the reference to “on-lilne information”, and a whole three-page section on information systems, there were hardly any e-mail or Website addresses listed in the 96-page A3-size publication. Even the full-colour back-page advertisement by Blackbaud Inc did not list a Web site or e-mail address. Other large and full-page ads from Fidelity Investments , The Taft Group, and InfoCision Management were equally lacking in these addresses.
Only about half a dozen Internet-related links were evident in the entire publication, both editorial and advertising. For example a Web site address for Internet Resources for Nonprofit Public Service Organisations appeared appropriately with the resource’s listing.
Relief Net and the Internet NonProfit Center also both were listed with their Web site addresses. But many other online resources like Volnet UK and Guide to Online Systems for Nonprofits were listed without any Web site address.
One year on that has changed. The Non-Profit Handbook – books software, Internet sites, and other essential resources for non-profit leaders, published this week by the Chronicle of Philanthropy, features many more Web site and email addresses. Indeed, this year there is now a section on ‘Non-Profit Resources on the Internet’.
While Internet addresses are far from ubiquitous, they are noticeable both in editorial and in adverts, such as that frm PG Calc Inc. For example, n the technology area of the Financial Management section, about half of all organisations listed appear with their Web site or e-mail address.
Ironically, each section of the directory appears with a box-out entitled “where to get items on these pages” and none of them mention an e-mail or Web site address.
Fortunately, the main two-page “how to order” section contains Web site addresses for around three-quarters of listed organisations.
Blackbaud’s back-page full-colour advert also now has its Web site address featured.
While the Internet is clearly being embraced by the US nonprofit sector, the same is not true in the Uk. The resources directory or listings section of the main magazines such as Third Sector, Professional Fundraising, and Charity are all largely empty of e-mail and Website addresses.