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Best Practices Toolkit On-line - Benton Foundation

From: Jillaine Smith

Subject: Benton Toolkit

I want to alert you to the newly expanded "Best Practices Toolkit" compiled by the Benton Foundation's Communications Policy and Practice program.

This area of Benton's web site is intended to provide you with tips and tools for better using Internet technology to promote your nonprofit's goals. The toolkit is broken down into the following categories:

* Top Recommendations

* Web pages with great tools for nonprofits

* Nonprofit-related electronic newsletters

* Nonprofit-related discussions lists

* Technology Funding for Nonprofits

* Fundraising on the Internet

* Nonprofit Technical Assistance Providers

* Papers & Books

I include below a sampling of what's available on the site. If you would like to receive regular updates informing you about new items on the page (subsequent updates will be much shorter than this first introduction), please contact me.

Jillaine Smith Senior Associate

Benton Foundation

ph:202-638-5770 fax:202-638-5771 email:


Best Practices Toolkit: A Sampling as of 12/29/97

Please see ( for the complete list.

Top Recommendations

* Designing Effective Action Alerts for the Internet (

Well-designed action alerts are a powerful way to invite people to participate in the processes of a democracy.

* While One Northwest's ( focus is on helping environmental organizations in the northwest, they have compiled an impressive collection of tools ( to help nonprofit organizations make better use of communications technologies, including computer and modem recommendations, and what to

consider when selecting an Internet provider.


Web sites with great nonprofit tools

* Coyote Communications Technology Tip Sheets ( for nonprofit organizations, including "Basic Customer Database Principles," "The Internet Starter Kit for Nonprofits," "How Nonprofits are REALLY Using Online Technologies," and much more. Also check out their "How to promote your nonprofit organization online".

* Media / PR Advice Online. These three sites offer a variety of media advice: Media Relations Inc.

( on handling interviews; Communications Skills Institute

( on getting press by doing survey's; and Netrageous Inc.

( offers useful case studies.

* Ontario Prevention Clearinghouse Electronic Publishing Guidelines

(, prepared for their internal use, but shared with the rest of the online world. A great checklist of activities to consider when involving your organization in electronic publishing.


Nonprofit-related electronic newsletters

* Philanthropy Journal Online has a wonderful technology section

( housing its many articles on how nonprofits are making use of the Internet.

* WebActive ( can send you email updates to its excellent site that highlights nonprofits on the Internet. Send email to, with sign me up! in the "Subject:" header.


Nonprofit-related electronic discussions lists

Where ever you see "YourFirstName" and "YourLastName," replace your real first and last names, respectively.

* Communet-L is where community networking advocates discuss challenges, policy, and lessons learned. To subscribe, send email to LISTSERV@LIST.UVM.EDU that contains the following message: subscribe communet YourFirstName YourLastName.

* On NetAction Notes, you can discuss with other advocacy organizations how to use the Internet for effective organizing and coalition-building. To subscribe send email to with the following message: subscribe netaction.


Fundraising on the Internet

* Jeff Hallett wrote a series of excellent articles that appeared in Philanthropy Journal about nonprofit use of the Internet for fundraising and other activities:

o Why the Web will Increase Giving - Eventually


o Build relationships; then raise money


o Performance-driven Web Sites


o Does the Web help-- or hurt-- fundraising for nonprofits


* Fundraising on the Internet (, a print and electronic guide to using the Internet as a fundraising tool.