Friday, December 7, 2007

When in London...

When picturing an upscale dinner party, an underwater breathing apparatus doesn't usually come to mind.

That wasn't the case at a recent London Fundraiser, where celebrities, including British Actor Nigel Havers (Empire of the Sun) and rugby player Matt "Daws" Dawson, joined 500 others at a West London swimming pool to raise money for charity -- and to break the Guinness world record for the world's largest formal underwater dinner party.

In groups of 20, diners sat down to a NASA-style meal of smoked salmon, crap and hazelnut praline, all jellied so as to not disintegrate in the water. To eat the ice cube-sized portions, explained The Park Club in West London, "...remove the aqua lung from your mouth, pop in the space food from NASA, replace the aqua lung in your mouth and press the button on the aqua lung to purge away the water in your mouth and start breathing again: as simple as that!"

The record-breaking attempt -- the previous record was 100, set in 1991 -- raised more that $400,000 for six charities, including Save the Children, Wooden Spoon, and The Shooting Star Children's Hospice.

- Marla E. Nobles

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Finding a Cure: Fox works to find the cure for Parkinson's Disease

Actor Michael J. Fox - best known for his long-standing role as Alex P. Keaton on the hit sitcom "Family Ties" - kept his Parkinson's Disease a secret from the public for almost seven years. But after disclosing his condition in 1998, he knew he needed to take an active role in beating the disease.

"After I went public, people began to have conversation about Parkinson's," he said. "I started to go online and people were really talking about this. I realized I had become a student of this disease and truly had a responsibility to engage in this community."

Fox decided to form his own foundation to fund research of Parkinson's and educate others about what they can do to fight the disease. "With Parkinson's, the science is ahead of the money, and the idea of pursuing the science became very compelling to me."

But although Fox's foundation has made a huge impact on Parkinson's research (the foundation has given some $100 million to research), he still wonders why more isn't being done. "Who's in charge of finding a cure? There is $100 billion pt [into medical research]... you'd think there would be a Department of Cures or a Secretary of Cures."

In the meantime, Fox will continue his work in hopes of finding a cure. "We need to climb more mountains," he said. "My hope is that we find ways to link the academic world with the business world. That's what our foundation is doing and will continue to do."

Recommendations from New Orleans to you

Any nonprofit can face a difficult struggle when trying to bring relief to, or even cope with, a site of widespread devastation. The World Wide Web can be an extremely useful resource.

Rick Christ, managing partner of, visited New Orleans. The city is still far from recovery, but Christ offered recommendations for utilizing the Web to stay operational that were presented to New Orleans nonprofits but that could have universal application.

The recommendations are:

  • Think cheap and quick. There are plenty of free Web tools, but don't use any that take too long to learn.
  • The Web was created for man, not man for the Web. A small nonprofit with no budget or tech staff that is literally digging itself out of the mud needs only to "do" online what produces real and immediate benefits. If there is no short-term gain online, don't do it.
  • Get the fundamentals right, forget the rest. Focus on usability, on value to the Web user and on fundraising. Integration is only a problem if you have a lot of data.
  • Web must follow mission. Only do online what furthers your mission (this week). If your mission is advocacy, the Web can help. If it is bringing people together, think chat rooms.
  • Everyone wants to help. Ask. This can be true primarily along the Gulf Coast, but to an extent it's true among all nonprofits.
This article was posted in The NonProfit Times, Instant Fundraising. If you would like to read more articles like this one, signup for our free weekly eNewsletter here.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

NPT/Mobile Cause -News on Your Cell Phone

The NonProfit Times has partnered with MobileCause to provide headlines and news when they happen directly on your cell phone.

You can now receive alerts every Tuesday, and when new breaks, on your cell phone by sending the word NPTIMES to 85944. Your normal text messages fee will apply.

MobileCause has been in the social sphere for more than 15 years. It is focused on cause and social marketing. It's in-house technology and developers connect to large, world-wide partners that insure everything is best in class.

The NonProfit Times has been a trusted news and comment provider for more than 20 years.

MobileCause utilizes servers in seven locations in the United states and two in Europe. Through this it has a large capacity to sustain large mobile initiatives o the scale of 64 million votes of American Idol. (Most mobile agencies are agency only and do not have in-house technology.) Also, the MobileCause team is filled with people who have Fortune 100 experience in all levels of interactive marketing and cause marketing experience.

When news breaks, you're just a ring tone away from being ahead of the game.