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.”
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.
The NonProfit Times has partnered with MobileCause to provide headlines and news when they happen directly on your cell phone.
By Paul Clolery
With the explosion of YouTube — and everyone else and their uncle jumping on the video bandwagon — the use of video can now be an inexpensive tool for nonprofits to promote their causes. Michael Hoffman, of See3 Communications, which creates media for nonprofits, offers the following advice for nonprofits looking to dip a toe into the world of online broadcast:
By Jamie Holaday
Considering people’s ever-shortening attention spans and given the shocking lack of grammar taught in public schools, it’s important to keep your writing straightforward to keep your readers on track. I didn’t do such a great job in that first sentence. We’ll have to see if I can reign in my verbose tendencies.
There’s never a perfect time to begin a planned giving program at your nonprofit, but you have to start somewhere.
Some boards are good at fundraising. Some could use a little extra help. Still others aren’t at all comfortable with fundraising or don’t consider it part of their job as board members.
By Mark Hrywna
Salesforce.com is the second software vendor to nonprofits this week to announce a data breach. The firm alerted its clients of phishing attempts and the security breach. The most recent phishing attempts included malware, software that secretly installs viruses or key loggers.
Firm says no financial data was accessedBy Mark HrywnaNearly 100 clients of nonprofit software provider Convio had their data breached after an unauthorized third party was able to access email addresses and in some cases passwords.Only clients on the GetActive platform were affected — none on Convio’s platform – with unauthorized downloads of email addresses and passwords against 92 clients, about 7 percent of the company’s 1,300 clients, almost half of which use GetActive. Convio acquired GetActive earlier this year.Downloads were made against another 62 clients but were not executed and did not result in data loss. Email addresses and passwords could be used for phishing scams and if combinations match access information, possibly online service providers like PayPal.Convio declined to identify the organizations breached. The NonProfit Times uses the system to deploy e-letters but was not breached.The attack was discovered late in the day on Nov. 1 and occurred sometime after Oct. 23. “It was a very sophisticated attack. It took us longer than we would have liked to recognize,” said Convio CEO Gene Austin. Some of the tasks the intruder performed were routine, as if it was an administrator on the system, he said.The intruder attempted to harm a donation page for a site “and that obviously is a nonstandard process very different from normal. Once that happened, we clearly knew something was wrong and caught them,” Austin said. The intruder began the attack by being routine, and now “we’re watching those standard routines much, much more closely,” he said.