Craig Newmark, founder of craigslist, marked the fourth anniversary of his craigconnects initiative this week, citing a host of accomplishments since starting the initiative in 2011. The initiative is Newmark’s personal, Web-based effort to promote and enhance the use of technology and social media for philanthropy and public service.
Sharing details about his non-profit work, Newmark stated:
“I started doing a lot of philanthropic stuff around 2000 or so, after getting a good sense of my personal mission. Then four years ago I decided to get my philanthropic act together, ultimately to help everyone have a voice and even power via the Internet.”
Newmark uses the craigconnects platform to support effective organizations working for veterans and military families, open government, public diplomacy, consumer protection, voter protection, women in technology, and what he calls “back to basics journalism.”
Newmark groups his accomplishments through craigconnects into four general categories.
- Fundraising: a total of more than $7.5 million raised for more than 2,000 nonprofit organizations through six major crowdfunding campaigns. These have included campaigns at the holidays for charities in general, and around Memorial Day for veterans, military families, police, fire and first responders. Other fundraising campaigns have been conducted for Hurricane Sandy relief efforts and the Clinton Global Initiative.
- Research: Newmark has conducted research into many current issues and produced a series of infographics which reflect findings on subjects as diverse as online harassment, voter suppression, the use of social media, trust in the news media, Internet free speech, and crowdfunding, among others.
- Visibility: Newmark has regularly used his position as a Web pioneer to help lower-profile nonprofits and advocacy groups attain greater visibility and support through social media and other online exposure.
Personal involvement and volunteer consulting: Newmark works with more than two dozen nonprofit organizations on an ongoing basis. He serves on the board of directors of the Poynter Institute Foundation, Center for Public Integrity, Sunlight Foundation, Consumers Union/Consumer Reports, and Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America. He also serves on the Board of Overseers of the Columbia Journalism Review. Additionally, he is a volunteer advisor to more than twenty other nonprofit organizations. In 2013, he was named “Nerd-in-Residence” by the Department of Veterans Affairs’ Center for Innovation in recognition of his volunteer work with the department to enhance services to veterans.
Newmark then added:
“The big thing I’ve learned here is that, for me, tech skills and money aren’t what gets the job done. What works is bearing witness to the good works of others. This can work partly through helping them get their social networks going, by sharing their stuff and supporting their work.”
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