Mashup Nonprofits, Do Good, Win Money

John Musser
Mar. 04 2008, 03:07AM EST

Create social change with your unique mashup idea. That's the pitch to mashup developers from the folks at NetSquared for their NetSquared Mashup Challenge. NetSquared is a project from Tech Soup to facilitate the adoption of social web tools by nonprofits and NGOs. This is an ambitious effort and over $100,000 in prize money is at stake. There are three parts to the NetSquared Challenge:

  • Nonprofits are invited to post ideas on "what change they are trying to make, as well as the information and data sources they believe can be joined to help illustrate their mission’s point. For example, you might be trying to illustrate the correlation between childhood asthma rates and Superfund sites." You can see the current list of proposals here.
  • Then the NetSquared team "will reach out to friendly collaborators who spend their days working with Web stuff to help translate your change into a Mashup project."
  • And then there's actual mashup development itself. To help facilitate this piece, Google is hosting a hackathon at the Googleplex on March 7th in Mountain View where Google engineers, product and project managers will be on hand to make these mashups a reality.

The deadline for submissions is March 14th and the top 20 projects will be announced on March 24th. Those top 20 finalists will be invited to the NetSquared Conference (N2Y3) in San Jose, CA May 27-28. All 20 projects at the conference will receive a share of $100,000 in grant money with the share determined by voting at the conference.

The winner of last year's NetSquared contest was MapLight.org. We've covered their efforts with citizen watchdogs earlier and have profiled their MapLight API. MapLight is a grantee of the the Sunlight Foundation who last year hosted their own worthwhile competition, the Mashup Congress Contest. The winning mashup in that case was Unfluence (our profile), which used the Follow the Money API to shed light on campaign finance via an interactive network map of state level political contribution data.

This is one of a variety of contests happening at the moment and you can see more on our Mashup Contests Guide.

John Musser

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Hi John,

I saw that you were writing about the Netsquared Mashup challenge and I wanted to share a little bit about our Mashup Challenge entry: Assetmap.org/uganda. You can read more at http://www.assetmap.org/uganda

The question behind the project is this: with peace on the horizon after 20 years of war in northern Uganda, and the big NGOs soon heading off to other war zones, who is going to support community organizations and northern Ugandan civil society as it transitions to peace time?

By mapping information about ongoing community-led philanthropic partnerships in northern Uganda, assetmap.org/uganda helps American citizens aggregate their resources to support post-conflict transformation.

We hope to facilitate collaboration among American donors and volunteers by providing a digital tool that:

•maps project locations so you know who's working where

•tags information about the specific issues projects and organizations seek to address

•links tagged and mapped projects to the facebook and LinkedIn profiles of participating donors or volunteers

If you're interested in supporting us, please visit and vote for us here:

http://www.netsquared.org/2008/conference/projects/assetmap-org-uganda

Thanks!

Nathaniel Whittemore

Director, Northwestern University Center for Global Engagement

www.mycge.org

globalengagement at gmail