4 Your Mission is a blog from Mobile Beacon that helps you – a nonprofit – achieve your mission by bringing you up-to-date info and tips that you can really use.
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Tech Term of the Week

Electronic Resources Management (ERM)

Systems developed to assist librarians in the control of licensed third-party resources published electronically (databases,e-books, e-journals, etc.), including license management, renewal, legal use, access management, and collection development.

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We LOVE Nonprofits!

One of the things we love most about our jobs is knowing that we’re helping other nonprofit organizations fulfill some truly worthwhile missions. In honor of Valentine’s Day, here are some that are especially close to our hearts.

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Why mobile sites have gone from a “nice-to-have” to a “must have” for nonprofits

In January, we shared some statistics on the explosive use of mobile devices and how important responsive design has become for mobile commerce. Now we’d like to share why mobile sites have gone from a “nice-to-have” to a “must-have” for nonprofits.

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Why Responsive Design is Important


As seen in the infographic below, more and more people are relying on smartphones and tablets to get information and make purchases. Nonprofits must figure out the best way to make sure their Web sites display information just as well on the small screen as on computers. Many nonprofits are now exploring the use of responsive web design to improve overall website functionality, allow for engagement with the public no matter what device they are using, and further their outreach and increase online giving.

Is your website optimized for the Mobile Web?


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Partnering to Break Down Barriers
Bridging the Digital Divide – Part 2/2

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Three Barriers to Getting Online
Bridging the Digital Divide – Part 1/2

It seems like the Internet is everywhere, with everyone tweeting, posting, reading, and enjoying its many resources. But as educators and nonprofits, we know not everyone is online. We see the people who are affected by the digital divide and the real problems they face, every day.

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The Ever-Changing Language of Technology.


As the world of technology constantly evolves, so does its language. Just when we think we can hold our own in a conversation with the office IT specialist, or our tech savvy kids at home, we find that the vocabulary we’re using so authoritatively is now hopelessly obsolete—along with the technology that spawned it.

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Make your last fundraising push of the year a valuable one!


With Thanksgiving upon us, we’ve officially entered the “Holiday season.” You know, that cookie-baking, turkey-eating, charitable-giving time of year. It’s coming up faster than a Nor’easter in Maine, and the push is on for nonprofits to boost the bottom line. How? With last minute gift donations (think Heifer International) and reminders that givers can increase their charitable giving tax donation right up to the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve.

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Social Fundraising


With 33% of all online gifts being given in December and donors giving 80% larger gifts on average, the holiday season provides the #1 fundraising opportunity of the year for many nonprofit orginizations.

Peer-to-peer fundraising (crowdfunding) can magnify your efforts by engaging more of the supporters you already have while gaining new ones (55% new donors on average per campaign) at the same time. The infographic below provides strategies and tips to make crowdfunding a part of your holiday fundraising mix! Also, check out these 5 crowdfunding tools to consider.


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How one Library is “Loaning out the Internet” using Mobile Technology

People rely on their neighborhood library to borrow books, there  magazines,  and movies. But borrowing the Internet? How does that work? Providence Community Library (PCL) is leading the way.

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Library Photo Collections from Around the World
Celebrating National Friends Of Libraries Week!


We’ve compiled all of the library photo collections we’ve shared over National Friends of Libraries week 2013! Check out some of the most interesting, smallest, coolest, most beautiful, modern, and of course mobile libraries from around the world!


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Librarians: How many “social hats” do you wear? This infographic shows how the social environment librarians navigate today is more complex than ever before. Do you consider yourself a “social librarian”?

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Community broadband. Coming to a city near you?

Community Broadband


More and more, today’s communities are striving to become digitally inclusive. They’re offering affordable, quality Internet services and working with anchor institutions in all sectors to ensure residents get the access they need. It’s a trend taking hold across the country.   Hundreds of municipal broadband locations are already in place, and many now view Internet access the same way they do basic services like power and water – essential for communities to thrive.

Here are some specific reasons these programs are being considered and implemented nationwide:

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Digital Divide Infographic


The Internet Revolution has placed knowledge and power in the hands of the people. But this shift has not empowered equally. The following infographic by OnlineITdegree.net describes how America’s disadvantaged have been left behind, further deepening social divides.

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AUPs protect you and your organization


What it is

An acceptable usage policy (AUP) is a set of rules applied by the owner or manager (you) of a network, website or large IT system that restricts the ways in which the network, website or system may be used. The AUP is an integral part of security policies for businesses, universities, schools, Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and website owners, often to reduce the potential for legal action that may be taken by a user. They should be clearly written, widely distributed, and frequently updated to accommodate changing technology.

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