Unlike mailing lists, you do not need an e-mail account to access the postings in a newsgroup. Newsgroups (sometimes called Usenet newsgroups) are a form of electronic bulletin board where people post inquiries or comments for general discussion. Either a Web browser such as Netscape or a newsreader (e.g. NewsXpress or FreeAgent for Windows, NewsWatcher for the Mac) can let you read or respond to postings in newsgroups, as well as post your own messages.
There are over 15,000 separate newgroups worldwide, many on subjects of interest to the not-for-profit sector. You can search for newsgroups which may be useful with a Web search engine such as DejaNews.
One general newsgroup to be familiar with is:
soc.org.nonprofit. This is an active "bulletin board" or forum covering all sorts of topics and fields of nonprofit work. It's worth checking at least weekly, and is a good place to post serious inquiries, with a reasonable chance of a response. The group's FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) file is available at: http://www.eskimo.com/~pbarber/npo-faq.html.
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