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Date: Friday, 12 Sep 2014 16:06

NTEN Members never fail to inspire us. Here's the latest news and events from our Members that has us smiling.

  1. There's a terrific schedule of sessions and an all-star lineup of speakers (including NTEN Members, Steve McDonell of ACHIEVA and Beth Kanter) planned for the Bayer Center for Nonprofits' upcoming Tech Now Conference in Pittsburgh, PA. Make sure to register by Sept. 30 to get early-bird pricing.
  2. Going to Salesforce's annual Dreamforce in San Francisco this October 13-16? Make sure to RSVP for Idealist Consulting's free Engagement Party on October 15 for social changemakers like you. Two words: photo booth.
  3. Online fundraising is on the rise, and Nonprofit Tech for Good has 10 Online Fundraising Best Practices to help guide you, complete with examples from nonprofits doing it right, like NTEN Member, MercyCorps.
  4. Congratulations are in order for Cloud4Good, who made the Inc. 500 list this year!
  5. Is "teacher" on your future job list? Teach.org has a new video sharing 7 reasons why being a teacher is awesome.
  6. Speaking of video and things that are awesome, See3 shares their top tips for making video work for your organization.
  7. Before you purchase that shiny new software, Norman Reiss lets you know what to ask your next software vendor to help ensure a smooth transition.
  8. Are you using mobile apps for social change? Zero Divide is hosting a series of TweetChats on mobile for social impact this month, so mark your calendar and join in the Twitter discussion.
  9.  Feeling overwhelmed already by a busy fall calendar? MomsRising has 6 ways to help you stress less and simplify.
  10. Even a 5 year-old volunteer can make a huge impact. Points of Light profiles an inspiring volunteer making a difference from an early age.

If you've got some happenings and news of your own to share, let us know and we'll feature it in an upcoming Member Roundup!

Image credit: Yumi Kimura from Yokohama, JAPAN (so happy smiling cat) [CC-BY-SA-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons.

Author: "Megan" Tags: "community, Community, member news, membe..."
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Date: Friday, 12 Sep 2014 14:39

[Photo credit: Idea Accelerator contestants high five after practicing their pitches at the Microsoft evening reception, Sept. 5. Credit: Broken Banjo Photography]

It takes a lot to jump onstage and pitch a brand new idea in front of a new group of people. Will they laugh at you, start to cheer, or be intrigued? On September 5-6, during the Microsoft evening reception and Idea Accelerator finale at the 2014 Leading Change Summit, 24 brave individuals and teams pitched ideas for social good. It was an incredible testament to the commitment and dedication of the nonprofit sector to put words to action - identifying needs and proposing concrete solutions.  

The program was designed by LimeRed Studio’s Emily Lonigro Boylan, Owner and Creative Director, and Demetrio Cardona Maguigad, Director of Strategic Design, who teamed up with NTEN to carry out the event. Also essential to the day were 12 coaches, whose areas of expertise ranged from digital media to business analysis, and three judges: James Rooney, Microsoft; Deena Pierott, iUrbanTeen; and Sonya Watson, Tides Foundation. The task of narrowing the 24 teams down to three winners was a challenge, but for the 21 ideas that did not win the awards, the journey is not over yet.

You can learn about the three winners here. Right now, though, we want to share the 21 other fresh ideas that were pitched. They didn’t make the final cut at the Idea Accelerator, but we are still rooting for them. Interested in any of these ideas? Want to learn more? Leave a comment below and we’ll connect you to the masterminds (and note that the ideas written here are just the initial starting pitches from the opening reception on September 5; they may have evolved and morphed throughout the day on September 6).

  1. Redefining Philanthropy - Dwayne Rice
    Build a Salesforce application to facilitate a culture of philanthropy around education reform by providing a platform to track constituent engagement to lead people up the engagement ladder.

  2. Starter Google Analytics Dashboard for Nonprofits - Kerry Meyers
    Prepare a simple dashboard for nonprofit metrics -- acquisition, cultivation/engagement, solicitation, retention; Explain in easy steps who to set goals and implement snippets in donation forms of leading providers.

  3. Virtual Parent/Family Education - Richard Wollenberger
    This tool will provide video chat help for parents with children aged P-5/6; Trained parent educators will provide research-based support for specific early childhood issues via video chat.

  4. Personalized Healing and Support Plan - Elaine Walters
    Online research-informed health and wellness assessment and planning tool for people who have experienced adversity and trauma.

  5. Come Out to Play? - Christine Gilmore
    Playgrounds are where our youth develop socially, emotionally, and physically; Conflict-resolution, sharing, and relationships are all formed on playgrounds; Safe, clean playgrounds allow children to just be children in a world where they are often forced to take on adult responsibilities

  6. Tech Know Leader - Jana Byington-Smith
    Weekly video/sound round-up of fresh ideas, techniques, and developments to spark innovation and change in nonprofits.

  7. Impact Circles - Birgit Pauli-Haack
    Executive Directors meet to open the Pandora's Box of technology and take the beast to serve their organization's mission and save time and money.

  8. Find Your Parks & People - Ed Goodell
    An app that helps New Yorkers find their parks and programs.

  9. Simple Phone - Jason Shim
    A centralized control panel that allows an organization to provision phone numbers to staff, eliminating need to issue second cell phones and allowing for bulk pricing; Useful for frontline workers who don't want to carry two phones--and affordable.

  10. Data Translator - Lisa Stegman
    Pets are dying unnecessarily; We can solve this and big data is key to insights into communities and nationwide trends; Most shelters use a shelter management system of one kind or another; A simple tool that would translate this data into basic usable data that can be shared and aggregated will unlock the door for those working in this space to increase efficacy and successful outcomes.

  11. The Engagement Dial - Spencer Windes
    Replace the unsubscribe link with an email engagement dial to let your list turn down email frequency without opting out. The goal: greater open rates.

  12. Nonprofit InfoSec - Spencer Bolles
    Compliance awareness  (PCI, HIPAA, FERPA) tools for measuring risk management and mapping of resources to meet organizational needs. (Data, fraud prevention & legal responsibility)

  13. Public Digital Media Center - Sarah Francis
    Public Digital Media Center in a local underserved community. Includes computer labs, classrooms, video recording studio, and current technology accessible to the community.

  14. Silo Busters - Adam Rasmussen
    Nonprofits hire separate consultants for operations initiatives. These consultants work in silos, often unaware of how their work might be affected by each other. This leads to missed opportunities to have one initiative support and enhance another or even obstruct each other. Solution: Guidance to help nonprofits connect the dots among their initiatives.

  15. I.T. Everywhere - Emilie Valentine
    Moving away from IT being a stand-alone department. Looking for a business process/model for moving tech to each department.

  16. Stones Worldview Tango - Richard Cirille
    Empowering learning for students world wide. Using scalable technology to access leadership and learning a minimal cost. Collecting data on all user learning activity. Design solutions for collaboration, empowerment, global views, and self awareness.

  17. Text, Talk, Act - Rebecca Reyes
    Way for people, especially young people, to talk and think about action ideas around a certain issue. It’s a one-hour conversation with 3-4 people. Questions/conversation prompts are sent via text. Participants also text in some answers so others around the country can see responses.

  18. Conference Match - Ritu Sharma
    “Tinder 4 Nonprofits.” Modify and adapt 2-3 matchmaking apps like Tinder to democratize nonprofit to nonprofit, nonprofit to sponsor (for profits), nonprofits to consultants matches.

  19. The Guide to North Carolina Citizen Engagement - Nancy Rose
    Maps processes, guidebooks, tours, citizens’ guide, lobbying registration effectiveness, and influence rankings; Online community around topic-connecting employees with each other.

  20. The Un-Network - Emily Squires
    Nonprofit organizations more often see each other as competition, rather than as a resource for sharing failures, challenges, and successes. The Un-Network is a space for peer-to-peer real talk-no funders allowed--to intentionally find each other and map our ecosystem.

  21. Volunteer recruitment platform - Shannon Paine
    Many neighborhood associations are looking for more people to get involved with the community; Not all associations make it easy for caring citizens to get involved. Proposed solution: An online community portal that would allow associations to post events or projects that need volunteers.

Author: "Joleen Ong" Tags: "14lcs, idea accelerator, lcs, Leadership"
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Date: Thursday, 11 Sep 2014 22:10

[Photos from left: Yee Won Chong; Ann McAlpin; Jeric Kison; Ashish Sinha. Check out their videos on NTEN's Instagram: @NTENorg]

On September 6 in San Francisco, over 250 attendees at NTEN’s Leading Change Summit (14LCS) convened for its finale event: the Idea Accelerator. After three days of exploring ideas, gathering feedback on projects and concepts, and thinking critically amongst nonprofit peers, the Idea Accelerator gave participants the chance to switch gears and think about how to put their ideas into action.

“When we were planning for the inaugural LCS, the key outcome from our perspective was that it should be a unique space for people to connect and share ideas, of course, but also to feel like those ideas weren’t simply a conversation at a conference reception - that those ideas could turn into real projects, programs, campaigns, or applications,” said NTEN CEO, Amy Sample Ward. “In order to ensure the work and concepts that emerged throughout the workshops had a launch pad, we created the Idea Accelerator as the final day’s focus, pushing those ideas into possibilities.”

Designed by Emily Lonigro Boylan, Owner and Creative Director, and Demetrio Cardona-Maguigad, Director of Strategic Design, both of LimeRed Studio, the Idea Accelerator offered the chance for partners who might not have met otherwise to connect on common ideas, and work with coaches to refine the project to meet shared goals. The goal was to surface ideas to create real, world-changing impact that make people’s lives better.

“We wanted to give nonprofits a chance to propel their world changing ideas, especially as they are often overlooked in the tech community,” said Emily. “We wanted to create a fun and collaborative environment to pitch an idea, help them think strategically, and find like-minded individuals to work through their ideas together.” 

Out of the 24 ideas that were pitched at the Idea Accelerator, only eight could advance to the final round. The final eight pitched their ideas onstage to three judges — James Rooney, Microsoft; Deena Pierott, iUrbanTeen; Sonya Watson, Tides Foundation — and attendees, who scored the pitches across five categories: Community, Creativity, Technology, Collaboration, and Sustainability. 

Yee Won Chong took home both the Community Choice and First Place prizes, which included a Microsoft Surface Tablet and passes to both the 15NTC and 15LCS events, for the project: “Say This, Not That.” Supported by teammates Zenzel Lewis, CSRA EOA Inc. Head Start, and Kristen Thompson, Center for Reproductive Rights, this project aims to create a platform that will identify harmful phrases and words in order to avoid perpetuating harm onto others. Yee Won, a Strategist, Trainer, and Consultant for social justice, and former Development and Communications Director at the Western States Center, was inspired by a conversation at 14LCS, which led to the initial project pitch.

“I wanted to connect technology to my interest in nonviolent communication and to educate people about how our words can cause unintended harm,” said Yee Won. “Words matter, and it’s surprising how certain acceptable, everyday words convey violence. This platform we pitched addressed topics such as violence, racism, classism, sexism, and ableism."

The second prize went to “Connections – Aged-Out Foster Kids and Caring Adults,” a concept put together by Ann McAlpin, Executive Director of CASA Child Advocates of Montgomery County, and teammates Jill Beasley, Aptify; Ken Goldstein, Benevolent; and Kait Steele, 826 National. The project aimed to support people who came of age in the foster care system after they turn 18 and are declared "independent," to point them to resources and to measure the results of their work with court-appointed special advocates and other mentors.

The third prize went to “Campus Light,” a project by Ashish Sinha, Program Director at the Alliance for Nuclear Accountability, and Jeric Kison, Digital Marketing Specialist at the Canadian Cancer Society, that aimed to deploy a website that facilitates peer-to-peer communication & resources for specific colleges, and provides support for students struggling with depression & psychological disorders.

The concepts that were pitched for programs, platforms, and more—from a centralized control panel that would revolutionize the way that nonprofits issue phones and numbers to frontline workers, to a networking app that acts as a matchmaker to conference goers with similar interests—demonstrate that if social change professionals are given time and space to incubate new ideas, they can come up with innovative approaches to meet needs that have not yet been met by technology. Each winner was asked: “How does your project transform technology into social change?” To learn what they had to say, check out the link to the Instagram videos via the @NTENorg account. All Idea Accelerator participants will be encouraged to continue to refine their pitches, work on their projects, and document their progress going forward on NTEN’s blog.

For the full list of project pitches, visit: http://mylcs.nten.org/eventdetails/accelerator/pitches.  

Author: "Joleen Ong" Tags: "14lcs, idea accelerator, Leadership, lea..."
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Date: Saturday, 06 Sep 2014 00:06
Principal Consultant
Is your organization data-driven or "HiPPO-driven?"
Author: "Steph" Tags: "data, Data, future of tech, Leadership, ..."
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Date: Tuesday, 02 Sep 2014 13:41

“Where can I post a job?”

That’s one of the most common questions we get at NTEN, and we’ve repeatedly heard from many of you in the NTEN community that you’d like to see a job board on NTEN.org. Well, we take your requests seriously; and we are excited to announce that a job board is underway!

In just a few weeks, we’ll be unveiling NTEN’s Nonprofit Tech Job Board, a platform dedicated exclusively to paid nonprofit technology career opportunities. The job board will be live on nten.org, and be accessible from the navigation menu on any NTEN webpage for anyone to access, search job listings, and post positions. Job postings to the job board will cost $50 for NTEN Members and $100 for Non-Members for a 30-day listing.

The job board will present a change as we’ve currently pointed people to our NTEN Discuss group to post job opportunities. With the new job board, any job postings made to the Discuss group or other myNTEN groups will be deleted. This way we are keeping the focus of the online groups on the conversations, information sharing, and connections between community members. 

The charge for posting a job is also a significant change, but we believe the added value of the formal job board more than makes up for this cost. With a dedicated job board, your postings will be in a prominent place on the Web and the NTEN website. The job board will be featured in NTEN’s monthly Member Newsletter that goes to over 8,000 individuals, and in our monthly Connect Newsletter with over 33,000 subscribers. Job postings will also receive social media promotion. We’ve been very conscious to keep the price affordable and below the cost of most job posting sites. As an NTEN Member, you’ll receive 50% off any job postings - which represents a substantial savings, especially with multiple job postings.

We can’t wait to unveil the new job site later this month! Have any questions or concerns about the upcoming job board? Post them here and we’ll be sure to address them.

FAQs about NTEN's Nonprofit Tech Job Board

Here’s the scoop on the upcoming job board, and the answers to your questions about this new NTEN feature:

  • Why is NTEN offering a job board to begin with? Job postings on the NTEN Discuss list or Community of Practice groups have increased in the last couple of years and we've heard about it: many participants flag these posts as off topic or even spam, sending them to staff with requests to help moderate and keep discussions on topic. We don't want to discourage hiring from this community! Instead, we've taken the feedback from community members, our committees, and board and are launching the job board later this month in beta. We will continue to gather feedback, request your recommendations, and further refine the job board to serve this community. 
  • Hold on a minute! Why should we have to pay to post a job when we used to post jobs for free in the NTEN Discuss group? The job board will serve as a dedicated space for these listings, and it will be promoted throughout NTEN's emails and community platforms. Plus, all posts will get some social media love, too. 
  • Where will the job board be? The job board will live right on the nten.org site. You’ll be able to access the job board from the navigation menu on any NTEN webpage. 
  • How much does it cost to post a job? Job postings are $50 for NTEN Members and $100 for Non-Members.
  • How long will my job posting be live? Jobs will be listed for 30 days, but you may choose to re-post a job after 30 days.
  • Can I post a volunteer job? Job postings are only for paid positions. Your posting does not have to be for a full time position.
  • How do I make sure we find the best candidates possible? There are many other platforms for posting nonprofit jobs. We recognize that the NTEN community is special: filled with people dedicated to using technology to more effectively and efficiently meet their missions. We think people in this community are great candidates for your next job opening, and we are excited to offer a way for you to share job postings. We also encourage you to post jobs, volunteer roles, or board member opportunities on Idealist.org and with your state nonprofit association. 
  • When can I post? We will release the Nonprofit Tech Job Board later this month - stand by for announcements via email, blog, and social media!
Author: "Amy" Tags: "job, jobboard, nptech, nptechjobs, nten ..."
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Date: Thursday, 28 Aug 2014 21:32

As we all know, the nonprofit tech community is loaded with smart and thoughtful organizers who give their time and efforts to help the rest of us do the good work we do. We recognize NTEN’s 501 Tech Clubs (local in-person groups) and Communities of Practice (CoPs) (online affinity groups) organizers are one clever and innovative bunch! We learn new community organizing tips and tools from them all the time.

In honor of our August theme of "Tools," we invited several of our beloved Tech Club and CoP organizers to give short presentations about their favorite community organizing tools during the Community Organizing Tools from the Experts webinar on August 21.

CoP organizers Praan Misir (CommBuild) and Brett Ashley Crawford (Arts Nonprofits) and Tech Club organizers Regina Walton (SFTech4Good), Paula Jones (NCTech4Good), and Chad Leaman and Elijah van der Giessen (both from NetSquared Vancouver) took time out to deliver the presentation. The presentation slides have been uploaded to Slideshare.

This was one of our most interactive webinars - it was filled with community organizers, after all - the Twitter stream and chat channel were delightfully out of control! Check out the event Storify Praan put together.

Tools and processes covered included:

  • Build community and extend discussions beyond your online or in-person convening
    • Recap: Storify tweet chats and turn discussions into blog posts
    • Timing: Post recaps to your group as well as personal and organizational networks within a week to keep up the energy from the discussion

  • Workflow for sending personalized mass emails that will not be filtered into promotions tabs or deleted as junk, but rather drive event sign-ups
  • Text expansion utilities: We spend much of our days typing the same thing over and over, but a text expander app can remove the drudgery from your life and make you appear to be the fastest typist ever
  • Text Expansion Utility Tips
    • Start URL abbreviations with a comma: ,a = <a href="http://www.nten.org/"></a>
    • Prevent conflict with regular words by staring most abbreviations with a duplicate letter: Bbio = biography expansion snippet
    • Start with frequently used pieces of text like your email, address, phone number, etc.

  • Screencasting with Jing: Learn how to record presentations using the free tool Jing to share images and short videos of your computer screen
    • Capture an image
    • Record on-screen video (5 min max)
    • Various uses:
      • Screen shots for whitepapers, tutorials, and documentation
      • Staff/Volunteer on-boarding, training videos
      • Tip of the week
      • Embed video or images to your website, blog, social networks

  • Engagement with Twitter and Storify: Twitter chats present a great way to engage your supporters and volunteers in an accessible, consistent, and fun format. Storify lets you represent those conversations in a visual and dynamic format
    • When planning a Twitter chat
      • Scope out the landscape to see what’s already how there
      • Participate in other Twitter chats to see how it works
      • Use a management tool such as Tweetdeck
    • Storify
      • Sort posts chronologically
      • Highlight specific posts/comments
      • Establish miniature narratives within the overall structure
      • Provide commentary on specific posts and trends within the larger conversation
  • Collaborate from afar with Google Docs: Use Google Docs to create, share, and collaborate on event planning documents and more

Do you have any other tools to recommend? Leave a comment below! For more information, view the entire presentation on Slideshare, and event Storify

Author: "bethany" Tags: "Advocacy, Communities of Practice, commu..."
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Date: Thursday, 28 Aug 2014 19:27

With NTEN's website redesign project underway, we took a step back and asked, "How do we know how our users use our site and what they want if we don't ask? So we turned to the NTEN community, as we will continue to do at various stages of the redesign process, for your candid feedback about the NTEN website. We conducted a website survey with about 80 respondents, and conducted some one-on-one interviews with eleven members of the NTEN community. Here's what you had to say.

First the good: While there’s definite improvements to be made, NTEN’s existing site does have clean appearance that is fairly simple to use.  As several users pointed out, keeping a clean, simple design should be key consideration in redesign so as not to detract from NTEN’s offerings. In general, people were able to conduct transactions (i.e. register for an event, renew their membership, etc.) with no problems, but it is a confusing, non-seamless transaction experience, both in terms of design interface and glitches in data sync between different systems. 

Lots of users find NTEN content to be of high-quality, but it needs to be presented in a design that’s easier to digest and more attractive as a place to return to more often. Many people shared that the community groups provide a lot of value for them, so we would do well to put more community-generated content throughout the main site and highlight community-contributed articles more prominently. Membership information is easy to find, but the benefits can be highlighted more, and this is another opportunity to bring in visual content and feature more Member Stories.

The not-so good: 

There's too much text. The biggest pet peeve users cited was that NTEN is very-text heavy and not very engaging. More visual content would make the site much more useable, appealing, and easy-to-read. As one respondent wrote, [the site] "does not reflect the fun, caring, social personality of NTEN and the NTEN community. It should be much more "human," much more "cool," and should point much more quickly and easily to the resources people need (research, tools, community for questions, etc)." 

The site is really hard to navigate. There's a lot of resources, but it's hard to find them, as the navigation drop-down menus aren't very intuitive, and the search function doesn't work well. Navigating across the different NTEN sites (myNTEN, myNTC, etc.) gets confusing and time-intensive.

NTEN.org is not very mobile-friendly. Responsive design needs to be a key piece of the redesign so the site renders clearly on any device.

One user summed it up well, "NTEN tries to be everything to everybody. As a result, the site is overwhelming with a lengthy homepage, text-heavy content, and long drop-down menus that aren’t particularly intuitive result. Consider nailing it down to 3-5 key highlights of NTEN’s offerings or calls to action that switch on a daily basis to show the diversity of content and be responsive to different audiences by giving users a more personalized experience."

Good Website Examples Suggested by Respondents:

  • New York Public Library uses an appealing block layout
  • Tu.org's personalized user experience on their homepage. Like NTEN, they serve multiple audiences (e.g. beginning, intermediate, advanced users).
  • Emilyslist.org and Care.org both have an attractive, clear presentation of information

Key feedback from our users we're prioritizing in our redesign:

  • Responsive design that is mobile friendly
  • Intutitive navigation and taxonomy
  • Robust search function
  • Clean, clear, and visually compelling layout
  • Community-centered design
  • Seamless user experience across all of NTEN's sites

Thanks to everyone who gave us their feedback. Read more about our progress and stay tuned for the next web redesign update!

Author: "Megan" Tags: "case study, Community, feedback, nptech,..."
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Date: Wednesday, 27 Aug 2014 20:31

A monthly roundup of our favorite nonprofit tech resources and other goodies. Read more posts on our blog.

  1. Three teens have created a police accountability app with tons of features as their awesome contribution to bringing We the People and government together.
  2. The White House’s Github — where, for example, code for the “We the People” petition site is housed — hit the 10,000 user mark earlier this month. The Administration apparently got so excited that they officially launched the US Digital Service.
  3. Now it’s your turn to get excited! May we suggest the Techsoup Storymakers 2014 as the object of your eager anticipation?
  4. We're pretty darned excited ourselves to be featured in @ModMarkGroup’s eBook, Get Social: The Ultimate Online Marketing Guide for Social Good.
  5. From “!” to “exclamation point,” you can use Text Expansion to save yourself hours of typing every week. It’s a truncatable way of having your cake and eating it, too.
  6. Apparently, you can also have your Legos and eat them, too.
  7. Ever have trouble meeting people at parties? Here’s an idea: bring your chocolate Lego collection to the Idealist Engagement Party as an icebreaker to go with the delicious cocktails!
  8. Because good web design should ensure a good user experience for everyone, including those on the other side of a few tasty drinks, some bright minds have created Drunk User Testing.
  9. Fashion hangover: Apple’s 1986 clothing line was a glorious trainwreck.
  10. If anyone tries to critique the way you look, you can always say something like, “The pixel-calculating machinations of facial recognition algorithms transformed my face into a mess of unremarkable pixels.”
  11. If Tolkien had drawn Yoda, here’s what he might have looked like. A slightly different universe than the one we know of as Star Wars.
  12. The digital world is changing our known universe, and Genevieve Bell can describe this in a way that only an anthropologist who works at Intel Labs can.
  13. Your cat pictures can describe a great deal about you, as evidenced by the creepily- and aptly named website iknowwhereyourcatlives.com.
Author: "Steph" Tags: "Community, Things We Like, twl"
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Date: Friday, 22 Aug 2014 23:52
Marketing Manager
"How is an organization to go about evaluating email service providers?" and other questions answered with key findings from a new report.
Author: "Steph" Tags: "E-mail, email service providers, report,..."
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Date: Friday, 22 Aug 2014 22:57
Co-Founder and Director
Crowdfunding, how much do we love thee? Let us count the ways (that nonprofits are using and leveraging crowdfunding as a fundraising tool)
Author: "Steph" Tags: "crowdfunding, fundraising campaigns, Str..."
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Date: Thursday, 21 Aug 2014 23:37

The Leading Change Summit is just 12 days away. We're packing, preparing, designing, and more just to make sure this first Summit lives up to the NTEN community standards. This required us to start playing with some of the 14LCS thinking toys – we couldn't resist!  

Unlike the NTC, there's no live stream for this event. It's really important to have our attendees there in person – ideally from start to finish. Limited space remains; you can join either for the full Summit or snag an Idea Accelerator-only package for $40 that includes access to the Microsoft evening reception on Friday, September 5 and the full Idea Accelerator on Saturday, Sept. 6.

We've already introduced you to the Idea Accelerator designers, Emily Lonigro Boylan and Demetrio Cardona-Maguigad of LimeRed Studio. Now we're thrilled to share the names of our three judges and our first nine confirmed coaches for the Idea Accelerator:

Judges:

  • Deena Pierott, Founder and Chief Innovator, iUrban Teen    
  • James Rooney, Senior Manager, Microsoft's Technology for Good Program 
  • Sonya Watson, Advisor, Tides Foundation        

Coaches:

  • Britt Bravo, Big Vision Consultant, Big Vision Consulting; Senior Communications Manager, Rockwood Leadership Institute 
    Coaching topics: Social media, PR strategy, translating big visions into action steps
  • Katie Fritz, Principal, Katie M. Fritz, LLC
    Coaching topics: IT, technology and business systems, everyday operations, streamlining processes
  • Dahna Goldstein, Founder, PhilanTech 
    Coaching topics: Business models, product development, marketing strategy
  • Janet Liao Kornas, Account Director, Dawn Design Studios
    Coaching topics: Content strategy, digital marketing, nonprofit communications, project management
  • Emily Lonigro Boylan, Owner and Creative Director, LimeRed Studio
  • Coaching topics: Facilitation, design management, project management, content strategy, business development
  • Demetrio Cardona-Maguigad, Strategic Design Director, LimeRed Studio
    Coaching topics: User Experience design, communication design & strategy, social media & PR strategy, user research
  • Nam-ho Park, Managing Director, West Coast / Director of Mobile Services, Forum One
    Coaching topics: UX, information architecture, strategy, mobile
  • Erin Polgreen, Cofounder, Symbolia
    Coaching topics: Digital media, technology and innovation, trends, foundations
  • Dorothee Royal-Hedinger, Marketing Coordinator, Bioneers
    Coaching topics: Social media strategy, marketing, video

One lucky winner will receive a bundle of prizes, check out the full list on the Idea Accelerator page.  

To learn more about the Idea Accelerator and how you can participate or attend, visit: http://mylcs.nten.org/eventdetails/accelerator

Note: If you are already registered for the full 14LCS, you do not need to register for the Idea Accelerator; access is included. We're excited to see you there!

Author: "Joleen Ong" Tags: "coaches, Communications, idea accelerato..."
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Date: Thursday, 21 Aug 2014 20:31
Your concise guide to building a winnable campaign.
Author: "Steph" Tags: "Advocacy, advocacy strategy, campaigns, ..."
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Date: Thursday, 21 Aug 2014 17:38
Founder
Here's a simple and elegant way to cut out the cut-and-paste parts of your work life.
Author: "Steph" Tags: "integrated digital strategy, Leadership,..."
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Date: Wednesday, 20 Aug 2014 20:27
Zine Librarian
Is it possible to create an app that gets volunteers traveling across the country to enter data for a nonprofit?
Author: "Steph" Tags: "custom mobile apps, event planning, Mobi..."
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Date: Tuesday, 19 Aug 2014 23:18
Fundraiser PM
Become a galactic legend and help further cancer research. Not a bad way to spend part of an evening, no?
Author: "Steph" Tags: "app, cancer research, Community, gamific..."
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Date: Friday, 15 Aug 2014 23:15
Director of Technology and Operations
If your mission includes an educational aspect, a learning management system could be your cup of tea, but which flavor is right for you?
Author: "Steph" Tags: "Program"
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Date: Friday, 15 Aug 2014 19:15
Co-Founder, Director of Business Development
With so many shiny tools to choose from, how can your organization choose which is/are best for you? Here are some questions to get you started.
Author: "Steph" Tags: "Open Source, open source tools, Strategy..."
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Date: Thursday, 14 Aug 2014 16:52

It’s summer here in the States, but we aren’t taking any vacations from our website relaunch project! We’ve been working away at this for a few months now and figured it was about time to send you a postcard.

Here’s a quick status update from our content team—inspired by the three daily scrum standup questions used in Agile development—about how things have been going and what’s next.

Progress made over the past six weeks:

  • Card sorting exercise at staff retreat. It was good for everyone to do this exercise in order to see and analyze the results, but also to refine the list of cards and approach when opening the exercise to the general community.
  • Community card sorting exercise. We are wrapping up the community card sorting exercise in August and will use the results to refine and inform the new information architecture of the site.
  • Content audit: We have started a content audit and have begun to feel overwhelmed by the amount of content currently available on the site. Not coincidentally, we have discovered a need for a content expiration strategy.
  • Dreamt: It’s not all a tired slog – we’ve been dreaming up some great features! Our IT Director Karl says he's most excited about "a streamlined profile creation and management process, clear engagement paths for site visitors, and a consistent and mobile friendly feel across our entire web presence."
  • Built our team: We hired a content strategist, Gwydion Suilebhan, to help us work through our many, many issues. And Philip Krayna, our long-time partner in design, will be aided in the graphic redesign by the brilliant design minds at Cornershop Creative. We're very excited to have their help!

What we plan to do by mid-September:

  • Finish content audit and have our plan for archiving/migrating
  • Send our proposed site architecture to designers for use in wireframing/usability validation

Possible roadblocks:

  • With over 8,000 pieces of content, the biggest challenge we're staring down right now is how to manage that content audit.

While this has been happening, our community feedback team has invested lots of time in surveys and interviews. We'll have an update from them soon. In the meantime, thank you to everyone who responded to our RFP and participated in the card sorting exercise and survey. We can’t wait to launch this and appreciate your interest in this process. Happy August!

Author: "Julia Smith" Tags: "content audit, content strategy, design,..."
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Date: Thursday, 14 Aug 2014 14:56

Last week I got to attend the National Alliance for Media and Culture (NAMAC) and Alliance for Community Media (ACM)'s first-ever joint National Conference: State and Main 2014 (#StateMain14) in Philadelphia, PA. The beautiful murals you'll find throughout the streets of Philadelphia provided a perfect backdrop for this gathering of nonprofit arts professionals.

I took part in the panel: Multiple Platform Social Media Strategies, which explored ways nonprofits can use social media more effectively, and sought to answer the proverbial question: "If a tree falls in the social media forest, how can you make sure anyone hears it?"

NTEN Member and Social Media Strategist, Lyndal Cairns, moderated the panel, and helped put together this blog post. In addition, we were joined by fellow panelists, Felicia Pride, pride collaborative, and Nickey Robare, St. Paul Neighborhood Network.

Each panelist explained how they used social media to further their mission and then shared their experience with finding and telling their organizations' stories, goal-setting, and developing strategies for engagement. We explained the differences between networks and the communities that reside there, how to develop your organizations' "voice," and how to turn social media interest into ticket sales and donations.

The best part was the input we received from attendees about tools to help social media managers get organized and develop content without straying from their mission. Some of the tools highlighted include:

Content curation

  • Feedly: a news aggregation app that pulls feeds from news sites and social media.
  • Evernote: a note-taking app and program that helps you "remember" and categorize links and notes.
  • FlipBoard: a content curator that brings you content based on your interests with a newspaper look and feel.
  • Storify: a content curation tool that allows you to create a timeline of social media posts, video, slide decks, and other online media.
  • NTEN Member, Beth Kanter, has a primer on content curation that's a useful guide for getting started.

Community engagement

  • Attentive.ly: a social relationship manager, which links with a constituent relationship manager (CRM) to track and target messages to social media "champions" and prospective donors.
  • Sprout Social: a social media management software that gives high-end monitoring and reporting services, as well as incorporating some CRM features so managers can identify and write notes on social media engagers and assign project management tasks.
  • Mobile Commons: a platform that helps nonprofits reach their communities through text message.
  • If This, Then That: a task management tool to automate program processes like sending social media posts, creating lists, and staying on top of tasks.

Policies

And it wouldn't be a social media panel without social media from the social media panel (how very meta)! Check out the Storify from Lyndal highlighting the social posts from our session.

Do you have tools to recommend? Add them to this list by posting in the comments!

Also, if you're a NAMAC or AMC member, don't forget to take advantage of your NTEN benefits! Learn more on the NAMAC or ACM partner page. 

Author: "Megan" Tags: "ACM, Community, NAMAC, nptech, Policy, s..."
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Date: Wednesday, 13 Aug 2014 23:50
CEO
Find your portal to better Board engagement.
Author: "Steph" Tags: "board collaboration, Leadership, nonprof..."
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