Visual Thinking: A Challenge for Our Sector

June 7, 2012
If I told you that we could find new expressions of Jewish communal work using this image as our inspiration, you'd probably think I was crazy: That's right, square plus triangle equals circle. In this case, the triangle (or delta) stands for change, the square for the status quo, and the circle for wherever it is that we're going – and we're generally in agreement that where we're going is not where we are.

What Are We Accomplishing and How Do We Know?

June 5, 2012
"What does your organization do?" That is a question most nonprofit folks can answer pretty easily. We have our elevator pitches ready to go. "What is your organization accomplishing?" Now that's a different question, one that's not as simple to answer for most of us. It's also one that is increasingly being asked by potential donors big and small.

2011 Nonprofit Technology Staffing & Investments Survey Report

June 1, 2012
The results of the 2011 NTEN survey of the NTEN and The NonProfit Times communities regarding technology staffing, budgets, and practices are now available in this report.

5 Cloud Based Apps For Teams to Organize Events Better (and for FREE)

May 24, 2012
Many of us in the nonprofit space know how much effort goes into organizing large, annual events. Even though many of us are entrenched in the intersection between our work and technology, we often struggle with finding ways to make our lives simpler. In today's world, cloud technology can allow most nonprofits with an Internet connection to access hundreds of files, manage multiple teams, and keep track of others whether they are remote or across the office. Last year, our organization, Games for Change, put together the largest Festival in our 8 year history. With over 800+ attendees and another 10,000 viewing online, we've sold out the event while doubling attendance and income. Much of the organizing was done with new staff and new ambitions. While the Festival proves to be bigger than ever, yet easier to manage with a series of tools being used by the entire team.

Have Your Feet On The Ground When Looking At The Cloud

May 24, 2012
As I said in The Cloud: Not As Airy As You Thought, cloud computing is a boon to startup nonprofits and businesses as well as those that are growing. Here's a case study, from Jason Hutchins, president of Nonprofit Solutions Network. A small nonprofit, with a staff of seven. Server is maxed out, ready to be replaced. Question: New in-house server or move into the cloud? Answer:The cloud.

The Cloud: Not As Airy As You Thought

May 23, 2012
Let's start with the basics. “Cloud computing” isn't really a cloud. It's a bunch of servers in a far-off, climate-controlled locked room, watched over by some serious techies. It's just not your own server in your own room with your own techie. And the server holds your information right next to information from a whole lot of other people. The cloud is often described as a “utility based” service. Like electricity, water, or gas, you pay for what you use and can increase the amount you use as needed. Also like utilities, it's a lot cheaper to use Con Edison than it is to buy and maintain your own generator and meters.

CRM is Exactly What Your Nonprofit Needs

May 23, 2012
I recently had a conversation with a colleague about the advantages and disadvantages of using a constituent relationship management (CRM) system such as Salesforce to manage multiple types of relationships. Their main argument against it was that while managing all the information in one location is tempting, it not practical if the organization has multiple complex processes. Consider Habitat for Humanity (HFH) – in this case, a mid-west chapter.