News from the NTEN Connect Blog

Leading for Innovation: Creating a Culture of Learning in Your Organization

Submitted by Brett on Wed, 08/20/2008 - 11:33am

Elissa Perry, Leadership Learning Community

"When knowledge gained somewhere doesn't move elsewhere, that's not a learning organization; that's just a bunch of projects." - The Saratoga Institute

It can be difficult to encourage new ideas and innovation from people who aren't in positions with leadership titles or much technical authority. People fear speaking up for reasons tied not just to personal style, but also -- and perhaps more commonly -- to organizational culture. There are a number of challenges as well as supports that can limit or open the space for learning and exchange in an organization.

You should start by fostering and supporting a culture of learning and innovation.

Preparing Your Staff Members for a Technology Change

Submitted by Brett on Wed, 08/20/2008 - 11:25am

Dahna Goldstein, PhilanTech

You're a leader of an organization, about to begin a new technology project. Getting buy-in for a technology change can be essential to the success of the initiative. Before you begin, you should think about a few things that can help you maximize success:

  • Set a clear direction from the top.
  • Tie tech changes to mission.
  • Communicate early and often.
  • Involve and empower staff.
  • Tech changes need champions and influencers.
  • Recognize that change causes anxiety, and work to mitigate it.

How Fast is Your Internet Connection?

Submitted by Holly on Wed, 08/20/2008 - 8:48am

Access to the Internet is one of the issues we care about most here at NTEN. The United States is a lowly 15th in the world when it comes to broadband access, and that's almost certainly having an adverse effect on how thousands of nonprofits are able to serve their clients and stakeholders.

It's so bad, FCC Commissioner Michael J. Copps has admitted, "America's record in expanding broadband communication is so poor that it should be viewed as an outrage by every consumer and businessperson in the country."

What are we going to do about it?

As a pretty competitive person, I was motivated by the Communication Worker's of America's newest campaign, Speed Matters. The campaign tests your Internet connection and compares it to the communities around you, as well as the rest of the world.

Vote, Vote, Vote

Submitted by Anna on Tue, 08/19/2008 - 10:43am
nonprofit voterWe don't have to tell you how important it is to vote this Fall, but we keep hearing about great resources for nonprofits working to get out the vote in their communities. We want to make sure you have them at your fingertips.

2009 NTC Brainstorm: Be Careful What You Wish For

Submitted by Holly on Thu, 08/14/2008 - 1:26pm

09NTCToday, we hosted a call for anyone who wanted to talk about what they want to happen at the 2009 NTC. It was a really fun call for me: I learned a few new things, was reminded to stop being so lazy, and had a few good chili pepper-related laughs.

I've posting a summary of the call so that, if you were not able to join us, you can still toss in your two cents. I've also called out the areas where we're going to need some help from the NTEN community.

Because we really want to hear from you, we'll randomly pick three people from those who offer their ideas or suggestions to receive a special NTEN prize pack. (It WILL include chocolate!)

Rate Your Donor Management Software

Submitted by Brett on Thu, 08/14/2008 - 9:43am

It's NTEN survey time again! Your input helped make our reports on Content Management Systems and Constituent Relationship Management software successful, and now we need your help evaluating the vendors of Donor Management Software.

> Rate your Donor Management Software today!

Tell us what you love -- and what frustrates, irks, and just generally annoys you -- and we'll compile the results into a handy report, then give it to everybody who fills out the survey, for free!

Let's Get Tactical, Tactical

Submitted by Holly on Tue, 08/12/2008 - 11:00am

In our quest to use social media to build a social media curriculum for the sector, our WeAreMedia project has already involved more than 65 people. You've been contributing articles, photos, videos, and mindshare toward a common cause.

Over the last few weeks, our focus has been on social media strategy, or the bigger picture concepts an organization should tackle before worrying about the tools themselves. We have covered how to know if social media is a good fit for your organization, strategy mapping, meeting resistance, storytelling, engagement skills, and ROI.

You Just Need 52 People Who Can Donate $500

Submitted by Holly on Tue, 08/12/2008 - 9:07am

You heard it here first!

In last month's NTEN Connect, we pointed you to the campaign of Sean Tevis, a Kansas man running for the state legislature. Today, Sean was profiled on NPR's Morning Edition.

Told that he would have to raise about $26,000 to be competitive in his race, Sean set to work canvassing door to door. Eventually, he raised -- wait for it -- about $25.

Then, he had an epiphany: use the internet. Sean built a site that no professional campaign adviser would have dreamed of approving: a site for geeks. His first content was a cartoon titled "Running for Office: It's Like a Flamewar with a Forum Troll, but with an Eventual Winner."

Kellogg Action Lab: Making Change Means Taking Risks

Submitted by Holly on Mon, 08/11/2008 - 4:50pm

Flickr Photo: Happy DaveLast month, I led a workshop on social media for some Kellogg grantees in Washington DC. Reflecting on what I learned at that workshop definitely informed the workshop I led for another set of grantees in Dearborn, MI at the end of last week.

This time around, we stopped more frequently to talk about the tensions that social media adoption raises for organizations:

  • How hard it can be to open your organization up to negative comments;
  • Shifting from a nonprofit that creates content to a nonprofit that creates experiences with its content;
  • What it means when the communications function lives in every department, not just in the communications department.

NTEN Member Online Round-Up: Could NTEN Members Rock More?

Submitted by Annaliese on Fri, 08/08/2008 - 2:51pm

Flickr Photo: Caro WallisI've come across a lot of things this week from and about you rocking NTEN members. The thing is, it's not just a lot of activity -- especially for AUGUST -- it's the kinds of things you guys are doing and saying that's so impressive.

Here we go: