News from the NTEN Connect Blog

NTEN Member Online Round-Up: Post-NTC Style

Submitted by Annaliese on Fri, 03/28/2008 - 1:21pm

AdamNicholson's NTENny DisplayI'm composing this weekly round-up differently this week, for two reasons: 1) there's a LOT of buzz in the blog- and twitter-spheres from and about NTEN members because of last week's conference, so I'll be truncating the summaries; and 2) I want to take this opportunity to share my thoughts about the conference and the NTEN community -- and thank everyone for the great experience.

First up, here's an abbreviated round-up of the 08NTC-related posts from members:

The New Orleans Renaissance

Submitted by Brett on Fri, 03/28/2008 - 1:02pm

Laura B. Crochet, LANO New Orleans

On August 28th, 2005, we had a cool city, an alive, vibrant city. Then the lights went out, and it was the Dark Ages here.

In St. Bernard Parish, 25 feet of water in rose in 23 minutes -- not even the length of a sitcom. Slab houses bobbed like ice cubes along the street and floated down 3 blocks. Months later, the house's curtains are still in the windows, dancing; kids’ papers are still on the refrigerator. Like Dorothy in Wizard of Oz, I had to touch those houses, because I had a hard time believing that a house had been picked up and sat down like that.

The only reason the community is going to come back is that nonprofits, faith-based groups, schools, colleges, people like you, have come in.

2008 Mellon Awards for Technology Collaboration (MATC Awards)

Submitted by Brett on Thu, 03/27/2008 - 3:42pm

And still more awards! From the press release:

The deadline for nominations for the 2008 Mellon Awards for Technology Collaboration (MATC Awards) is April 14, 2008. The MATC Awards consist of up to ten $50,000 or $100,000 prizes, which a receiving institution can use in a variety of ways to continue its technology leadership. The awards honor not-for-profit institutions that have demonstrated exemplary leadership in the development of open source software for one or more of the constituencies served by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation: the arts and humanities in higher education; research libraries, museums; performing arts organizations; and conservation biology.

You can find more information at

Vote in the "Make It Your Own" Awards

Submitted by Brett on Thu, 03/27/2008 - 12:01pm

The Case Foundation-sponsored "Make It Your Own Awards" just announced the 20 finalists.  In a sign that I'm not the only NPTechie who likes watching basketball, they even have a "Final Four" theme.

> Vote for your favorites

According to Rich D'Amato of the Case Foundation, "Make It Your Own is another of the Case Foundation's efforts to introduce the use of new technologies to NPOs, to do so by incentivizing the use of the technologies with grants, and to make the participation easy for them and for their supporters."

The 20 finalists have already won $10,000; the 4 finalists will receive additional funding.  And, in a cool, NCAA-pool-style twist, the first 10 voters who correctly identify the Final Four will receive $2,500 for their favorite charity.  They've even incentivized the vote!

The Flash-based site running the vote is pretty cool in itself, so go check it out and vote for your favorites today.  Voting will be open until April 22nd, 2008.

Who Are the People in Your Neighborhood?

Submitted by Holly on Thu, 03/27/2008 - 7:50am

Flickr Photo: booskittyFlickr Photo: booskittyThe late, great Mr. Rogers has been asking us this question for decades now: "Who is in your neighborhood?" Though we have learned a great many lessons from our avuncular, becardiganed friend, the nonprofit sector is still struggling to master this one.

I think we all know, intuitively, that all donors are not the same. They engage with us for extremely personal reasons, and are inspired to continue their engagement for equally personal and diverse reasons.

Technology has come a long way in letting us customize our relationships with donors. Our donors can tell us what issues they care about, and how often they want to be contacted. With social media, we can let super-engaged donors participate in a variety of ways. We can provide financial and other administrative information easily to donors who value transparency and accountability.

But doing all of this, in any way, has always felt like finding that pot of gold at the end of a rainbow. If every single donor has unique needs and expectations, how can we possibly keep up?

This week, Convio released a new white paper with Sea Change Strategies and Edge Research that provides a nice tidy framework for thinking about personalizing donor experiences.In " The Wired Wealthy: Using the Internet to Connect with Your Middle and Major Donors," the authors surveyed more than 3,000 donors who gave $1,000 or more in an 18th month period and had valid email addresses.

There are lots of really useful tidbits in the report, but I thought the most interesting piece was the result of the cluster analysis.

2008 NTC Session Materials

Submitted by Brett on Tue, 03/25/2008 - 3:58pm

Google Analytics tells us a lot of you are looking around for the session materials from the 2008 NTC -- and finding only 2007.  How dated!

So, where can you look? 

Not all of the session designers have turned in their final drafts yet, and even when they do, it's going to take us some time to get them all organized, uploaded, and linked up. The short answer, then, is come back soon.  We expect we'll be able to make the bulk of the materials available by the second week in April. We'll get the word out when everything's good to go.

In the meantime, we have uploaded the contents of the conference thumb drive to our web site, giving you access to most of what we've received so far. 

> View 2008 NTC Session Materials 

The final versions will be much more cleanly organized, we promise.

Tech Talk with David Pogue

Submitted by Holly on Tue, 03/25/2008 - 9:38am

Last week, at this exact moment, I was returning from a field trip to Kinkos on St. Charles Avenue in New Orleans, wearing a short sleeved shirt. This week, I'm contemplating putting on my parka and getting a third cup of coffee here in Portland. How quickly things change!

We just released the 08NTC evaluation (fill it out if you haven't already!), and so far the biggest theme is that David Pogue rocks -- as in, could rock a stadium concert style rocking. I recorded a little video with David for the Convio blog right after his plenary and they were kind enough to post it on YouTube (thanks Jordan and Tad).

I admit that I can't watch the thing out of sheer embarrassment, but you've all clearly indicated a need for MORE POGUE. Who am I to argue?


Google Announces Special Benefit for NTEN Members

Submitted by Brett on Fri, 03/21/2008 - 12:12pm

[Update: Please note that this program has now ended.]

At the close of his session at the 2008 Nonprofit Technology Conference on Thursday afternoon, Google Adwords Evangelist Frederick Vallaeys announced a new partnership between Google and NTEN.

"Due to our similar goals in supporting the non-profit community, particularly through technology, Google Grants and NTEN are partnering to enhance their impact on non-profits. We would like to invite all qualifying NTEN organizations to apply to Google Grants and we will expedite the review of those that apply."

How cool is that? Very.

If you don't already know about Google Grants, they allow qualified nonprofits to use Google Adwords for the low, low price of free.

To take advantage of this offer:

  • If you're not yet a member of NTEN, join today!
  • Then, apply for the Google Grant at through Google's easy online application. Please spend some time reviewing the site to learn more about the program, eligibility, grant details, etc.
  • Finally, send an email to to help Google identify you as an NTEN member, which should hasten your application through the process.

A Little MORE Conversation

Submitted by Holly on Wed, 03/19/2008 - 8:17pm

Holy smokes! The NTC is in full force!

Lucky me, my primary role this year is to walk the halls and chatter with folks, which is darn near my favorite to do, so that's worked out nicely! Along the way today, I reunited with many people I only get to see once or twice a year, and I met some really fantastic new folks too.

I also managed to capture a few of those conversations for you. They are chock full of interesting tidbits and good advice, on everything from what to wear to what to eat at the NTC. Take a listen:

And So It Begins

Submitted by Brett on Tue, 03/18/2008 - 9:27pm

The 2008 NTC is upon us. Last year's veterans tell me that everything is going smoothly, but it took a lot of tearing, packing, dragging, lifting, and multitudinous other -ings to get this thing off the ground. We'd like to extend a big "Thank You" to everybody who's helped to this point.

If you're here in The Big Easy, or if you want to play along from home, but don't want to use our Sprout Widget, you'll want to watch this blog, as well as:

Stay tuned, true believers.