News from the NTEN Connect Blog

Using New Media in Virtual Meeting Spaces

Submitted by Brett on Fri, 11/16/2007 - 3:18pm

[Ed. Note: Don Wedd, of the Center for Economic Progress -- and NTEN Member -- submitted the following case study on his own organization's meeting strategy, as part of NTEN Member Appreciation Month. Learn more about how you can submit to the next issue of NTEN Connect.]

The National Community Tax Coalition (NCTC), which leads the movement connecting working families with tax credits and economic opportunities, is a national coalition of 600 plus organizations providing free tax preparation for low-income families. The NCTC is a project of the Chicago-based Center for Economic Progress.

We have a Steering Committee of 25 people, dispersed nationally, that meets by phone monthly. One of the group wanted to improve our meeting process, so he suggested:

1. Any issue to come before the Steering Committee should be first shared via e-mail.

2. Committee members then react electronically in a forum that compiles all comments (newsgroup, chat room, listserv?).

3. Based on that discussion, the appropriate work group chair prepares and distributes a summary of the key decision-making points and assigns presenters to represent each viewpoint.

4. The conference call uses a "speak only when spoken to" approach, in which the facilitator calls upon the assigned presenters.

5. Reaction is provided online simultaneously through e-mail, texting, or surveying; a commenter’s list is prepared (the equivalent of making a list of people holding up their hands in an in-person meeting) and called upon; formal votes are taken by either phone roll call or online survey tool.

My job was to find tools to support this process. Needless to say, I didn’t find any one toolkit, but have experimented with cobbling together several tools.

Happy Friday, NTEN Members!

Submitted by Annaliese on Fri, 11/16/2007 - 8:10am

NTEN Member Appreciation month continues as we announce today's NTEN Member who will receive a gift of thanks from NTEN:

Lisa Finkelstein, from the Full Circle Fund will get a free webinar of her choice.

All month we're celebrating our members, but as the Thanksgiving holiday approaches, we want to shout out once more our appreciation for the supporting members of NTEN who make our programming and resources possible. Thank you!

We hope you'll take advantage of the special programming and discounts this month.

Coming From NTEN, November 26-30

Submitted by Brett on Thu, 11/15/2007 - 5:09pm

As you prepare your Thanksgiving plans, don't forget about us: We have a few more things to offer you before the Holiday Season really kicks into gear.

First up, three days of webinars:

Half-Way Point of NTEN Member Appreciation Month

Submitted by Annaliese on Thu, 11/15/2007 - 9:24am

Things We Like: Member Appreciation Edition

Submitted by Brett on Wed, 11/14/2007 - 4:33pm

As part of NTEN's Member Appreciation Month, the November issue of NTEN Connect will be compiled from Member submissions, which are beginning to flow in.

Amy Sample Ward, Communications and Learning Associate for the Meyer Memorial Trust, says,

"Readytalks's free online tutorials are a great resource for nonprofits to jump on board with great new media tools like podcasts!"

Marc Baizman, Project Manager for NPower NY, offers two suggestions:

  • Yugma: "It's free web conferencing that just works. I use it with clients and team members all the time. No heavy client installers, and it's FREE."
  • Jing: "Screencasting for the rest of us. Instead of writing long documents that no one reads, I do a 5 minute jing and it's done. Time limited (5 min max) and only in beta, but seems to work very well."

Finally, Dr. Jerry Field, of the Illinois Institute of Technology, thinks that many IT professionals may be closer to earning a degree than they might think:

"Many IT professionals may not have completed their bachelor degree and would like to do so. IT professionals have a number of certifications and may qualify for this [IIT] special program."

You can start the process with an e-mail to Dr. Field.

Send submissions of your own to editor@nten.org.

 

NTEN Connect Archives

Submitted by Brett on Wed, 11/14/2007 - 2:47pm

What's more exciting than the announcement that Marvel has started a digital archive of its comics? How about the news that, on the very same day, NTEN has done the same for our e-newsletter, NTEN Connect?

Okay, I suppose your response depends on the type of person you are.

But NTEN Connect is packed with resources from leaders in the field on the latest issues of nonprofit technology, and every issue remains chock-a-block full of useful information. Besides, we're not going to charge a monthly subscription fee.

Visit the newsletter archive today!

And for the freshest content, sign up to have NTEN Connect delivered to your e-mail address of choice.

Excelsior!

You Know What's Coming

Submitted by Annaliese on Wed, 11/14/2007 - 11:15am

More Member Appreciation giveaways! I'm happy to announce that the NTEN member who will be receiving a gift from us today is:

Kisha Arthur, from NPower NY. Kisha will be getting a free webinar of her choice from NTEN.

Don't forget that there's another upcoming webinar that's free for all NTEN members:

Not sure if you're a member of NTEN or not? You can find out by searching our NTEN Member Directory.

 

Google Apps, Part 2: Gcal

Submitted by Brett on Tue, 11/13/2007 - 3:55pm

Johanna Bates, Technology Manager, Community Partners

[Ed note: This is the second in a series of articles by NTEN Member Johanna Bates, chronicling her organization's switch to Google Apps. Read part 1.]

So, to continue: after we got our free Google Apps account and switched over to Apps Gmail (which is still going swimmingly), we had to ask: How else can Google own us/fix our lives?

The answer: Gcal.

To review, we are six staff, four of whom are part-time. Many of us travel frequently for work and/or work from home on occasion. For years, this has made coordinating our meetings and general communication virtually impossible. When I first started here six years ago, we used a paper calendar on the front desk. Everyone wrote her or his schedule on it. With a pencil. No, really.

Then, there we were, using Google Apps' Gmail, with all its nifty bells and whistles. Why not give the oh-so-integrated Gcal a try?

NTEN Member Appreciation Month Winners

Submitted by Annaliese on Tue, 11/13/2007 - 10:43am

As we've been doing every work day this month, we're sending a nonprofit technology-related gift to an NTEN member to show our gratitude for our members. Today we're thanking:

Carie Lewis, from the Humane Society of the United States!

AdWords for DummiesWe're sending you a copy of AdWords for Dummies, compliments of Jossey-Bass/Wiley publishers.

And more Appreciation Month Winners:

All NTEN Members! Because you're a member of NTEN, you can get this book, and any book from Jossey-Bass/Wiley for 20% off with your NTEN Member Discount!

Web 2.0, Social Media and the New Web: Leveraging Open Platforms to Help Nonprofits Achieve Results

Submitted by Brett on Mon, 11/12/2007 - 12:15pm

A nonprofit's ability to collect the data it needs and personalize the feedback it gives to constituents is becoming more critical with the growth of new Web applications that generate additional constituent data.

Forget workarounds. Think open.

Open APIs and extensions allow nonprofits to link existing data and applications in new ways to deliver totally unique solutions.

Join Tom Krackeler, Vice President of Product Management at Convio, Inc., for the free Product Spotlight Webinar "Web 2.0, Social Media and the New Web: Leveraging Open Platforms to Help Nonprofits Achieve Results" to learn why open platforms, products and tools are essential for nonprofit marketing in today's Web 2.0 world -- and in the future.

>FREE! Register Today!