News from the NTEN Connect Blog

Happy Day, Earth!

Submitted by Holly on Tue, 04/22/2008 - 10:46am

Flickr Photo: lnkyhackI would be writing this post from a solar powered MacBook but alas, we haven't seen the sun in a week here in Portland. Though Spring is not cooperating with my gardening and hiking plans, we here at NTEN would still like us all to take a break from our keyboards and monitors and remember that in our tech-obsessed world, there are some easy ways to give Mother Nature a break.

Here are a few of our favorite sites and ideas. Share yours by adding a comment!

Web 2.0 Is Sexy, But Email Is Where It's At

Submitted by Holly on Mon, 04/21/2008 - 10:52am

Flickr Photo: MuffetAh, Spring: tulips, sun, clean, crisp air, and email metrics.

Today, we hosted and co-released the eNonprofit Benchmarks Study with M+R Strategic Services. During the live event and webinar, we learned a lot about how nonprofits are using email, and how stakeholders are responding. NTEN Members can get the recording of the webinar for free.

Convio also recently released a benchmarks report of its own clients. The reports don't cover exactly the same statistics, but it's interesting that the numbers they do have in common are very similar.

For all organizations in both reports, we found:

My Friends Totally Gave More than Your Friends

Submitted by Holly on Thu, 04/17/2008 - 12:58pm

There's nothing like a little peer pressure when you need someone to do something. Combine it with instant gratification and total transparency and you have the fundraising triumvirate!

Google Checkout has a great little campaign going on in honor of Earth Day that gives you all three:

  • You make a donation to an enviro org on someone's behalf.
  • That certain someone gets an email and asks them to do the same.
  • As the donations tally up, you get a personalized map showing all the people you inspired to donate, illustrating your network effect.

So, who wants to see if their friends are more generous then my friends?

Who Wants to Be a Technology Leader?

Submitted by Anna on Thu, 04/17/2008 - 11:56am

John Kenyon, Nonprofit Technology Consultant, opens up to the NTEN community once again to train another round of NpTech Leaders in the NTEN Technology Leadership Series. John does an excellent job of teaching in plain English: you will leave the series as a technology leader, an important role in today's fast changing nonprofits.

Here are some words from past series participants:

He is DEFINITELY the best presenter for any webinar I've taken...numerous slides...not pretentious...good discussion time and facilitation

John's been great - this could be hard stuff to "teach" since it's not the most exciting topic - AND it's online... He's doing great.

At the end of the series, you’ll be able to:

  • Understand and contribute to technology conversations
  • Make smart technology decisions for your organization
  • Increase your organization’s efficiency
  • Identify and evaluate creative ideas for using technology to meet your mission
> Register Now for the Series!

Top 10 NTC Speakers

Submitted by Anna on Wed, 04/16/2008 - 11:48am

All of the speakers at the 2008 NTC were phenomenal and we are grateful for all their hard work in making this NTC the best rated one in our history. Thanks to all of you who took the time to complete a session survey.

> View the Top 10 NTC Speaker Survey Results

The top ranked speakers were (Click on the links to go to Session Materials):

1. Teresa Crawford -- The Virtual Nonprofit: When a Café Can Be an Office

2. Katya Andresen -- The Seven Things Everyone Wants: What Freud and Buddha Understood

3. William Lester -- The Virtual Nonprofit: When a Café Can Be an Office

4. Tuba Coskun -- The Virtual Nonprofit: When a Café Can Be an Office

5. Mark Rovner -- The Seven Things Everyone Wants: What Freud and Buddha Understood

6. Dahna Goldstein -- The Virtual Nonprofit: When a Café Can Be an Office

7. Brian Reich -- Media Rocks!

8. Beth Kanter -- The Next Latest Thing: The Future of Nonprofits in Technology

9. Eric Leland -- So You Want to Be a Consultant

10. Dahna Goldstein -- Roundtable: How I Solved My Data Integration Problem (No materials provded as of yet.)

Check out the following links for more NTC results and resources:


Are You a Busy Peep? Check out TwitLinks!

Submitted by Anna on Tue, 04/15/2008 - 3:50pm

Just learned about the new (dare I say adorable) Twitter mashup Twitlinks from Richard MacManus's post on Read Write Web.

Twitlinks can be defined in two simple steps:

  • Tech People Talk about Cool Stuff
  • TwitLinks Makes It Look Nice

You can subscribe to the RSS Feed (also available as JSON, iPhone, and Google Gadget), eliminating the need to follow all these tech industry folks individually, and receive fast bits of the latest technology buzz.

As Gary Brewer, creator of TwitLinks, told ReadWriteWeb:

" well as drawing links from the latest tech blogs, it also highlights some of the quirkier links these users post that would never see the light of day on sites such as techmeme."

It's Easy to Raise Money for a Favorite Cause - So How Do You Tell Your Supporters?

Submitted by Annaliese on Tue, 04/15/2008 - 10:48am

I came across a blog post today that made me smile (and not just because of great vocabulary used across the Pond). It's a simple and straight-forward example of how easy it is for someone to use free, fast, online tools to raise money for his or her favorite cause. Here's an excerpt:

"I've just had a rather intense week of trying to use social media to raise funds and by and large succeeding. Inevitably this story involves blogging and tweeting and people I don't know very well being incredibly generous...."

David Harte, Digital Central project manager at Birmingham City University and contributor to the Birmingham Post's Business Blog, decided to try a spur-of-the-moment fundraising campaign one week before he ran in the London Marathon. He didn't have to raise money for a charity, but he decided he wanted to try to help his favorite, St. Mary's Hospice. His goal was £495, and he ended up raising over £300 (and he's still raising money for his cause online).

2008 NTC Session Materials and Evaluations Now Available!

Submitted by Brett on Mon, 04/14/2008 - 3:49pm

We've gathered the 2008 session materials provided to us by the presenters and posted them for your perusal.  Instead of last year's method, we've linked to them from the NTC session pages themselves, which you can sort by session, presenter, and track.  There will be links to all available materials under the session's description.

We think this should make it easier for you to find what you want, but please let us know, in comments, below.

> View 2008 NTC Session Materials 

The results of our session evaluations are also available, linked to from the main NTC pages.  C'mon -- you know you're curious. + Google = Improved Productivity

Submitted by Brett on Mon, 04/14/2008 - 2:39pm and Google announced a new level of integration today.  At first blush, a few things stand out:

  • If you're already a user of Google Apps and, installation is a breeze.  We configured the framework, then added Google Docs integration in roughly 2 minutes, 17 seconds.  (Yes, we counted.)  Now we can access Google Docs, and attach them to records, from within Salesforce.
  • The star of the show may be Gmail integration.  With two clicks, you can now attach messages sent from Gmail -- or even chats from Google Talk -- to a Salesforce record, where it is stored under Communication History.  This means that everybody in your organization will be able to access every email sent to a particular contact, without annoying CC::ed trails or desperate attempts to remember which keyword might bring a particular message from your 3 GB email archive to the top of your search results.  Nice!
  • Events from within Salesforce can be viewed in Google Calendar, giving you a timeline view of your workflow.
  • The demo people at Salesforce have pretty cool jobs.  Check out their 3-D demo:

A Reboot for Democracy

Submitted by Anna on Mon, 04/14/2008 - 10:40am

When the Framers met in Philadelphia in 1787, they bravely conjured a new form of self-government. But they couldn’t have imagined a mass society with instantaneous, many-to-many communications or many of the other innovations of modernity. So, replacing that quill pen with a mouse, imagine that you have to power to redesign American democracy for the Internet Age. What would you do?

This is the challenge posed by Personal Democracy Forum for its new book project, Rebooting America: Democracy in the 21st Century. It is an anthology of essays from leading thinkers and activists -- check out the impressive list here -- that they will publish to coincide with this year's Personal Democracy Forum conference, June 23-24 in New York City. Folks from the NTEN community are featured in this list, including Alan Rosenblatt, Center for American Progress Action Fund, Craig Newmark,, Nancy Tate, League of Women Voters, Ellen Miller, Executive Director, Sunlight Foundation, and Robert Sherman, Surdna Foundation.

The best part is that they are inviting their readers to submit essays answering how to make America better, stronger, more inclusive, and participatory, and to vote on their favorite essays. Up to three winning essays will be included in the anthology.