News from the NTEN Connect Blog

Data Sharing: The New Black!

Submitted by Holly on Thu, 10/18/2007 - 1:57pm

APIs and data exchange are lighting up the sector this week, so much so I can hardly see straight! While most of the news has been focused on accessing your own data, here comes some really exciting news: United eWay and have started sharing volunteer opportunity listings.

From the press release I just received:

"The idea originated after Hurricane Katrina in which United Way of America wanted to have a simple way for individuals to access volunteer opportunities, regardless of the technology vendor they used for their search. After several years of leading the discussion, the concept of developing a process for volunteers to access opportunities in their community, regardless of the service the local Volunteer Center uses, is now in place."

See everyone? Being open is good. Good for you, and even better for mission! Now, where is the volunteer listing widget I can put on my blog?

How Do Nonprofits Manage Monthly Giving Programs?

Submitted by Brett on Thu, 10/18/2007 - 1:13pm

M+R Strategic Services is running a survey polling nonprofits about online monthly giving programs. If your organization solicits sustainer/recurring donations online, they'd like to hear from you. The survey is only a few pages long, and should take about 5 minutes to complete. You can help them out by taking the survey at:

All individual answers will be kept confidential. Results will be shared in M+R’s upcoming study, which will include the survey results, along with data they've gathered about online monthly giving metrics. They expect to publish the study in early November.

10 Questions: The Changing Face of Democracy?

Submitted by Holly on Thu, 10/18/2007 - 10:47am

Word on the street is that the coolest thing to hit democracy since the women's vote is 10 Questions. (Sidebar: The best part of "Mary Poppins" is that suffrage-loving mother. She steals every scene she's in. Forget Julie Andrews. If you haven't seen it lately, it's definitely worth renting!)

If you remember the CNN YouTube debates, then you get the idea behind 10 Questions. Anyone and everyone can record a question. The trick here is, now the viewing public can vote for OR against your questions. The top 10 questions will be given to the candidates, who will respond with videos of their own. It's a great site with a great premise, and a very nice interface. As long as you're here, why not check out the top rated question, presented by the amazing -- and longtime NTEN member -- Ruby Sinreich:

So, what are you going to ask your community about?

Avoiding the Spam Filter

Submitted by Holly on Thu, 10/18/2007 - 9:39am

NPTimes has a nice short piece today about email delivery and spam scoring systems. I was under the impression that this software, which "reads" your email and tells you what spam filter flags you have in your message, could be immensely helpful in avoiding the spam trap. According to Bill Pease of Convio, it ain't so:

"Unless your organization's email content regularly involves commercial-sounding language, content-only spam scoring systems are of relatively limited utility."

Agree? What have your experiences been?

Help Shape the 2008 NTC Agenda!

Submitted by Holly on Wed, 10/17/2007 - 9:01am

From now through Wednesday, October 24, you can help shape the Nonprofit Technology Conference agenda by voting for sessions, volunteering to lead or speak at sessions, and by suggesting sessions we may have missed.

To help you navigate the 90+ possible sessions, we've broken them down into tracks. You can vote for any or all tracks, wherever your interests lie. Just make sure your voice is heard before October 24.

You can learn more about the agenda planning process and speaking opportunities at

Vote in the following tracks:

> Leadership

> Program Delivery

> Communications

> IT Staff & Consultants

> Fundraising

If you have any other questions about the NTC or NTEN membership, drop me an email ( or give me a call at 415 397 9000.

See you in New Orleans!

Data Integration: We Asked for It, and Now We're Getting It!

Submitted by Holly on Mon, 10/15/2007 - 12:26pm

Last fall, NTEN hosted a discussion amongst some of the major vendors in about Open APIs, one of the major pieces of the data integration puzzle. One year later -- almost to the day! -- two major vendors have announced major initiatives around Open APIs. Coincidence? We think not!

Last week, Kintera announced the expansion of their Connect program, adding APIs to their library of tools.

The latest announcement is from Convio, which today launches Convio Open. The site addresses data integration in three ways: APIs, Connectors, and Extensions. It's a much deeper set of tools than what we've seen before, and the site provides integration resources for organizations with a variety of integration needs, including a FaceBook integration.

Who's next?

NTEN Google AdWords Trainings

Submitted by Holly on Fri, 10/12/2007 - 8:45pm
Who isn't looking to drive more traffic to their web sites? Google AdWords is one of the most effective ways to do just that. And, thanks to the Google Grants Program, qualifying nonprofits can employ this marketing tool for free.

Following the enormous success of our webinar on Google Analytics, NTEN nabbed Google AdWords Evangelist Frederick Vallaeys for a two-part series on AdWords.

> Join us on Tuesday, October 16th, for "Introduction to Google AdWords", when we'll explore how Google AdWords works and learn the basics of running a campaign, including:
  • Understanding the elements of an AdWords Campaign
  • Selecting keywords and writing copy
  • Setting pricing
  • Tracking the results

> Register Today for "Introduction to Google AdWords"

> Come back on Thursday, October 18th, for "Advanced Google AdWords", to learn the tips and tricks that will make your AdWords campaigns hum:

  • Improving your ad and keywords
  • Managing multiple campaigns effectively
  • Preparing effective landing pages

> Register Today for "Advanced Google AdWords"!


When: Tuesday & Thursday, October 16th & 18th, 11 am PT / 2 pm ET

Cost: $25 for NTEN Members, $50 for non-members (per webinar)

Presented by
: Frederick Vallaeys, Google AdWords Evangelist

NTEN Members: Don't forget that if you renew with NTEN right now, you'll receive a $25 coupon good toward your next event registration. Renew your membership today and attend this webinar for free!

Kintera Throws Open the Doors

Submitted by Holly on Fri, 10/12/2007 - 11:56am

Kintera has an Open API. Kintera customers and select vendors can now access an extensive and documented API to connect their applications to Kintera Sphere. From their press release:

Kintera,® Inc. (NASDAQ: KNTA) today announced that Kintera Connect™, the company's open application integration platform, is available for clients and partners to integrate directly with Kintera technology. As a result, best of breed solutions are now available through the Kintera Connect Partner Program, providing organizations with the freedom to select solutions to best meet their unique needs.

If you are looking for more information, check out:


How to Choose and Use Open Source Software

Submitted by Brett on Wed, 10/10/2007 - 3:28pm

Michelle Murrain and the Nonprofit Open Source Initiative (NOSI) have just published an update to their excellent "Choosing and Using Free and Open Source Software: A primer for nonprofits". If your organization is considering a move to Open Source software (or if you want to push it in that direction), you should give this well-written guide a read.

The heart of the primer is found in Chapter 3, "How should you decide if FOSS will work for you?" Michelle writes, "All organizations should consider implementing FOSS. But in any organization, it is necessary to make a case for what can be a significant internal change." She then lays out a cogent overview of the costs and potential value of FOSS, with case studies to illustrate key points.

Group Fundraising 101

Submitted by Brett on Wed, 10/10/2007 - 10:59am
Who could be better at raising money for your organization than your current supporters -- and their friends?

Group fundraising helps you tap into the knowledge, enthusiasm, and most importantly, the peer network of people already giving to your cause.

Join Peter Deitz and NTEN on Thursday, October 11th for a repeat performance of our popular webinar "Group Fundraising 101: From Benchmarks to Success Stories".

Get behind the buzz words and learn how group fundraising can help your organization reach new donors while deepening your relationships with existing supporters. This webinar will explain how nonprofits can use Peter's original benchmark figures to integrate group fundraising into larger annual or capital campaigns, while also featuring success stories of non-profits currently using group fundraising.

When: Thursday, October 11th, 11 am PT / 2 pm ET

Cost: $25 for NTEN Members, $50 for non-members

Presented by: Peter Deitz, Founder of Social Actions

> Register Today!

NTEN Members: Don't forget that if you renew with NTEN right now, you'll receive a $25 coupon good toward your next event registration. Renew your membership today and attend this webinar for free!