News from the NTEN Connect Blog

TXT the NTC!

Submitted by Holly on Thu, 02/21/2008 - 11:11am

Each year for the last couple of of years, we've used the NTC as a showcase for new technologies we think you should be thinking about. This year, we're going mobile, in support of the local New Orleans nonprofit community.

Here's how it works:

Subscribe to the NTC campaign by texting TXTNTC to 69866 or completing the form in the full blog post.

You will receive messages only during the conference. We'll feature a different New Orleans nonprofit on each day of the conference. They will send you a few messages each day, with some unique opportunities and special surprises:


Submitted by Brett on Wed, 02/20/2008 - 3:14pm
Monique Cuvelier, Talance, Inc.

Back when everyone was saying Al Gore "invented the Internet," no one rolled their eyes more than the Brits. Back then, the very notion of Internet-based technologies was enough to send British eyes into one-eighties, never mind the marriage of politics and social media. The idea of the Queen appearing on YouTube? Patently ridiculous.

What a change a few years can bring, because there she is, on YouTube's Royal Channel, with her annual Christmas speech and video clips of Prince William flying a plane.

With the next general election looming in 2009, politicians are beginning to mirror their American counterparts in hopes of winning more votes.

Hallmarks of an Online Insurgent Campaign

Submitted by Brett on Wed, 02/20/2008 - 3:10pm

Justin Perkins, Heather Holdridge, & James O’Malley, Care2

It's happening.

A few small nonprofits with distributed networks of volunteers are swamping social networks and raising thousands of dollars for orphans in China and other worthy causes. Obama, Edwards and Ron Paul have seen droves of new donors come out of the woodwork with surprising speed.

Though the tried and true one-to-many broadcast model is still working, plenty of examples confirm the notion that loose distributed networks with very little centralized oversight or control can rally together around a common goal in support of an organization -- both nonprofits and political candidates.

Old Tactics, Old Tools (What Is Going On?)

Submitted by Brett on Tue, 02/19/2008 - 3:53pm

Brian Reich, EchoDitto

We are only part way through the 2008 election cycle and there have already been dozens, perhaps hundreds of articles written, TV hours spent, and blog comments posted about the role that the internet and technology are playing in this election cycle. The general consensus among the pundits seems to be that this is the year that technology, particularly social media, has had a significant impact on the outcome of the presidential election contest.

Unfortunately, that consensus is wrong and those pundits don’t know what they are talking about.

NTEN Members Online Round-Up: Salesforce, Tidbits, Mashups, and Techie Love

Submitted by Annaliese on Fri, 02/15/2008 - 3:07pm

LOLnptechThe Salesforce Foundation's Innovation for Nonprofit Success, in NYC, was the big nonprofit technology this week event.

Jake Brewer, of, wrote an article for the Huffington Post, that gets at the heart of what we nptechies are all about: technology levels the playing field and allows even the smallest nonprofits to run their programs using the same tools as the big guys. Jake gives a shout out not only to Salesforce's contribution to nonprofits, but also to Google Apps and the organizations, big and small, that've been able to use these tools to further their missions. (There are too many NTEN members highlighted in this article to name here, so check it out!)

Judi Sohn blogged about the Salesforce event this week too -- but from a different perspective. She couldn't be there! Syncing Google calendars with her husband made her realize that she'd have to miss the NYC event. I missed it too, Judi, and I have Old Man Winter to blame for interfering with my travel plans! Thanks for the down-to-earth insights about using these tools.

Michelle Murrain is back this week with an aptly titled post (Tidbits) about a developers' challenge -- and an open source update, of course.

You Are as Powerful as Google or Microsoft

Submitted by Holly on Thu, 02/14/2008 - 7:21am

Flickr Photo: Jeff KubinaI spent yesterday at the Salesforce Innovation for Nonprofit Success event in New York. It was a really fun event, and I met a whole host of really interesting people doing amazing work at their nonprofits.

I sat in on most of the sessions yesterday and heard a lot of interesting ideas. What really struck me, though, was that almost every session, including my own, had one theme running through it: the empowerment of nonprofits.

We are moving to a new model of software delivery for nonprofits, and it means more than convenience. Software as a Service is on its way. Google Apps provide just one example you're probably familiar with. Most of the Web 2.0 tools you use also qualify, from your blog software to Facebook.

They are always on, and always available. More importantly, they work the same whether you are Microsoft or Save the Bay. Software as a Service means that we all have access to the same platforms and all they can do for our organizations. It will help bridge the technology gap between nonprofits and the for-profit sector.

There's another benefit...

Is Facebook a Bust or Is Obama's Model the Future?

Submitted by Annaliese on Wed, 02/13/2008 - 2:33pm

bigmouthmediaI've heard a lot of buzz today about the apparent bursting of the social media bubble for campaign purposes.

Just as I was forming my own thoughts around this, coming up with the example of Barack Obama's grassroots online fundraising success, I came across this article in Slate, which also points to the Obama campaign as an example of success.

The article refers to the recent Case Foundation fundraising contests (which we've blogged about here), skeptically asserting:

"The amounts involved show that Case understands these endeavors are more social experiment than nonprofit sweepstakes. Sure, prizes of $50,000 matter for the winning organizations, as do the overall dollars raised... But the denominations of the donations remain small, and it's not clear that one-off contests will lead to more. Any fund-raising professional knows that most nonprofit organizations secure the bulk of their money from a relatively small number of large contributions, either from wealthy individuals or institutional sources. Those gifts demand personal cultivation, and an online nudge doesn't usually do it."

But what about Barack Obama's stunning fundraising model of reaching out to many online donors online, asking them to contribute small amounts?

Love Your Techie Day: Give the Gift of NTEN

Submitted by Brett on Mon, 02/11/2008 - 3:17pm

We used -- more on them later --to create an easy way for you to send a little light-hearted love (and the gift of NTEN) to your favorite Techie for Good.

You can help:

  • Install our "Love Your Techie" widget (below) on your Facebook profile, blog, or whathaveyou to help us get the word out. It's simple! Just click the Sprout's "Share" button.
  • Invite all of your socially networked friends to install our widget, as well.

On Love Your Techie Day (February 14th -- if Hallmark can create a holiday, so can we) we'll wrap your message in a pretty package and send it along with a coupon good for 10% off a new NTEN membership; they can use it themselves or pass it on.

You can even send it to yourself. We won't judge.

Thanks for helping us spread the L-word!

NTEN Members Online Round-Up: How-tos, Cool Tools, News, and Social Media as Boon or Bust?

Submitted by Annaliese on Mon, 02/11/2008 - 9:55am

LOLnptechLet's start with the How-Tos.

NTEN member Amy Sample Ward points her blog readers to a helpful how-to published by Global Voices, "Blogging for a Cause". I think Amy's doing a good job of this herself!

Michelle Murrain, NTEN Board member, continues her helpful series of posts about open source tools by discussing Filezilla, an FTP application. She also includes a helpful post about data portability, pointing out that, with more organizations working in and with Web 2.0, they need to understand what data portability is and why open standards are important.

Judi Sohn offers an update on her organization, C3, which was recently featured on Lifetime TV. She also catches her readers up on staff additions, technology implementations, and the sad loss of one of their advocates.

Project Management for Nonprofits

Submitted by Brett on Fri, 02/08/2008 - 4:22pm

Having spent a number of years in the start-up world, I know that nothing kills a great idea faster than poor project management. Project management provides an organized framework for planning and implementing successful projects. Join NTEN and Norman Reiss for the aptly-named webinar, "Project Management for Nonprofits", and learn how your organization can apply basic project management principles.

> Learn more and register today!