News from the NTEN Connect Blog

Blackbaud and eTapestry Discuss Merger

Submitted by Holly on Tue, 09/11/2007 - 4:09pm
If you are subscribed to the NTEN discuss list, you may recall that I sent out a call for questions for a podcast that Blackbaud was putting together regarding the eTap acquisition. Well, the podcast is out. If you are an eTap user, I think there's some good content in there for you. Otherwise, it's nothing you probably haven't heard before about the coupling.

How Does Your Database Stack Up?

Submitted by Holly on Tue, 09/11/2007 - 3:15pm

Selecting new software is hard. Rankings and ratings are great, but knowing what your peers think may be even better. That's why we're launching a new series of NTEN Vendor Satisfaction Surveys, designed to tell us what you think about the tools and services you're using and considering for purchase.

Our first survey will focus on Constituent Relationship Management (CRM) tools. You can help the NTEN community by rating your CRM today.

The survey is modeled on the CIO Magazine methodology. We'll get both quantitative AND qualitative results for you. Of course, the more people who participate, the better the results will be, so please take just a few moments now to share your experiences.

> Rate your CRM today!

Survey responses are anonymous. If you have any questions please email

Tool Review: Preventing Carpal Tunnel Syndrome with Autohotkey

Submitted by Visitor on Thu, 09/06/2007 - 5:05pm

Data entry can be a dreadful and even malignant part of one's job. After spending hours repetitively clicking and typing, I began looking into various macro applications to record mouse and keyboard input. By far, I have had the best experiences with Autohotkey. It has saved me hours of tedious work and given my wrist some much needed relief.

Your Technology Is in My Art

Submitted by Brett on Thu, 09/06/2007 - 2:57pm

This year's Technology in the Arts conference, sponsored by the Center for Arts Management and Technology, will be held October 12-13, 2007, on the campus of Carnegie Mellon University, in Pittsburgh. According to a recent advert, "Technology in the Arts attracts arts managers from around the country to discuss the role of technology in running arts organizations, creating art, and building community."

Sessions will include:

  • Artists in a Digital World: A Visual History of Digital Imaging Processes in Contemporary Art
  • Attack of the Pod People II: Podcasting for a Pittance
  • Copyright in the Digital Era
  • Interactive Marketing with Web 2.0
  • Technology Project Management for Arts Organizations
  • The Art of Second Life: Artists and Arts Organizations in a Virtual World

The conference will end with the Close-Out Bash, an evening of performance and revelry, open to the entire Pittsburgh community as well as attendees.

Nonprofit Boot Camp, New York Edition

Submitted by Brett on Wed, 09/05/2007 - 4:24pm

The Craigslist Foundation takes its Nonprofit Boot Camp to New York City on September 15th. Instead of drill instructors and push-ups, expect a day of knowledge and networking, focused on starting and running a nonprofit.

Keynote speakers include Nancy Lublin, CEO and Chief Old Person of Do Something and Ana L. Oliveira, President & CEO of the New York Women’s Foundation. And be sure to check out the technology track, co-sponsored by NTEN.

You can learn more and register at the official site.

Who Is the NTEN Community?

Submitted by Annaliese on Wed, 09/05/2007 - 10:37am

Earlier this year we asked YOU, the NTEN Community, who you are, what nptech resources you're interested in, and how we can best serve the nonprofit technology community’s needs. We heard back from 808 of you, and the resulting survey report presents the demographics of the NTEN Community, including budget sizes, staff sizes, and job roles.

Key findings this year are:

> Communications and Marketing represent both the fastest growing constituency in terms of job roles and a significant organizational challenge to this community.

> NTEN Members reflect the general nonprofit technology community, but not the general nonprofit sector.

You can download the entire report here.

NTEN Technology Leadership Series Sells Out!

Submitted by Holly on Tue, 09/04/2007 - 3:15pm

Wow!  The NTEN Technology Leadership Series, which starts on September 12, has officially sold out!  If you missed your chance at registration, don't fret!  We'll offer the series again, starting in January 2008.  We'll get this second offering of the series up on the webinars page soon.  Until then, check out some of the other great webinars we have scheduled (like Intro to Google AdWords!).

From the Affinity Groups: Recommendations for Internet Connections

Submitted by Visitor on Fri, 08/31/2007 - 3:55pm

With over 100 active groups and nearly 5,000 users, NTEN's Affinity Groups platform is an incredible resource for those in the nonprofit tech community. There are a variety of discussions constantly taking place, ranging from the very basic and elementary aspects of technology in the nonprofit sector to the more sophisticated and technical.

A simple but informative discussion in the DC 501 Tech Club recently centered around different internet connections for nonprofits. Although it is only beginning to operate in most urban areas, Verizon's FIOS service received praise for its high bandwidth (up to 20Mbps). DSL was also recommended as a possibly cheaper alternative, depending upon distance to a CO. Cable was recommend multiple times as well, although participants noted that while it generally has higher possible bandwidth than DSL, its speed can vary depending upon neighborhood usage. T1 lines were said to be very expensive and generally slower (albeit asymmetric so upload and download usage do not affect each other), but extremely reliable.

Google Apps for Email: Week 1

Submitted by Brett on Fri, 08/31/2007 - 3:20pm

by Johanna Bates, Technology Manager, Community Partners

[Ed note: This is the first in a series of articles by Johanna Bates, chronicling her organization's switch to Google Apps.]

Google Apps. For free. Huh. I wasn’t too sure what it would do for us, but a free Google upgrade? That feels like a free box of money. After reading Sonny Cloward’s blog post, I was intrigued. I figured, “What the heck? I’ll apply and explore the possibilities.”

The application process was very simple, and Google got back to me in a few days to let me know that we’d been given the free “Education Edition” upgrade that is now available to non-profits. I set to Googling to find out more about what I could do with our Google Apps account. The calendar is nice, but we’re happy with Airset. Google Docs leaves much to be desired over our preference for online collaboration, Basecamp. But we could turn our email server into a Gmail server. Now that sounded interesting.

David Bowie Had It Right

Submitted by Holly on Thu, 08/30/2007 - 7:37pm

It's all about the ch-ch-ch-changes.

When I started at NTEN, blogging was just a twinkle in someone's eye and practically no one had heard of Now, Technorati tracks more than 70 million blogs and, well, still practically no one has heard of Which just goes to show that so much has changed in the last five years in the field of nonprofit technology while some things have stayed much the same - a little bit like NTEN itself. I continue to be energized by watching our community grow by leaps and bounds as it tackles the important social, economic, and environmental issues with an ever-wider array of tools and resources.At the same time, we are still dealing with some of the very same issues we were talking about five years ago, when I joined NTEN:

> What do you need to know about technology to make it serve you, instead of the other way around?
> How does technology planning, budgeting, and implementation fit into the rest of the organization?
> With all the trends and hype, how can you tell what's real and going to last?

As the next Executive Director of NTEN, I very much look forward to tapping this amazing community to stay on top of the innovations and tackle the age-old questions. You are a remarkable group of individuals with diverse experiences, expertise, and points of view. I am privileged to work with you.

I want to thank Katrin for all the work she's done to re-energize and re-imagine NTEN. She's been an inspiration and has expanded our vision of what NTEN can and should be. Many thanks also to Lynn Labieniec, our Board Chair, for her leadership and support.

We want every one of you to have the tools, resources, and community you need to use technology to change the world. The NTEN team - Annaliese, Brett, Karl, Rob, and I - are committed to that vision and look forward to working with you to make it a reality.

As always, if you have any thoughts or questions, I look forward to hearing them. You can reach me at or 415 397 9000.