News from the NTEN Connect Blog

From the Affinity Groups: Opinions and More! AVG Antivirus Software

Submitted by Visitor on Thu, 05/31/2007 - 2:51pm

The NTEN Affinity Groups are great sounding boards for folks looking for technology recommendations. Recently, inquiring minds within the 501 Tech Club DC wanted to hear opinions and experiences using AVG antivirus software -- and members responded with know-how.

NTEN'S Tools You Should Know: Episode 01

Submitted by Holly on Thu, 05/31/2007 - 11:51am
Cool Tools Ep. 1

Once a month or so, I'm lucky enough to catch a few minutes with my favorite technology prognosticator, Marshall Kirkpatrick, Director of Content at Splashcast Media. During each visit, Marshall shares with us the tools and tips that no one can live without. This month, Marshall offered up 6 tools that any nonprofit can use today.

Check out this video podcast to learn more about:

From the Affinity Groups: Recommendations of php/mySQL, .NET, asp/SQL

Submitted by Visitor on Wed, 05/30/2007 - 10:53am
The NTEN Affinity Groups are great sounding boards for folks who are looking for technology recommendations. Last week, a vibrant discussion occurred among one of our most active Affinity Groups, the 501 Tech Club DC. A group member wanted to better understand how php/mySQL, .NET, and asp/SQL compare. Key issues included similarities, differences, and preferences in choosing amongst the tools. A summary of responses from the 501 Tech Club DC participants is below. Want to be involved? Sign-up today free of charge and view all posts and links in their full glory at

Wireless Data Collection: Save Paper, Time, and Money!

Submitted by Holly on Wed, 05/30/2007 - 10:25am

Lots of us use surveys to collect data about our field and our clients. But if you're using paper, you're doing it the hard way! Join us for this webinar to learn how a very small investment in technology can revolutionize your survey collection:

> Survey Says: Data Collection in the Field with Wireless Handhelds

Does PDA = Public Displays of Affection? In this instance, yes! STOP AIDS Project has converted it's paper-based Behavioral Risk Assessment to WiFi Palm devices. Data can be instantly recorded and updated via WiFi, or uploaded later when in range of a WiFi connection. Entry that used to take weeks, and reporting that took months is now instantly accessible via web reports. The best part? It's all affordable. We'll demo the technology and walk through the associated tools and costs. When you leave this webinar, you'll be ready to run your own wireless community survey.

Presented by Jamey Frank of STOP AIDS Project

Join us on June 7 at 11:am Pacific:

> Register Now!

It's Not About Kevin Bacon

Submitted by Annaliese on Fri, 05/25/2007 - 3:47pm

It's about you.  That's what's important to remember about harnessing the power of Web 2.0 for social change - and fundraising for your organization. 

This week NTEN hosted a webinar, What Kevin Bacon Knows about Web 2.0: Six Degrees of Person-to-Person Fundraising, that demonstrated the tools available to individuals and organizations to turn everyone into a celebrity fundraiser.

Lessons Learned: Effective Practices in IT Management

Submitted by admin on Wed, 05/23/2007 - 6:57am
Peter Campbell,

I’ve spent more than 20 years in the sometimes maddening, sometimes wonderful, world of nonprofit IT management. Along the way I’ve worked under a variety of CEOs with very diverse styles, and I’ve developed, deployd and maintained ambitious technology platforms. In order to survive, I put together three basic tenets to live by.

Tenets to live by:

1. Management is 360 degrees: managing your superiors and peers is a bigger challenge than managing your staff.

2. To say anything effectively in an organization, you have to say it at least three times in three different media.

3. Follow Fidonet’s basic social guideline, “Do not be excessively annoying and do not become excessively annoyed.”

When Campaign 2.0 Met Citizen 2.0: A Confusing Love Story

Submitted by admin on Wed, 05/23/2007 - 6:53am
Alan Rosenblatt, Internet Advocacy Center

True leadership can sometimes feel like a balancing act that requires the all the skill of a tightrope walker. One of the many lines to walk is weighing the need to act boldly and take advantage of new opportunities with the imperative to be a responsible steward of your organization’s resources. This can be especially hard when making decisions about resource-intensive technology projects.

Many nonprofit leaders are currently trying to find the right balance when it comes to social networking. If you jump into social networking without a clear sense of the benefits (and who has a clear sense at this point?) are you boldly leading your organization into the future? Or needlessly wasting staff time and money that could be put to better uses? If, after dipping a toe into online networking, you pull those resources back, are you wisely cutting your losses? Or throwing the baby out with the bathwater?

With the flare up over the Barack Obama MySpace community takeover by the campaign from a volunteer, many non-profits that are just getting or about to get their feet wet in the online social network pool might be having second thoughts.

The NTEN Library: Book Resources on IT Leadership

Submitted by admin on Wed, 05/23/2007 - 6:45am

Here’s a roundup of some useful books on managing and leading your organization’s technology.

Managing Dynamic Management for the Digital Age

Ben Hecht and Rey Ramsey

The digital age has dramatically changed the way we all do business—from the tasks we do everyday, to the pace at which we must adapt and embrace change. Managing focuses on adapting leadership styles and management decisions to this new reality. Each chapter highlights a case study to offer context and real world examples. (NTEN members get discounts on Jossey Bass/Wiley Books)

Nonprofits and Technology: Emerging Research for Useable Knowledge

Michael Cortes and Kevin Rafter, editors

Michael Cortes and Kevin Rafter have collected research papers on topics ranging from technology infrastructure to the use of online advocacy in order to explore how technology helps, and hinders, nonprofit effectiveness. This work is a welcome addition to the relatively new field nonprofit technology, as hard data is hard to find.

Nonprofit Management vs. For-profit Management

Submitted by Ali on Wed, 05/23/2007 - 6:31am
Ali Levine, NTEN Special Projects Fellow

I have spent almost every Thursday night for the past two years in classes, learning, thinking and talking about nonprofit management. I’ve also worked for more than ten years working at various nonprofit organizations. I’ve seen, and studied different types of management, and frequently hit up against the ever-popular question of ‘should nonprofits be run like businesses?’ In fact, it was a raging discussion just recently on a nonprofit tech list. I’ve always felt that this question misses the point. But it does offer an interesting look at the intersection between day-to-day management and the larger trends at work in the nonprofit sector.

In my Thursday night pursuits of my Master’s in Nonprofit Administration, I studied those trends– the rapid growth and professionalization of nonprofits, the ‘culture of scarcity’ that permeates the sector and the growing pressures of accountability, to name a few. I also studied the various management functions of a nonprofit – finance, fundraising, and technology. What is abundantly clear, to the point of being a bit boring at times, was that regardless of the function, every project has a set of strategic steps that are strikingly similar.

This I Change Series, Installment 2

Submitted by admin on Wed, 05/23/2007 - 6:24am

In the This I Change series recorded at the NTC, we asked nonprofit techies to tell us what inspires them to do the work they do. Here’s a few of their responses:

Camille Hinojosa, America’s Second Harvest

“It is the faces of the hungry children and the elderly people that we feed on a daily basis that keeps me motivated and inspired.”


Dale McGrew, Golightly

“What inspires me about technology, is that you can really bring to bear energy from around the world. What inspires me is just seeing results.”


Danny Moldovan,

“Social technology is beginning to be able to harness people’s ideas, energy and passion. I get up in the morning to see if I can help make that happen.”

You can find out what inspires other nonprofit technies by watching video interviews and listening to podcasts in the This I Change series.