News from the NTEN Connect Blog

Electronic Advocacy Practices

Submitted by Brett on Mon, 07/30/2007 - 3:17pm

John McNutt, a researcher at the University of South Carolina, has published an article on e-advocacy, "Promising Practices in Electronic Advocacy". In it, he identifies four basic processes organizations use to support their efforts:

  • Gathering and Analyzing Information
  • Educating and Developing Awareness
  • Organizing and Coordinating Supporters
  • Applying Pressure

After noting that research shows electronic advocacy does indeed have an effect, McNutt makes 6 suggestions to nonprofits involved in the arena, including the always key – but too easy to lose sight of – idea that ultimately, e-advocacy is about human relationships, not technology, which is just a set of tools that can help you shape the future.

You can read the full article at Third Sector New England.

IRS Form 990: Have Your Say

Submitted by Holly on Mon, 07/30/2007 - 8:40am

Thanks to an alert from The Nonprofit Times, I got word about a new wiki put together by the National Center for Charitable Statistics and Guidestar for the sector to provide input into what the new Form 990 should look like. The IRS unveiled a revised Form 990 draft in June and is accepting public comment until September 14. Questions and comments about the draft form can be emailed to or mailed to the IRS:

Form 990 Redesign, SE:T:EO
1111 Constitution Ave., NW
Washington, D.C.; 20224.

The new form is expected to be ready next year, in time for the 2009 filing season.

To Protect and Celebrate (the Internet)

Submitted by Brett on Fri, 07/27/2007 - 2:22pm

OneWebDay bills itself as Earth Day for the Internet because it promotes protection of the Internet’s collaborative, participatory nature, as well as celebration. On September 22, nonprofits can help make the web “just a little better than it was before” simply by taking part: it’s up to you to decide how.

For last year’s inaugural event, physical gatherings took place in several countries, while some of the more innovative projects took place online, including one by a blogger in the Phillipines who collected personal stories on how the internet has changed lives. This year’s event is still in the planning stages – you can keep track of the news on their web site or suggest ideas through their Project Proposal Wiki– but there will be a heavy emphasis on short videos.

Is Your Email Managing You?

Submitted by Holly on Thu, 07/26/2007 - 8:14am
I think the answer is yes. As next week's webinar presenter Heather Holdridge told me, you have to fish where the fish gather. And the fish, my friends, are at the social networking sites.

MySpace is the world's 6th most popular website, with over 100 million accounts. Facebook is the second most visited site on the web, with over 30 million users. If you want to fish where the fish are at, social networking sites seem like a smart place to start! In this webinar, you'll get a strategic overview of what these sites are and the opportunities they present nonprofits. We'll follow with specific case studies that show how nonprofits are using social networking sites to build their email lists, whether they're e-newsletter, action alert, or donor lists. After these real examples (with statistics), you'll leave with a clear understanding of how social networks can complement your outreach strategies.

When: Monday, July 30, 11am Pacific

Presented by: Justin Perkins and Heather Holdridge of Care2

> Register now!

21 Days of Twitter Day 1: John Edwards Hearts Me!

Submitted by Holly on Tue, 07/24/2007 - 4:57pm

The magnificent Beth Kanter told me (well, she told a room full of us at one of her presentations) that it takes 21 days to create a habit (you know, outside of the wrong kinds of habits). Since my New Year's Resolution in 2007 was to be less snarky, I've embarked upon a grand experiment: I'm going to try all those crazy Web 2.0 tools I currently mock. I'll use each for 21 (work) days and see if I learn anything useful. Along the way, I'll document anything cool, useful, or fun that happens.

I'm starting with Twitter. Twitter is the lazy man's blog. It's an application that lets you quickly and easily publish what you're up to -- the blog you're reading, the report you're writing, the cat you're feeding. You invite your friends to "follow" your actions, and you can choose to follow theirs. The result? A constantly updated stream of what everyone in your network is up to. And folks, that's a lot of chatter.

New CiviCRM Standalone Release

Submitted by Holly on Tue, 07/24/2007 - 11:49am

While Open Source has been widely embraced in the server and CMS markets, it has yet to take off in the CRM field, so I'm glad to see that the Code for Change Team has a new release of CiviCRM Standalone out there. I hope they keep the momentum going.

Things I really like about it (after noodling for about 15 minutes):


  • It works with MyOpenID. Shouldn't everything work with an OpenID?
  • The admin panel is so easy to understand!
  • It's blazin' fast on their test server.

Many features need more work, but this release is REALLY early. I can say that I think it's starting to look like the real deal. I hope that they'll spend some time prettifying it, too. I'm a sucker for a pretty application.

Google AdWords and Integration Screencast from Beth Kanter

Submitted by Brett on Thu, 07/19/2007 - 8:11pm
Beth Kanter has produced another Screencast and wiki resource, sponsored by NTEN and Foundation. The screencast is about how nonprofits can use Google Adwords and SalesForce Integration to reach new audiences.

Google and have recently formed an alliance to help millions of businesses better leverage the Internet to achieve success, combining the power of AdWords targeted advertising and's customer relationship management (CRM) expertise. As part of this new relationship, Google and are now extending each other's grant recipients the offer to apply to the partnering grant program. If you are a Google Grants recipient, you may be eligible for the Foundation's product donation program which donates 10 Enterprise Edition licenses of's award winning CRM platform to eligible nonprofit organizations. Note that organization's must meet the Foundation's eligibility requirements to receive a product donation from

Looking Into Google Apps? Check out a Webinar

Submitted by Holly on Thu, 07/19/2007 - 6:01pm
In case you missed it, NTEN and Google held a shin-dig in the Bay Area last week where Google announced some big news for nonprofits: Google Apps is now available to nonprofits at no charge! If you're looking at moving to Google Apps, you'll want to check out one of Google's upcoming webinars. Please note that it's the Educational Edition that is being made available to nonprofits at no charge, so any webinars about the Education Edition will fit the bill for you. If you're the techie who will oversee the switch, check out their administration webinars too.

Widget Fundraising Gets a Little Bigger

Submitted by Holly on Thu, 07/19/2007 - 5:44pm
Widget fundraising is all rage these days, with some real numbers and case studies making their way into the sector (see our webinar with the talented Peter Dietz for some fascinating stats). Although widget innovation is happening at the fringes, it's no surprise that the larger players in online fundraising are beginning to enter the scene as well. Convio has just announced a new service -- Convio Personal Events -- that allows users to create and RSVP for events, as well as raise money. And, of course, it all integrates with the Convio platform. I'm a woman who hates data silos, so I think this is a nice advancement for Convio users.

Exploring Salesforce for Nonprofits

Submitted by Holly on Tue, 07/17/2007 - 4:29pm

Are you in the market for a new database? Then we have a webinar that you should check out:

Salesforce for Nonprofits

Salesforce is one of the most popular web-enabled databases, and it's gaining adherants among nonprofits. Accessible from any browser, customizable in myriad ways -- and available to nonprofits for no fee through the Foundation -- it's a powerful tool. But how can a database with a name like Salesforce be used by the nonprofit sector? This webinar will explore the functionality and community of Salesforce. We'll look at how several nonprofits, from a group of more than 1500, use Salesforce to cultivate and recruit donors, manage their electronic communications, and more. If you are looking for a new CRM solution, or just want to know more about Salesforce, this webinar will be a great starting point.

Presented by Rob Jordan, Idealist Consulting

> Register now!