News from the NTEN Connect Blog

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!

28 Pages Later: Kintera Promotes Nonprofit SaaS

Submitted by Brett on Tue, 07/17/2007 - 4:10pm
Brett Meyer, NTEN Communications Coordinator

Convio provides an excellent overview of why nonprofits should consider software as a service. Those who want more detail should take a look at the 3-part Kintera White Paper.

The first part, “Rent or Buy: Why Nonprofits Need Software as a Service” details the “Top Seven Benefits of Software as a Service”, including the low up-front implementation costs (#1) and up-to-date technology (#4). One thing some organizations may have overlooked as a benefit is the ability to access SaaS applications remotely (#6) without having to set up complicated remote access software. Because SaaS products are accessed through a web interface, any staff member with a browser and an internet connection can be productive, anywhere, anytime.

The On-Demand Nonprofit

Submitted by Brett on Tue, 07/17/2007 - 3:23pm
Sonny Cloward, NPower NY

With Google’s announcement extending its free Education Version of Google Apps to nonprofits, charitable organizations are situated better than ever to leverage On-Demand Productivity Tools (a.k.a. SaaS: Software as a Service). By no means is Google the only on-demand office productivity player: Zoho, ThinkFree, and Goowy are also viable contenders. Google, however, is making its services extremely attractive and accessible to nonprofits, not only through their donation of Google Apps to nonprofits a la the model—underwriting the donation via a sustainable for-profit revenue stream—but by providing tight integration between their products and desktop/offline apps.

The biggest challenge for Google Apps and other on-demand productivity suites is making the case to nonprofits: What is the value proposition making the transition from their current systems and processes a worthwhile investment? Of course there are the cost saving incentives, both in terms of infrastructure and management. There are no doubt both advantages and liabilities over traditional desktop applications, but the beauty of web apps is that they augment rather than replace systems. To that end, let’s take a look at how an organization might use a suite of on-demand productivity tools, in this case, Google Apps, as part of their system.

Read More!

Community Buzz

Submitted by Brett on Tue, 07/17/2007 - 2:23pm
News and buzz from people and organizations in the nonprofit tech sector. Read our posts on the NTEN blog.

Citizen-Centered Funding

> A new initiative by the Case Foundation, Make It Your Own, seeks to encourage grassroots leaders involved in local and neighborhood level projects. As reported in the New York Times, the pool of candidates who submit ideas for improving their communities will be narrowed by judges, but the 4 finalists will be voted on by the public.

Searching for Altruism

> GoodSearch has added a layer to Yahoo's search engine to help nonprofits and schools. Select the organization you choose to support on GoodSearch's home page, and they will contribute -- giving away 50% of their advertising revenue, or about a penny per search -- to charitable causes. Through the power of aggregation, donations can add up quickly.

> The Do Good Toolbar implements a similar idea, geared toward online shopping. They, too, promise to donate at least 50% of their revenue to charity, though their list of supported organizations is much smaller.

Google Everywhere

> Nonprofit technology has received two big boosts from Google in the last 30 days. First, Google officially launched its nonprofit outreach program for its Google Earth product, as we reported in our blog. Groups as diverse as Appalachian Voices and the Jane Goodall Institute are already using Google Earth to tell stories with their data.

> Then, at an event co-hosted by NTEN, Google extended its Google Apps Education Edition to nonprofits. With Google throwing its weight behind Software as a Service, nonprofits will find it easier to spend more time working toward their objectives and less time worrying about back-ups, bugs, and other bothers.

Mobile Campaigning

> Nicholas Sullivan's You Can Hear Me Now chronicles GrameenPhone's efforts to extend telephone service in Bangladesh through microloans, along with several other examples of the power of cellular networking. You can watch a brief video interview with Nicholas about the project on YouTube.

> For more information on how mobile campaigns can help your organization, be sure to read Robin Good's essay "Mobile Phones as Mass Media", as covered in our blog. You may also want to watch the NTEN webinar, Mobile Campaigns Made Easy, moderated by our very own Katrin Verclas. And don't forget to check out, a resource for practitioners worldwide using mobile phones in social change work.

Pizzigati Prize Deadline

> The deadline for the $10,000 Antonio Pizzigati Prize For Software in the Public Interest is coming up on August 1st. If you are working on software for social change, you should definitely looking into it. For more information see our blog post.