News from the NTEN Connect Blog

10 Questions: The Changing Face of Democracy?

Submitted by Holly on Thu, 10/18/2007 - 9:47am

Word on the street is that the coolest thing to hit democracy since the women's vote is 10 Questions. (Sidebar: The best part of "Mary Poppins" is that suffrage-loving mother. She steals every scene she's in. Forget Julie Andrews. If you haven't seen it lately, it's definitely worth renting!)

If you remember the CNN YouTube debates, then you get the idea behind 10 Questions. Anyone and everyone can record a question. The trick here is, now the viewing public can vote for OR against your questions. The top 10 questions will be given to the candidates, who will respond with videos of their own. It's a great site with a great premise, and a very nice interface. As long as you're here, why not check out the top rated question, presented by the amazing -- and longtime NTEN member -- Ruby Sinreich:

So, what are you going to ask your community about?

Avoiding the Spam Filter

Submitted by Holly on Thu, 10/18/2007 - 8:39am

NPTimes has a nice short piece today about email delivery and spam scoring systems. I was under the impression that this software, which "reads" your email and tells you what spam filter flags you have in your message, could be immensely helpful in avoiding the spam trap. According to Bill Pease of Convio, it ain't so:

"Unless your organization's email content regularly involves commercial-sounding language, content-only spam scoring systems are of relatively limited utility."

Agree? What have your experiences been?

Help Shape the 2008 NTC Agenda!

Submitted by Holly on Wed, 10/17/2007 - 8:01am

From now through Wednesday, October 24, you can help shape the Nonprofit Technology Conference agenda by voting for sessions, volunteering to lead or speak at sessions, and by suggesting sessions we may have missed.

To help you navigate the 90+ possible sessions, we've broken them down into tracks. You can vote for any or all tracks, wherever your interests lie. Just make sure your voice is heard before October 24.

You can learn more about the agenda planning process and speaking opportunities at

Vote in the following tracks:

> Leadership

> Program Delivery

> Communications

> IT Staff & Consultants

> Fundraising

If you have any other questions about the NTC or NTEN membership, drop me an email ( or give me a call at 415 397 9000.

See you in New Orleans!

Data Integration: We Asked for It, and Now We're Getting It!

Submitted by Holly on Mon, 10/15/2007 - 11:26am

Last fall, NTEN hosted a discussion amongst some of the major vendors in about Open APIs, one of the major pieces of the data integration puzzle. One year later -- almost to the day! -- two major vendors have announced major initiatives around Open APIs. Coincidence? We think not!

Last week, Kintera announced the expansion of their Connect program, adding APIs to their library of tools.

The latest announcement is from Convio, which today launches Convio Open. The site addresses data integration in three ways: APIs, Connectors, and Extensions. It's a much deeper set of tools than what we've seen before, and the site provides integration resources for organizations with a variety of integration needs, including a FaceBook integration.

Who's next?

NTEN Google AdWords Trainings

Submitted by Holly on Fri, 10/12/2007 - 7:45pm
Who isn't looking to drive more traffic to their web sites? Google AdWords is one of the most effective ways to do just that. And, thanks to the Google Grants Program, qualifying nonprofits can employ this marketing tool for free.

Following the enormous success of our webinar on Google Analytics, NTEN nabbed Google AdWords Evangelist Frederick Vallaeys for a two-part series on AdWords.

> Join us on Tuesday, October 16th, for "Introduction to Google AdWords", when we'll explore how Google AdWords works and learn the basics of running a campaign, including:
  • Understanding the elements of an AdWords Campaign
  • Selecting keywords and writing copy
  • Setting pricing
  • Tracking the results

> Register Today for "Introduction to Google AdWords"

> Come back on Thursday, October 18th, for "Advanced Google AdWords", to learn the tips and tricks that will make your AdWords campaigns hum:

  • Improving your ad and keywords
  • Managing multiple campaigns effectively
  • Preparing effective landing pages

> Register Today for "Advanced Google AdWords"!


When: Tuesday & Thursday, October 16th & 18th, 11 am PT / 2 pm ET

Cost: $25 for NTEN Members, $50 for non-members (per webinar)

Presented by
: Frederick Vallaeys, Google AdWords Evangelist

NTEN Members: Don't forget that if you renew with NTEN right now, you'll receive a $25 coupon good toward your next event registration. Renew your membership today and attend this webinar for free!

Kintera Throws Open the Doors

Submitted by Holly on Fri, 10/12/2007 - 10:56am

Kintera has an Open API. Kintera customers and select vendors can now access an extensive and documented API to connect their applications to Kintera Sphere. From their press release:

Kintera,® Inc. (NASDAQ: KNTA) today announced that Kintera Connect™, the company's open application integration platform, is available for clients and partners to integrate directly with Kintera technology. As a result, best of breed solutions are now available through the Kintera Connect Partner Program, providing organizations with the freedom to select solutions to best meet their unique needs.

If you are looking for more information, check out:


How to Choose and Use Open Source Software

Submitted by Brett on Wed, 10/10/2007 - 2:28pm

Michelle Murrain and the Nonprofit Open Source Initiative (NOSI) have just published an update to their excellent "Choosing and Using Free and Open Source Software: A primer for nonprofits". If your organization is considering a move to Open Source software (or if you want to push it in that direction), you should give this well-written guide a read.

The heart of the primer is found in Chapter 3, "How should you decide if FOSS will work for you?" Michelle writes, "All organizations should consider implementing FOSS. But in any organization, it is necessary to make a case for what can be a significant internal change." She then lays out a cogent overview of the costs and potential value of FOSS, with case studies to illustrate key points.

Group Fundraising 101

Submitted by Brett on Wed, 10/10/2007 - 9:59am
Who could be better at raising money for your organization than your current supporters -- and their friends?

Group fundraising helps you tap into the knowledge, enthusiasm, and most importantly, the peer network of people already giving to your cause.

Join Peter Deitz and NTEN on Thursday, October 11th for a repeat performance of our popular webinar "Group Fundraising 101: From Benchmarks to Success Stories".

Get behind the buzz words and learn how group fundraising can help your organization reach new donors while deepening your relationships with existing supporters. This webinar will explain how nonprofits can use Peter's original benchmark figures to integrate group fundraising into larger annual or capital campaigns, while also featuring success stories of non-profits currently using group fundraising.

When: Thursday, October 11th, 11 am PT / 2 pm ET

Cost: $25 for NTEN Members, $50 for non-members

Presented by: Peter Deitz, Founder of Social Actions

> Register Today!

NTEN Members: Don't forget that if you renew with NTEN right now, you'll receive a $25 coupon good toward your next event registration. Renew your membership today and attend this webinar for free!

Learning to Love MySpace?

Submitted by Holly on Thu, 10/04/2007 - 1:21pm

I'm a total snob when it comes to MySpace. My house is pretty much always spotless, and that's the way I like my interface design, too: clean.

So I get the chills when I check out MySpace. Too cluttered! Nonetheless, it's a tool nonprofits cannot ignore. Folks like IFAW and many others have used MySpace to engage and activate a whole new constituency.

If you're looking to start a MySpace campaign, or if you have one already and want to improve it, check out Heather Mansfield's post on optimizing your MySpace page.

Microsoft Pulls Back the Curtains, But Keeps You Off the Stage

Submitted by Brett on Wed, 10/03/2007 - 2:05pm

Microsoft announced today that it will make the source code for its .Net Framework freely available under its Shared Source license, essentially opening the source, rather than open sourcing, their popular development platform.

For those who accept the Microsoft Reference License -- the MS-RL, certainly not to be confused with the MS-PL or the MS-CL -- the source code will be available for download, but not modification.

The significance of this? Andrew Brust, Chief of New Technology at Twenty-Six New York, tells eWeek, "Being able to step through and review the source should provide much better insight into how the .Net Framework libraries are implemented, and in turn enable developers to build better applications and make even better use of them."