Scholarships to the 2009 NTC

Submitted by Brett on Fri, 02/27/2009 - 1:14pm

As you must know by now, we're raising money to fund up to 57 scholarships to this year's conference. We're less than $1,500 from our $10,000 goal -- but our campaign ends tomorrow!

You can help put us over the top.

As an added incentive, today only, if you give $50 or more, we'll send you a free copy of our upcoming book, Managing Technology to Meet your Mission!

And if you haven't seen it yet, you should check out the video Holly made previewing her potential public loss of dignity. It's pretty hilarious.

Thanks again for all your support.

Beyonce, Bacon and Trombones = Donate Now!

Submitted by Holly on Mon, 02/09/2009 - 9:40am

Over 900 of you have already registered for the 2009 Nonprofit Technology Conference. You're registering at a record-breaking pace, and we can't wait to get the whole community in one room this April. But we also know that the economy has made it impossible for some our members to join us, so we've been raising scholarship money to send up to 57 nonprofit staff to the nonprofit technology conference. We're raising $10,000 and Convio is matching that dollar for dollar.

We've only got three weeks left -- and a long way to go -- so I thought I would, to borrow a phrase, kick it up a notch. Watch the video, or read after the jump for details:

Managing Technology to Meet Your Mission

Submitted by Holly on Tue, 11/25/2008 - 9:55am

I'm an Executive Director now, so I have a new-found (and acute) understanding of just how complex that role is.

At a small organization like NTEN, a leader has to be ready to do just about everything, from fundraising to janitorial services. I'd been at NTEN for five years before I took the ED job, so I was lucky enough to know what I was doing -- mostly. But there are giant swaths of the job description I've had to learn from scratch.

Fortunately, the technology part wasn't one of them, but I can relate to the nonprofit leaders out there facing crucial decisions about technology everyday, and who have little idea how all this stuff works.

That's why we're so excited about our book, Managing Technology to Meet Your Mission: A Strategic Guide for Nonprofit Leaders. The book was written by NTEN members for nonprofit leaders struggling to find technology sea-legs.

The book will come out in March 2009. You can pre-order your copy on Amazon or purchase a copy from us for only $30 with your NTC registration, starting next week. We'll drop it in the mail to you when it's released.

Don't Forget the Most Important Part of Your Email Campaign...

Submitted by Holly on Thu, 11/06/2008 - 10:27am

As you gear up for that end-of-year fundraising campaign, you're probably sweating all the details. You're making lists, checking them twice, gonna find the perfect pictures, refine each message, spellcheck everything three times.

But you might not be worrying about one thing that really matters: your web site.

Last week, Convio released a report they commissioned from Jupiter Research to learn more about online giving this holiday season. "$3 Billion is a Click Away" highlights the increasingly important role online communications will play in nonprofit fundraising.

There are a lot of points I could bullet, but these are my favorite:

The Intangible Measures of Success

Submitted by Brett on Wed, 09/24/2008 - 1:44pm

David M. Lawson and Jay Goulart, WOW! Institute

Have you ever reached your fundraising goal, but still found your organization cash-poor? Have you found yourself surprised when donors you thought for sure would come through again, didn't?

In uncertain times like we find ourselves in today, we often discover the impact of things like donor perceptions, satisfaction, and happiness. Long-term success depends in no small part on your ability to measure the intangible reasons that create customer loyalty.

If you are going to exceed your donors' expectations, you need to incorporate qualitative measurements that start to illuminate the intangible reasons you are succeeding, holding your own, or perhaps, failing.

Rapid Donor Cultivation: Getting the First Online Gift Faster

Submitted by Brett on Wed, 09/24/2008 - 1:38pm

Jenny L. Feinberg and Jeff Patrick, Common Knowledge

As nonprofits escalate their focus on the Internet for fundraising and base-building, there is, increasingly, a recognition that the online channel can be a constituent-friendly, cost-effective means of building relationships and raising money from individuals.

New online fundraising programs, however, bring new challenges:

  • How to acquire new constituents?
  • How to cultivate this virtual constituent community?
  • How to produce fundraising revenue (quickly)?
  • How to reduce the payback period for the program investment?

To address these questions, you should be inspired by best practices in the online retail industry.

Five Tactics to Rev Up Fundraising in a Down Economy

Submitted by Brett on Wed, 09/24/2008 - 1:07pm

Randy McCabe, MPower Open

Many nonprofit professionals today are nervous. The economy, while showing hopeful signs, is still not in a good place. That means donors have less money in their portfolios and their pockets.

As a result, giving is down across the board. This is not how we want to enter the all important year-end giving season. With up to half of all donations coming in the last quarter of the calendar year, nonprofits need to start planning now so they can end the year strong and minimize the impact of these difficult times.

There are five simple things any organization can do to not only increase year-end results, but also maintain and even strengthen important long-term relationships with donors.

You Just Need 52 People Who Can Donate $500

Submitted by Holly on Tue, 08/12/2008 - 9:07am

You heard it here first!

In last month's NTEN Connect, we pointed you to the campaign of Sean Tevis, a Kansas man running for the state legislature. Today, Sean was profiled on NPR's Morning Edition.

Told that he would have to raise about $26,000 to be competitive in his race, Sean set to work canvassing door to door. Eventually, he raised -- wait for it -- about $25.

Then, he had an epiphany: use the internet. Sean built a site that no professional campaign adviser would have dreamed of approving: a site for geeks. His first content was a cartoon titled "Running for Office: It's Like a Flamewar with a Forum Troll, but with an Eventual Winner."

Want to Attend the 2008 AFP and DMAW Bridge Conference for Free?

Submitted by Annaliese on Mon, 07/07/2008 - 10:27am

The Association for Fundraising Professionals and the Direct Marketing Association of Washington are co-hosting the 2008 Bridge Conference, July 23-25 in Washington, DC.

The Bridge Conference is all about marketing, fundraising tools and strategies. Members of NTEN can register at the lowest rate (contact Annaliese for details).

Even better, you can enter this contest to win a FREE registration!

A quick glance at the session tracks shows that the nonprofit technology community can find plenty of content to help mission-oriented marketing and fundraising campaigns -- and look, there's even an NTEN track, a little home-away-from home while you're waiting for the 2009 NTC.

Blackbaud and Kintera: Community Roundup

Submitted by Holly on Fri, 05/30/2008 - 1:19pm

Unless you've been out of the office, you undoubtedly heard that Blackbaud is buying Kintera.  They are both publicly traded companies, so neither is allowed to comment on what will happen right now.  They have to keep behaving as completely separate entities until the acquisition is approved.  That doesn't give us a lot of good information, but it hasn't stopped the speculation either.

This is certainly very meaningful for the sector.  No matter how the acquisition plays out in terms of which products are kept, etc., there is one less choice in the nonprofit CRM market.  And I tend to believe that choice is good.  But rather than opine at this time, I'll instead share some of the musings of the nonprofit community and beyond:

 What's your take?


Ask a Question at NTEN Office Hours

Submitted by Holly on Fri, 05/30/2008 - 10:54am

Flickr Photo: Johan KoolwaaijLot of us are missing a true luxury in our work - the ability to turn to our office mate and get a quick answer to our technology questions. NTEN thinks that's a shame, so we've set up a new program exclusively for NTEN members to help you do it, virtually. That's the idea behind Office Hours - to give you a place to ask the questions that will help you succeed at your job and create more social change.

Office Hours will begin on June 2 and we already have a good crew of volunteer experts who have committed an hour/week so that you have the opportunity to get advice in an online chat room setting.

How do you participate?

Will Email Ever Die?

Submitted by Holly on Mon, 05/19/2008 - 10:01am

It's a question I get asked a lot, especially since the latest e-Benchmarks study shows a drop in open rates. My answer can depend a little on my mood, but I generally think that email is not going to die, just as direct email is not going to die (anytime soon). Never say never, but bet on the fact that both will be around for a good long while.

This raises an interesting point: your job as communicator or fundraiser is getting increasingly difficult.

Text to Give: It's Ready for Prime Time

Submitted by Holly on Fri, 05/16/2008 - 11:49am

Here's a riddle for you: what's plastic, in your pocket right now, and ruins bar trivia nights around the country? A mobile phone!

Your mobile can help you do all kinds of interesting things, from finding directions, to finding trivia answers (aka cheating), to finding potential new friends.

One thing you couldn't do -- until today -- was easily give to the charity of your choice.

Exciting news nonprofiteers: mGive now allows you to collect $5 or $10 donations via text message.

Win a Free Registration to the 2008 Bridge Conference!

Submitted by Annaliese on Thu, 05/15/2008 - 9:25am

2008 Bridge ConferenceWe just heard about an online scavenger hunt for the 2008 Bridge Conference, hosted by AFP and DMAW:

Play the Find the Clues to Your Success Game and win a Free Registration to the 2008 Bridge Conference!

Play the Find the Clues to Your Success contest by searching the Bridge Conference education tracks on the 2008 Bridge Conference website and identifying the 6 gold highlighted words that make up the clues to your success. Put the words together in the correct order to create the Secret Phrase and email the phrase to The first entry submitted with the correct phrase will win a free, fully transferable registration to the 2008 Bridge Conference.

If you don't win the contest, don't worry: if you're a member of NTEN, you get to register at the lowest rate for the conference! Contact me to find out how to register with your NTEN rate.

The Long Tail of Trust

Submitted by Holly on Tue, 04/29/2008 - 9:32am

Let's see how many social media metaphors I can cram into one post, shall we? :)

Jeremiah Owyang has a piece today about trust. I don't know if you've felt this lately, but I certainly have: we're head over heels for trust in the sector these days. I wrote a bit about it back in November. Katya Andresen and Mark Rovner think it's one of the seven things everyone wants. Search for "trust" on Beth's Blog and you'll come up with myriad posts. Search for trust on the NTEN website and you'll get dozens of job listings where "building trust" is in the job description.

But back to Jeremiah's post. Want to guess what the number one source of trusted information is for most Americans?

The Bridge is Back: The 2008 Bridge to Integrated Marketing and Fundraising Conference

Submitted by Annaliese on Fri, 04/25/2008 - 12:54pm

2008 Bridge ConferenceThose of you in Fundraising know it's all about communicating your mission and building relationships.

Those of you in Communications share the goal of growing your constituencies while increasing support for your cause.

Wouldn't you love to get together and share tips, strategies, resources, and contacts?

You got it! Brought to you by AFP and DMAW, the 2008 Bridge Conference will have over 75 sessions, more than a thousand of your colleagues, inspiring keynote speakers, plenty of networking opportunities, and the "very best of insider tips and trade secrets."

But wait, there's more! If you're an NTEN member, you have the golden ticket. NTEN Members can register for the conference at the low member rates -- and if you register before June 1st, you get to go for the best rate available!

Get in touch with me to get your golden-ticket registration details.

What's that? You're not a member of NTEN yet? Take advantage of this and other benefits of membership by joining NTEN today!

My Friends Totally Gave More than Your Friends

Submitted by Holly on Thu, 04/17/2008 - 12:58pm

There's nothing like a little peer pressure when you need someone to do something. Combine it with instant gratification and total transparency and you have the fundraising triumvirate!

Google Checkout has a great little campaign going on in honor of Earth Day that gives you all three:

  • You make a donation to an enviro org on someone's behalf.
  • That certain someone gets an email and asks them to do the same.
  • As the donations tally up, you get a personalized map showing all the people you inspired to donate, illustrating your network effect.

So, who wants to see if their friends are more generous then my friends?

It's Easy to Raise Money for a Favorite Cause - So How Do You Tell Your Supporters?

Submitted by Annaliese on Tue, 04/15/2008 - 10:48am

I came across a blog post today that made me smile (and not just because of great vocabulary used across the Pond). It's a simple and straight-forward example of how easy it is for someone to use free, fast, online tools to raise money for his or her favorite cause. Here's an excerpt:

"I've just had a rather intense week of trying to use social media to raise funds and by and large succeeding. Inevitably this story involves blogging and tweeting and people I don't know very well being incredibly generous...."

David Harte, Digital Central project manager at Birmingham City University and contributor to the Birmingham Post's Business Blog, decided to try a spur-of-the-moment fundraising campaign one week before he ran in the London Marathon. He didn't have to raise money for a charity, but he decided he wanted to try to help his favorite, St. Mary's Hospice. His goal was £495, and he ended up raising over £300 (and he's still raising money for his cause online).

Who Are the People in Your Neighborhood?

Submitted by Holly on Thu, 03/27/2008 - 7:50am

Flickr Photo: booskittyFlickr Photo: booskittyThe late, great Mr. Rogers has been asking us this question for decades now: "Who is in your neighborhood?" Though we have learned a great many lessons from our avuncular, becardiganed friend, the nonprofit sector is still struggling to master this one.

I think we all know, intuitively, that all donors are not the same. They engage with us for extremely personal reasons, and are inspired to continue their engagement for equally personal and diverse reasons.

Technology has come a long way in letting us customize our relationships with donors. Our donors can tell us what issues they care about, and how often they want to be contacted. With social media, we can let super-engaged donors participate in a variety of ways. We can provide financial and other administrative information easily to donors who value transparency and accountability.

But doing all of this, in any way, has always felt like finding that pot of gold at the end of a rainbow. If every single donor has unique needs and expectations, how can we possibly keep up?

This week, Convio released a new white paper with Sea Change Strategies and Edge Research that provides a nice tidy framework for thinking about personalizing donor experiences.In " The Wired Wealthy: Using the Internet to Connect with Your Middle and Major Donors," the authors surveyed more than 3,000 donors who gave $1,000 or more in an 18th month period and had valid email addresses.

There are lots of really useful tidbits in the report, but I thought the most interesting piece was the result of the cluster analysis.

45 Minutes to PayPal Donations

Submitted by Brett on Tue, 01/29/2008 - 3:22pm

PayPal has released the PayPal Kit for Non-Profits, with the claim that qualified organizations -- essentially, you have to have 501(C)(3) status -- can set themselves up to accept donations through a PayPal Donate button in just 45 minutes.

They're also offering $50 to the first 1,000 eligible nonprofits that use the kit to generate $500 in donations by March 31st.

The "kit" isn't so much a kit as a page with links to:

  1. Set up your PayPal account
  2. Download the instructions for adding the donate button to your site
  3. Sign up for the $50 challenge

Their aim seems to be to get smaller organizations and individuals who are starting out with online fundraising campaigns started in a fast and simple way.

So, are their claims true? Can someone with just basic computer knowledge set up the donation widget in less than 45 minutes? If you've had the experience, tell us in comments, below.