Vision and mission
We build transformative power by connecting people who are putting technology to work for social change. We strengthen their individual and collective capacity for doing good by offering expert trainings, researching effective approaches, and providing places where relationships can flourish. We relentlessly advocate for the redesign of the systems and structures that maintain inequity.
NTEN’s amazing community is made up of nonprofit staff, volunteers, board members, funders, consultants, and vendors from all walks of life.
The change we want to create is rooted in our organizational values. These values are at the heart of all we do, driving the decisions we make, shaping our priorities, and framing how we engage with our members, community, and others in the sector.
Integrity and compassion
We act with courage and operate with transparency. We’re honest with and kind to ourselves, each other, and our community.
Excellence and savvy
As individuals and as a team, we hold ourselves accountable for high-quality work that prioritizes creativity, reflection, intention, and sustainability. We're professionals with valuable expertise that we share abundantly with the community.
Community and humanity
We're accessible and inclusive in our practices and programs, centering our members, our community, and the larger nonprofit sector in our decisions. We value the knowledge of our experienced and diverse community. We find ways to have fun, enjoy life, and celebrate the human side of technology while recognizing the critical impact of our work and the work of the nonprofit sector as a whole.
Equity and liberation
We advance equity in our everyday actions and the systems we create for our work. We are invested in collective liberation because we know our freedoms are tied together.
Our beliefs are the core truths we embrace and defend. They are based on carefully listening to our community and closely examining our collective experiences. We fondly call these beliefs The NTEN 6.
The internet is a powerful and necessary tool.
It is vital that the internet is affordable and accessible to all people.
Technology is an investment central to all programs and services.
Technology is not overhead. It is an essential part of strategic planning and budgeting by organizational leadership.
Every role at a nonprofit requires technology.
Yet many people have limited access to training. If a nonprofit hopes to effect change, it must start with itself by investing in continuous professional development for all employees regardless of job title.
Helping others starts with respecting ourselves.
Nonprofits cannot effect change when it’s acceptable for employees to earn below-market pay, benefits, and training because they chose a career in the social good sector.
Sharing knowledge and experience creates powerful solutions.
Because many of the problems facing our society have overlapping causes, we must stop hoarding resources and explore collaborative opportunities.
Change happens when the entire sector comes together.
Nonprofits can’t do the heavy lifting alone. We are a community of nonprofits, funders, consultants, vendors, and technology providers. Each of us has a role to play in building, sustaining, and powering our community.
Theory of change
We've thought long and hard about how we will achieve our mission and realize our vision.
Our theory of change is one of the important tools we use to make strategic, values-based program decisions while keeping ourselves accountable to our community. It succinctly describes how NTEN's programs increase tech leadership across missions and the sector as we create a better world.View our theory of change (PDF, 0.7 MB)
Commitment to equity and liberation
As a team and a community, we work to dismantle systems of white supremacy and oppression in ourselves, organizations, and our world.
We center those who are most impacted personally and generationally to build new systems and structures for equity and liberation. The layers of our identities and experiences make our relationships stronger as our freedoms are connected.
Because our commitment to equity and liberation requires a long view, we acknowledge the importance of balancing daily work with rest for ourselves and our communities.
Our commitments in practice
You can get involved
Our Community Equity Committee and several other committees meet regularly. You're welcome to attend one of these meetings to observe, join the conversation, or even add something to the agenda. Email us for meeting information.
Each year the Community Equity Committee evaluates the policies and practices outlined in our commitment to equity and liberation, in coordination with the board and community equity committees. We share these evaluations on our blog and in places where we listen to our community's feedback.
We expect all staff to recognize that they represent NTEN in person and online, in the office and beyond, with words and actions that meet our commitment to equity and liberation and lead by example for our community. This includes not speaking on panels or at events where the speaker lineup is not diverse and ensuring that written pieces they author include a diversity of voices and perspectives.
Board of directors
In partnership with our board, NTEN regularly reviews and improves our board recruitment, selection, orientation, and support practices to engage people in our community from a diversity of backgrounds and create opportunities for every board member to be their best and whole selves through their work with NTEN. We don't require a minimum donation to be part of our board and we provide travel support as appropriate for in-person meetings.
We expect all board members to recognize that they represent NTEN in person and online with words and actions that meet our commitment to equity and liberation and lead by example for our community.
Offline and online organizers
We expect all organizers to recognize that they represent NTEN when operating in their role and as such are guided by this commitment, including but not limited to the co-organizers they recruit, venues where they hold events, speakers they invite to present, format of and non-presentation content of events, and their use of accessible and respectful language.
NTEN regularly evaluates and improves member benefits, NTEN programs, and our engagement opportunities to be inclusive of diverse individuals and organizations. NTEN evaluates and analyzes member communications and opportunities to ensure that NTEN’s member experience is inclusive, collaborative, and equitable. Additionally, we review member recruitment, retention, and orientation to ensure that we are prioritizing historically marginalized communities.
NTEN creates opportunities for members to expand and improve their commitment to equity and liberation through our community, programs, and other resources.
We expect all course faculty and NTC speakers to be guided by this commitment to equity and liberation, including but not limited to the presentation materials they use, the examples they include in presentations, the participation expectations they set for attendees, their recruitment of co-presenters, and their use of accessible and respectful language.
Partners, sponsors, and exhibitors
We expect all partners, sponsors, exhibitors, and other supporters to operate with their own commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. NTEN expects those funding programs with direct access to people in our community to recognize that their actions reflect upon NTEN and to meet the standards set in this commitment to equity and liberation.
Vendors and contractors
We expect all organizations and individuals with whom we contract, whether for facilities, catering, decorating, or other services, to recognize that their actions reflect upon NTEN and to meet the standards set in this commitment to equity and liberation.