16NTC Session Voting is Open July 8 – 30

vote-661888_1280Voting on the session proposals for the 2016 Nonprofit Technology Conference (16NTC) opened up this week, and things are off to an exciting start with roughly 2,500 votes in just the first 24 hrs.

In the pursuit of providing the best experience, we continue to evolve the process and the technology for session submissions and Community Voting; and so this year, we are testing out a new platform. Below are a few quick tips and helpful information to get you involved in this year’s voting. Your participation directly helps us put together the best possible agenda for the 16NTC in San Jose on March 23-25.

Voting: Open from July 8 – July 30

Do I need to register to vote?

Yes. This allows us to ensure individuals can only vote once on each submission, are able to change their votes throughout the voting period, and are associated with comments (which builds transparency and accountability).

Single Sign-On?

While we have moved to single sign-on for all the main NTEN properties, we are testing out a new platform for submissions and voting this year. If the Community likes it, and it serves our needs well, we plan to explore what is possible next year to incorporate the platform into the larger NTEN ecosystem of sites.

The system does support alternative single sign-on with various social accounts.

Can I change my votes?

Yes. At any point during the Community Voting phase, you can log in and change your votes on any of the individual submissions.

Can others see what I voted on?

No. Users can only see how many votes a particular submission has, but not who is associated with those votes.


Community Voting has been core to the NTC agenda process for many years. We have tried a number of voting methods—from up and down votes, only up votes, numeric ratings, etc.—over the years and have had successes and challenges with every option, of course. Ultimately, we want to provide a mechanism for voting that captures both actual votes with context (2 upvotes and 0 upvotes presents a very different level of community interest in a session than one with 10 upvotes and 5 downvotes) as well as comments directly connected to individual sessions.

We have included downvoting again this year for the following reasons:

  • The more information we can capture in the Community Voting phase, the more informed staff and steering committee members can be as we organize the final agenda
  • With numerous proposals on similar topics, up and down votes can inform which sessions are the most relevant to the community
  • The volume of overall votes should help mitigate those outlying incidents where a down vote is used maliciously

How can I find submissions on topics I am interested in?

With over 400 submissions, there are many to choose from. You can narrow down the field of sessions by topics that interest you in a couple of ways:

  1. Use the search box in the upper right-hand corner to search for terms and keywords
  2. Click on relevant tags to see related submissions
  3. At the bottom of the submission detail page, select Idea Details > Similar Ideas

Can I encourage people to vote for a session?

We encourage you to share sessions you have voted on and are excited about seeing on the agenda. You will find icons that make social sharing easy at the bottom of each submission’s detail page.

We discourage participants from engaging in “voting campaigns” around ideas they have submitted (i.e. sending out email blasts, etc.), as this is focused on individual sessions and counter to the goal of gathering feedback on the overall program and content the Community wants to have included at the conference.


Comments are open on session detail pages and a great way to further engagement with others in the community. Ask additional questions, share suggestions or support, and start building connections with others in the community. You can see a great example of what this might look like on this submission.

How are the final sessions selected?

Final selection of sessions is based on two things: first, a ranking by the aggregate score of community and jury votes (Steering Committee & Staff); and second, ensuring a balance of topics from the top-ranked sessions. For example, even if 10 sessions focused on Google Analytics were in the top 100 of total sessions, only 1-2 would be added to the program to make sure the final program covered the appropriate range of topics.

Getting Started

Ready to start voting? Head on over the 16NTC Session Community Voting platform and check out sessions today.

If you have any additional question you can also reach out to us at events@nten.org or on Twitter @NTENorg

Ash Shepherd
Education Director
Ash has been in love with the nonprofit sector for nearly two decades, where he has worked in the areas of conservation, environmental education, social work, youth program development, and technology consulting. He has been an active member of the NTEN Community, serving as a co-organizer of Portland’s 501 Tech Club, and completing a three-year term on the NTEN: Change Journal's Editorial Committee. Ash earned a B.S. from the University of Montana in Resource Management and a Masters in Environment and Development from the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal in South Africa.