April 16, 2015

Happy National Volunteer Week!

Celebrate ServiceThis week is National Volunteer Week! Points of Light, the organization that established this program in 1974, notes, “National Volunteer Week is about taking action and encouraging individuals and their respective communities to be at the center of social change – discovering and actively demonstrating their collective power to make a difference.”

15NTC volunteersNTEN is a community, and a community invests in itself. Involving volunteers is a way to reinvest in our Community and strengthen our collective power. Inspired by National Volunteer Week, we’d like to reiterate some of the ways one can volunteer and get involved with NTEN and be at the center of social change. We’d also like to thank everyone (and that’s a lot of folks!) who contribute their time and talent for the benefit of others. NTEN has 11 staff members, but it is the magic and power of Community volunteers that make this organization what it is.

Interested in volunteering and want more information? You can contact Community Program Coordinator Bethany Lister and Membership Director Megan Keane at community@nten.org for more information.

Communities of Practice

NTEN Communities of Practice (CoPs) are affinity groups centered on specific topics of interest, from community management to Drupal to nonprofits in the arts. These online groups provide support for specific needs and interests and offer ongoing opportunities for growth. CoPs are free to join regardless of NTEN Membership.

CoPs are supported by volunteer organizers who answer questions, facilitate conversations and connections among group members, and plan and implement regular community conference calls, webinars, and tweet chats.

501 Tech Clubs

501 Tech Clubs are informal, local groups of nonprofit techies that get together for regular in-person convenings. Meetings are free for all to attend regardless of NTEN Membership and range in structure from happy hours and days of service to presentations and workshops.

Tech Club organizers volunteer to create safe and welcoming spaces for their local communities to learn and connect about all things nonprofit technology. Tasks include developing presentation topics and activities, finding speakers and venues, promotion, greeting, and connecting attendees.


NTEN is supported by several departmental and project-based committees. Volunteer committee members work behind the scenes, contributing their expertise, time, and advice to help shape NTEN programming. Their service is invaluable to developing and improving NTEN’s offerings to the nonprofit community. Current committees include: Editorial, Research, Membership, Nonprofit Technology Conference, and Leading Change Summit.

Community Champions

Volunteer Community Champions participate in NTEN’s end-of-year fundraising campaign. The donations they solicit help provide conference scholarships to nonprofit staff who would otherwise be unable to attend; bring in new Members who may not be able to cover the cost of NTEN Membership; support our 501 Tech Clubs; and develop new programs and resources for NTEN’s growing Community. Their work makes nonprofit technology accessible to a wider audience.


NTEN couldn’t put on any of our in-person events without the help of on-site volunteers. Nonprofit Technology Conference and Leading Change Summit volunteers manage information and registration lines, provide assistance to speakers, help exhibitors and sponsors in the Science Fair, and stuff (and stuff and stuff) tote bags with exhibitor/sponsor materials.

Thanks to all, and see you at a volunteer activity near you this week!

Bethany Lister