Member Round Up: Research galore, a handy handbook, and sandcastles as therapy

Yes, Labor Day is now long past (or so it already feels), but the three-day weekend never slowed down the nptech community! They managed to pump out reports and research, organize webinars and conferences, and even play around with the definition of volunteering. Read up on your ever generous, thoughtful, and talented peers and have a great weekend!

Check out this great compilation of ‘Must-Read Online Fundraising, Social Media and Mobile Communications Reports for Nonprofits‘, assembled by Tech for Good. The list includes See3 Communications2013 Benchmarks for Nonprofit Video, mGive‘s recent Text Giving Study, M+R Research Lab‘s eNonprofit Benchmarks Study, and the 2013 Visual Storytelling Best Practices Guide by Resource Media, all for free! There are even a few international reports. Another resource roundup comes from Kivi Leroux Miller, who hosted the August edition of the Nonprofit Blog Carnival, themed, ‘Getting Along with Others’ in the nonprofit world. She got lots of great advice on how to work together better, from staff and board members, to consultants and grant writers. A list of 20 Insightful Nonprofit Technology and Social Media Stats was compiled by Tech Impact, featuring findings from TechSoup and Artez Interactive, to name just a few.

What would your organization look like if you had access to the same services and resources as a for-profit company? In their upcoming webinar, Powered by Pro Bono 101, the Taproot Foundation will show you how to harness the power of pro bono services to help your organization do everything from build a website to update your brand strategy and develop strong strategic plans. Get the full description and sign up for the webinar here. Speaking of volunteers, Wild Apricot‘s post, The Mission Driven Volunteer, discusses a new definition and new models of volunteering. You can also learn more by downloading a copy of the Mission Driven Volunteer White Paper.

Need some inspiration to get your organization’s website updated? Network for Good put together a slideshow of the home pages of 10 nonprofits that are hitting it out of the ball park by being clear in their message and making it easy for a visitor to engage further or donate.

Sandcastles make everyone happy; to use your imagination, to shape something with your hands, to build something as ambitious and fantastical as you want. In a refugee camp in Jordan, Mercy Corps is putting the desert sand to use to help children displaced by conflict to feel like kids again. Building sand castles, mountains, and tunnels is a form of therapy, along with playing with friends and drawing, allowing them to heal from the trauma of war. Check out the slideshow of their sand creations and learn more about Mercy Corps’ work with the Syrian refugees. Did you know that play can help you, too? In fact, it can even generate your next great idea. Idealist’s weekly spotlight was all about playful thinking, citing some interesting research by IDEO that may help you be more comfortable in sharing your crazy ideas at work.

Sign up for NTEN’s Workshop-Technology Champion Master Class in San Francisco on September 19! This intensive, in-person, nonprofit leadership workshop will highlight change management issues and methodologies to align your strategic plan with enterprise-wise technology initiatives and business processes development. Learn more about our flipped classroom model, what you can look forward to learning when you’re there, and register! Not in San Francisco? We’ve also got a Master Class in Atlanta on October 24 and in Austin on November 14.

If you’re in the area, the Montana Nonprofit Association will be holding its annual conference in Missoula, October 2-4. This year’s conference will be devoted to exploring the power of innovation, delivering skills to stimulate opportunity and grow new strategies, and to empowering you with tools to build an innovative organization. Register now!

Idealware released a new report, Understanding Software for Program Evaluation, to help nonprofits with the sometimes overwhelming process of selecting the right tool for the job.

Invisible People is hitting the road with Virgin Mobile, Sevenly, and Ford to bring awareness to youth homelessness. They’ll be visiting 7 cities along the way, sharing the stories of homeless youth and the folks fighting to end this crisis. Check out the plans and help get the stories heard!

The deadline for the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations’ ‘Do One Thing for Diversity and Inclusion’ online video contest is September 27th. The contest is calling for participants to make a one-minute video that portrays diversity and inclusion. The aim to raise awareness on the richness of world cultures and the opportunities that cultural diversity and social inclusion can bring to societies. The video has to be posted on participants’ personal Facebook page mentioning the campaign page using the tag @DoOneThing for Diversity and Inclusion or directly on the Facebook page of the campaign There is a total cash prize of $1500 to share among the three first winners and their videos will be included within the UNAOC Plural + Youth Video Festival DVD. For further information visit:

Anything we missed? Let us know in the comments.

Eileigh Doineau
Arriving at NTEN has been a happy bend in the road for Eileigh, who comes from a background in environmental design and English literature. After a year in AmeriCorps teaching environmental education, a summer in Africa working with communities to protect local natural resources, and a master’s thesis on design and community engagement, she ventured into the nonprofit realm. Though Eileigh loves to get her hands dirty out in the real world, she recognizes that technology is a transformative tool of empowerment and is delighted to be helping others make the most of it.