The Impact of Your Donation: Paul Webster, 14NTC Scholarship Recipient, Shares

Last year, NTEN Community Champions helped to raise over $36,000 to support the NTEN Community Challenge, which enhanced NTEN’s program accessibility, including sending over 50 people to the 2014 Nonprofit Technology Conference (14NTC) and the 2014 Leading Change Summit (14LCS) with scholarships.

To whom did the scholarships go, and what was the impact of your donation? As we try to raise support for 2015, we wanted to share the impact of your donation from last year, from the voices of our scholarship recipients. Today, we want to introduce you to Paul Webster, Community Builder & Technology Advisor at Lasa.

paul_webster.jpgWhat is your organization’s mission?

Established in 1984, our mission is to support organizations in their use of technology and delivery of social welfare law advice to the disadvantaged communities they serve. We are based in the East End of London but work across the United Kingdom. Every year, we work with thousands of small organisations and communities to support and develop their strategic use of technology. The Connecting Care project I’m working on is engaging with providers of adult social care and residential care homes to show them how technology can be used by the organization, by staff, and by residents, too.

Can you describe your experience at the 14NTC?

This was the first time I’d attended the NTC, although I’d heard many good things about it from colleagues who had attended in previous years.

I strongly believe that, as a movement of technology supporters aiming to help communities use technology for good, we can do so much more if we share our knowledge and collaborate on solutions. In the UK, we can sometimes be too focused on our own answers to this without a broader view. The NTC was transformative, as it gave me the opportunity to meet with so many more people from the US and worldwide in one place who were facing the same technology challenges as me and working with the same type of organizations. Just meeting with so many like-minded people and listening to so many relevant talks has given me much to think about and a larger network of people to share with.

Can you give an example of how you applied what you learned from the 14NTC to your daily work?

Two examples to share with you. The first was an unexpected meeting with the Communications Manager from Leading Age at one of the Progressive Parties that took place after the conference day. It was really good to mix socially with her and other fellow delegates and to share work experiences, too. The Leading Age CAST project is similar to my project in many ways, as it’s helping organizations that look after older people to use technology better. I’ve kept in touch with them and share their resources for older people and tech in my work. The other example is really how I’ve been affirmed by many of the speakers at the NTC that the situations I encounter in the UK with organizations’ use of technology are worldwide issues, but that there are so many resources and knowledge to share. I particularly liked the sessions on Disruptive Technology, as this is something we could do more with in the UK and is now a way of thinking I’m trying to apply in my work and show to others.

Why should people donate to the 2015 NTEN Community Challenge to support opportunities such as NTC/LCS scholarships?

To help people from smaller organizations and countries/communities where technology may not be so far advanced to be able to attend the NTC. The sponsorship really helped people like me to attend and learn so much. If we all work and share together, we can see technology being used worldwide for good.

Special thanks to Paul for putting tech to work for social change at his nonprofit, and huge thanks to all who helped make his experience at the 14NTC possible!

This season, we’re trying to raise $50,000  through the 2015 NTEN Community Challenge to give more people like Paul access to NTEN’s activities and initiatives that advance nonprofit technology. Support NTEN’s Community Champions and Board Members today by donating directly to their fundraising pages on the NTEN Community Challenge campaign on Crowdrise.  

This is the home of nonprofit professionals learning about the ways technology helps them meet their missions. More than 50,000 community members access NTEN’s capacity-building programs and services, including educational courses, the Nonprofit Technology Conference, and online and in-person discussion spaces.