The Impact of Your Donation: Ray Smith, 14LCS 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 Ray Smith, Operations Coordinator of the Corita Art Center.

smithray.preview.jpgWhat is your organization’s mission?
The Corita Art Center, a project of the Immaculate Heart Community, preserves and promotes Corita Kent’s art, teaching, and passion for social justice.

Can you describe your experience at the 14LCS?
14LCS was a transformative experience for me in many ways. This was my first experience with NTEN, a great organization that I think really “gets it,” both in terms of facilitating positive interactions with people and technology, and understanding challenges specific to the nonprofit world. I was impressed with the organization of the Summit, the way change and flexibility were embraced, and most of all, by all the other attendees. I come from an organization with a small staff and in terms of implications and uses of technology, I’m teaching myself on the job with no other guidance. Events like the 14LCS are my water cooler, a way for me to connect with colleagues outside my organization.

Can you give an example of how you applied what you learned from the 14LCS to your daily work?
Alexandra Samuel’s Telling Stories with Data presentation definitely permeates the way I think about collecting data, evaluation, and presenting information in my daily work. We recently started using MailChimp to for our email blasts. A group of us that connected during the Digital Strategy track also still keep in touch!

Why should people donate to the 2015 NTEN Community Challenge to support opportunities such as NTC/LCS scholarships?
Donating to the NTC/LCS scholarship fund is important because there are so many nonprofit organizations doing such great work that might not be able to devote funds to professional development. Through the NTC and the LCS, participants can learn tools and strategies that make their work more efficient, enabling them to devote more time and resources to fulfilling their missions.

Special thanks to Ray for putting tech to work for social change at her nonprofit, and huge thanks to all who helped make her experience at the 14LCS possible!

This season, we’re trying to raise $50,000  through the 2015 NTEN Community Challenge to give more people like Ray 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.