We are experiencing a new Los Angeles, one defined by extraordinary growth and a record number of start-up technology companies. The Annenberg Foundation is partnering with this growing tech sector to bring technology capacity-building to nonprofit organizations in the greater L.A. region through the Alchemy pilot program.
Since 2006, the Annenberg Foundation has provided capacity building and leadership training programs for nonprofit leaders from small to midsize nonprofit organizations through its Alchemy program. Over the past 10 years, Annenberg Alchemy has evolved to meet the needs of the nonprofit sector. Today, technology is transforming how we all live and work, and nonprofit leaders must understand how to effectively use technology to advance their mission. In realizing the size and scope of technology challenges facing nonprofit organizations, the Annenberg Foundation in partnership with NTEN offers this program focused exclusively on technology capacity building for nonprofits in the greater Los Angeles region.
Annenberg Alchemy Tech is a six-month, regionally based program for Alchemy Alumni who wish to strengthen their knowledge of technology best practices and move forward on a specific technology project that they identify through guidance and strategic feedback during the program.
Applications are closed until the 2022 cohort is announced.
How does it work?
Alchemy Tech combines online educational sessions and leadership development. Participants learn from nonprofit technology experts and receive guidance and training to support technology projects at their organizations. The educational sessions reflect the major departmental areas across an organization. This comprehensive training provides every participant, regardless of their current job, a full view of best practices, strategic decision-making processes, and knowledge for managing technologies in all areas of an organization.
Program orientation via web conference to answer questions, check everyone’s online access and account settings, and provide detailed information about the 6-month calendar.
Nonprofit Technology Conference
All cohort participants are provided with a free full registration to NTEN’s 21NTC virtual conference. There are no required sessions, but participants find the NTC’s energy and the many opportunities for jump-starting their learning to be of high value.
During the six-month cohort, participants engage in a variety of learning and coaching activities. NTR includes:
- Live Event Educational Series (months 1–5): a series of training sessions that cover the core competencies of technology planning, budgeting, implementation, and evaluation across an organization.
- Self-Paced Training Series (months 3–6): a series of self-paced sessions that cover additional competencies related to the topical focus of the cohort and best-practices.
- Workshops (months 4–6): dedicated working sessions to provide skill-building and networking while helping you advance your technology project planning.
- Leadership Development(months 3–6): facilitated process to coach you in providing project feedback, practicing, and modeling experiences you can replicate in your organizations.
- Technology Projects (months 1–6): coaching and support for your unique project that will make a critical and lasting impact on your programs, including direct support on project planning, culture change, and a successful path for implementation.
- Open Office Hours (months 1–6): Drop-in opportunities to get direct support.
Participants are invited to celebrate all that they have learned and worked on during the cohort, along with colleagues, board members, program contributors and coaches, and more. This virtual celebration includes inspiring guest speakers as well as time for participants to share their achievements.
The following are general topics covered during NTR. The final list varies as it’s tailored to each cohort’s needs. Additionally, new courses will be woven into the curriculum as they become available.
- IT Planning and Assessment.
- Using Tech to Streamline Operations.
- Digital Success for Nonprofits.
- Design Tools for Non-designers.
- Racial Equity and Tech Planning.
- Foundations for Successful Remote and Distributed Teams.
- IT Security Fundamentals.
- Leading with Technology Road Maps.
Alchemy Tech is a six-month program. Participants should anticipate 8-10 hours per month of program-related work.
Alchemy Tech is provided to participants free of charge. Travel and costs associated with the Nonprofit Technology Conference are supported by the Annenberg Foundation as part of the program.
Who should apply
Annenberg Alchemy+ alumni organizations who are interested in practical and tangible technology training and located in the 5-county region of greater Los Angeles. The five counties are Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, Ventura, and San Bernardino. Participants should be staff responsible for the advancement and implementation of a technology project at their organization. This may include staff from anywhere within an organization, but we do not include board members or volunteers.
In addition to the coaching, training, and support provided as part of the NTR cohort, participants receive access to all courses required to earn NTEN’s Nonprofit Technology Professional Certificate for free if they choose to pursue a certificate. Participants also receive continued access to all materials after the program is complete and continued access to the dedicated online community space.
Apply to Annenberg Alchemy Tech
Applications are closed until the fall 2021 cohort is announced.
What is Annenberg Alchemy Tech?
Annenberg Alchemy Tech is a program developed in partnership with NTEN that is focused exclusively on technology capacity building for Alchemy+ alumni organizations in the greater L.A. region. Alchemy Tech, powered by NTEN, is for nonprofit organizations that wish to strengthen their knowledge of technology best practices and move forward on a specific technology project. The program is divided into two terms with a mix of the curriculum delivered by Faculty as well as participant-driven content. Events and activities are both synchronous and asynchronous, online, and in-person. The majority of the activity happens via regular online training events. Through this program, each participant will identify a technology challenge, project idea, or technological need from their organization. They will benefit from six months of technology training, support, and feedback with a goal towards implementation.
What criteria determine eligibility and acceptance?
To be eligible for Alchemy Tech, your 501(c)(3) organization must be located in the 5-county region of greater Los Angeles (Orange, Los Angeles, Riverside, Ventura, and San Bernardino), be alumni of Annenberg Alchemy+, have at least two full-time staff, and complete the Alchemy Tech application. Additionally, you must be able to participate in all of the online courses, the two in-person workshops, and the closing event and attend the NTC in Baltimore, MD March 24-26, 2020.
Who is Annenberg Alchemy Tech best suited for? Who from my organization should participate?
Annenberg Alchemy+ alumni based in the greater Los Angeles region who are interested in practical and tangible technology training are good candidates. Participants should be staff responsible for the advancement and implementation of a technology project at their organization. This may include an Executive Director, manager (IT, marketing, operations), or even a board member.
What kind of projects should I plan to work on?
Technology projects should not be designed around specific software. Projects should have a strategic and practical impact across the entire organization and can include (but are not limited to): Leadership: Culture and Change Management, Digital Strategy, Social Media, IT Planning, Data Management, Metrics and Evaluation, and Fundraising Campaigns. If you have questions about a project you’d like to focus on during an Annenberg Alchemy Tech cohort, please email NTEN’s Chief Program Officer, Ash Shepherd.
What is the cost?
Alchemy Tech is provided to participants free of charge. Any travel and costs associated with the Nonprofit Technology Conference are supported by the Annenberg Foundation as part of the program.
Do I have to be an NTEN Member to participate?
No. Alchemy Tech is open to Alchemy+ alumni organizations in the 5-county region of greater Los Angeles (Orange, Los Angeles, Riverside, Ventura, and San Bernardino).
When does the program take place?
The six-month Annenberg Alchemy Tech Fall cohort will start with participation in a program orientation in fall 2021. Term I will follow and Term 2 will be in spring 2022.
How is the program delivered?
Alchemy Tech is delivered through a mix of on and offline educational programs, training, and workshops by NTEN faculty and tech partners in L.A. As a cohort, participants have a private online group for discussions and file sharing. Regular webinars, expert feedback sessions, and regular group discussions will take place mostly online and by phone. In-person workshops will be planned to enhance and support learning.
How much time will this program take?
Alchemy Tech is a six-month program. During Term I (the first 10 weeks), participants can expect to spend 3-4 hours each week with educational programs online and homework materials. The remainder of the cohort period, Term II, is spent incubating, supporting, and advancing projects, so much of the time commitment depends on the type of and depth of your project. We recommend expecting anywhere from 3-4 hours per month.
Is participation in the full six months required?
Yes. In order to ensure all participants and their organizations benefit from the program and are positioned for success, all participants are required to commit to the full six months. We recognize that there are naturally times during which participation may be limited by other priorities for your organization. The cohort is designed to accommodate times when participants may be more or less available.
What happens after the six months?
We encourage Alchemy Tech “graduates” to share experiences, feedback, and lessons learned with participants in future cohorts. We will also create opportunities for Annenberg Alchemy Tech graduates to have access to events, workshops, training, and other opportunities to continue learning into the future.
What is the value of participating?
Participating in Alchemy Tech provides technology capacity building with the inclusion of the 10-week technology management course, as well as access to technology experts and service providers in L.A. and beyond. Annenberg Alchemy Tech connects participants with a rich network of peers, faculty members, and potential collaborators. Completing Annenberg Alchemy Tech qualifies participants for discounted registration rates for future NTEN conferences.
How will this help my organization?
Alchemy Tech is designed so that participants can bring a technology challenge, project idea, or need from their organization to the cohort and benefit from six months of support, feedback, and training towards a solution.
Does my enrollment in Annenberg Alchemy Tech improve my chances of receiving future grants from the Annenberg Foundation?
No. Alchemy Tech is not associated with the Annenberg Foundation’s grantmaking in any way. However, the goal is that your participation in Alchemy Tech training will improve the ability of your organization to compete for resources from many funding sources.
If you have questions about Annenberg Alchemy Tech, please email NTEN’s Chief Program Officer, Ash Shepherd.