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20NTC Session Proposal

What It Looks Like When an Online Community Works


Both Ceres and NetSquared manage online communities. Ceres manages a network of investors engaging corporations on issues from environmental practices to social justice. NetSquared is a global network of volunteer-led meetups dedicated to building the digital capacity of nonprofits. They use different online community tools for different outcomes, but both online communities are central to how they achieve their missions.

Learn about the methods both organizations are using to power supporter collaboration. Find out what has made both communities successful, lessons learned along the way, and how to judge what tools your online community needs.

Learning Outcomes

  • Understand how to gauge the use case for an online community platform
  • Describe what a successful online community project looks like
  • Understand the pros and cons of different online community tools


Karen Uffelman


Percolator Consulting

In her twenty-year career, Karen has mounted large theater productions, worked on local and regional political campaigns, managed fundraising teams and lobbied at the World Health Assembly in Geneva on international policy. For the last decade, she’s been consulting with nonprofit organizations on the creative and strategic use of technology for social change.

Karen has partnered with organizations such as Greenpeace, SEIU, and The Mountaineers, helping them think through their best and most critical engagement opportunities and challenges. She is expert at shepherding clients through big changes to engagement and mobilization practices as well as the adoption of technology to power those practices. In past lives, she was the Director of Client Strategy at Groundwire, the Development Director for Corporate Accountability International, Managing Director of Washington Conservation Voters, and Producer and General Manager of New City Theater.

Elijah van der Giessen

Community Manager


Eli strives to be a connector – the interstitial tissue that holds the muscle of a community together. He’s been a volunteer manager, an event organizer and a digital campaigner. Basically he’ll take any gig that allows him to enable a group of passionate people to create things they love.

Currently he’s the NetSquared Community Manager supporting a global volunteer network of 120 monthly meetups for the nonprofit technology sector. Together they hold over 800 events per year.

Ryan Hollett

Information Systems Manager


Ryan oversees the coordination and usage of IT systems at Ceres, including database, productivity and communication systems. Ryan joined Ceres in the spring of 2018 after 4 years with Scholar Athletes as Information Systems Manager.

Previously Ryan worked in various nonprofit and education settings, including direct service for juvenile delinquents in NYC and STEM curriculum design for Emirati youth in the United Arab Emirates.

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March 15, 2019


10:30am – 11:45am

CFRE Credits

NFR - 1.25

Collaborative Notes

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Session Evaluation

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