21NTC Session

Everywhere Automation can be Implemented in Your Nonprofit


Every attendee at this session has technology in their organization that has functionality to create programmatic automations — but how many are using this functionality to its full extent? While new donation processes likely have some workflows associated with them, what other business processes could be automated to reduce manual effort on the part of staff? How do the state-of-the-art automation systems work, and what are the best practices in defining, creating, testing, rolling out and maintaining them? While at first blush, this topic may seem ordinary — participants will leave with a new appreciation of how extraordinary and powerful workflow and automation technology is, how easy it can be to set up, and a list of starter concepts to bring back to their nonprofits. We cover tips and tricks; what to watch out for as you leave routine tasks to computers so staff can stay focused on strategic imperatives.

Session Type

30 minute session

Learning Outcomes

  • What systems (AMS, CRM, Office, other) have functionality for automation included?
  • What are automations / workflows / triggers and how do they work?
  • Concepts for consideration of nonprofit business processes that are appropriate for automation

Target Audience

IT and program decision makers




Lisa Rau



Dr. Lisa Rau: Dr. Lisa Rau is a co-founder of Fionta (renamed from Confluence in March, 2017). She has over thirty years of professional experience in the information technology industry, with the last 20 focused on supporting nonprofits with their technology.
Dr. Rau is a well-known leader in the nonprofit technology field. She specializes in the development of specific concepts, vision and direction for the strategic use of technology within nonprofits from a holistic, organizational perspective. Dr. Rau attended UC Berkeley in the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Department, receiving a BS in EECS and MS in Computer Science before starting a research career at General Electric’s Corporate Research and Development Center. While leading a group of groundbreaking researchers in NLP and AI at GE CRD, she completed her Ph.D. in Computer Science. She was awarded a prestigious National Science Foundation Visiting Professorship award and taught Computer Science at the University of Pennsylvania.
Dr. Rau lectures widely as a thought leader and instructor, speaker and trainer on nonprofit technology topics. Recent and upcoming presentations can be found at https://fionta.com/conferences/. Prior to founding Fionta, from 1993-2001, Lisa was a senior executive at a commercial information technology services firm. She has been an instructor with a number of nonprofit-focused programs: Tidewater Community College’s Academy for Nonprofit Excellence, the Center for Nonprofit Advancement’s Learning and Leadership Institute, and the Masters in Nonprofit Management program (Antioch University in LA). She has served as a peer reviewer for the Maryland Nonprofits’ Standards of Excellence.



March 24, 2021


9:45am – 10:15am