Tag: 20NTC

It’s time to shape the educational agenda for the 2020 Nonprofit Technology Conference (20NTC)! Over 600 proposals were submitted this year, so we need your help deciding which ones will become sessions next March in Baltimore. You can review all the proposals and select your favorites through August 30.

Each year we try to improve the selection process based on community feedback. Here’s a quick summary of what’s new for 20NTC.

Clean-up week

This year we added a week between when proposals closed and when we open for community input to do some high-level review and clean up of proposals. For the past week we’ve been:

  • Adjusting appropriate category and tag assignments
  • Removing inappropriate language
  • Fixing significant formatting errors (copy and paste gone awry)

Goodbye, voting. Hello, favoriting.

Input from the community has always been central to selecting sessions for the NTC, but it’s not the sole decider. Public input is 60% of a final weighted score with the remaining 40% coming from the Session Advisory Committee. Even with this final score, creating a balanced agenda within and across each of the categories can mean a proposal voted on by many people may still not be accepted for a variety of reasons.

In recent years, we heard that displaying the public vote count reinforced the mistaken belief that it was all that determined if a session was selected. To help address this, we’re implementing two changes:

  1. Instead of voting for a proposal, we’re asking you to choose your favorites. You’re not committing to attend them if they’re selected to be sessions. We’re just asking you to think about which topics would be relevant, practical, and of high quality to conference attendees.
  2. We’re not displaying how many times a proposal is favorited. Since there’s not a direct correlation between community input and session selection, we’ve stopped implying this process is voting for sessions.

Community input on final selection

The last step in session selection is ensuring there is a balanced agenda within and across topic categories. We’ll also make sure any critical topics are not missing from the lineup. If so, we’ll hold spots for these topics and seek to fill them. To increase opportunities for community input in our process, the Session Advisory Committee will be included in this final step as well.

If you have any questions about the community input process then please feel free to email us. Otherwise, you have until Friday, August 30 to review the proposals. Start favoriting today!

The 20NTC session selection process is underway with over 600 proposals submitted! However, we want to share that we made a mistake and have learned from the experience.

We require that anyone submitting a session have an “Organization” affiliation listed in their profile. Our guidelines include session application limits for individuals and teams or organizations to avoid having large organizations overrepresented. We failed to include enough information in the proposal support materials and on the proposal page that you could list an entity you work for, your name, or anything else that makes sense for your work. We do not require that people have to work for an established organization to submit sessions. But we see now how unclear and confusing that was in this year’s proposal process.

Learning, changing, improving, and doing so transparently is part of NTEN’s values. We are sorry to all those who felt excluded from the session proposal process this year because of the affiliation requirement. We appreciate the community member who took the time and energy to bring this to our attention.

We have already made notes and decisions around how to improve this so that you’ll see a clearer direction next year. And for anyone who experienced this and would like to discuss it further, please feel free to email me. Onward!

We’re excited to tell you session proposals are open for the 2020 Nonprofit Technology Conference (20NTC) happening in Baltimore MD, March 24–26, 2020! This includes proposals for both educational sessions and Ignites.

Proposals are accepted from July 8 to August 11.

If you’re familiar with our community-driven process, please take a minute to learn what has changed for 20NTC.

You can always find all the information you need regarding process, requirements, and more by visiting the 20NTC Session Proposal Guidelines & FAQs.

As always, there are a few things to keep in mind as you craft your proposals. Here are some resources and suggestions to help get you started.

Suggested topics

Based on feedback from the last NTC and input from the current Session Advisory Committee, we provided a list of suggested topics. Proposals are in no way required to adhere to what is suggested in these lists. They are provided as a way of sharing what the community (and those that will be sharing input on your proposals) have indicated they see as priority topics. View the 20NTC Suggested Topics.

Highlight diverse perspectives

NTEN has a strong commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion and sessions are expected to be aligned with this focus. Your proposal should clearly articulate a diverse range of voices, perspectives, and content to help it find wide support both with the community and the Session Advisory Committee, which will be using this as one of their review criteria.

Be clear who is a good fit

With anywhere from 15 to 20 concurrent sessions attendees have a lot to choose from in terms of sessions. The more you can clarify in your session title and description who is the right fit for your session the better your chances of getting support for selection and the right audience in the room at the event.

An obvious focus on the practical application

Attendees are looking for tips, strategies, and tools they can put to use immediately. Ensuring your session proposal has a clear connection to practical application goes a long way in terms of building support for your session.

Nonprofit perspective included

Each session is required to include a nonprofit perspective, with the exception of the short format sessions. Making it clear in your proposal how this is already included or how you intend to include it will be important to be both considered for and move forward if your session is selected.

Know the guidelines

Sessions at the NTC have guidelines for what goes into creating the high-quality experience attendees have come to expect. Ensuring your proposals clearly meet these guidelines increases your likelihood of building community support and selection. Please review the guidelines.

Who should submit a proposal?

Submissions are open to the public, regardless of NTEN membership status or previous participation within the NTEN community. We strongly encourage individuals and organizations who have not presented at an NTC and those from underrepresented communities and perspectives to submit proposals.

Get support from NTEN and the community

There are multiple ways you can find support throughout the proposal process, including open offices hours and a peer review community group. Get the full details in the Guidelines and FAQ resource.

Want more information?

Join us for a community call, Tuessday, July 9. We’ll share details on the overall process and what happens when a proposal moves into the various stages of the selection process. We’ll also answer any other questions you have about how you can be part of building the educational program for 20NTC.

You can also always reach out to us at training@nten.org with any specific questions.

In a little over a week, we open the community-driven process to gather session proposals for the 2020 Nonprofit Technology Conference (20NTC), held in Baltimore, MD.

Session proposals open on July 8, 2019.

As always, we look for opportunities to continually evolve the conference based on attendee and speaker feedback, lessons learned, and new ideas we want to pilot. Here are the key changes and updates you can expect at 20NTC.

Continued Focus on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

NTEN continues to emphasize diversity, equity, and inclusion at the conference, including the proposal and session selection process. This year there will be a field on the proposal form that allows you to share how your session will directly support these efforts. The Session Advisory Committee will continue using this as part of their criteria as well and there will be new fields providing opportunities to share this type of information about your proposal during the community input part of the process.


Ignites are your opportunity to present from the main stage in front of 2,200 of your peers. In previous years applications to present an Ignite opened after the main session selection process was complete. Beginning this year, applications will be accepted during the same period of time as other sessions proposals. However, Ignites will continue to go through an internal review process only and will not be part of the public input process

An Expanded Presence of Short-Form Sessions

At 19NTC we piloted the use of a 30 min format to add both some variety to session formats and address the natural lull that comes directly after lunch. The response from both attendees and presenters was so positive that we’re extending the shorter format session to all three days. This means more unique sessions for attendees to choose from overall.

Community-Driven Sessions

As part of our continued exploration on better ways to include community-driven sessions to be more integrated with the rest of the program, we are exploring a new option this year. Rather than happening during lunch times, competing with educational sessions or only on the pre-conference day, we will be run community-driven events (such as Connect Sessions) in the late afternoons over the course of the three days of the conference. By making this shift, we will be putting our community-driven sessions in parallel with other community type event times rather than opposite them.

Session Advisory Committee — Final Review

The Session Advisory Committee will be adding an additional layer of review to the final selection of sessions. Historically, their votes are aggregated with community input to create a final score which is then used to build the final agenda. Beginning this year they will also look over the final selection to offer insights into missing key topics and the overall balance of topics within their assigned category.

Have additional questions or want to learn more? Join us for a free community call on July 9.

Applications are now open for the 20NTC Session Advisory Committee. The committee plays a critical role both in selecting education sessions for 20NTC and supporting NTEN’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion throughout the entire community-driven proposal process.

Would you like to have a part in shaping the agenda for 20NTC? Apply to the Session Advisory Committee today!

Deadline: Applications accepted until May 22.

Check out the application page for full details and to complete the application form.