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NTEN Change Issue Four: December, 2011

NTEN Change Issue Four: December, 2011



NTEN "Change" is a free resource from NTEN: The Nonprofit Technology Network. Subscribe for free to access the interactive version (with live links, plus video and a podcast) at ...

NTEN "Change" is a free resource from NTEN: The Nonprofit Technology Network. Subscribe for free to access the interactive version (with live links, plus video and a podcast) at http://nten.org/ntenchange.

This version is in PDF format and missing the fun "extras"! My contribution to the December, 2011 issue is found on page 26.



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    NTEN Change Issue Four: December, 2011 NTEN Change Issue Four: December, 2011 Presentation Transcript

    • ISSUE FOUR · DECEMBER, 2011 chanGe A Quarterly Journal for Nonprofit Leaders inside Feature: Multiple this Constituent Groups, One Database? How To Track edition: Everyone Who’s Anyone to You PAGE 12 Tracking CASE STUDY: Constituents in One System Fight Colorectal Cancer PAGE 18 Tracking CASE STUDY: Constituents in Two Systems Sarah’s... An Oasis for Women PAGE 20feature story: from CASE STUDY:Trackingoutcomes to impact Constituents in ManyPlus: A Case Study from Greenlights for Nonprofit Success Systems[ PAGE 4 ] Earthjustice PAGE 22
    • inside: ISSUE FOUR · DECEMBER, 2011 plus: What’s Hot/What’s This?: Google+, Theory of Change, Livestreaming pages 16, 19, 21 Infographic: Mapping Your Website Ecosystem page 23 Leadership Cheat Sheet:DIY Nonprofit Technology Tech Across Your Org Calling Dr. Nerd? page 43NTEN experts translate Inspiration and examplesbest practices into step- for the expanding role of Community Question:by-step directions tech at your org Is Your Org Failure-Friendly? page 41 PAGE 29 PAGE 25 Feedback: How Are We Doing? page 30 Infographic: The 2011 Nonprofit Industry page 45 Video: Cloud for Nonprofits page 35 Tech Tips for EDs: 5 Must- Have Tools page 40 All content is producedThe “Ask Deborah” Podcast Leader Profiles and submitted independently from,The CTK Educational How do you lead your org and without influence by, sponsors orSeries presents Deborah through change? advertisers. All content is published under the Creative Commons License: Attribution-Elizabeth Finn NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported. PAGE 17 PAGE 36
    • WELCOME by ANNALIESE HOEHLING managing change at their organizations, and you won’t want to miss the Leadership Cheat Sheet. Find inspiration in our Techfrom the editor Across Your Org articles, and give your eyes a rest while listening to the askDebo-There has been a lot of talk lately about how much data rah podcast. And there’s even more!the world is producing and consuming now—in this year Thank you for subscribing to NTEN:alone, we’ll have created the equivalent of 57.5 billion Change, A Quarterly Journal for Nonprofit Leaders – and if you have a few minutes,32 GB iPods worth, according to Mashable. please tell us what you think of it.And we’re doubling our data every two years. This issue of If you found your way to this journal onNTEN:Change provides some strategic guidance for how the web or from a friend and want to learn more and sub-your nonprofit can turn all that data into impact. scribe (for free!), please visit us online here: In our feature article from Julie Macalik and Greenlights http://nten.org/NTENChange NONPRO FIT TECHNO LOGY LEA DER PROFILEfor Nonprofit Success, you’ll get direction for, well, turning S Each parti cipating orga Annaliese Hoehling, Publications tive Dire nization is ctor technology-re (or non-technica represented by the l Leadersh Execu-your data into direction. The article tackles the questions: from Acad sponsible ip staff ) emy parti staff pers and one cipan on. In this QUESTIO ts in their section we N: How own word hear organiza much of s. tion is the tech mission focused nology vs. on help at your What obst just keeping inghow can you make sure your organization is achieving your Director, NTEN, annaliese@nten.org I THE NO NPROFIT help you acles are in the t’s diffic running. We achieve ult to your miss ing us mee say how much tech t our miss our website depend on email your orga you meet you way of ion? ion vs. just nization technolo running? gy that nology is focu can r keeping our sed on help- organizat LEADER TECHNO for day works. Our and social media keep to day operating ion SHIP AC LOGY organization’ s us , while ADEMY I’ve come s operating in touch with ourdesired outcome? How can your data help you make better WEEK ON to realize budget is net- IS A since we that finan minimal, LIN E TRAIN 9- homes, it are a 100% volunteer ce is not the limiting but DESIGNE ING PROG is orga growing orgatime that is the limit nization working factor— D TO RAM ing facto from our HELP NO use of tech nization, and we r. We are LEADER NPROFIT nolo need that one cruc gy. The Tech Acad to constantly evol a young, S UNDE MANAGE RSTAND new tech ial factor is training, emy has helped me ve our HOW TO nolo our organizat gy, and ensure therewhich will help adop realizeorganizational decisions? And Idealware’s feature article FEATURE L MEET TH NEEDS TECHNO EIR BA AND ME LOGY TO SIC OP ET THEIR BOTH ERATION AL MISSIONS CASE runn STU ike many DY BY CHR Educate others, our IS BER Kate Skeg Dare to d! Latina tech NARD, IDEA ion to take g, Social Dream: Confere nce Get responsib are more ility Media Man for our technolo ager tion skilled peop of le in gy use. . futurtheir ing. cleswe build foun nology mainly keepwill help you work through the tough decisions about col- Measuring e arti As “In my LWARE for tech ’ how man nolo URLs and dation we y peogy that can then trac are looking ple clic ked improve our se link to the k the about the mind, I need on them. systems,scomsee s the org to mu- Your Socia percen press and buil lots and lots of Discover NTEN: Change t,” d NTEN: watchin she said. “Ho that audienc people to care CHANG g our foll e to get 2011 E · SEPTEM Success l Media nestly, BER to · PAGE 28 at this What owers point we’ that 10 them, or content is wor go up.” re justlecting and tracking data about your constituents: who do click to kin depth, the org see mo g to inspire peo by com anizatio re? To ple to foll par n assi analyze ow and Twi ing the SF Pub gned an inte that more in- Discover a wealth of tter wit outlets h that of lic Press’s acti rn to research . similar vity on it By Andrea “We wan organiz Fac Berry ted to wat ations and ebook Director of term loo media ch Part how man sely—to see how our competyou need to collect data about? Who else? Should you track valuable information for and Learning nerships for Idealwar e retweeti y times they wer many times s—I’m usin found that traffic. to some ng others’ For wha oth con top e retweete itor like tha they wer hot-button tent, things d, how often posting, tever reas ics and open-e t,” she said others wer er topics. I on, people don d polls got “We what we e doing, and wanted nde to sort ’t seem to resp e e they wer . mor g that e the info to try to rmation out wha figure t be the would tho the of qua ond balance best The org ught was hap numbers we reco ntify whatthem all in one place? You’ll even get an exercise to use for nonprofit leaders the dat on our anizatio a that’s soc been gath pen n is still ing.” trying to dec convers ial media team ered. “We hav ide how to act ers do, atio erently,” we are she said to help e to do diff ns about that , and I’ve ask a couple of peo on ed them us decide doing alre . “A lot of wha what we’re rded rein the to have forced ple some point do We don While —at wh people ’t want much mothis is a good at get con fuse to overwh d about wha star elm our said. “Bu had a better sen ld be trackin she kn t’s followe com wish we re data she cou t, LaHood said rs.” it a littl t it’s pur se g and mea e. going ely reso of what andyour own organization’s decision process. ady. We t we’re more.” “On Tw just may see In been pos itter more be need ing oth- ure how particular, it urces how to tha to tweak many peo would be that keep us tities we ting content from n Facebook, nate—w ho fou ple com particu larl fr think wou other new for examp “We exis nd the org e to events— y useful ld be of le, anizatio or ulti interest s orgs or other we’ve public t bec O Read Online: Bookmark this ,” she said loca interest ause we’re servn through soc ma . “We’re l en- withou t journa lism ing this ial m using give.” funding. We wan ,” she said mission t the con , “but we The data theme continues in some of the other sections page in your browser now! NTEN CHANGE SEPTEMB ER 2011 · PAGE 14 NTEN tent to : CHAN inspire GE · SEPTE can pe MBER 2011 · PAof this issue as well, including the DIY articles on taking O Download & Print: Find the button to downloadcontrol of your data and turning data into stories about your the issue to PDF, or use the button to print up!cause; and don’t forget to read the case studies of how threeorganizations are collecting and tracking data. O Access on Your Mobile: Open the url on your smart- phone or mobile device—use “zoom” mode to help with But this issue isn’t just about data. Be sure to read what readability!our Leadership Academy graduates have to say about NTEN: CHANGE · DECEMBER 2011 · PAGE 3
    • naviGation tipsGetting to Articles Online:• Click on the titles in the table of contents to go directly to those articles• Find the drop-down menu in the upper-left of the top navigation bar to jump to articles from anywhere in the journal• You can also use the arrows in the center of the top navigation bar to advance a single page or to jump to the front or back of the issue (click on the page number display in the middle to select a page number to jump to).Reading Off-line:• Use the to the right to download to PDF• Or use the to print selected pages (or the entire issue)Interacting with the Articles Online:• Use the button on in the top navigation bar to zoom in on text for easier reading• You can also use the sliding zoom tool in the upper-right to increase and decrease the zoom by increments• You can switch to single-page view for easier reading—just click on the top navigation bar• Some text will “flash” when you first turn to a page. That is a live link to more information on the web. bonus tip: right-click those links and choose to open in a new window or tab, so you can keep the article open as well.Share with Colleagues:• Use in the upper-right on the top navigation bar to open the drop-down menu of your share options NTEN: CHANGE · DECEMBER 2011 · PAGE 4
    • FEATUREFromOutcomesto Impact A bird’s eye view of the nonprofit sector gives us a two-dimensional view only: inputs and outputs. Raising money and spending money. If we dug deeper, however, we would see that there has been a shift in emphasis on whether nonprofit programs are really making a difference. By Julie Macalik Plus: A Case Study provided by Greenlights for Nonprofit Success NTEN: CHANGE · DECEMBER 2011 · PAGE 5
    • OUTCOMES TO IMPACTEfficiency and effectiveness are indicators of success, butthey cannot replace true impact. Outcomes focus onwhether programs are really impacting the community. more on the degree to which the meals served by the foodOutcomes measurement is an excellent tool to measure bank reduced hunger in the population served by the foodprogress toward meeting your mission, but what if you were bank and partner agencies. The output is what the nonprofitable to take that one step further and position your organi- agency did; the outcome is the ultimate result they achievedzation for long-term success? at the end of the day: in other words, how the world is dif- A nonprofit can track its outputs by counting the num- ferent because they exist.bers of people served or the numbers of units of service pro- This type of measurement allows organizations tovided. While critical and valuable, outputs tend to focus on increase their capacity to evaluate the extent to which theythe actual “outputs” that come from organizational activi- are achieving their intended results and create a plan toties (e.g. numbers served) and are only one type of metric. measure their programs. Outcomes evaluation looks at theThese are the most basic measures of what a nonprofit does. impacts and benefits to clients during and after participa-An example of an output is “48,000 different individuals tion in your programs.receive emergency food assistance from the Capital Area Measuring ImpactFood Bank in any given week.” The first step in starting to measure your impact is to iden- There are many uses for the data generated from output tify the major outcomes that you want to examine. In ordermeasurement; however, many organizations track this to be successful in this step you will need full managementinformation because they are required to and because it is support and a dedicated key project lead for your team. Thisfairly simple to collect. Nonprofits are often accountable to person will take the helm on laying out tasks in a sequence,foundations and other grant-making organizations that informing other staff of theirmeasure this information for program reporting require-ments. But in order to better tell your story, everyone in output is roles and assignments, and providing assistance to peo-your organization should understand how these numbers WHAT YOU DID. ple as they complete theirare related to the overall effectiveness and quality of your parts of the evaluation. Theprograms. OUTCOME IS standard nonprofit data An example of an outcome for Capital Area Food Bankmight go something like this: “Our programs and services WHAT HAPPENS points come from fundrais- ing, communications, pro-reduced the number of families who went hungry by pro-viding food and grocery products to more than 355 Partner AS A RESULT OF grams, and finance, so consider these sources whenAgencies in 21 Central Texas counties.” This metric focuses WHAT YOU DID. gathering your team. For NTEN: CHANGE · DECEMBER 2011 · PAGE 6
    • OUTCOMES TO IMPACTexample, a representative from the fundraising departmentcan make sure you consider when your funders’ reporting Interviews and focus groups - The desired outcome ofcycles are so that you are producing outcome measurement this type of method is to solicit data without any influenceresults at a time that aligns with their requests for infor- or bias. This also allows you to develop a relationship withmation about your programs. Also, those most directly clients or other key stakeholders and get a full range andaffected should provide meaningful participation, so don’t depth of information. One benefit of focus groups is theforget about your front-line staff directly involved in pro- ability for participants to feed off each other’s energy andviding services. bounce ideas off one another. Consider using an outside Next you will want to select the outcomes that you want facilitator to help develop questions and protocol and toto examine and prioritize them. For each outcome, specify help identify themes from your data.what observable measures, or indicators, will suggest that Documentation Review - Looking at internal recordsyou’re achieving that key outcome for impact. After you like applications, forms, procedures, and finances allowshave made your selection you can then identify what infor- you to get an impression of how programs operate withoutmation is needed to show these indicators. There are many interruption and identify new methods of collection.types of technology and other management tools available Databases - Nonprofitsto assist in this process, and now is the time to take stock ofyour technology and the tools you are going to use to track can use these tools to track O read this articleyour data. Decide how information can be efficiently and data in real time and report about creatingrealistically gathered utilizing the different methods that on results. Internally they your nonprofitare best for your organization including: can assist in managing per- dashboard formance at the departmen- O view this recorded Surveys - Consider what fea- tal or affiliate-level using webinar abouttures you will need. If you’re just O find out more dashboards and benchmark data, dashboards,looking to get your feet wet with about online progress over time. and tracking anda quick survey, one of the many survey options After the data is collected, reporting on yourfree or low cost online tools will here. organize the information outcomesdo the trick. In fact, a more into similar categories (i.e.sophisticated survey package could be considerably more concerns, suggestions,difficult to use. On the other hand, if you’re looking for sur- strengths, etc.). From here you can identify patterns andvey software to support rigorous research, the more themes to help you categorize and analyze data according toadvanced packages are more likely to have the features you the indicators for each outcome.need. NTEN: CHANGE · DECEMBER 2011 · PAGE 7
    • OUTCOMES TO IMPACTDevelop a PlanNow that you’ve gathered and analyzed your data, you canbegin to develop your strategic plan. When it comes to Goals that are specific are far more likely to bebrainstorming goals, keep it simple. Four to six meaty,well-defined goals will be plenty to keep your organiza-tion busy (with meaningful, impactful work, of course)over the next three to five years. It’s healthy to dream bigwhen goal-setting, encouraged even, but when it’s time to S Specific achieved than general ones. Know the answers to the following questions (among others): What resources will be needed to accomplish this goal? Who will be involved? How will this impact other programs and services?put pen to paper (or perhaps more accurately, fingers to For each goal, include specific criteria for measuring Mthe keyboard), SMART goals are best. your progress and ultimately, achievement. ConcreteImplementation metrics help reassure you that you’re headed in theWith your strategic plan in hand, teeming with SMART right direction and, more importantly, give you agoals, you’re now well-positioned for the implementation Measureable clear indication of when a goal has been accom-phase. In short, implementation equals action. This does- plished.n’t mean that you have to lose the thoughtful, intentional A Set goals that you can actually accomplish in a finitequality of the planning process. A plan that outlines spe- period of time, but don’t sell your organization shortcific objectives and tasks toward achieving your goals is aplan that will position your organization for long-term when it comes to goal-setting. Encourage “stretchsuccess. The process of data gathering and long-term Achievable goals” that will require you to grow and develop inplanning can be an intense one, but there is an opportu- order to achieve them.nity to build on that momentum during the implementa- Realistic goals are closely linked to achievable ones.tion phase. Below are several keys to success forimplementation Hold each other accountable. Many nonprofits chargea subcommittee of people with leading the planningprocess. This group is not responsible for all of the plan- RRealistic Think about the likelihood of your goals actually being completed in the timeframe you have designated, not only in terms of resources available, but also con- sidering your current board and staff capacity.ning; rather, they are responsible for keeping the process If your answer to, “When can we realistically accom-moving forward. Implementation is no exception. A smalltask force gives board and staff a primary point of contactfor both questions along the way and progress reportingtoward your goals. T Timebound plish this goal?” is, “Someday…” then your goal is not timebound. Set goals with a specific target end date, as well as check points along the way to maintain excitement and momentum. NTEN: CHANGE · DECEMBER 2011 · PAGE 8
    • OUTCOMES TO IMPACT Implement in increments. Planning for your organiza-tion’s future can be exciting, and often organizations findthemselves tasked with completing 80% of the work fortheir 3-year plan during the first year. Don’t be a hero! CASE STUDY:Strategic plans are long-term for a reason. Space out your IMPACT IN PRACTICEobjectives and tasks in a way that makes sense, and imple- As organizations continue to recognize the increasedment incrementally. Also, consider sequence when plotting importance being placed on demonstrated impact, they areout tasks related to your goals. For each objective ask: responding to this shift by rethinking the way they do things.“What needs to happen first before we can move forward? One example is Greenlights for Nonprofit Success, a Man- Stay flexible. Long-term planning is valuable, but the agement Support Organization (MSO) in Austin, TX, thatreality most of us face in the nonprofit sector is one that serves a five-county area in Central Texas. A nonprofit itself,includes frequent change and many moving parts, from its mission is to strengthen nonprofits for extraordinary per-grant funding cycles to legislative changes. Know that your formance and impact.plan is a blueprint for moving forward, but just as you’re In its own strategic planning process in 2010, Greenlightsfree to decide that you don’t really need that fourth bath- developed a priority goal of increasing the impact and effec-room, so too are you free to update your organizational tiveness of individual nonprofits and the Central Texas non-blueprint to accommodate changes that come your way. profit sector. As a step toward achieving that goal, the Measure success as you go. Keep track of your progress organization has begun developing a consulting practice areaalong the way, both in qualitative and quantitative ways. in performance measurement and impact evaluation as a wayThis is helpful for keeping your board and staff engaged and of helping other nonprofits measure and communicate theirinspired along the way, and it’s also a great way to commu- impact to key stakeholders.nicate with your funders, the community, and other key Explore Austin, a recent client of Greenlights, is an organ-stakeholders. ization that immerses at-risk inner-city youth into a six-year The bottom line is organizations need to set aside time to program that combines mentoring with outdoor explorationgather data, learn from the results, and reflect on the meas- to build confidence, character, and a sense of responsibilityure of progress. Doing so will help the organization achieve for themselves and their communities. Their consistent focusbetter results and assist in future planning. Preparation and on program success had led to success for participants quicklyplanning is a key part of the outcome measurement process. after its 2006 founding, but the organization’s own opera-The better the planning, the more impact the outcome tional excellence was not on their radar.measurement will have on your organization and your orga- As Explore Austin matured and started reaching more youngnization’s impact. people, it recognized a need to begin focusing on developing NTEN: CHANGE · DECEMBER 2011 · PAGE 9
    • OUTCOMES TO IMPACTthe organization itself, and accordingly asked Greenlights toconduct a comprehensive evaluation and assessment and makeaccompanying recommendations to provide objective, usefuldata upon which to base key decisions that could strengthenthe program model and guide the development of infrastruc-ture that needed to be in place for future growth. Greenlights presented a diagnostic report, logic model, andproposed evaluation model to Explore Austin, which usedthese materials as a guide moving forward. Within months,they drafted and approved new board member roles andresponsibilities prior to recruiting new board members. Alsobased on the recommendations, Explore Austin implementednew risk management policies and procedures, redesigned itsWeb site and promotional materials, and created a formal com-munication structure with its partners. Explore Austin hired new staff, moved into a new office, andadded database/fundraising infrastructure and necessary pro- ONLINE RESOURCESgrams. In addition, the organization created a comprehensive, • More overview and resources from Civicbuilding-block curriculum and enrolled staff in appropriate Partnerships on Strategic Planning and Measurementtraining. All of these decisions were based on the data and the • More resources on measuring outcomes from Theplan they developed through the assessment and strategic Nonprofit Outcomes Toolboxplanning process. • Free Assessment and Planning tools from the Explore Austin now has over 65 boys in the program, a 90% Innovation Networkincrease from previous years, and the board has also commit- • Understanding the difference between Outcomested to starting a program for at-risk girls. In addition, the num- and Outputs (a diagram and overview fromber of volunteer mentors has increased by 30%; the board of University of Wisconsin Extension)Directors has doubled in size; and donations have increased by • An Example of a Strategic Plan (Managanceover 50%. Consulting) Most importantly, however, parents, teachers, and studentsreport a higher level of confidence, satisfaction, and effec- • Another Sample/Template for a Strategic Plan (fromtiveness in the program. That is impact in practice. the Strategic Planning for Dummies book) NTEN: CHANGE · DECEMBER 2011 · PAGE 10
    • THE NEXTREVOLUTION ISREVOLUTIONTHE REVOLUTION REVOLUTIONOF FREE. FREE. FREE FREE FREE ONLINE FUNDRAISING TOOLS DONOR MANAGEMENT SOCIAL NETWORK FUNDRAISINGWelcome to the new generation of online fundraising. A generation that demands more for less. Over 35 free onlinefundraising tools, one central access point and free merchant bank account set up. Free changes everything. www.ClickandPledge.com | 866-999-2542
    • FEATUREMultiple ConstituentGroups, One Database?How to Track EveryoneWho’s Anyone to You By Laura Quinn, Idealware NTEN: CHANGE · DECEMBER 2011 · PAGE 12
    • TRACKING EVERYONESINCE MOST ORGANIZATIONSDON’T TRACK JUST ONE TYPE there may not be enough of an upside to a single database to make it worth your while. For many organizations, multi-OF CONSTITUENT, THE IDEA ple systems can be a better fit.OF A SINGLE DATABASE FOR But how do you determine which is the right solution for your nonprofit? We’ve designed a short exercise to help youALL OF THEM — DONORS, decide.VOLUNTEERS, CLIENTS, EMAIL Know Your Audience The first step is to identify all the constituents you deal withSUBSCRIBERS, ADVOCATES on a day-to-day basis. These are the people you need toAND EVERYONE ELSE — IS track. It’s likely you’ll have not just donors and clients, but volunteers, alumni, event attendees, partners, press con-SOMETHING OF A HOLY GRAIL. tacts and other groups. Include them all. Then, choose the constituent group that’s most impor-The ability to easily see how all your constituents interact tant for your organization to track—we’ll call them yourwith your organization, and with each other, makes for an “Critical Constituent.” For most organizations, this willattractive, ideal vision of what a database should be. probably be either donors or clients. (If you have two or In reality, a single constituent database usually means three key constituents, you can repeat the exercise for each,some sort of compromise. If your nonprofit tracks a wide but choose one to start with.)variety of constituents but doesn’t need very deep func- For each of the other constituent groups you identified,tionality in any particular area, it’s feasible. But if you need determine:to keep tabs on more complex data—like tracking stock gifts • Their relationship to your Critical Constituent—how likelyfrom donors, matching volunteers with volunteer opportu- are people in one group to be in the other? Might theynities based on interests and availability, and the case notes, move between them?histories and outcomes of the mental health services pro- • The complexity of the data you need to track for them invided to clients—you’re not likely to find a single system to addition to what you’re already tracking for Critical Con-fill all your needs. stituents—the basics, like name, address and contact infor- If there’s not much overlap between particular con- mation, is probably the same for both, but there’s likely tostituent groups (for example, your clients aren’t likely to be be additional information.donors, and your donors aren’t likely to become clients), Using donors as the Critical Constituent for our exam- NTEN: CHANGE · DECEMBER 2011 · PAGE 13
    • TRACKING EVERYONEple, let’s compare them tovolunteers as the other con- IF THERE’Sstituent group. Are volun- stituents, and tracking them allteers likely to become NOT MUCH in a single database almost cer-donors, or vice versa? OVERLAP tainly makes sense for yourMight a volunteer also be a organization. You should bedonor? Neither scenario is BETWEEN YOUR able to customize a databaseunusual for many organiza- optimized for your Criticaltions, so we could call these CONSTITUENT Constituents to fit everyone else, too.two constituents highly But what if you have a clus-related. As we consider GROUPS, ITS ter down in the lower left handother constituent groups— PROBABLY NOT corner that shows you havepress contacts, for example, some difficult-to-track con-or legislators—we’re likely WORTH IT TO stituents that aren’t particu-to find far less overlap. larly related to your Critical Next, let’s consider the HAVE ONE Constituents? You’re unlikelycomplexity of the data we’ll to find a system that effectively supports substantial func-need to track for volunteers DATABASE. tionality for both types of constituents, and given how littlethat we don’t already track they relate to each other, there may not even be much ben-for donors. This might include the types of projects they’d efit in trying to shoehorn them into a single database.like to help with, when they’re available, and their history In this case, you’re probably better off with more thanvolunteering with the organization. Because there are more one database—but how many do you need? Remove thethan a few additional fields, this falls somewhere between Critical Constituent from the equation and repeat this exer-medium- and high-complexity, depending on the specifics. cise just for the constituents grouped together in the lower Once you’ve defined how complex and related each con- left hand corner. Are they related to each other? Do youstituent is, plot your constituent groups on a chart for a look need to track similar data for each of them? Again, if theyat your overall constituent picture. don’t overlap significantly, more than two databases mightRead Between the Lines make sense.Let’s say your groups mostly cluster toward the right side of Things get more complicated if you have constituentsthe chart. This means you don’t have extensive additional floating in the middle of the chart, or even worse, in theneeds on top of what you already track for Critical Con- upper-left corner. If that’s the case at your organization, NTEN: CHANGE · DECEMBER 2011 · PAGE 15
    • TRACKING EVERYONE start weighing the possibilities and tradeoffs. It might prove difficult to incorporate these constituents into the same sys- livestreaminG Livestreaming events is increasingly becoming a What’s this? tem as your Critical Con- popular way to share content with remote stituents. Is it worth the effort audiences. It is surprisingly simple and affordable. and expense? Consider There are three main parts: the source, or camera whether multiple systems can that you use to capture video and audio; thebe integrated so key data flows from smoothly between them encoder, which is software that you use tothrough an automatic data feed. Integration is often expen- produce the live video; and the player thatsive and complicated, but it can be a great solution to thorny viewers will watch the video on.data problems like this. your source can be as simple as a mini-dv digital camcorder, or even a webcam that you canWrapping it Up connect to a laptop via USb. There are many freeThe vision of a single database is attractive, but the reality and low cost options for encoders, a simple webmight be neither practical nor cost-effective for your organ- search should pull up various options. ization. Should you track all When searching for a player, we suggest youa sinGle your constituents in the same start by checking out Livestream.com, a great site that allows you to produce a livestream on their system? Only if it makes senseDATABASE IS for your particular situation. At channels, or embed a player on your own website. Ustream.tv is another great option for nonprofits; the end of the day, that’s not easyATTRACTIVE, to know. much like youTube, it allows users to set up a “channel,” with specific programs that are thenBUT THE If there’s a compelling reason archived for post-event viewing as well. to combine everything, and the While livestreaming educational content is anREALITY benefits outweigh the risks and obvious choice for many nonprofits, a livestream cost, the dream of a single data- of events or fundraisers can also help yourMIGHT NOT base is a viable possibility. But organization broaden its reach. Livestreaming gives your community of supporters another wayBE PRACTICAL achieving that dream requires some strategy and forethought— to participate if they can’t make an in-person event, or something to share with their networksOR COST- otherwise, your dream of a sin- who may not otherwise participate. Learn more gle database might just become about livestreaming options for nonprofits here.EFFECTIVE. an implementation nightmare. NTEN: CHANGE · DECEMBER 2011 · PAGE 16
    • askDeborah Podcast: What is HIPAA and How Does it Affect My Organization? The CTK Educational Series presents Deborah Elizabeth Finn as she dives into her vast net- work of nonprofit and technology profession- als to answer complex questions in simple terms and help nonprofit organizations increase their capacity through technology. In this episode, Deborah goes to colleague Gavin Murphy. Gavin Murphy is the co-founder and president of Annkissam, a professional services firm dedicated to helping mission-dri- ven organizations with their operations and technology. Annkissam has grown steadily since its beginning in 2007, and has worked with about 50 clients in a dozen states. Mr. Murphy has spent his career consulting to a wide range of organizations, with a focus on designing and developing systems for nonprofit health and human services organizations. Answers are delivered in 5 minutes in a candid and informative tone. Find more askDeborah episodes and other educational materials at www.communitytech.netCLICK THE BAR TO LISTEN TO THE PODCAST (AND SIMPLY TURNTHE PAGE TO STOP LISTENING). NTEN: CHANGE · DECEMBER 2011 · PAGE 17
    • CASE STUDY by CHRIS bERNARD, IDEALWARE “For providers, we’re trying to track their com- munications with us—how they are referring, how they’re participating in resources, things liketrackinG constituents that—and connecting with them on that level. We don’t have quite as much to track, because they’rein one system the means to get to the patient, and that’s ourTrue to its name, the Alexandria, Virginia, based core goal.” To a lesser extent, the organization also tracksnonprofit supports patients and their families volunteers. “We don’t do straight volunteering soas they navigate dealing with colorectal cancer, much, just a yearly event—a lobby day—and any- one who registers or interacts with us is in [theand pushes for changes in policy that improve database],” she said. “There’s also informationresearch. about advocacy action—but if someone goes to the website and wants to ask an advocacy ques-“We’re the squeaky wheels for colorectal cancer,” said tion, it goes through a different process than if they ask aJudi Sohn, VP of Operations for Fight Colorectal Cancer, medical question.”summing up the organization’s mission succinctly. Because the information collected about providers was In terms of critical constituents, donors are extremely far less complex than that for patients, Fight Colorectalimportant to the organization. Sohn said staff want to know Cancer chose to maintain their collection of data about theiras much as they can about them. But there are, in fact, two different constituent groups in a single database, Sohn said.other major audiences they track in parallel. The organization uses Salesforce. “One is the patient community looking for resources,” She cited the application’s ubiquity, as the enormous usershe said. This includes people who have or have had colon community means an equally healthy support community.cancer, as well as those who have known people with it. The While the vendor targetsother is the healthcare providers that are the sources of corporate users more thaninformation for them. at-a-Glance: nonprofits, it’s still well- “There’s some overlap between them, but mostly they’re fiGht colorectal suited for her organization’scompletely different groups in terms of what we’re track- cancer needs. “It’s easy to working,” Sohn said. “For patients, it’s interactions, questions O $1 million budget with,” she said, “and easy tothey’ve asked, their participation in webinars, communica- O seven staff find developers to work withtion history, healthcare history, and things like that. it. It’s such a large universe.” NTEN: CHANGE · DECEMBER 2011 · PAGE 18
    • CASE STUDY by CHRIS bERNARD, IDEALWARE They’ve been using it since 2006 to track allconstituent data, all financial data, case man-agement, advocacy organization contacts, GooGle+ Since it’s late June 2011 launch, Google+ has become one of the What’s hot?email lists and statistics, and more. hottest buzz words in Nonprofit Technology. Google+, the “We do webinars and move the information newest social network to join the scene, offers basic socialwe got from the webinar to Salesforce to track network features (like video, image and thought sharing), butsign-ups and surveys and other information,” has a few unique features as well.she said. “We do have information that may live Most notably, Google+ lets you place your friends in “circles.”in other places, but 99 percent of the time, it’s Users can create multiple circles and place individuals in asonly there because that’s where it first went in. many circles as apply. When posting to a stream, simply selectThen it goes into Salesforce, which is our data- which circles to share that information with, allowing usersbase for nearly everything.” more control over who is able to access the information that There is a limitation to the single database, you post: audience segmentation.and Sohn said they use a separate e-commerce Another great feature of the platform are “hangouts,”system for people who purchase fundraising essentially: free group video conferencing. by clicking thebracelets or awareness materials. “We do track “start a hangout” button on the side of your stream, you’rein Salesforce that someone purchased some- taken to a second screen where you can add specific circles or thing, but the individuals to your hangout. Note that you’re limited to 10“We have system we use participants at a time. Google+ has also launched a feature that could have multiple has a not-very-information robust Salesforce uses for non-profits called “ripples.” Clicking on the upper right corner of a post brings up a drop drown menu; if the postTHAT MAY LIVE integration, salesthings like so has been shared you’ll have the option to “view ripples.” Clicking this link brings you to a graphic representation of howIN OTHER tax management the post was shared across networks. When you hover over a and inventory is specific user’s name, you’ll also see what they said whenPLACES, BUT IT too weak and not sharing the post. It’s a great way to identify not only why folks worth the effort. are sharing your content, but who shares most frequently andEVENTUALLY As long as we are has the most influence: nonprofits can identify the members of not duplicatingGOES INTO any information, their community who are championing their cause. you can read more about how nonprofits are using Google+SALESFORCE.” it’s not an issue.” here, and here. NTEN: CHANGE · DECEMBER 2011 · PAGE 19
    • CASE STUDY by CHRIS bERNARD, IDEALWARE revenue relies on donors, and the rest is earned income. We’re tracking their contact info, their gift dates, their participation in events.”trackinG constituents Until recently, staff tracked everything inin tWo systems Excel. Or at least, they tried to. “That didn’t work well,” Otey said, beingIn St. Paul, Minnesota, Sarah’s is a home for women diplomatic. “There were no email addresses,in transition—sometimes referred to as a “supportive really, no regular newsletters, no givinghousing program” that provides housing, a community, history. We had zero ability to customize or out who was giving and how to really figuresafety and the basic necessities of life—as well as specialize messages or asks or anything likereferral and direct advocacy services—for the women that. No direct mail campaign or anything like that.”who live there. About a year ago, Sarah’s underwent aAlways at capacity, the nonprofit’s 29 residents come from leadership change, and both the executivesuch difficult life situations as domestic violence, war, tor- director—which is more of a services-focused position—andture, and displacement from their home countries. the associate director positions changed hands. Both Otey Associate Director Hilary Otey said the organization and the new executive director have seen the value of tech-works with a wide range of community partners to provide nology in their careers, and made it a priority to bring Sarah’sthe services its residents need rather than providing them in more in line with current capabilities. They researched andhouse so that “when they move on, which is the goal, they’ll evaluated options for a donor relationship management data-have those connections, support systems and empowerment.” base and a separate system to manage the direct advocacy In all, staff tracks 23 different “person types,” Otey said, and referral services theyincluding the residents, volunteers, community organizations provide.and partners, financial donors, and others. The nonprofit is at-a-Glance: “Because we had such var-affiliated with the Sisters of St. Joseph Carondelet, and there sarah’s… an oasis ied needs and a strong desireare other faith-based organizations with which it maintains for Women for a high level of customiza-relations—and therefore needs to also track. O less than $500,000 tion, as well as a goal to move “An important constituent—I’m not sure I’d call them ‘crit- budget everything to a web-basedical,’ because we have so many groups that are important— O four staff format, we decided to go withwould be a donor,” she said. “About 80-90 percent of our Blackbaud’s eTapestry and NTEN: CHANGE · DECEMBER 2011 · PAGE 20
    • CASE STUDY by CHRIS bERNARD, IDEALWARECommunity TechKnowledge’s Apricot,” Otey said. “We’re inthe process of getting those up and running now, so we aren’t theory offar enough along to determine the pros and cons.” What’s this? Staff use eTapestry for donor relations and communica- chanGetion management—basically, tracking all contacts, relation- What is a “Theory of Change”? It’s a road mapships and gifts, and sending that articulates the perception an organizationelectronic newsletters. Apricot until has around what the required building blocks are to reach a complex goal. While we approachserves as a “resident managementsystem” she said—basically, a case recently, every goal with a theory of change, the complexity of the goal is what determines themanagement database. “It’s not completely set up yet,” STAFF need to formalize it or not. There is no need to document a theory of change for sending outOtey said. “The big benefit is that TRACKED that newsletter, but more complex mission-it’s totally customizable, but it oriented goals such as alleviating poverty ortakes so much staff time to create EVERYTHING healthcare for underserved communities canall the user-defined fields. With a benefit from it.handful of staff, it’s tough to get IN EXCEL. A theory of change includes ideal outcomes,that up and running.” an assessment of current reality, and the The two systems aren’t inte- OR AT elements needed to bridge the gap betweengrated at all, and there’s no need LEAST, THEY the two. More importantly, it makes explicitfor them to be. the values and assumptions that shape the “The only need I would see for TRIED TO. understanding an organization has for thethat is, when a resident who is theory. A lack of clarity of the values and assumptions behind an informal theory ofbeing tracked in Apricot moves out, then she would be put change increases the potential for differinginto the eTapestry,” she said. Former residents are still valu- “understandings” to impact an organization’sable to the organization in many ways, and receive emails ability to cohesively implement the actions of aand newsletters and sometimes act as volunteers or donors. more tactical document such as a strategic plan.However, with just 29 residents living at Sarah’s at any one Explicit values and assumptions also make ittime, it’s not difficult to enter the appropriate information easier to communicate with partners andmanually. stakeholders around your work. “I’m sure our tracking will become more complex, and our Find more information and examples onlinereporting will become more sophisticated as I become more here.comfortable.” NTEN: CHANGE · DECEMBER 2011 · PAGE 21
    • CASE STUDY by CHRIS bERNARD, IDEALWARE “Blackbaud CRM and Convio don’ttrackinG constituents integrate seamlessly,” Campbell said. “Right now, we have to do a lot of manualin many systems synching. “We put the most effort intoPeter Campbell, IT Director for the environmental law tracking donors, and I think that’s for afirm Earthjustice, said his organization sees both clients couple of reasons. “One is that there are good systems forand donors as key constituencies among many, including tracking donors, and it’s expected that anlist subscribers, advocates, legal contacts, vendors, organization of our size, which dependstrustees and other groups. on donations, will use them. Litigation is more of a document-management chal-While he likes the idea of a single database that tracks so lenge, so prioritizing CRM on the programmany different groups comfortably, Earthjustice currently side has been, historically, of lower importance,” he said.uses separate systems. Campbell is hopeful that Earthjustice will evolve in the “We use disjointed systems to track them,” he said. “On area of data management. “Our current strategic planningthe fundraising and advocacy side, we use Blackbaud and process is highlighting the need for more production ofConvio, but they’re not well-integrated. Blackbaud’s ECRM metrics and better data management,” he said. “There areproduct doesn’t support the advocacy functions that we cases to be made for CRM to play a larger role in our legalrequire. On the legal side, we use an archaic legal case-man- work, as, when you boil it down, all of our work is people-agement system that was designed to support commercial centric. But we have a lot of work to do before we tackle thelitigation, not our less-structured mix of clients and cases. dream of doing it all in one database.”We end up tracking the contacts that aren’t in our He said he feels his organization faces many of the samedonor/ECRM databases in Outlook Exchange.” issues as other mid-sized nonprofits. “There are a lot One of his previous employers, a Goodwill, used Sales- of smaller organizations struggling more than us because weforce as a single database for all constituents, but the com- have sufficient budget andpany model there supported it. “At Goodwill, we tried to see at-a-Glance: staff to address the problem,”people holistically, as a vendor could also be an employer, or earthjustice Campbell said. “We recog-a customer could also be a donor,” he said. nize that we have to be data- O Budget: about $25 “At Earthjustice, there’s less natural crossover among our centric, and we’re millionconstituents, so the holistic view is desirable, but not as developing the plan to get O 200 staff, 10 officescompelling.” there. NTEN: CHANGE · DECEMBER 2011 · PAGE 22
    • Mapping Your Website EcosystemWhat does it take to build a feature-rich website? We Website Analytics ebsiteEvery website is different, but here are some of the players A website analytics tool, like website analytics tool, like Google Analytics, Goo e Analytics, helps you un- ogl you un-and types of software you’re most likely to encounter. derstand what’s working your derstand what’s working on your site and what you can improve. site you can improve.STARTSTART HERE! Constituent Management Constituent Management t e Online Payment Payment a Broadcast Broadcast Email r When someone takes action on sommeone takes Online payments are often are often Even you Even if you use a differ- differ-Your Internet PublicYour Internet Public your site, you’ll to keep your site, you’ll want to keep handled by pages that look handled look ent vendor for broadcast vendor for broadcastSomeone Googles you or enters Googles you enters track them in a Constituent track of th hem Constituent like your website, but are like your website, are email, you should still be you stillyour browser.your URL in a brow r. wser Management System. Management System. actually created by actuall created b t ll lly t d able to let people sign up able to let people another vendor. vendor. r for it through your website for through your website. e. Your Your CMS might Websi e Website Host ebsit it provide integrated provide integratedDomain Registrar Regi ar istr Your website lives Your web e lives on bsit email, payment tools toolsYouYou setup your web address your web address b a server—a secure server— secure —a LOGO DONATE or other features that features twith a domain registrar— registrar— computer connected computer connectedlike Network Solutions orlike Network Soluttions to internet —that’s to the internet —that’s t live web live on the same webGoDaddy. registrarGoDaddy. The registrar points s typically provided typically provided by host—or you host—or you might a website host for a website h t for b it hos SIGN UPpeople looking for your site topeople looking for your site to separate vendors use separate vendorsyour web host.your web host. monthly fee. monthly fee. FOR for hose. for those. E-NEWSYour WritersYour Writerss Social Media Website Content Hereand Editors Editors Social media—like media—like You publish content from yourYour visitors come toYour visitors come to see Facebook, YouTube, Facebook, YouTube, CMS. It shows up in one orinteresting stuff, so your staffinteresting stuff, o your staff Conten Content nt or Twitter—can let Twitter—can let multiple places across your web-comes up with compcomes p compelling mpellingg Management Managgement site according to rules you’ve you p news you pull news andarticles and photosarticles photos…s… System (CMS) System m pre-established in your CMS. pictures into your pictures into your …and posts them to the posts s to site potentially site and potentially website t through Content website through a Content let you start con- let you start a con- Management System. ment System Managem versation. versation. NTEN: CHANGE · DECEMBER 2011 · PAGE 23
    • “I want to be sure that we do more than just teach you something – e we o more ach you g we show you how to apply it to your day-to-day work ” how apply your day work.” k.” —Andrea Berry, Director of Partnerships and Learning erry, r Partnerships d Learning What What do you want t you want u to learn today? to learn today? a This This is Andrea. In the coming months, she’ll lead trainings ea. months, ths s on donor management systems, email fundraising and management systems, mail anag social media decision making, just three of the many hree courses Idealware offers. All of our trainings—like our Idealware offers. lw r trainings—like articles and reports—are packed with original research articles reports—are packed th research out software. decisions about software. To trainings, mmission To register for online trainings, commission us to train or your network, learn your network, or just to learn more about Andrea and k, the Idealware t www.idealware.org. the rest of th Idealware team, visit www.idealware.org. he w
    • TECH ACROSS YOUR ORG: IT GOVERNANCE However, we also have to balance the benefits of new technology with the risks it may pose to our financial, oper- ations, or compliance activities. These are the risks that ulti- mately impact our programs and ability to achieve our mission. So the risks must be assessed and mitigated by exec- utive leadership and program managers in conjunction with your IT staff/service providers. Strategic selection, adoption, and risk management are core, and don’t have to be complex, for small nonprofits. If your organization, big or small, is using technology and you don’t have good IT governance, you can’t say that you have good governance. This doesn’tWHY I.T. GOVERNANCE mean that you have to micro-manage your IT staff and serv- ice providers. It just means that you need to have better over-IS IMPORTANT FOR sight of their activities to ensure that your IT is aligned withSMALL NONPROFITS your mission—and that you are maximizing your ability to leverage IT to contribute to achieving your mission.A common misconception is that IT governance is only for When strategically governed, IT shifts from an operatingbig enterprises. In the nonprofit world, technology can be cost to a strategic investment. When effectively managed, ITboth boon and bane. Sometimes it feels like we are beholden costs can be minimized and the risk of IT failures miti-to it, sometimes it enables us to accomplish wonders that gated—whether associated with an individual project or ourwe would have never thought possible in the past. core operating infrastructure. When efficiently deployed, IT Ensuring that there is a strategy for technology selection enables us to accomplish more with the same limitedand adoption, as well as an assessment of the potential risks resources and to provide new and innovative services with-associated with the technology or data it will handle, are out a huge capital outlay. When synergistically integrated,core elements of IT governance for small organizations. IT extends our reach to our donors, constituents, and vol-Technologies should be selected based on their ability to unteers, making them feel more a part of our organizationsupport the strategic objectives of the organization, not and enabling us to better achieve our mission.because they’re “cool” or “the newest thing.” The increasingease of access to technology by the public, and decreasing Donny C. Shimamoto, CPA/CITPresistance to usage, make it easier for us to leverage tech- Intraprise TechKnowlogies, LLCnology-based solutions and have them adopted by our con-stituents and donors. NTEN: CHANGE · DECEMBER 2011 · PAGE 25
    • TECH ACROSS YOUR ORG: MAJOR GIFTS FUNDRAISINGENGAGING MAJOR Jamie Carracher of Edelman Digital notes, “older people are among the fastest-growing demographics online. SocialDONORS WITH NEW network use among Internet users 50 years old and older has nearly doubled to 42% over the past year …. in the U.S.MEDIA alone there are nearly 16 million people 55 and older usingAfter 25 years of traditional fundraising, I was well-versed Facebook” (Mashable Social Media, April 6, 2011). Jimat communicating with donors using standard mail, printed Jansen of Pew Internet & American Life Project reports thatdocuments, telephone, and ultimately by composing and “95% of those in households earning over $75,000 use thesubmitting detailed grant proposals. I was reluctant to pay Internet and cell phones” (November 24, 2010).attention to social media, which seemed frivolous to me So how should we reach major gift donors? The tech-three years ago. niques are similar for donors at any level. “Cross-pollinate”: Using social media for major gift fundraising and be sure your website, e-mail and printed publications includeplanned giving has been viewed somewhat skeptically by links to your social media venues. Develop a thoughtfulthe traditional fundraising community. Major gift fundrais- social media communications strategy to regularly discussers—including planned giving professionals – tend to focus your nonprofit’s mission, financial needs and most press-on older individuals whose careers are established: their ing issues. Consider developing cause-specific apps for evenchildren have left home, their financial obligations are greater depth of discussion. Actively seek donors out andreduced, and they have the means to consider making sig- ask them to “like” your Facebook page, or to join groupsnificant charitable gifts. you’ve established using other forms of social media. As social media use began to increase among older gen- The bottom line: donors are receiving more requests thanerations approximately two years ago, however, using social ever. While waiting for that critical, in-person meeting, con-media to communicate with them about nonprofit projects sider informing and engaging them using social media andand issues started to make more sense. No longer viewed as new technologies. In the end, these methods make life eas-a “toy” for young people, social media and new technologies ier on everyone – grant maker and grant seeker. For morehave truly become a communications lifeline for all ages. information, you might enjoy reviewing a workshop pres- My first invitation to create a Facebook page and be entation that Holly Ross of NTEN, Kristen Schultz of“friended” came from a donor whose family has contributed Crescendo Interactive, Inc., and I created for Charity-significantly to several of my nonprofit projects, in the Channel (October, 2011).seven-figure range, in fact. After considering how impor-tant this person is to me and my nonprofit projects, I took Carolyn M. Appleon, CFREthe leap. I haven’t looked back since. carolynmappleton.wordpress.com NTEN: CHANGE · DECEMBER 2011 · PAGE 26
    • This is the pink ribbon. This is the pink ribbon that was worn by the survivor. Who shared her story on Facebook. So that friends and family would donate. Through a social fundraising page. That was powered by COMMON GROUND™Behind every bit of good your organization does, there’s a story of what made it possible. www.convio.com/missionpossible
    • TECH ACROSS YOUR ORG: PROGRAM INNOVATIONTECHNOLOGY IS NOT After studying how other businesses and organizations distribute large quantities of goods, and after weeks ofA MAGIC BULLET brainstorming and strategizing, the Rucksack was born. At its core, the Rucksack is essentially a Ticketmaster for vets.It’s a tale as old as time. No matter what area your organi-zation focuses in, no matter how many people work there, Our members log on, see what’s available, claim theirno matter how much money is coming in the door, one thing rewards, and then get to have a great afternoon at a ballremains the same across the board: there’s always too much game – and it’s all auto-to do, and never enough time or resources to get it all done. mated, thanks to the data and constituent manage- O click here toSound familiar? It’s a common frustration shared in our view the recordedcommunity. ment behind the website we built with Salesforce. webinar about With that in mind, and with the incredible breadth and iava’s innovativedepth of tools available to us in 2011, it’s often tempting to The Rucksack has truly revolutionized how IAVA project (ntenthink of technology –whether it’s outward facing, like social members access itmedia, or internal infrastructure, like a CRM– as a magic works, and it continues to evolve and change as our for free, or, find thebullet. It’s the buzz word that leaders always want to hear, slides under theand often throw around without much thought as to what needs do. It’s technology that allows us to do what “materials” tab).it actually means. At the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA), we already do, but betterour mission is to better the lives of the over 2 million and faster.new veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan. With such a geo- Technology for the sake of itself will not get you very far.graphically and demographically diverse population, there’s Sure, you might end up with a flashy Facebook app, or aonly so much we can do from our two offices and 40 staff database solution that does the bare minimum you need,members. but is that improving the work you do on a daily basis or is Two years ago, we faced a dilemma as we entered into a it only adding more work to your plate? It’s a question thatnew partnership that would provide thousands of vets tick- needs to be asked from the Executive Director’s office downets to baseball games, NASCAR races, and more. Up until to the cubicles in Intern Alley. Without a strategic goal iden-then, tickets and gives like that had been a one-off that tified before diving headfirst into something new and flashy,would involve an email to the local area and a staff mem- you won’t be doing you or your cause any favors.ber’s time sorting through responses, RSVPs and requests.It just wasn’t a sustainable process – and we needed to turn Meghan Teich, Director of Digital Engagementit on its head. IAVA NTEN: CHANGE · DECEMBER 2011 · PAGE 28
    • DIY NONPROFIT TECHNOLOGY There are multiple ways to do so. One way is to give your staff an incentive to ask. I recommend creating a contest to see how many email addresses your organization can collect over a given time period. Everyone likes to win, so make a game of collecting email addresses and get your entire organ- ization involved. You should also advertise the availability of your newslet- ter at events. At your event, ask people when they check-in or register if they would like to be added to your email list. 2 Add a Join My Mailing List box: Make the Join My Mailing List box a key feature on your website so thatGROWING YOUR it appears prominently on just about every page. Through search engine queries, you never know where peo-EMAIL LIST ple may land on your site. Adding the box to every pageI’m often asked questions about how to build an email list of ensures that no matter how a visitor finds you, he or she willdonors, supporters and members to communicate to. While have an opportunity to join your list.you may put together the best looking and most compelling 3email campaigns ever, without a permission-based list of Link to your signup page: Going beyond your web-people to receive them, your messages can go unseen. site, put links to sign up for your newsletter in theFortunately, there are a number of simple ways to build and emails you send and in the signatures of your staff emailmaintain your email contact list so you can reach the people accounts.your organization covets the most: your loyal donors, 4 Promote upcoming issues of your newsletters viasupporters and members. social media: Another way to get people to sign up1 Ask in person: When your donors or members come for your mailing list is to provide a teaser for an upcom- into your nonprofit or attend one of your events, are ing mailing on your Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn accounts. you asking for their email address? Letting them walk A quick “Want to know more about Topic X? Sign up for ourout the door without asking is equivalent to losing a valuable newsletter” with a link to your signup page will compel peopleasset. Why not ask? to join. NTEN: CHANGE · DECEMBER 2011 · PAGE 29
    • DIY NONPROFIT TECHNOLOGY5 Set expectations: Whether you’re asking for an email ISSUE ONE · MARCH, 2011 address face-to-face or online, it’s important to set CHANGE A Quarte rly Journa l for Nonpro fit Leader s CASE STUDY: Michigan Even Board Collaboration at NPower a tech-savvy board will need time and training expectations for the person signing up. Give people to adapt a new tool CHANGE 19 INSIDE THIS EDITION: PAGE ISSUE TWO · JUNE, 2011a visual so they can see what they’re signing up to receive. A Quarte rly Journa l for Nonpro fit Leader s A Multi-Channel CASE STUDY: Online Campaign TechSoup shares lessons learned from their DigitalAn easy way to accomplish this is to show supporters a recent INSIDE THIS EDITION: Storytelling Initiative PAGE 23 What 1.9 Millionemail, either with a color printout of your newsletter or Donors Tell Us About Online Fundraising From Network for Goods Katya Andresen PAGE 11through links to your email newsletter archive. FEATURE STORY: BOOSTING BOARD COLLABORATION the CASE STUDY:End-of-Year Fundraising Campaign through us M+R Strategic Services Show Me the World Idealwares Chris Bernard takes When asking someone to join your list in person, phrase the considerations and the options for collabo getting your board rating. With the right tools, the skys the limit shares lessons learned with Oxfam America during 2010 PAGE 23 Make this the year you harness video for your cause, say See3’s Michael Hoffman and for the work you can do together. [ PAGE 4 ] Danny Alpertquestion like this: “Would you like to sign up for our monthly FEATURE STORY: FACEBOOK FOR VOLUNTEERS CASE STUDY: Facebook PAGE 12 Idealwares Chris Bernard tackles Recruitment at AVPnewsletter for upcoming events and other information?” This ISSUE THREE · SEPTEMBER whether Facebook can be an effectiv , 2011 recruitment and engagement tool. [ the tough question of e volunteer PAGE 5 ] Idealware’s Chris Bernard takes us behind the scenes PAGE 19 CHANGEsets the expectation that those signing up will receive some- CASE STUD Y: On measuring ss SF Public Pre ia social med for outreach PAGE 21 Lea der sthing from you on a monthly basis. A Qu art erl y Jou rna l for No npr ofi t EDITION: A similar effort should be made online. Tell people when INSIDE THIS CHANGE ISSUE FOUR · DECEMBER, 2011they’re signing up exactly what they will be getting and how en IT A Quarte rly Journa l for Nonpro fit Leader s Nonprofit Gre r ofte Jennifer Wo dmap foroften. This way, subscribers are not surprised when your first INSIDE provides a roa m to a guiding your tea THIS greener offi ce—and Feature: Multiple Constituent Groups, One EDITION: bottom line PAGE 5email arrives. I also recommend that you send a confirmation CASE STUD Y:Measuring t Data Base? How To Track Everyone Who’s Anyone to You PAGE 12 Engagemen RINGemail to new subscribers joining your email list. The message ORY: MEASU FEATURE ST MEDIA SUCCESS SOCIAL explains what and how to Idealwares Ber org Chris nard docume s Facebook nts one CASE STUDY: Tracking Constituents in One System Fight Colorectal YOUR cam paign PAGE 25 Cancershould reiterate what the recipient has signed up for and Berryrea Idealwares And mission. [ PAGE 14 ] measure for you r CASE STUDY: Tracking Constituents in Two PAGE 18 Systems Sarahs... An Oasisinclude a special “thank you” for being such a loyal supporter. FEATURE STORY: FROM for Women PAGE 20 OUTCOMES TO IMPACT CASE STUDY: Tracking Plus: A Case Study from Greenlig Constituents in Many hts for Nonprofit Success Systems6 [ PAGE 4 ] Earthjustice Contacts are a valuable asset: Your list isn’t going to PAGE 22 grow magically without prodding. Make sure you engage supporters and members whenever and wherever youcome in contact with them – be it in your office, at an event, on HOW ARE WE DOING? This journal is a new resource from NTEN for non-your website, in your regular email correspondence or on your profit leaders, and we want to make sure we’reFacebook Page. At every turn, you, your staff, and your digital delivering content that is relevant, helpful, andpresence should be directing supporters to join your email list. easy to access. Please take just a few minutes toFind more list-building tips in our Learning Center. tell us what you think:ALEC STERN, VP STRATEGIC MARKET DEVELOPMENT, http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/NTENChange1CONSTANT CONTACT, @ALECSTERN NTEN: CHANGE · DECEMBER 2011 · PAGE 30
    • DIY NONPROFIT TECHNOLOGYTAKE CONTROL OF YOUR 3 Training. No one gets access to change data withoutORGANIZATION’S DATA training on your policies. Training should be targeted toDecentralized data entry is efficient and is the only practical role. You don’t need a week of training to enter a con-approach at some organizations. But the more people you have tact report.entering data the more problems you’ll have with quality con- 4 Monitoring. Someone (or multiple someones) needstrol. If no one’s in charge of quality control, you’re going to to review new and changed entries.have a database full of garbage. It’s a tough problem. Here are a few approaches (other than 5locking down data entry): Retraining. When people make mistakes, bring it to their attention. Some organizations make that person1 Policies. You need clear data entry standards. For fix the mistake. If they continue to make mistakes, you instance, do you spell out “Boulevard” or abbreviate it need to retrain them and be prepared to take away their data as “Bl” or Blvd”? Do you use punctuation (N Main St or entry access.N. Main St.)? If your database has a separate “sort name,” what 6are the rules (does The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation Automation. You should at least run reports regularlyget sorted under Hewlett or Foundation or…)? to look for errors. You may be able to automate some fixes. You might also use vendors to perform cleanupsSome of those standards should be managed by your database. like merge/purges on duplicates.For example, it shouldn’t allow AA as a U.S. state code or let 7you make up titles for people (e.g., it should allow “Mr.” but Acceptance. Some things have to be fixed by yournot “Mister”). You can find sample data entry policies online office or by Development Services. No one is going tohere or by doing a web search like “data entry manual”. fire an effective fundraiser because she’s bad at data entry (although they might get her an assistant who will han-2 Security. You need to control who can make changes dle the entry). Also, don’t forget that some things are out of and what they can change. Who can change a mailing your control: donors will give online and misspell their own address? A phone number? An email address? (And no names, or leave the caps lock on.one should be able to modify or delete a gift after it’s beenposted.) ROBERT WEINER, ROBERT L. WEINER CONSULTING TWITTER: @ROBERT_WEINER NTEN: CHANGE · DECEMBER 2011 · PAGE 31
    • DIY NONPROFIT TECHNOLOGYTURN DATA INTOSTORIES Charity Water, an organization that raises money to build wells in Africa has learned the lesson. Look how elegantly theyData is so much more than a stack of numbers or a server filled tell the story of the need for fresh drinking water, and the dif-with client outputs. It can justify the work that your organiza- ference their programs are making.tion is doing, help others understand why it is critical, and offer 2exciting new ways to motivate others to help solve the prob- Tell your Story, Literally! Sometimes the best way tolems your organization is working on. explain your data is to do just that - explain it. Using Here are 3 ways to tell your stories with data. video explanations of even simple charts and graphs can help website visitors quickly get the big picture - and arms1 Speak With Numbers: Sometimes, it’s best to just let them with an understanding of the data that lets them explore the numbers speak for themselves. Numbers are a and discover more confidently on their own. universal language. You can make a big impression Hans Rosling, the dutch economist famous for his TED Talksjust by presenting them clearly, and in context with your other that reveal the insight we can gain from data, has popu-content. larized the approach. And even better, through his collabora- tion with Google, he’s made his data visualization software available to everyone through GapMinder.com, and now through Google Spreadsheets Widgets. 3 Reveal Change: Many of the stories we’d like people to understand are centered on revealing the real, long- term impact of a problem or a solution over time: what is the trend you want to stop, or what is the change you’re making? The impact can become obvious when you reveal the significant change in data in a visual way, whether you are revealing conditions that are worsening, attitudes that are changing, or the improvements your organization is making. NTEN: CHANGE · DECEMBER 2011 · PAGE 33
    • DIY NONPROFIT TECHNOLOGY chanGe A Quarterly Journal for Nonprofit Leaders Editor Designer Annaliese Hoehling Philip Krayna Publications Director, NTEN Neuwirth/Krayna Design Editorial Advisory Board Debra Askanase John A Kenyon CEO and Engagement Strategist, Nonprofit Technology Community Organizer 2.0 Educator & Strategist, John A Kenyon Consulting Chris Bernard Senior Editor, Idealware Kivi Leroux Miller President, Nonprofit Marketing Guide.com Britt Bravo Big Vision Consulting Julie Macalik Membership & Engagement Barbara Buswell Manager, Greenlights Executive Director PEAK Parent Center John Merritt Vice President of MIS, Gavin Clabaugh YMCA of San Diego County Vice President & CIO Charles Stewart Mott Foundation Laura Quinn Executive Director, Idealware Martin Dooley IT & Operations Manager Amy Sample Ward Center for Resource Solutions Membership Director, NTEN Deborah Elizabeth Finn Ash Shepherd Nonprofit Technology Strategist Project Strategist, NPower Northwest and Consultant Michael Stein Paula Jones Senior Account Executive, Donordigital My favorite example of this technique is the Descry Project’s Director of Technology and Administration N.C. Center for NonprofitsObesity Epidemic visualization. By using the simple metaphorof t-shirt size to represent a US State’s obesity rate, and making Advertising: Contact Holly Ross, NTEN’s Executive Director, regarding advertising in NTEN: Changethem “grow” over a two decade period—we can quickly see how Permissions & Inquiries: Please give credit to all referencedAmerica’s waistline has ballooned since 1987. or re-published content according to the Creative Common license: Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported. Example Attribution text: Read the expanded version of this article – with more tips “First published in NTEN: Change (http://nten.org/NTENChange),and examples online here. SEPTEMBER 2011, CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/ licenses/by-sa/3.0/).” More information about the journal can be found at http://nten.org/NTENChange/PressKURT VOELKER, CTO, FORUM ONE NTEN: CHANGE · DECEMBER 2011 · PAGE 34
    • WHAT DOES THE CLOUD MEANFOR NONPROFITS?AN NTEN MINI-DOCUMENTARYThis fall NTEN helda Nonprofit Cloud Summitin San Francisco, whereattendees discussed theopportunities andchallenges that cloudtechnology solutions offer CLICK TO PLAYto nonprofits. Watch thismini-documentary to hearfrom attendees, who camefrom local nonprofits. NTEN: CHANGE · DECEMBER 2011 · PAGE 35
    • NONPROFIT TECHNOLOGY LEADER PROFILES Each participating organization is represented by the Execu- tive Director (or non-technical Leadership staff) and one technology-responsible staff person. In this section we hear from Academy participants in their own words. QUESTION: How has your organization dealt with change in the past? What challenges or stumbling blocks did you encounter? What are things you think you can do in the future to help staff adopt technology change? o ur organization has dealt with change in a few different ways in the past. Some of the challenges that are faced are finding the expertise to guide some of the changes and trusting vendors to set realistic goals and follow through.the nonprofit technoloGy In the future, things we can do to help staff adapt technol- ogy change include doing small pilot projects (if it fails, it failsleadership academy IS A 9- small, if it succeeds, do a full deployment), keeping it as sim- ple as possible, and clearly communicating how the technologyWEEK ONLINE TRAINING PROGRAM change will help us achieve our organizational and personal goals.DESIGNED TO HELP NONPROFIT jason shim, director of the Board Waterloo film GroupLEADERS UNDERSTAND HOW TOMANAGE TECHNOLOGY TO BOTHMEET THEIR BASIC OPERATIONAL W hen I came to our organization five years ago, I believed that folks were in tune with what was needed in using technology for a variety of tasks. I made a big mistake in thinking that if the organization provided the time for train-NEEDS AND MEET THEIR MISSIONS. ing and offered professional training that staff would be excited NTEN: CHANGE · DECEMBER 2011 · PAGE 36
    • NONPROFIT TECHNOLOGY LEADER PROFILESabout the opportunity. Only one staff member took advantageof the training in word processing, spreadsheets and email.The rest plodded along using the computer as a glorified type- W e are moving our database functions to a custom web- based application, which will be very different for our entire organization. We are trying several techniques to mini-writer. mize the stress caused by this change and increase buy-in: Fast forward to today . . . we made knowing how to use tech- 1) involving the staff in the process by meeting with them mul-nology an integral part of our application and hiring process. tiple times to gather their inputThe addition of new staff members willing to utilize the tools 2) providing gift cards to staff that offer written feedbackgave others the freedom to take risks as well. (either positive or negative) about the project The most important thing that I have learned is that you 3) providing t-shirts to staff as their department “adopts” thework with employees where they are and move them along new applicationthe continuum in using technology. Training is just in time and 4) asking staff to complete a post-implementation survey asin the manner the employee determines works for them. new modules are rolled out elaine roberts, executive director 5) reporting progress in periodic emails to all staff south dakota parent connection, inc. 6) reporting progress in monthly staff meetings dayna delavergne, director of iti t’s hard to comment from a historical perspective, since I’ve only been here at the WCBA since January. I can tell youthat “Change” has probably been the key marker of my time foundations for laity renewalhere, and the staff has been incredible with accepting it. I think the most important parts about change are: W e are a very small organization so our changes have been pretty smooth. While it depends on the particu- lar people involved and their resistance to change, in general,• Getting excited about it: remember what the end result is I think smaller organizations have the flexibility to adapt more going to be, not the process to get there quickly or easily. Either way, communication is critical: ensur-• Compiling input from various sources: experts, member/vol- ing everyone’s feedback is heard and considered, taking time unteers, and the staff who will be utilizing the change on a to plan implementation and providing support along the way. daily basis. Make sure that all stakeholders have a chance to hilary otey, associate director think, consider and offer feedback sarah’s . . . an oasis for Women• Be ready for a few hiccups or failures along the way, and don’t let them define the entire project. Whitney von haam, executive director Wake county Bar association o ver the past few years, we have been through a tremen- dous amount of change—from a complete board NTEN: CHANGE · DECEMBER 2011 · PAGE 37
    • NONPROFIT TECHNOLOGY LEADER PROFILEStransition in 2008 to having staff need emails, holding staff meetings to talk about it, and goingto lay off 68% of staff in through training when appropriate. The biggest stumbling2009 (due to recession). I TO SEE THAT blocks are when people don’t buy-in to a new system. Changetook on this position right is always difficult since it’s different. Until people accept theafter the layoffs happened. IT’S NOT JUST new system, they are constantly fighting it. The best thing is toStaff were a little shaky after BETTER FOR THE promote the benefits of the new technology. People need toall of that because they felt see that it’s not just better for our organization, but it’s betterextremely vulnerable. I have ORGANIZATION, for the individual user.had to really work with adam pomerantz, director of finance and adminis-them to ensure they are IT’S BETTER FOR tration, WinGs for kidsconstantly getting informa- THEM.tion and feel they have a fulland transparent picture of what is going on. It has not beeneasy but we have slowly gotten back on our feet and are strong t he biggest technology change that the Foundation had since I’ve been here was implementing a completely revamped website. In the process of developing the project,again as an organization. We have a great board and a strong all program staff were asked how we see our website becom-team of staff. Key to helping them embrace change is really ing more effective. I thought this was a very good way to dealcommunicating relevant and timely information to them and with change. However, this process was only conducted indi-involving them in discussions. vidually with each staff. I think it could have been even more With regards to technology change, it is similar. The key is beneficial if there was also an open dialogue between every-working with them to understand the change, how it impacts body to bounce some ideas around and get feedback fromtheir work and our mission, and helping to alleviate any fears each other.or concerns they have. As with any change, some people really Right now, we are in the middle of deciding on a new grantstep up and help lead it, some take a while longer, and a few management system. This time, we asked everyone individu-may never fully embrace it. ally what they expect and think about the project but also marisia Geraci, executive director involved all staff, along with the executive director and presi- heifer international – south africa dent, in one conversation about how we foresee the different uses of the system as a team.W e try to be as proactive as possible when change is coming. That means sending out advance notice phuong pham, communications coordinator the vilcek foundation NTEN: CHANGE · DECEMBER 2011 · PAGE 38
    • TECH TIPS FOR EXECUTIVE DIRECTORS5 MUST-HAVE TOOLS I can clip it straight from the browser into my Operations note- book. I can retrieve these items from my phone, my tablet, my FOR EXECUTIVE laptop, or any computer with a browser. DIRECTORS 2 Dropbox – Did I already mention that this is a 24/7 from holly ross job? Another resource that lets you work on the files nten’s executive director you want, when you want, is Dropbox. I save all my pre-As an Executive Director, I especially love talking to other lead- sentations into Dropbox, so I can download and edit them oners about technology. No matter what prompts the conversa- any computer or tablet. I can also email a link to the file to any-tion though, it almost always circles back to the same place: one else, like a collaborator on the document or a staff mem-productivity. ber that needs a copy. 3For the ED, the ultimate win for Expensify – No more lost receipts – and automagicaltechnology comes when we get expense reports! That is all, and that is enough.even 1% more efficient. That’s all it 4takes. See how easy we are to Tripit – If you travel more than once a month, youplease? So, for my fellow nonprofit need TripIt. TripIt organizes all your travel informationleaders, here are the technology into a cohesive file for each trip, keeping your confir-tools I can’t live without. mation numbers and locations all in one place. It works on a1 Evernote – As the leader, computer, tablet, or on your phone. It can even send you text I have a lot of things to keep message travel updates and reminders. 5 track of – from human Spotify – OK, it’s not about productivity, per se. Butresource to program to fundraising FLICKR CREDIT: LOVEBUGSTUDIOS streaming KClark’s new album always makes me workto, well, technology. It’s exacerbated by the fact that it’s a 24/7 a little faster.job. I have some of my best ideas while washing dishes, and Ifind some of the best sites while on the train. Evernote lets me As a nonprofit leader, what technology tools make you moreorganize files, web sites, pictures, audio, and notes, from any productive? Share your suggestions with us!device. If I see conference signage I want Anna to use at the Leave your comment on our blog and mention you’re annext NTC, I snap a picture and save it in my NTC notebook. If I NTEN:Change reader – and we’ll pick one lucky commenter to winfind a great article on IRS cell phone reimbursement policies, complimentary membership from NTEN for 2012! NTEN: CHANGE · DECEMBER 2011 · PAGE 40
    • COMMUNITY QUESTIONhoW do youencouraGe your orGto fail informatively? “Failure is success if we learn from it.” —Malcolm ForbesFailing informatively – deliberately learning from experi- Failure is key to learning and growth. Of course, not allences in order to guide decisions – can help a nonprofit bet- failures are created equal. Experimenting with a new con-ter meet its mission. The challenge of failing informatively tent management system by migrating your whole websiteis really about shifting the game: expect to fail, and plan before testing it can be a recipe for disaster, for example.ahead so that failures are small, early, and frequent, rather But there is such thing as a good failure. In our experience,than big, late, and disruptive. a “good nonprofit technology failure” is a learning experi- The nonprofit sector is, generally speaking, reluctant to ence that provides the basis for future growth, efficiency,discuss failure. This reluctance is symptomatic of a larger and impact, without negatively impacting your organiza-problem: the inability to have a learning conversation with tion.all the key stakeholders, including funders and program As a rule of thumb, fail early and often. Work with peo-officers, nonprofit field staff, and executive leadership, ple who are open to failing, and embrace the idea of risk-about the failure of a specific program or project. Avoiding taking. Take educated risks early on in a project, knowingadmitting failure is a natural human instinct. However, that some of them will fail. When they do, acknowledge theunless organizations are able to talk about failure in an failures, make a point of reflecting on what you can learnopen, honest space, they will be doomed to repeat the mis- from them with a minimum of judgment, move on, and trytakes of their past, and possibly the mistakes of other organ- again.izations as well. Case in point: we put out a call to the NTEN The only way to never fail is to never try anything new.community to share nonprofit technology failure stories, Technology changes are by definition new – whether it’sand got exactly zero responses. NTEN: CHANGE · DECEMBER 2011 · PAGE 41
    • COMMUNITY QUESTIONnew to the whole organization, to one department, or just to learned, not assigning blame.a handful of individuals. And taking on that new thing, • Model discussing failure. Be the first one to talk aboutwhether it’s starting to use social media or implementing a failure openly. Make sure to share a key lesson learned.new donor management system, involves some risk. There • Root cause analysis: try to get beyond the symptoms andis no way to completely eliminate any possibility of failure. get to the heart of the failure. Try using a “fishbone dia-So what’s a nonprofit to do? gram” or the “5 whys method” to identify the various fac-The best way to address the CREATE SAFE tors that went into your failure.possibility of failure is to try • Maintain confidentiality when necessary, but trans-to mitigate it somewhat, but SPACES TO FAIL parency is best. Don’t air dirty laundry unnecessarily, butmostly to embrace it. share lessons learned broadly in your organization and in What that means is that IN YOUR ORG, the sector at large.you have to create safe AND SAFE • Stakeholder involvement. It’s helpful to have all partiesspaces to fail in your organ- involved at the table so the discussion can be productiveization, and safe spaces to SPACES TO TALK and substantive.talk about failure. You can Imagine a nonprofit sector in which technology failurestry this in small ways at first: ABOUT FAILURE. and lessons learned were shared broadly so that no twohold a departmental meet- organizations ever had to make the same mistake. Whileing and make it clear that any information that is divulged that vision might be utopic, you can start by creating safeat the meeting a) stays with the participants in the meeting spaces within your organization to talk about technologyand b) won’t be used punitively. In fact, you can even failures and what you have learned from them.provide an award for the greatest failure—provided that the Marc Baizman, My Computer Guy Nonprofitstory of the failure is accompanied by an explanation of Technology Consulting, @mbaizmanlessons learned, and how whatever caused the failure won’t Dahna Goldstein, PhilanTech, LLC, @philantechbe repeated. Once you start to make it clear that your organizationwon’t punish informative (early) failures, you can start to How does your organization encourage “failure-encourage people to share their lessons learned more friendliness”? Please email publications@nten.org withbroadly within the organization so that others can learn your answers. (We’ll keep them anonymous if you like!)from small, early failures. Or: Share your tips, examples, and questions atCreating safe spaces to talk about failure: http://facebook.com/nten.org• Safe spaces are judgment-free. It’s about the lessons NTEN: CHANGE · DECEMBER 2011 · PAGE 42
    • NONPROFIT LEADERSHIP CHEAT SHEETnonprofit technoloGyleadership cheat sheet:CALLINGDR. NERD?Keys to having a meaningful “officevisit” with your IT staff or consultant.Talking to a technical solutions specialistis like going to see the doctor. Mostpeople have a preconceived notion ofwhat the treatment should be. However,the best solutions usually come frommeaningful dialog about the problem anda discussion of the treatment options.Here’s how you can help me help you. Grant howe, @geekbyte NTEN: CHANGE · DECEMBER 2011 · PAGE 43
    • NONPROFIT LEADERSHIP CHEAT SHEETTell me where it hurts. “Doctor, I need some antibiotic” is ously not great news, but most problems have a variety of solu-probably the most common conversation kick-off that patients tions. Let’s talk about the top three I have thought of first andhave with their doctor. Just like antibiotics often aren’t the best we’ll come up with more or tweak them if we need to while wecourse of treatment, the best technical solution to your issues discuss it.may not be what you think. Ask questions about each solution: Focus your initial discussion on the symptoms of your prob- • What will this cost (in time, resources, and money)?lem. Is it performance of technical assets? How slow? When • How does this solution compare to my original desired enddid you start noticing this? Tell me about the business state?processes and workflow and how this fits in. Do your best to • What other “side effects” can I expect from the solution,help me understand your current state so that I can compare good or bad?that with the desired results you will be telling me about next. • What is the risk of something going wrong or causing dam- age? Is there a mitigation strategy?Tell me what your desired results are post treatment. • What are the skills required to implement, and have you“I want to play tennis three times a week without knee pain” done this before? How many times?is a good example of a desired end state. Seek to articulate Write down the pros and cons of each solution and comparewhat you will be able to do and how you will do it after a them. Then make a choice based on your analysis. Please walksolution is put in place. me through your thought process of making the choice. I want Looking for a collaboration tool? How will it work with your you to be successful, and if you’ve forgotten to consider some-users? How do they expect to access it? Do you have remote thing, I’ll discuss it with you.and on-site users? Do some users need more access rights than You are also entitled to seek a second opinion and talk toothers? I think you get the gist, but the more you can tell me others about the solutions. I encourage you to do so.about what you want to be able to do, the better I can narrowdown to a set of solutions we can talk about. Like any good Take your medicine. “Take these, 3 times a day…” Many peo-physician, we’re likely to have to do some tests to get some ple go through all the effort to make an appointment and visitquantitative data on the issues you are seeing. their doctor, but don’t follow the prescribed treatment. These people usually don’t get results and neither will you if we don’tDiscuss and choose a treatment. “Your MRI shows you have follow the plan we’ve laid out together. Solutions are holistic;a slipped disc in your lower back, here are our options…” Obvi- often we see poor results from not following the full plan. NTEN: CHANGE · DECEMBER 2011 · PAGE 44
    • How We Do It Learn NTEN helps members, with their diverse NTEN Webinars job functions and levels of tech comfort www.nten.org/webinars and expertise, share best practices, and Changing the world isn’t easy. NTEN glean insights from one another both members are always looking to learnAbout NTEN: online and off: training, research and industry analysis, regional meet-ups, our more about how to use technology to further their missions. Gain a wealth ofA Community signature Nonprofit Technology Conference. As a member, you gain knowledge without ever leaving your desk through NTEN’s extensive scheduleTransforming instant access to a supportive community of live webinars and archived events. that shares your passions and challenges,Technology Into as well as to valuable resources for NTEN Research www.nten.org/researchSocial Change professional development. NTEN collaborates with renowned Connect industry, academic, and nonprofitWho We Are Online Networking partners to conduct research on keyA community of nonprofit professionals, www.groups.nten.org subjects related to nonprofit technologywe aspire to a world where nonprofit Whether you’re a webmaster, marketer, like IT staffing and spending, salaries,groups of all types and sizes use executive director, fundraiser, blogger, social networking, and data ecosystems.technology strategically and confidently program manager, or play another role in Our reports and benchmarks studies offerto fulfill their missions. Together, the the nonprofit sector, connect with your actionable data and invaluable insiderNTEN community helps members put peers online. Join our Affinity Groups and information.technology to work so they can bring social networks, browse the Memberabout the change they want to see in the Directory, post in our online forums. Changeworld. NTEN Connect newsletter Events / www.nten.org/events www.nten.org/signupWhat We Do NTEN’s Nonprofit Technology Conference Read how NTEN members are fulfillingNTEN connects members with one and local meet-ups bring nonprofit their missions and changing the world—another and offers many opportunities for professionals together to share ideas and and how you can too. The free monthlylearning and professional development— best practices. Get to know colleagues. NTEN Connect newsletter brings you solidall so you can focus on achieving your Develop a support network. Talk shop. advice, success stories, and best practicesgoals and meeting your mission. Vent. Congratulate. Collaborate. The related to technology and the nonprofit possibilities are endless. sector. NTEN: CHANGE · DECEMBER 2011 · PAGE 46