This week I had the pleasure of participating in Nten‘s first Online Nonprofit Technology Conference. While on a much smaller scale than the annual spring event, the two days of online webinars featured some of our sector’s brightest stars and allowed an opportunity for much more interaction with the presenters than is normally possible at the live event. Some highlights:
- Network for Good‘s Katya Andresen reminded us that raising awareness of our organizations isn’t enough, it’s to ‘get someone to take an action.’ She also recommended we let the constituent be the messenger for our cause (much more effective than if message comes directly from organization). She implored us to focus on the donor when designing our web sites, not on the organization structure, mentioning Kiva and DonorsChoose as examples of how to do this right.
- ConmmonGood Career’s James Weinberg described how social networking sites are replacing online job boards. As a way to encourage staff longevity, he suggested finding ways to change job responsibilities even if the position doesn’t change. If nonprofits can’t create opportunities for staff to advance, it is their responsibility to help them move elsewhere (not sure how many nonprofits would agree)
- Idealware‘s Laura Quinn offered a sneak peak at her Field Guide to Software, to be released later this year. She added that the choice of donor database is probably the most critical decision (and to make sure everyone in organization is comfortable using it)
- Beaconfire‘s Michael Cervino discussed using benchmarks from sites such as PewInternet and e-Benchmarks-Study to measure how well our organizations are performing, also showing how Google Analytics funnels can be used effectively. He also described how online surveys are best used frequently with few questions. (I added this is a great way to add data to help segment your database)
- Philantech‘s Dahna Goldstein discussed how to help staff deal with change, e.g. making sure that staff are fully involved and kept informed
- Consultant John Kenyon and American Lung’s Rusty Burwell discussed online communications and the importance of inter-department collaboration. See my previous post on this topic. In response to my question, John stated emphatically that social media will never replace email as the main communications medium.
Thanks to Holly and the NTen staff for putting on another great program, and congrats also to Holly for being recognized by Nonprofit Times in the Top 50 Power and Influence!