Blogging the NTEN Conference
There was no shortage of cyber chatter surrounding last month’s Nonprofit Technology Conference in New Orleans. Here’s a sampling of some observations from bloggers around the country. For a more comprehensive list of blog entries about the conference, click here.
“Observations on the 2008 Nonprofit Technology Conference,” posted March 26 by Kurt Voelker and Andrew Cohen, chief technology officer and project director, respectively, at Forum One Communications’ INfluence blog:
Kurt Voelker and I (Andrew Cohen), traveled to New Orleans to participate in the 2008 Nonprofit Technology Conference. This was my fourth conference and the most useful and fulfilling. In addition our volunteering and presenting, we learned quite a bit. Here are our key take-aways:
1. Great to see the growing numbers! More interesting people doing more innovative work than ever before. It’s clear to me that the nonprofit community sees technology, and the Web specifically, as a critical component to creating social good.
2. Despite no singular massive success with the Social Web, it’s clear that organizations are recognizing that their constituencies and target audiences are more sophisticated than ever, and nonprofits are working hard to align their communications with the next generation of donors, activists, thinkers and doers that have already bought into the Social Web.
3. Open interoperability breeds innovation — and software providers are starting to get it. Most software vendors I spoke with saw open access to data and services as a must-have feature to remain competitive — this is good news!
1. I noticed a positive continued commitment from software vendors to open the door to NTEN members and smaller organizations. I sat in on a session led by Google’s Frederick Vallaey who promised to expedite Google Grant approvals for NTEN members. This provides any registered 501(c)(3) three months of free Adwords. I also participated in a session titled “SalesForce for Good Not Evil” in which some smaller organizations showed how a central commercial platform using SalesForce’s offer of 10 free licenses for charitable orgs. Other attendees including Mozy, ReadyTalk and (ahem) Forum One’s own ProjectSpaces also offer discounts. Lesson learned: Always ask product vendors whether there is a nonprofit discount.