Technology Project Planning Summit

Aspirationlogo_2
On May 20 and 21, Aspiration and Idealware are presenting Managing Nonprofit Technology Projects II in Oakland, CA.

I will be helping to facilitate some of the sessions. I am looking forward to it because Aspiration events are always full
of great energy, they focus on sharing ideas and experiences and are really just a lot of fun to participate in. Also I’m a long time fan, contributor and trainer for Idealware. My long-time colleague and collaborator Michael Stein will also be facilitating, so even more reason to attend!

“Learn and share information about project management tools and
techniques with your peers in an environment that’s (according to
previous participants) “supportive”, “energizing”, and “a problem
solving think tank.”

Register online now

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Week 2 – Principles Discussion

Week two of our discussion on the principles.

This weeks principle is: We, as nonprofit-focused technology professionals, pledge to:

Appreciate and Respect an Organization’s Character and Adapt Our Approaches Appropriately

One could argue that this is more applicable to consultants, but I think it has relevance for nonprofit staff and vendors. Otherwise this seems pretty straightforward.
Any concerns or issues with this one?

I also encourage everyone to share "What this means to me" for inclusion in the master "What these Mean to Us" document that will accompany the principles.

When commenting please remember:

  • This
    is just a baseline – version 1.0. There will likely be future editions,
    so this doesn’t need to be perfect for all time, just a solid start.

  • The
    principles need to be applicable to all nonprofit technology
    professionals, including nonprofit staff, consultants, technology
    support organizations, vendors, and volunteers.

  • The principles need to be applicable across areas of focus, US geographic region, specialty, services and tools.

  • Further details will be articulated by the community in “What These
    Mean to Me” documents posted in the library. So these need not
    incorporate all the details they imply.

To join this discussion, please join the NTEN Affinity Group

To keep comments in one place, comments are not accepted here, but are in the Affinity Group

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Lisa Harvey @ Australia 2020 Summit

I was fortunate enough to have traveled to Australia last May to speak at CISA’s nonprofit technology conference. I also conducted a series of workshops in Adelaide, Brisbane and Sydney on technology planning and budgeting for nonprofits, thanks to CISA’s Doug Jaquier and support from the Australian Government. (This years conference is May 19-20 in Brisbane).

Australia2020On April 19 and 20, 2008 the Australian government is holding the Australia 2020 Summit, described on
their website as "an important initiative to harness the best ideas for building a modern Australia
that is ready for the challenges of the 21 st century."

I am pleased and excited that one of the stars in the nonprofit technology world in Australia – Lisa Harvey – has been invited to participate in the summit. Lisa is the founder of Energetica, a Sydney-based, not-for-profit focused consulting firm that offers services in the areas of IT Strategic Consulting, Technical IT Consulting and Managed Services as well as Internet Strategy and Website Development. She and her team are a bright, dedicated group doing all the right things to help nonprofits with technology.

Lisa’s participation in the summit is an important opportunity to raise issues about ICT* capacity in the Community Sector. To help her form her views she has
started a blog to facilitate communication.

See it here and participate in the debate: www.lisaharvey.com.au

* In the USA the term I.T. or IT (Information Technology) has generally been used, but the term ICT (Information & Communications Technology) is gaining popularity as it is used by the UN and in much of the rest of the English-speaking world)

JkheadsydneyIn the spirit of full disclosure, Lisa was the local partner and a terrific host for the workshops I delivered in Sydney and she did arrange for a wonderful tour of Sydney Harbour (where she took this picture of me having a great time).

   

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Week 1 – Principles Discussion

This weeks principle is:

We, as nonprofit-focused technology professionals, pledge to:


1.    Do No Harm to Data or Devices Containing Data

Jenny
Council made a great comment on the affinity group blog, saying among
other things: "I have done harm to data … and I can’t pledge I won’t
again. I can pledge to never intentionally harm data, or to do my
utmost to care for devices containing data."

That would work for
me, to include "intentionally".  I also think about the pledge doctors
take – "First do no harm". Doctors sometimes do harm, but generally it
is not intentional, yet they still pledge not to.

What do you think? Is
"intentionally" implied?

When commenting please remember:

  • This
    is just a baseline – version 1.0. There will likely be future editions,
    so this doesn’t need to be perfect for all time, just a solid start.

  • The
    principles need to be applicable to all nonprofit technology
    professionals, including nonprofit staff, consultants, technology
    support organizations, vendors, and volunteers.

  • The principles need to be applicable across areas of focus, US geographic region, specialty, services and tools.

  • Further details will be articulated by the community in “What These
    Mean to Me” documents posted in the library. So these need not
    incorporate all the details they imply.

To join this discussion, please join the NTEN Affinity Group

To keep comments in one place, comments are not accepted here, but are in the Affinity Group

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Using Humor to talk about Immigrant Rights

At the recent Nonprofit Technology Conference, I met Will Coley, the writer of a short video that uses humor to talk about immigrant rights. I strongly believe that nonprofits must try to step outside their traditional communication boxes to find new ways to talk about their issues and this is a great example. This is part of Movement Vision Lab’s $1000 Video Contest: Community Values & Immigration.

This video lampoons the government’s bureaucratic processes and attitude towards immigrants. One viewer of Will’s video said "great video. i currently am in the process of bring my fiancée here
from the Philippines. That is exactly how it seems to be. no help, no
answers and always kept in the dark. it takes 6 months to approve a
packet that takes 15 minutes to review."

Watch Will’s video and vote for it! (Contest ends March 31, 2008).

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Utterz-ly Amazing

I had my first experience with the new tool Utterz at the 08 NTC. I was standing with Holly Ross and she asked if she could get a quote from me and use Utterz. Holly made a call on her iPhone, we recorded a brief interview, she then took a picture of me and attached that to her message. She explained that the title of the picture would become the title of her blog post. With a phone call, she is able to send the .wav audio file that the services creates and send it along with the picture. The service then updates the NTEN blog, sends it her MySpace page and more! Minutes later I could see it on the blog – wow! Here is the result:

My wonderful colleague Beth Kanter also Utterz-ed me:

The service describes itself like this: "Utterz mashes together the voice, video, pictures, and text you
call or send in and creates an ‘Utter’ that can immediately update your
existing web pages on sites like Blogger, WordPress, Facebook,
LiveJournal, MySpace and more." See more on the Utterz website.

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08NTC New Orleans

Most of this week I spent at NTEN’s National Technology Conference (NTC) in New Orleans. I participated in
the Day of Service, providing free consulting to a nonprofit, participated in a panel on nonprofit consulting with my distinguished colleagues Beth Kanter, Robert Weiner and Eric Leland (we missed the original moderator Michael Stein, who was absent due to illness), then presented two session, one onNtc08holly online engagement and the other with Beth Kanter on Web 2.0 options and techniques. As always I learned a lot from my co-presenters and the audiences. This is a great event that I encourage any nonprofit technology professional to consider attending. In 2009 it will be in my neck of the woods, San Francisco.

I really enjoyed New Orleans, seeing and hearing about how the rebuilding and reconstruction efforts are progressing. I toured parts of the city that were hard hit and a lot of work remains. I am not alone in feeling that the government reaction to this disaster was generally a disgrace. A consistent theme I heard from people here is how great the impact has been from all of the volunteers who have come and donated their time, expertise, equipment and skills. It is a tribute to the volunteer spirit that still thrives in the US. So even if I am disheartened by the lack of government action, I am encouraged knowing that ordinary citizens of all backgrounds and beliefs will pitch in and help people in need.

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Draft of NP Tech Professionals Principles

Please join the discussion on these in the NTEN Affinity Group NP Tech Professional Principles

[To encourage all discussion and comments to occur in that forum I will not be accepting comments on this particular post]

Principles/Code of Conduct

We, as nonprofit-focused technology professionals, pledge to:

1.    Do No Harm to Data or Devices Containing Data

2.    Appreciate and Respect an Organization’s Character and Adapt Our Approaches Appropriately

3.    Focus On Solutions Appropriate to An Organization’s Culture, Context and Resources

4.    Explain Technology Tools And Strategies In Clear, Non-Technical Language

5.    Communicate Applicable Legal And Best Practice Requirements Related to Our Work

6.    Engage in Continuous Learning Practices to Maintain Our Skills and Knowledge

7.    Regularly Participate In and Share Our Knowledge With Our Community

8.    Maintain Ethical Practices and Declare Any Conflicts of Interest

9.    If We Charge For Our Services, To Be Transparent About Pricing and Costs

When commenting please remember:

  • This
    is just a baseline – version 1.0. There will likely be future editions,
    so this doesn’t need to be perfect for all time, just a solid start.

  • The
    principles need to be applicable to all nonprofit technology
    professionals, including nonprofit staff, consultants, technology
    support organizations, vendors, and volunteers.

  • The principles need to be applicable across areas of focus, US geographic region, specialty, services and tools.

  • Further details will be articulated by the community in “What These
    Mean to Me” documents in the Affinity Group library. So these need not incorporate all the details they
    imply.

 

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Nonprofit Tech Professionals Creating Principles

Imagine our community of nonprofit technology professionals having a set of principles to guide our work and let other communities know us better.

Most groups of professionals have principals or codes of conduct
that their members agree to abide by – except nonprofit technology
professionals (NTPs) in the USA. We would like to facilitate our
community generating and agreeing to a set of principles/ code of
conduct. The UK Circuit Riders have already articulated and presented a
set of principles appropriate for them, that many have signed on to follow.
Now we think it’s our turn.

We are presenting a draft set of principles as a starting point for
discussion. NTEN has agreed to host the discussion through an online
affinity group. Over the next 90 days, we ask all of you to review our
draft, comment, contribute and discuss (see process schedule below).

At the end of ninety days we will put all of the feedback and
discussion together into a set of principles built by the community. We will then encourage all nonprofit
technology professionals to sign on to the principles and abide by them.

We are looking for basic principles applicable to the broadest range of nonprofit technology professionals – staff, consultants, vendors, professors and others who identify with our community.

Sign up for the discussion forum where you can view the initial draft, comment and discuss.

We look forward to the conversation – including in-person discussion
and input at NTC – and we will contact this list again when the final
draft is ready.

We hope you will  join us in taking another step to professionalizing what we love to do.

Beth Kanter, John Kenyon, Michelle Murrain, Marc Osten

Process Supporters (organizations for identification purposes only):

Sue Bennet, Project Director, CompassPoint Nonprofit Services
Peter Campbell, Earthjustice & TechCafeteria
Teresa Crawford
Director
Advocacy
and
Leadership
Center, Institute
for
Sustainable
Communities
Jeff Forster, Robert Morris University, Bayer Center for Nonprofit Management
David Geilhufe, Philanthropy Program Manager at NetSuite
Dave Greenberg, CiviCRM
Mary Gross, Director of InfoTAP, a program of Nonprofit Management Solutions
Allen Gunn, Aspiration Tech
Cheryl Hanback, Web & Graphic Design
Phil Klein, Pen & Pixel
Eric Leland, Leland Design
Sheldon Mains, Nonprofit Tech Consultant
Ryan Ozimek, PICnet
Laura Quinn, Idealware
Jon Stahl, ONE/NW
Michael Stein, Internet & Media Strategist

____________________________________________________________________

Process

3/13 – Initial email to the community
3/19 – 3/21 – Opportunity for discussion at NTC
3/11 – 6/11 – Comments and discussion via NTEN Affinity group
6/11 – 6/23 – Comments incorporated, last draft up for comments
7/7 – Final draft posted, ready for adoption

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Interviewed by David Wilcox

While attending the UK Circuit Riders Conference 4.0 last month, I was interviewed by David Wilcox, a consultant, writer and trainer specializing in community engagement and cross sector partnerships. He writes about social media, engagement and collaboration.

We talked about the importance of online presence and how it relates to funding opportunities. See the video interview below or on YouTube and read David’s blog post about it.

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