I’m a nonprofit technology educator and strategist who has been helping nonprofits for over 20 years. I provide advice, educate and write about the effective use of technology in nonprofit organizations.
I earned my B.S. at Emerson College in Boston before moving to the San Francisco Bay Area in 1987. By the late 90’s I was Information Technology Director at San Francisco’s Management Center.
Along with Michael Stein I wrote both The eNonprofit: a guide to ASPs, internet services and online software
[Download asp604.pdf (pdf, 640KB)]
and the Nonprofit Quarterly article A Decade of Online Fundraising.
[Download decade_of_online_fundraising.pdf (pdf, 96KB)].
From 2003 – 2005 I traveled around the country teaching nonprofits how to effectively use the internet as Training and Consulting Manager at Groundspring.org/Network for Good. Since then, my consulting practice has concentrated on technology strategy with a focus on leveraging the internet.
I am the author of the “Effective Online Communications” chapter in the 2009 NTEN book Managing Technology to Meet Your Mission: A Strategic Guide for Nonprofit Leaders.
I was the Educational Program Manager at NTEN in 2012. I’ve been a featured speaker across the US, England, Australia and online.
I am an adjunct professor for the Masters of Nonprofit Administration degree program at the University of San Francisco and have developed sessions presented at institutions of higher learning including:
- University of California, Berkeley
- Duke University
- King’s College, London
- Robert Morris University
- Queensland University of Technology, Australia
JOHN KENYON is a technology educator and strategist who’s worked with nonprofits for over 20 years providing advice, teaching seminars and writing articles. Every day he educates and counsels nonprofits about using technology strategically because he knows it can help their organizations operate more effectively and efficiently. John authored the chapter “Effective Online Communications” in the book Managing Technology to Meet your Mission (Jossey-Bass/Wiley, 2009). Along with Beth Kanter he helped craft curriculum for and present the “We Are Media” social media training for nonprofits and frequently speaks on social media topics. He is a member of the Executive Consultants Select Group at the Alliance for Children & Families and an adjunct professor at the University of San Francisco. John has been a featured speaker across the US, England, Australia and online. www.johnkenyon.org twitter @jakenyon
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“John Kenyon’s excellent Effective Websites seminar has helped our members improve their web presence in a major way. The valuable advice and strategies he shares are affordable and easy to implement, and many of our members were inspired to adopt his recommendations immediately after his presentation.”
Community Resources Director
New Progressive Coalition
“I thought this was incredibly beneficial and I haven’t even implemented (your) suggestions. I look forward to exploring the techniques (you) recommended. Thank you so much!”
Public Information Assistant
“Thanks so much for the informative presentation today. I found it extremely applicable.”
Director of Development and Outreach
West Marin Community Radio
“Thank you for a wonderful presentation yesterday at AFP. Covered all the bases”
Peter C. McCormick
Annual Giving Coordinator
Sutter VNA & Hospice Foundation
“Thank you so much for the wonderful session you did at the Nonprofit conference.”
Youth in Arts
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Social Media Topics:
- Social Media 101: Basic Strategies and Tool Options
- Social Media 201: Examples and Case Studies
- Measure Twice and Cut Once: Creating a Social Media Plan
- Supporting Free Agents/Online Evangelists
- Succeeding with Facebook & Twitter
- Principles of Effective Social Media
- Knit One, Pearl Two: Weaving Online Networks
Online Presence Topics:
- The Mobile-Enabled Nonprofit
- More Important Than Social Media: Effective Websites & Email
- If The Shoe Fits: Tailoring Online Content to Your Various Audiences
- Measure for Measure: Tracking Online Communications
- The Written Word on the Web: Moving Print Publications Online
- Reduce/Reuse/Recycle: Repurposing Content for Various Channels
- Undressing in Public: Online Organizational Transparency
Technology Leadership Series:
- Systems Analysis
- Hardware, Software & Networks
- Planning & Budgeting
- Effective Online Presence
- Internet Tools
- Future of Nonprofit Technology
- Effective Websites
- Effective Email Communication
- Raising Money Online
- Effective Online Campaigns
- Driving Traffic to Your Website
- Bringing Planned Giving Online
- Using Metrics and Analytics
Strategic Technology Planning & Budgeting
What Every Nonprofit Manger Needs to Know about Technology
Choosing Appropriate Technology
Technology for Executive Directors
Effective Technology Advising
Effectively Using Consultants
For More Information, Email Me
“I just wanted to thank you for your wonderful presentation at the Executive Leadership Institute. Your presentation was robust, engaging and very timely for our students. I can say with certainty that it was well appreciated by the students who gleaned a great deal from it.”
Undraye Howard, Director of Consultation and Leadership Services
Alliance for Children and Families
“Your presentation was entertaining and very educational. Attendees left inspired and with some great ideas to put into action. Thank you for presenting such a successful workshop. Attendees were impressed with your breadth of knowledge and learned a lot from your presentation.”
Center for Volunteer and Nonprofit Leadership of Marin
“Thanks so much for taking the time to speak at our workshop last week. The reviews I heard were just stellar. I had a couple of people tell me that it was worth coming to the workshop just for your presentation.
I found the information very helpful as well. I always seem to learn a lot when I hear you speak. It is clear that you really prepare for your presentations and our clients really appreciated you taking the time to share your expertise.”
M. Jane Eaves
Gonser Gerber Tinker Stuhr, LLP
© John Kenyon Consulting, 2005 – 2014Read More
Effective Online Communication
Jossey-Bass/Wiley & Sons (c) 2009
Eight Essentials for Online Engagement
Saad & Shaw Fundraising Newsletter
Collaborative Curriculum Contributor and Co-presenter
NTEN Connect eNewsletter
by Michelle Murrain (contributor)
Software documentation for Administrators and Users
built with the Confluence Wiki
Computanews: UK circuit riders newsletter
London Advice Services Alliance
A Decade of Online Fundraising (w/ Michael Stein)
Nonprofit Quarterly Winter 2005
Download Decade of Online Fundraising (pdf, 96KB)
The Ten Nonprofit Technology “Commandments”
N-TEN Forecast article (see below)
CompassPoint Nonprofit Services & Community Technology Foundation of California
Download ENonprofit Stein Kenyon (pdf, 640KB)
The Ten Nonprofit Technology “Commandments”
By John Kenyon
This article was first written in 2003 for NTEN. It has had slight revisions to improve clarity, but even after all these years, the ten ideas remain.
For nonprofit and nongovernmental organizations, the most important asset in fulfilling their missions, besides their people, is their information. Data is important because organizations use it in everything they do from making a phone call or writing a letter to requesting funding. As the volume of available data grows, locating useful information becomes increasingly difficult. The advantage is going to those organizations who can collect, organize, process and act on that useful information. Working with large volumes of information intelligently requires technology tools. The increasing volume and importance of information makes Information Technology essential to helping good causes succeed.
The choices you make about technology can make or break your organization. The time for making guesses about your technology choices is over. There are two different paths our sector, and your organization specifically, can choose – one leads to effective technology use, the other does not. Let’s look at what actions organizations can take to use technology effectively. It actually has much more to do with your data than with technology.
What is ”using technology effectively”?
Technology is not an end in itself. Simply having a database, a network and a technology budget does not mean you are using technology effectively. Truly effective use of technology means something different for every organization – only you can say what it means for your organization. The activities detailed below make up a good part of the road to effective use of technology. On the road you will examine what you do, how and even why. You will identify and correct your mistakes and build on your successes.
This is a complex issue, so get help from an expert if there is not one in your organization. There is no substitute for a person who knows how technology tools are being used in nonprofit and nongovernmental organizations. Make sure you have a nonprofit-focused technologist included in all discussions about your data and tools. When someone understands what you want to accomplish and how you plan to accomplish it, they can then suggest tools to help you act faster or more effectively. In technology staff and consultants, our community has a wonderful resource to help them benefit from tools that use technology – take advantage of that.
Here are 10 things that organizations need to make effective use of technology tools.
-> Which ones you are already doing and which need improvement?
After people, Data is your Most Important Resource
Act accordingly in planning and allocating resources. For most organizations, staff salaries are the largest budget item. Is Data the second largest? Too infrequently.
Your Results Depend on your Investment in Data
Dedicate staff time to collecting, maintaining and understanding it. Spend money on finding the right tools for you. The minimum spent on technology tools will get you the minimum impact.
Define and Know your Data Needs and Uses
Define the data that your organization needs to fulfill its mission. Know where to get the data and specifically which pieces of data are important to you.
Seek out Data and Keep it Flowing
Actively seek out data that could help you succeed – include data on clients, funders, members, donors and employees. Make a concerted, ongoing effort to keep data flowing into your organization and to maintaining that data.
Define your Needs in Detail BEFORE tool selection
Define and create the best system you can to hold and manipulate your data. DO NOT grab the first tool or software that looks good. Measure twice and cut once goes double – no triple – for technology. If you have tools, regularly review new options.
Honestly Look at your Information Systems
Take an honest, detailed look at how your systems do – and do not – work. Look at human systems, data systems and communication systems. It is difficult for you to be objective about your organization’s problems, so get an independent opinion – and listen to it.
Maintain Commitment of Board and Staff
Get agreement from staff, management and the board to make an ongoing commitment of resources to improve operations.
Have an Ongoing Conversation about Data
Have an ongoing discussion in the organization about the best ways to use your data, and what you can learn from it. This can be between the ED and the Program manager, or it could be a six-member committee of staff from throughout the organization.
Keep in Touch with other Organizations
Keep in regular contact with other organizations and the nonprofit technology community in order to keep up to date with tools and solutions. There is no substitute for advice from experience. Seek out organizations of a similar size and mission and share challenges. Don’t continue working in isolation or ignorance.
Knowledge Eases Fear, Gather/Share Knowledge
Identify and confront techno-phobia in all its forms. No matter if it’s the ED, the development director or the administrative assistant – you need everyone pulling in the same direction, not at opposite ends. If you are that person, remember that the cure for fear is knowledge – seek it out.
Since data is essential to the life and success of every nonprofit organization, and the best way to manage data is with tools that use technology, then information technology should be the second most important thing to every organization – and funder.
© John Kenyon Consulting, 2003 – 2013