Nonprofit Technology for Transformation of the Social Sector
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Nonprofit Technology for Transformation of the Social Sector
Explore the potential for nonprofit transformation using the latest technologies.
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Most Popular Web-Based Video Chat Service: Google Hangouts

Most Popular Web-Based Video Chat Service: Google Hangouts | Nonprofit Technology for Transformation of the Social Sector | Scoop.it
Living in the future is great: You can open a browser, click a few buttons, and instantly see your friend's face on-screen, and talk to them in real time.
Roger Allen Conner's insight:

What is your more favorite nonprofit collaboration platform? We use Google Hangouts when working with our remote volunteers. 

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4 Tips to Turn Website Click Data into Next Steps for Nonprofits

4 Tips to Turn Website Click Data into Next Steps for Nonprofits | Nonprofit Technology for Transformation of the Social Sector | Scoop.it

Here are 4 ways nonprofits can make sense of their website click-through data and turn it into actionable next steps, using Google Analytics.

Roger Allen Conner's insight:

I am absolutely in love with Google Analytics. As a data driven nonprofit professional the details provided by analytics and click data help me and my team make smart decisions. Every decision is designed to make the experience of interacting with our web infrastructure a pleasure.

 

Using click data we can determine where users are getting confused or stuck on the site. We can also create target paths for specific types of users and track conversion data to measure the ROI of our marketing deployments.

 

This article will give you a good idea of how to get started analyzing the copious about of information and insight provided by Google Analytics.

 

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Technology is 90% Psychology

Technology is 90% Psychology | Nonprofit Technology for Transformation of the Social Sector | Scoop.it

If you've ever implemented a technology project at a nonprofit, you know it's true: technology is 90% psychology. Success rarely hinges on the hardware and the software; technology hinges on the humans involved. These days, technology has forced its way into every single aspect of our organizations. While we used to use change management strategies to help soothe the fears of those who would reject the new database, now we need something slightly more radical: entirely new organizations.

Roger Allen Conner's insight:

Applying corporate change-management best practices are one of the best ways to deal with the psychology of technology in the social sector.


Kotter's model of organization change management has eight steps to success. The eight stages of Kotter's change model are: increase urgency, build the guiding team, get the vision right, communicate for buy-in, empower action, create short-term wins, don't let up, and make change stick.


By following Kotter's eight steps, managers can implement change and make it an integral part of the organization's culture. This is accomplished by making sure that change sticks with the culture and becomes an expected part of the continued development of the organization.

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Google Apps v. Office 365: Head-to-head comparison of features | TechRepublic

Google Apps v. Office 365: Head-to-head comparison of features | TechRepublic | Nonprofit Technology for Transformation of the Social Sector | Scoop.it
Ian Hardenburgh compares the core features of Microsoft Office 365 and Google Apps to see which one comes out on top and includes a downloadable chart

Via steve heye
Roger Allen Conner's insight:

Good comparison - right now there is no good licensing programs for nonprofits for 365 but I hope this will change in the next fiscal year.

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Why Are Nonprofits Behind In Technology? - The Nonprofit Roundtable

Why Are Nonprofits Behind In Technology? - The Nonprofit Roundtable | Nonprofit Technology for Transformation of the Social Sector | Scoop.it

The three most common barriers for nonprofits to fully take advantage of new technologies were lack of money, time and expertise. These barriers create a cyclical condition that for many nonprofits is hard to escape.

Roger Allen Conner's insight:

Overcoming the barriers of money, time, and expertise are the primary reasons many nonprofits finds themselves behind in technology. What do you think is the best way to break this cycle?

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Foundation Pushes Technology’s Ability to Transform Government

Foundation Pushes Technology’s Ability to Transform Government | Nonprofit Technology for Transformation of the Social Sector | Scoop.it
The John S. and James Knight Foundation is putting $9-million into programs designed to spread "civic technology" and other efforts to get citizens more involved in solving problems.
Roger Allen Conner's insight:

So what is the largest nonprofit in the United States? If you guessed the governmental structure of the nation you would be correct. Now the nation is getting a jolt of technology innovation via a grant from the Knight Foundation to Code for America. This innovative program places technology experts at various levels of government to help them before more efficient and open through the use of technology. 

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Should Nonprofits Prioritize Mobile Over Their Website?

Should Nonprofits Prioritize Mobile Over Their Website? | Nonprofit Technology for Transformation of the Social Sector | Scoop.it

A recent report by the UN agency International Telecoms Union "ITU World in 2013" found that by the end of 2014 there will be more mobile subscriptions than people in the world.

Roger Allen Conner's insight:

So it seems that there is a perpetual discussion between how much focus nonprofits should place on mobile vs. the web. I think recent innovations in web programming plus changes to Google's page analysis algorithm have made this debate a moot point.

 

Nonprofits can now have the best of both worlds by embracing responsive design technology for their web presence. Responsive design is a web design coding schema that allows web sites to dynamically resize and reposition site components based on the end-users screen size. 

 

This means that your website looks equally good on a wide screen laptop, iPad, or tiny smartphone. More importantly, the same content is being presented across all of these screen sizes so users can easily get to the information that they want. Previously, mobile only website were limited and may times out of date because they required separate updating. Now with responsive design, you make a change, and it is on all screen sizes.

 

Have your web designer learn responsive design to update your website or if you are running a WordPress theme there are some wonderfully designed frameworks that are now available with responsive design built-in.

 

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Social entrepreneurs: Everyday heroes

Social entrepreneurs: Everyday heroes | Nonprofit Technology for Transformation of the Social Sector | Scoop.it

A new generation of entrepreneurs is using approaches from commercial world to tackle social and environmental problems

Roger Allen Conner's insight:

Programs like Google’s Global Impact Challenge are funding social entrepreneurs around the globe who have set out to find innovative ways to improve people's lives. New legal structures are being created in the UK and in the US that enable the melding of for-profit and non-profit entities that are poised to take on the world's toughest challenges. This new breed of change makers are challenging the status quo and many have early results and data that support this disruptive movement in the social sector.

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GuideStar Announces Overhaul of Nonprofit Transparency Program

GuideStar Announces Overhaul of Nonprofit Transparency Program | Nonprofit Technology for Transformation of the Social Sector | Scoop.it

Today GuideStar announced major changes to the GuideStar Exchange, the only program of its kind that encourages nonprofit transparency on a national scale and allows nonprofits to supplement the public information that is available from the IRS.

Roger Allen Conner's insight:

Your nonprofit should have an entry by now in the GuideStar exchange as their API is regularly used by grantors to verify 501(c)(3) status for due diligence purposes. Today, the announced major changes to their seal reward status so now would be a good time to make sure your info is up-to-date.

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Need Nonprofit Board Members? LinkedIn Helps You Make Connections

Need Nonprofit Board Members? LinkedIn Helps You Make Connections | Nonprofit Technology for Transformation of the Social Sector | Scoop.it

With nearly two million nonprofit board seats open, good board members are hard to find. Yet, according to Taproot Foundation, most professionals want to be on boards.

 

How do nonprofits attract the right professionals to their boards, the ones who want to do the job and who have the particular skills needed by the organization? Well, the simple answer is – just ask. The longer answer is you need a conduit to professionals who care. LinkedIn Board Connect now provides that conduit for nonprofits, at no cost.

Roger Allen Conner's insight:

Sure, you can find your next career move on LinkedIn and network with other leaders; however, have you thought about finding board members?

 

Due to the rapid inclusion of professional data into LinkedIn systems nonprofits now have free access to the ultimate database of potential board members. If you are like me, you are always on the lookout for the next great board member. Also, you probably have a good idea of what your board is missing. This is where LinkedIn shines because it enables you to target your specific needs to identify potential members.

 

On your next board member search be sure to include this professional network.

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The Accidental Hacker: From the Floor at National Day of Civic Hacking

The Accidental Hacker: From the Floor at National Day of Civic Hacking | Nonprofit Technology for Transformation of the Social Sector | Scoop.it
This past weekend, I tried something I never thought I would do: I participated in hackathon. Although I've been writing about tech for a few years, I have no coding or programming skills.
Roger Allen Conner's insight:

Hacking for change is a new concept that bring together individuals with diverse skill-sets in coding, design, systems, and the social sector to take on some of the worlds most challenging problems and find ways to creatively use technology to create a deliverable solution. The potential for social change is great; however, leaders in the social sector will need to become more comfortable with this somewhat disruptive process.

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Data-Driven Decision Making

Data-Driven Decision Making | Nonprofit Technology for Transformation of the Social Sector | Scoop.it

When you’re driving a car, you spend most of the time looking out the windshield: What’s ahead? When to turn? Any unexpected obstacles in your way? Every now and then you glance at the dashboard. But that’s just to check how fast you’re going, whether you’ve got enough gas and that the engine isn’t running too hot.

Roger Allen Conner's insight:

Many nonprofits are just beginning to hear of the potential of "big data." I myself am a big fan of using data-driven decision making in the social sector. This strategy has long been employed by very large corporations and uses internal and external data sets to explore intelligence trends. Many times with good data predictive analytics (regression modeling) can be used to accurately forecast the future.

 

Working with “big data” is not easy; however, several start-ups are working to create business intelligence tools that can enable someone familiar with statistics and the metrics of the organization to explore the data for trends and test predictive models. My suggestion for now is to make sure that your nonprofit has a strong relationship with your local business school and school of psychology. Student interns and graduates of these programs many times will have the basic technical expertise you need to get started. 

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Facebook Success: 7 Strategies for Nonprofits

The New Rules of Facebook: Strategies for Nonprofit Success

Roger Allen Conner's insight:

Did you know that the rules have changed significantly within the past year regarding the rules that help define your nonprofit's success on Facebook? Many nonprofit leaders may not be aware how this impacts their social communication. Facebook now uses a system called Edgerank

 

Just like Google uses advanced algorithms to determine where a page shows up in a search result, Facebook now is employing similar strategies. This means your strategies must be more sophisticated in order to stand out from the noise.

 

EdgeRank uses a formula based on affinity, item weight, and time delay. While the formula itself would only interest the geekest of us the overall directive is simple:

 

1) Affinity is a measure of your personal connection to an individual via the network. This can either be measured as a direct, indirect, or cluster analysis of your social affinity to the individuals that interact with your nonprofit and your postings. A more direct affinity is better for your rankings.

 

2) Item Weight refers to a semantic analysis of how people are talking about your posts. Natural language programming (NLP) has become quite sophisticated and algorithms can now measure the overall sentiment towards a post (either positive or negative). This measurement is translated into an item weight for your post.

 

3) Time Delay is a simple measure of how recent the story is within the network itself. This places special consideration when trying to reach specific market segments during specific times.

 

Overall this change is good in that it only provides relevant post notifications to users who would be interested in the post. The onus is on the nonprofit to utilize the technology correctly to ensure that they remain relevant under the new rules.

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Is your nonprofit resonating with millennials?

Is your nonprofit resonating with millennials? | Nonprofit Technology for Transformation of the Social Sector | Scoop.it
New study shows young people’s preferences, nonprofit sites’ shortcomings
Target audience: Nonprofits, cause organizations, foundations, NGOs, social enterprises, educators, usability experts.
Roger Allen Conner's insight:

Working towards being able to communicate with the next large generation is critical because they will shape the social sector more so than any previous generation. 

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How Can Nonprofits Switch to a Data-Informed Culture?

How Can Nonprofits Switch to a Data-Informed Culture? | Nonprofit Technology for Transformation of the Social Sector | Scoop.it
I've been reflecting on why some nonprofits do a better job of  measurement and learning, while others do not.  What is the difference?  It comes down to organizational culture.
Roger Allen Conner's insight:

Switching to a data-driven culture at a nonprofit can be challenging but the rewards from defining key metrics and measuring impact are significant. This excellent post reviews the change management strategy to begin implementing a data driven culture into your nonprofit.

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Five Nonprofit Technology Trends to Watch - Tech Impact

Five Nonprofit Technology Trends to Watch - Tech Impact | Nonprofit Technology for Transformation of the Social Sector | Scoop.it

We are watching some interesting trends emerge in nonprofit technology in 2013. Here’s what we see...

Roger Allen Conner's insight:

Good overview of 2013 trends in nonprofit technology. 

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Mission: Translating Amazon "cloud speak" for CIO, CEOs and other mere mortals

Mission: Translating Amazon "cloud speak" for CIO, CEOs and other mere mortals | Nonprofit Technology for Transformation of the Social Sector | Scoop.it

If you’re a devops pro you probably speak AWS. If you’re a CIO, CEO, line-of-business manager, probably not. Cloudyn says it’ll make your lives easier.

Roger Allen Conner's insight:

New dashboard systems make the cost of cloud technology easier to understand for more sophisticated nonprofits using AWS for cloud deployments.

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40 Useful Project Management Tools

40 Useful Project Management Tools | Nonprofit Technology for Transformation of the Social Sector | Scoop.it

Along with the fast growing pace of different sectors of the industry, many tools have also evolved to aid the professionals involved in various business sector which will help them to conduct their businesses and work efficiently. One such tool present at the disposal of the professionals and managers is the project management tools. These platforms have been developed by the skilled software developers keeping in mind the needs of different business houses, especially for handling different projects involving many people.

Roger Allen Conner's insight:

I am always looking for ways to better connect our distributed team of over 800 volunteers and thankfully it seems that there is a new project management tool developed every day. I am still seeking the best tool for our organization’s needs (right now we use a combination of tools for project management and collaboration). There is a list of 40 useful project management tools (free, open-source, and paid). Have you found one that works for your nonprofit?

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Technology Strategy for the Nonprofit Startup

Technology Strategy for the Nonprofit Startup | Nonprofit Technology for Transformation of the Social Sector | Scoop.it

How do you balance long-term sustainability in your technology plan. Decisions made during a nonprofit’s founding and first few years have an inevitable downstream effect, and for better or worse this also applies to IT planning.

Roger Allen Conner's insight:

Nonprofit technology strategy is critical for the nonprofit start-up or any nonprofit that is early in development. Many times it is hard to convince a board of directors to allocate additional resources and time to technology planning and strategy in the early stages; however, it is critical for your success down the line. Making smart decision and developing strategy for technology integration and deployment now will save your organization significant dollars and time as it grows.

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At Grameen Foundation, an international nonprofit becomes a software developer

At Grameen Foundation, an international nonprofit becomes a software developer | Nonprofit Technology for Transformation of the Social Sector | Scoop.it
Organization’s software aims to educate impoverished patients about health, streamline data collection.
Roger Allen Conner's insight:

The Grameen Foundation like many in the social sector and beginning to adapt their organization to use technology for positive systematic change. This foundation was originally just working on providing prenatal care to women in Ghana. They realized that there was an opportunity to use mobile technology to create an open-source software solution that would have a significant impact beyond the clients they typically serve.

 

The open-source software platform is called Mobile Technology for Community Health, or MOTECH. It runs on cellphones that are now more widely available in developing counties. This unique software tool is now being used by nonprofits, non-governmental organizations and humanitarian groups to address pandemics such as tuberculosis and HIV around the globe.

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What's in your social media measurement tool box and why?

What's in your social media measurement tool box and why? | Nonprofit Technology for Transformation of the Social Sector | Scoop.it
Rob Stuart, who passed away recently and who was instrumental in the creation of the nonprofit technology movement always had a favorite question, "What tools are in your tool box?
Roger Allen Conner's insight:

Having the right tool for the job is incredibly important. It seems that start-ups and tools come and go every day; however, there are a few that have mastered social analytics in a way that enables you to interpret your metrics in a way that is driven by what you want to learn. 

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Using Census Data to Get Grants

Using Census Data to Get Grants | Nonprofit Technology for Transformation of the Social Sector | Scoop.it

The basis for any successful grant proposal is objective evidence that a vital community need exists. This is why the best American fundraisers are intimately familiar with the US Census Bureau web site, including American FactFinder and mapping tools.

Roger Allen Conner's insight:

It always seems like the next grant deadline is just around the corner. Part of the granting rationale is that provided funding meet identified needs. Many nonprofits are now just starting to use objective data based evidence to support their claims of need within grant applications.

 

The US Census Database is a treasure trove of this important data. Learning how to effectively access this data can be challenging and recent changes to the system can be confusing for those who have used the system in the past. This presentation provides a great overview of how to find, access, and process the data you need to make your next grant application successful.

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How Social and Mobile Media is Changing Nonprofit Print Design

How Social and Mobile Media is Changing Nonprofit Print Design | Nonprofit Technology for Transformation of the Social Sector | Scoop.it
Over the last two months I have opened more than 200 pieces of nonprofit print materials and 95% of them are in the same format and structure of those that I was writing and publishing  in the late...
Roger Allen Conner's insight:

I have to confess, anytime I receive a particularly effective direct mail marketing piece I evaluate it for why it works and I file it according to the call to action.

 

One item I have noticed over time is that print media is slowly moving towards mirroring the experience of social media. Quite simply, I am receiving less 5 page appeal letters with only text and more pieces with large photos, call out boxes, infographics, and direct calls to action. Almost all of the pieces I have received in the past year have had a direct link to the agency's technology platforms.

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Coding camps for kids rise in popularity

Coding camps for kids rise in popularity | Nonprofit Technology for Transformation of the Social Sector | Scoop.it

Coding camps for children are becoming more popular amid a growing effort to expand access to computer programming and inspire more youths to seek computer science degrees and careers in technology.

Roger Allen Conner's insight:

I'm a big fan of using coding to teach computational thinking to children and adults. Many educational nonprofits are starting to offer summer camps in coding; however, the number of camps offered cannot keep up with the demand. Children and adults see people like Mark Zuckerberg and David Karp who strongly illustrate the opportunities programming skills provide; however, very few schools offer programming as part of the curriculum. Nonprofits who focus on STEM Education must embrace computational thinking education via coding education to meet this demand and provide some long-overdue attention to the "T" in STEM.

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Crowdfunding: Not just for first-world problems

Crowdfunding: Not just for first-world problems | Nonprofit Technology for Transformation of the Social Sector | Scoop.it
Sometimes it seems like crowdfunding is just for new digital devices, iPhone covers and games. But crowdfunding can be used a powerful tool for social change!
Roger Allen Conner's insight:

If you thought crowdfunding was just for financing video game systems like the Ouya and interactive watches like the Pebble - think again! Nonprofits are starting to notice the unique power of this funding platform to support social causes. More importantly, it is a way to connect investors to causes that they care about and for nonprofits to communicate their progress in real time to their constituents. Crowdfunding is similar in virtue and process to traditional fundraising methodology but it has the potential to expand reach, impact, and awareness through very cost-effective means. Nonprofits should not be hesitant to embrace this new funding technology because the potential for social change is great.

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