Every other month, 501cTECH partners with the Nonprofit Roundtable to host Technology for Nonprofits. An informal breakfast discussion (bagels and coffee a welcome addition), these exercises are a favorite part of my job. They bring together technology leaders with nonprofit professionals, many of whom have become the “accidental techie” within their organizations. In truth, this is how I came to work for a technology nonprofit. A fundraiser by training and chance, I fell into managing my former organization’s database and becoming the technology troubleshooter. My story is not unusual.
Too often, though, nonprofits—competing for resources and time and rightly-focused on their mission—don’t talk to one another. But whether they’re trying to raise money for a new community health clinic or sheltering abused women or advocating for farmworkers rights in New York State, nonprofits have a lot to learn from each other. At the roundtable, nonprofit professionals from all different sectors come together to discuss technology: failures and frustrations certainly, but more importantly, solutions to ease technology woes. These discussions range from best practices of contact relationship management to inexpensive cloud solutions to the dos and don’ts when using social media , and provide a great opportunity for nonprofits to interact with each other in meaningful ways without the pretense of competition. Organizations like 501cTECH are there to guide the conversation and to provide further insight, but more often than not, it’s the technology leaders themselves who come away learning something new.
Last month, a group came together along with Tim Forbes of PicNET to discuss mobile applications. The conversation was so successful that we decided to continue the discussion into the January 17th meeting. Please join us, either as a nonprofit professional who is looking for greater insight into how technology can help fulfill your mission or as a technology leader who can help nonprofits fully realize what technology can do for them.