Nonprofit Tech Club Austin | Recap of Activities 2015 to 2017

Background

 

Thanks principally to volunteer Dale Thompson, the Austin area NTEN-affiliated nonprofit  tech club had attracted a solid Facebook group page following, and for several years.  At the start of 2015, volunteer Carolyn M. Appleton broached the idea of moving the club to the Meetup platform because it has been so popular in Austin. To encourage more in-person attendees at club programs and to build a greater following, the volunteer co-organizing team decided to move over to Meetup. That decision proved to be a good one. Club membership increased to some 400 members between 2015 and 2017.

Our thanks go to NTEN for helping to fund our presence on Meetup during 2015, to Carolyn M. Appleton for funding it during 2016 (as a donation), and NetSquared (a division of TechSoup) for funding it during 2017. We thank Capital Factory for becoming our primary venue host in 2017 (free of charge), moving into 2018. WeWork, Texas Grant Resource Center and Charity Dynamics also provided meeting space. NTEN funded refreshments during this time, and Polycot Associates supported those expenses for fall, 2017.

 

Platform Change

 

In 2018 and after considerable discussion, Nonprofit Tech Club Austin decided to move to the new Bevy Labs platform on the NTEN website. Because we will soon shut down our Meetup page, this report was drawn up to record our club’s Meetup history and to thank those who made our work so successful from 2015 and 2017.

 

Programs

 

2015

During 2015, our events included Meetup listings for in-person programs as well as NTEN-sponsored webinars (remote educational programs). The 15NTC (NTEN Nonprofit Technology Conference) was held at the Austin Convention Center in 2015, so listings also included related events (but those are not included in this report).

 

February 5, 2015 | iPhoto & iMovie - iOS for Social Good with Taylor Day of Apple

Apple product expert Taylor Day will spend an action-packed hour showing us how to use iPhoto and iMovie to full advantage. There are many ways these applications can support nonprofits on a budget (from social media posts to case statements, from newsletters and invitations to websites) ... if we only knew how to use them fully!

March 20, 2015 | National Council of Nonprofits | Google+ Hangout with Rick Cohen

Rick will discuss the activities and services of the National Council of Nonprofits, how the Council can help your nonprofit, as well as open data opportunities and challenges.

April 22, 2015 | 15NTC Round-up!

Join your Austin compadres for a run-down on what we learned during the 2015 Nonprofit Technology Conference! We will gather in the back room of Trianon Coffee in Westlake Hills. Come enjoy some first class coffee, and share your insights ... or just come to listen-in.

May 19, 2015 | The Internet: How Has It Changed, Where Is It Headed?

Join us for lunch at the Consumer's Union or a presentation by Jon Lebkowsky. How has the Internet changed since mainstreaming began in the early 1990s? And what can we expect in the future? Jon will discuss the history, character, and future of the Internet in our next 501 Tech Club Austin Meetup.

July 21, 2015 | Google Digital Inclusion Fellowship | NTEN, Skillpoint & Austin Free-Net

Google Fiber, NTEN, Skillpoint Alliance and Austin Free-Net hope you will join them at Google Fiber Space to celebrate and discuss the new Google Fiber Digital Inclusion Fellowship program. Google Fiber cities across the nation are included in the program, and happily, Austin is one of those lucky cities! The program will be in full swing by the time we gather the evening of July 21, and we hope to have our Austin fellows with us. Speakers included:

• Parisa Fatehi-Weeks, Google Fiber's Community Impact Manager for Austin
• Margo Dover, Executive Director of Skillpoint Alliance
• Juanita Budd, Executive Director of Austin Free-Net
• John Speirs and Sharla Chamberlain, Digital Inclusion, City of Austin
• Amy Sample Ward, CEO of NTEN (Amy will join us digitally, via the Google "big screen").

[Note: this event was organized principally by Carolyn M. Appleton as a volunteer. Thanks go to Good Fiber for providing the venue, Ben E. Keith for providing Real Ale as a donation, and Second Bar + Kitchen for helping us find a TABC approved bartender, who was funded by Skillpoint Alliance.]

September 14, 2015 | Forbes Contributor Devin Thorpe: Together We Can Change the World

Join us at Capital Factory for a brown bag lunch and an online "hangout" with Forbes Contributor Devin Thorpe on social entrepreneurship, impact investing and a partnership approach to solving social challenges.

Devin Thorpe is an author and advisor who focuses on helping those doing good in the world. He calls himself a "champion of social good." As a Forbes Contributor, Devin covers social entrepreneurship and impact investing.

September 21, 2015 | Meeting with EFF: Privacy & Emerging Technologies

Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and 501 Tech Club Austin will meet together to learn about privacy and emerging technologies. The guest speaker will be Lesley Nicole Ramsey. Nicole has spent the last fifteen years working as an organizer, advocate and lobbyist for a wide range of issues from civil rights, health care and fair wages to labor rights, fair trade, tax policy and voting rights.

October 22, 2015 | Basic HTML for Nonprofits

Doug Addison of Polycot Associates will help us understand HTML and how to use it!

 

2016

February 24, 2016 | CiviCRM: Free, Open Source CRM for Nonprofits & Startups

How do you manage communications with your most important people? Having a good Constituent Management System (CRM) in place can help you keep track of your clients, donors or volunteers. CiviCRM is a free, open-source, web-based solution built for helping nonprofits. On worldwide CiviDay  2016, you will learn about the flexibility of this powerful Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tool that couples with most any website to give nonprofits and startups the tools they need to track and manage constituents including donors. Case management, events, forms, email, and donations are just a few of this software's many helpful features. Our guest speaker is Kate Shaw.

March 2, 2016 | Come Back and See Us: Increasing Your Donor Retention

Bring your lunch and join us for a presentation by Rachel Clemens, President and Founder of Creative Suitcase and Sean Doles, Vice President of Mission Advancement at YMCA of Austin. "Come Back and See Us: Increasing Your Donor Retention" is about increasing fundraising effectiveness while saving time and money by focusing on donors who have already shown interest in your nonprofit. Rachel and Sean will share tactics for increasing ongoing donations using tested (and a few experimental) ideas and strategies.

May 12, 2016 | VolunteerSpot | Harness the Power of Volunteers | Product Spotlight

Join us for a brown bag lunch at WeWork Congress for a presentation by Jessica Young McClean. Jessica will speak about the growing importance of volunteers in nonprofit organizations, educational institutions, religious institutions and startups, and she will share how VolunteerSpot helps to engage, manage and track them. VolunteerSpot is an Austin success story. More than 8 million volunteers are now in service globally via this easy-to-use platform.

June 9, 2016 | Microsoft | How to Obtain a Donation and the Benefits of Microsoft 365

Brian Kinsella, Co-founder and Managing Director of the Virtu Group will join #NPTechClubATX for an after-work presentation about how to secure a donation(s) from Microsoft. Brian will also share updates about Microsoft 365. Microsoft 365 includes a powerful suite of tools, like hosted email and calendars with Exchange Online; instant messaging and web and video conferencing through Skype for Business; cloud-based access to familiar Office applications; access to your documents from anywhere with OneDrive for Business; and more depending upon your subscription plan.

July 13, 2016 | Google Analytics for Dummies

Jon Lebkowsky of Polycot Associates, a cooperative digital agency based in Austin, will speak to us about Google Analytics. This program will be helpful to those of us who are entirely new to Google Analytics, as well as for those who have used Google Analytics in the past, but who have forgotten how to use the system.

August 17, 2016 | End Of Year Campaign Planning with Charity Dynamics

Did you know that 28% of nonprofits raise at least 26% of their annual revenue from End Of Year campaigns? There is still time to start your End Of Year Giving plans, but you need to start soon.

Join Charity Dynamic’s VP of Strategic Services Jett Winders, and Creative Director Brenda Miele as they discuss plans and ideas to jumpstart your End Of Year giving plans! Charity Dynamics will also provide pizza, soda and beer, along with the space for the event! What you’ll learn:

• Top trends of End of Year Fundraising
• What it will take to have a successful End of Year fundraising campaign
• What to expect after you start your End of Year fundraising campaign
• How to measure results.

September 28, 2016 | Data Visualization with KUMU

Kumu is a powerful data visualization platform that helps you organize complex information into interactive relationship maps. Kumu can be used for public projects free of charge (or for a modest monthly fee, one can develop private data visualization projects). Our presenters are Clare Zutz and Mark Hand.

October 12, 2016 | GivBee | Product Spotlight

GivBee is a messaging platform that considers itself to be, "the simplest, most effective way to engage people in your world.”  We are intrigued! Gabe Veach represents GivBee in Austin. He will share with us how the platform works and how it can support your nonprofit work. "If you’re not communicating with attendees, exhibitors and staff by text, then you’re simply not using the best tool for the job."

November 28, 2016 | Google Digital Google Inclusion Fellowship & Mozilla Foundation Updates

Join us for an update about the Google Digital Inclusion Fellowship Program with Daniel Lucio, one of the fellowship recipients! Daniel - who now works for Google Fiber - will share with us how Google Fiber's public partnership uniquely supports digital inclusion efforts. He has also invited colleague Robert Friedman of the Mozilla Foundation to discuss some of the company's new "ed-tech" efforts here in Austin.

December 7, 2016 | How to Make Infographics that Change the World

History is made by people who can communicate their ideas to the world. Infographics bring complex ideas to life for audiences overwhelmed with competing content. In this workshop, change makers and activists will learn the 6 steps to concept, create, and promote transformative infographics. Whether your communications goal is awareness, advocacy, or fundraising, this course will inspire and equip you to use infographics. Our speaker Ivy Le was in the AT&T War Room when the Apple iPhone launched and irrevocably changed the Internet’s role in business and in our daily lives. She led the business-to-business committee on Jackson Spalding’s social media team and then launched 9Terrains, a social media agency in Austin, Texas, known for cause advocacy.

 

2017

January 18, 2017 | 5 Things Every Nonprofit Can Fix on Their Website to Get Results

Kate Shaw will join us at the Regional Foundation Library during the lunch hour on January 18. Bring your lunch and we will bring refreshments! Learn what action you can take to make your website do more for your donors or clients. We will evaluate a website based on what search engines and users are looking for to find out where improvements are needed. The website evaluation requires no technical skills beyond using a web browser and searching with Google. The insight and action items you gather from the evaluation can be handed over to your marketing director or web developer to enhance your website.

February 15, 2017 | Miradi: A Flexible Approach to Program Planning for Conservation and Beyond

Miradi and the Open Standards (OS) upon which it is based, are a powerful and flexible approach to conservation program planning / predictive modeling, learning, and adaptive management. In this session, participants will get a brief intro to the history of the OS, Miradi, and Miradi Share (a cloud-based platform). They will then dig into a case study about at least one organization that is trying to use the OS before exploring the tool themselves. Participants should bring a laptop to be able to sign up for a free trial of Miradi to facilitate the exploratory breakout portion of this session. Our presenter is Dave Kramer.

April 19, 2017 | Crowdfunding Success: Crowdrise, Indiegogo & Kickstarter

We are excited to host a panel discussion about crowdfunding from those who have worked with three platforms: Kickstarter, Indiegogo and Crowdrise. Each speaker will share their insights about setting up and managing their respective online funding campaigns. We are honored to have the following panelists: 1) Internationally known artist Judy Jensen will speak about her successful Kickstarter, Sacred Glass: The Wat Chong Klang Project; 2) Lindsey Peeples, Co-owner of Texas Keeper Cider will share her experience with Indiegogo; and 3) Michael Kanin, Publisher, Austin Monitor will share his experiences using Crowdrise.

May 18, 2017 | Oracle | NetSuite For Nonprofits

Zach Moore of Oracle | NetSuite has organized a program for #NPTechClubATX on May 18th after work at Capital Factory focusing on the NetSuite nonprofit donation program. Zach will be joined by industry thought leader Cheryl Gipson, who has served as a consultant for some of the biggest names in fundraising, and who is now the solutions architect for Oracle | NetSuite’s nonprofit team. Among other things, Zach and Cheryl will discuss the critical misalignment all too common between fundraisers and financial executives, and how these teams can work more successfully together by using NetSuite.

June 28, 2017 | Facebook Isn't Free (and that's okay!) | Make Facebook Ads Work for your Nonprofit

Facebook advertising can be effective and affordable for nonprofits. In this session you'll learn how to use a small budget to test messages, identify what your audience likes, and use the results to grow your organization's fan base. Join us for the latest insights about Facebook Ads - including best practices for nonprofit organizations, tips, tactics and more - presented by Lisa Benjamin Goodgame of Goodgame Hoke Communications.

July 19, 2017 | GivePulse Volunteer Management Platform & Keep Austin Fed

           GivePulse is a civic network that matches people in our community with causes they care about, while enabling                 easy organization, management and mobilization of volunteers and supporters. GivePulse enables everyone, "to             list, find, coordinate, and measure their impact in the community. Our mission is to enable everyone in the world             to participate and engage in lifting their community to new heights. We do so by providing a platform to list, find,             organize and measure the impact of service and volunteerism in the community. It starts with one volunteer to                 build an army that will help improve the world." James McGirr, CTO and co-founder of GivePulse, and Lisa                           Barden, Program Director for Keep Austin Fed will speak to us about their work. Keep Austin Fed is a GivePulse                 platform partner. Keep Austin Fed is a volunteer based 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, "that gathers                                 wholesome and nutritious surplus food from commercial kitchens and distributes it to area charities that serve                 hungry people in need."

August 23, 2017 | Overcoming Your Echo Chamber: Algorithms and Messaging Across Partisan Lines

Ivy Le, Principal of 9 Terrains in Austin will share her insights into how nonprofits can better understand algorithms, and develop ways to listen to and monitor the opinions and actions of those who disagree with positions nonprofits are advocating. With this in mind, Ivy will share her thoughts about ways in which nonprofits can learn to "message" across partisan lines. "From dating websites and City trading floors, through to online retailing and internet searches (Google's search algorithm is now a more closely guarded commercial secret than the recipe for Coca-Cola), algorithms are increasingly determining our collective futures. 'Bank approvals, store cards, job matches and more all run on similar principles,' says Ball. 'The algorithm is the god from the machine powering them all, for good or ill.'" -The Guardian

August 29, 2017 | Apps4Change Demo | TechSoup and Caravan Studios

TechSoup is coming to Austin! Do you care about how technology can be better used to support social innovation? Join the Texas Council on Family Violence and Caravan Studios, a division of TechSoup, for an #Apps4ChangeDemo event held during the #Tech2Empower Statewide Conference. There are two demo dates and times (attendance is free of charge).

September 19, 2017 | Google AdWords for Nonprofits

Robin Mannas of Fire Brothers Inc. has graciously agreed to share his insights into Google AdWords for nonprofits. Robin is the founder of Firebrothers Inc. He was born and raised in Austin and attended The University of Texas at Austin, securing a degree in sociology. After several years managing multiple SEO clients, from blog sites to multi-million dollar retail websites (both in-house and as clients), Robin decided to create Fire Brothers Inc. to provide more specific services revolving around Search Engine Optimization and Search Engine Marketing. Joining Robin will be Kevin Terpack, the online marketing manager for the University Co-op Society. Kevin has worked closely with Robin, and the two of them will share their experiences with Google AdWords, which they have found to be very successful.

September 20, 2017 | Communicating with Impact: Adobe Spark | #Storymakers2017

We are pleased to have a talented duo to introduce Nonprofit Tech Club Austin to the free graphic design apps, Adobe Spark. There are three apps in the Adobe Spark series, Post, Page and Video. Adobe Spark helps you and your nonprofit create "impactful social graphics, web stories and animated videos.” Rich Lombardo and Fred Benitez are both Adobe Spark experts, and they work with the Eanes Independent School District.

October 23, 2017 | Engaging the Millennial Donor

In today’s ever-changing fundraising landscape, millennial donors have quickly become one of the most sought-after groups among nonprofit fundraisers. Join us for a presentation from Scott McElroy, Founder and CEO of Everybody Helping. "Everybody Helping is a better way to support the causes you love. Set a goal, subscribe to your favorite non-profits, and track your impact every month."

November 9, 2017 | How to Talk to Your Web Developer

Jon Lebkowsky of Polycot Associates will share with us how nonprofit staff can and should talk with their web developer. You may have discovered that sometimes you are each speaking different "languages." This session is designed to make your conversations productive and more effective, and to ensure you get the most out of your web developer.

To view a “thank you” Adobe Spark video acknowledging our 2017 guest speakers, follow this link.

 

#NPTechClubATX Volunteers

 

#NPTechClubATX would not exist without the devoted attention of its co-organizing team of Central Texas volunteers. Members of this team meet periodically to discuss program ideas, serve as onsite program hosts, and they promote our events on social media. From 2015 to 2017, our principal volunteers included the following.

Stacy Dyer
Stacy Dyer is co-owner of Austin coffee roaster TriRoCo. She is a marketing automation specialist, product marketer, geeky data nerd, nonprofit techie, and lover of delicious coffee. She has driven success for clients in a number of industries, from tech startups to nonprofits to e-commerce. An ardent advocate for the application of new technology in nonprofit and business management, Stacy has been published in Advancing Philanthropy and Fundraising Success. She is proud to have served as a volunteer organizer for this club since 2010.


Susannah Erler
Susannah has been the Executive Director & Station Manager for a National Public Radio (NPR) affiliate, has been a fundraiser for education and workforce initiatives, and has hosted and produced programs for public broadcasting. She holds a master’s degree in Business with an Arts Administration (Nonprofit) specialization from the University of Wisconsin School of Business and a bachelor’s degree from Oberlin College. She is a Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) who is currently director of Greater Good Strategies.

Jon Lebkowsky
Jon Lebkowsky has been managing technology projects and companies for over 25 years. He has been co-founder and CEO of three companies, and has been CEO of Polycot Associates (which was recently transformed into a worker-owned web development cooperative) for ten years, and before that, its precursor Polycot Consulting for six years. He is currently focused on strategic digital consulting and development, as well as business vision and management. He is also known as an activist and writer/blogger focused on the future of the Internet, digital culture, cyber liberties, media, and society.

Dale Thompson
Dale was an original member and organizer of the tech club and now co-organizes with the rest of our team. Dale has an accounting degree and put it to use in the banking industry (13 years) and the nonprofit sphere - 13 years at a nonprofit and now 6 years as a contract accountant and consultant for small nonprofits who don't have a CFO or even a bookkeeper in some instances. QuickBooks for nonprofits is her specialty.

Carolyn M. Appleton
Carolyn is a nonprofit fundraising, digital communications and public relations professional based in Austin and Bee but working across Texas. She has secured more than $33 million for her professional and volunteer nonprofit colleagues. Having tackled campaigns in remote regions without staff but with a can-do attitude, Carolyn has become more tech-savvy, achieving big results with fewer staff. Carolyn manages the #NPTechClubATX profile pages and she works closely with program presenters and with Capital Factory to ensure smooth sailing year-round. Carolyn is a prior recipient of an NTENy national volunteer award from NTEN: Nonprofit Technology Network (2011). She served as a member of the national NTEN Membership Committee for four years, she has been a guest speaker at two prior NTCs, and she has authored articles for the NTEN e-journal, CHANGE. For nptech-specific  inquiries, you can find Carolyn on the TechSoup Consultant Connection.

 

In Conclusion

 

The co-organizing team of #NPTechClubATX wishes to thank our expert guest speakers, our venue hosts, and our club co-sponsors NTEN: Nonprofit Technology Network and NetSquared, a division of TechSoup. This report was written by club volunteer Carolyn M. Appleton.