Friday, January 22, 2010

Where will we be tomorrow? (Part 11 of 11 on Managing Tech 2 Meet Mission)

Where are we today is usually what I answer when someone asks me about tomorrow. I figure if someone asks an obscure question that has limitless answers, that will probably only be proven wrong somehow, just answer with another question. ;-0  Just kidding of course.  But there is some truth to the idea that knowing where you are today is key to knowing about tomorrow, although that isnt what I want to talk about in this blog post.

Where will we be tomorrow?

Nonprofits will continue to push the edge of what technology can do to meet their mission while simultaneously allowing their infrastructure, process and core technology idle or fade.

What does that even mean?

Funding. We are able to get funding and a budget for technology or projects that are new and exciting, but can we get the same approval for more bandwidth, replacing PCs, tech support, training, process improvement, etc? This is not a new problem, nor am I the first to mention it. The nonprofit sector will become even more innovative and use technology in ways that gets the attention of the world. While at the same time using an unsupported software, under trained staff and outdated PCs.

As nonprofit techies we are pros at making due with what we have.  We will continue to do this and be proud of it.

Staff. Our staff use, understanding and requests for technology will rapidly change. Technology isnt really just the role of the technology department anymore, more staff are tech savy, have an element of tech in their job description and can be effective at rolling out new technology. Yet at the same time, many of our staff will not get the training they need on the software we use, our internal process and how to work more efficiently with the tech we have. New staff coming in will no longer just expect a desk with a working computer, they will need a mobile phone, faster internet access, video editing capability, access to everything from anywhere, permission to use whatever open source tool they find and more freedom to make their own technology choices.  Are we ready for that? I would imagine that many of us are not, we have rigid technology policies, adequate infrastructure and centralized decision making.

Well anyway, those are the two that I wanted to talk about.  I really didnt do them the justice that I wanted to, but my life has been super busy with a new online registration system, rolling out an intranet, etc, not to mention that whole life at home.

I was finally able to finish this 11 post series in just under 6 months, YIKES. But I really enjoyed it, I will need to help write another book for NTEN so that I have something else to write about on my blog.  I Love NTEN and cant wait for the upcoming Nonprofit Technology Conference on April 8-11 in Atlanta! I will be there with my partner in crime, John Merritt from the San Diego YMCA to present a session called Forget the Tech, Lets talk Mission! It is going to rock!

Over the last 11 weeks I did a themed series of blog posts. Each week I wrote about a chapter of the book called Managing Technology to meet your Mission. This week is on the 11th chapter by By Edward Granger Happ called Where Will we be Tomorrow. You should totally buy the book. (In case you are wondering, I am volunteering to do this, I am not getting paid or in any other way reimbursed for this. I just love NTEN and their events.)

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Belated Beth Kanter Surprise Birthday wish

Happy Birthday to the inspiring Beth Kanter (one day late)! Amy Sample Ward and Stacey Monk through an online surprise birthday party for her, inviting bloggers to pay her much deserved respects and highlight the cause she is fighting for, sending kids to school in Cambodia through the Sharing Foundation.

My last post was about how you have to have live the cause and know what you are fighting for to fundraise well. In my opinion that is what Beth does best, you can immediately tell that she doesnt just support the Sharing Foundation, she lives it.  And the same goes for her work in helping nonprofits use social media, she doesnt just provide resources, she immerses herself and becomes the example to follow.

So in honor of her birthday, please learn about the cause that she believes in.

Click here to learn more about the surprise party.

And Happy Belated Birthday to Beth Kanter, an unending supply of experience, knowledge and compassion.